Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Audiobook Question

In my last post I noted that making Forget Me Not and Bleeding Heart into audiobooks might be a viable option - if I could see that it was something readers would be interested in. I sent out an e-mail to my influencer team, posted about it on several discussion boards on Goodreads, tweeted about it, shared it on Google +, and received a couple of responses here, as well. I thought I would share my findings with you all - so here you go!


Queries sent via:
  • e-mail (41)
  • Goodreads
  • Google +
  • Twitter
  • Blogger

Responses received:
  • 21 by e-mail
  • 4 through Goodreads
  • 3 through Google +
  • 4 through Twitter
  • 2 through Blogger

Total responses received: 34


Question: Do you listen to audiobooks?
  • 8 Yes
  • 8 Seldom
  • 15 No
  • 3 No response to this question

Number of people who mentioned they knew of others who listen to audiobooks:
  • 12

Number of people who noted they would help spread the word in some way if "The Heart's Spring" was made into audiobooks:
  • 13


Now, several things should be noted: some of the responses were from other authors sharing their thoughts or experiences; these are just the responses I received within the two days after most of the queries were sent; not everyone was asked about helping to spread the word; and I didn't specifically ask people if they knew of others who listened to audiobooks - that information was volunteered by some of the respondents.

And I also received some interesting comments from readers and authors alike. Here are some things I gleaned from them:
  • Notes were made about getting audiobooks from the library, for free, or would consider purchasing if the price were reasonable.
  • A couple of authors haven't had overly profitable experiences with audio endeavors.
  • Narrator plays a big part in the success of an audiobook.
  • One author believed it would be a worthwhile endeavor, stating that since the selection is smaller for audiobooks, readers would find me - and if I did a profit share with a narrator, I'd have nothing to lose.



So...while this wasn't a scientific study by any means, nor will it necessarily be overly helpful to other authors (as I think a lot depends on genre, popularity, etc.), I feel like this was very helpful for me! It showed me several things:
  1. The readers who play the biggest part in spreading the word about my books online aren't overly interested in audiobooks. Yes, they might know of others who listen to audiobooks, and they might still be willing to spread the word - but there's no clamor and little interest for this. If it's already a challenge to spread the word about my e-books and paperbacks, imagine how much bigger the struggle would be for a format that no one's really asking for. 
  2. Some of the readers who actually do listen to audiobooks on occasion tend to get them from the library. Or those who might be interested in purchasing audiobooks would prefer for them to be affordable. So...that doesn't really sound promising for making sales.
  3. Other authors aren't necessarily seeing a lot of sales from audiobooks or other audio-type endeavors. Granted, I've only talked to a couple! But as a newbie author, if "audio land" is a hard place for other authors to succeed, it's probably not be for me - at least not right now.

I think it's exciting that the possibility of making audiobooks is available and doable! I could make it work by sharing royalties with a narrator...but only if there was faith in the salability of the product(s). And right now, I don't think my audience is large enough, diverse enough, and eager enough for this sort of endeavor. So I'll file this away under "Someday" ideas, as something that could be pursued after I have more books released and if I gain more attention as an author. For now, I'll stick with my e-books and paperbacks, both of which I'm quite fond of anyway. ;)


  1. Great summary, Amber! Thanks for sharing what you learned! :)


    1. Thank you, Cerella! I've already received another comment on Goodreads, and I'm sure I'll hear more in the coming days...but I'm kind of impatient, so I just thought I'd put this together now. ;) While there were/are a few really in favor of audiobooks, it doesn't really seem like the passion and eagerness are there - at least for me, with these books in this moment of time. It was nice just to be able to figure that out and gain some closure on that idea. :)

      Thank you for your feedback, and for checking this out!


  2. That sounds fair. Thanks for sharing your findings with us and including us in your survey.

    1. Thank *you* for the feedback! :) I'm sorry I'm not pursuing this now, but I'd definitely love any help in spreading the word if I ever did pursue the audiobook route. I really admire your lovely blog and presence in the blogosphere!


  3. Very interesting results. I'm glad you posted this because I was interested to see how other people would respond.

    One thing I didn't think about when I emailed you earlier was that I've found that I prefer listening to non-fiction over fiction. I don't read much non-fiction (as in actual reading, not listening), but I've listened to a lot of non-fiction books over the past 8 months and enjoyed them.

    BUT I realized recently that I sometimes get frustrated with how long it takes me to listen to a fiction book, especially when I know how fast I could fly through a story that's capturing my attention. (For instance, I listened to "Secretly Smitten" last year on audio book. It's 400 pages, which means almost 10 hours of audio. For me, that's about 20 "sessions" of listening. I finally wanted to know what happened and just got the book so I could finish it faster.)

    Just two more cents' worth for ya! :)

    1. Happy to share! Glad you found it interesting. :)

      And that's a great point about the difference between listening to non-fiction and fiction! I generally prefer fiction no matter the format, but if you're really into the story it can be hard to go so slow through it. Yet non-fiction, which we tend to read slower (I think?) might be easier to get through when someone else is reading it to you... Hmmm. Great thoughts!

      Thanks so much for sharing your two cents - I appreciate it! :)