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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw this posted in an article recently and the article was spinning this obviously as a positive for audiobooks.

However, it made me wonder what happened to the great ebook revolution...print sales rose during the pandemic and it seems ebooks are languishing now. Now...I know ebook sales rose year over year but, not as much as print sales. The expectation was that ebooks would surpass eventually print sales but they have stopped gaining ground.

Have they peaked in market share? Not good for newbies who only go the ebook route.
 

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Well, if you listen to the big publishers then ebooks are certainly dying, because that's the narrative they want you believe.

Ebooks most certainly aren't languishing. However, the market is maturing and is likewise pretty saturated. So while there may still be plenty of pie to go around, there's much more competition to get that pie. The audiobook market, however, remains a bit less crowded. So one could easily look at it as having greater opportunity for someone looking to break into it now.
 

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I think Rick is right on spot, I doubt ebooks will ever die out...simply because, I think, it fits into a lot of people's budgets better. Personally, I prefer to read a print book and do buy some, but I also buy ebooks, because buying them all in print would be too costly.

I did this research for a uni assessment a couple of years back (the unit was for web design, but I chose book store as my theme) and it showed that audiobooks were growing quite fast in popularity...and that is the preferred method for young adults ( in the 20s)..my stepson who fits into that range I know only bought audiobooks. So it may later become the preferred thing as the younger generation moves up....which is a pity because I think reading skills might drop.
 

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I can't help but think this is linked with the never-ending push for more productivity. The do more and never sit still mentality. Audiobooks = multitasking. You can "read" while commuting, doing chores around the house, errands, cooking, etc. Don't get me wrong, I love being read to, but I also take great joy is sitting still and losing myself in a book.
 

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I wouldn't worry over it too much. Most authors probably can't afford the expense of audio. AI will undoubtedly fill the gap within 10 years or so, making all eBooks audio, effectively. I don't see print always outselling electronic books (whether visual or audio), because the overall trend in entertainment is electronic delivery. Publishing may be one of the last holdouts but I just don't see it being that way in the long term.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I brought this up because Ebooks were supposed to be next big. For an author, they aren't. Discounting, perma free and all that have made them "commodities" and have locked the pricing in at a level which kills the "author" in the long term. The ones making a tidy income got in early. Their business model doesn't work now because the market is saturated.

The good news for authors is print sales remain strong and the path of distribution have just changed from book stores to print on demand.

I spent some time on discount ebook promoter sites and it staggering the volume available.

Mark
 

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I don't know any authors who have grown their audio sales to a large portion of their eBook sales.

I've seen authors who seem to sell well in audio, even newer authors. I do know some of them in the we met once at a conference way, but not in the we talk on the reg way. But none of them can really say how they grew their audio or tell you how to grow your audio. In fact, when I've talked to some bigger audio sellers, they've stared at me with bewilderment when I told them what I've done in audio and how my sales have not grown. They simply can't believe that's possible.

And then ACX makes audio a nightmare at every opportunity.

People have been talking about the growth of audio since I started publishing ix years ago, but I have not seen that growth translate to indie authors with indie audio making a lot of money in audio for many authors. Even the authors who do all the right things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
From what avid readers have told me...audio is love or hate. No middle ground. It is a totally different reading experience and some would rightfully argue it is not a reading experience at all....no different than listening to a podcast or spoke word record of old.

It is also very expensive and most authors would never make a dime back.
 

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To paraphrase John Maynard Keynes "in the long term we are all dead."
LOL
Not necessarily. I think paper books having lasted several hundred years is a good indicator that once the electronic thing becomes standard (as it more or less has already), it will stabilize as paper books did, once binding technology matured in the 1700s or 1800s. Authors will produce an eBook, and AI will produce decent audio versions, in the device (be it eReader or phone app). Paper will probably be around for a while, barring paper shortages making it prohibitively expensive. LP records are still with us. People are still into riding horses. Older tech fades, but doesn't necessarily leave completely, even when overtaken by newer tech.
 

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Not necessarily. I think paper books having lasted several hundred years is a good indicator that once the electronic thing becomes standard (as it more or less has already), it will stabilize as paper books did, once binding technology matured in the 1700s or 1800s. Authors will produce an eBook, and AI will produce decent audio versions, in the device (be it eReader or phone app). Paper will probably be around for a while, barring paper shortages making it prohibitively expensive. LP records are still with us. People are still into riding horses. Older tech fades, but doesn't necessarily leave completely, even when overtaken by newer tech.
My comment referred to the authors (us) not the work. I meant to say that despite all our speculation about what will happen, in the end we are dead and it becomes irrelevant. And then, for tech, there are the cautionary tales of cassette tape and Betamax, not to mention the books and stories I used to have on floppy discs.
 

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Audio is about 30% of my sales when combining all channels. The biggest part comes from my own website, then Findaway Voices (mostly through libraries) and then Audible. You can market audio just as you can market ebooks. The deals list options are expanding all the time, Bookbub now does audio ads, and you can advertise them through Facebook ads.
Audio listeners and ebook readers are two distinct audiences. Some genres do better than others. In my experience, mainly genres where people don't read a book a day.
 

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My comment referred to the authors (us) not the work. I meant to say that despite all our speculation about what will happen, in the end we are dead and it becomes irrelevant. And then, for tech, there are the cautionary tales of cassette tape and Betamax, not to mention the books and stories I used to have on floppy discs.
Yeah, remember CDROM's, which, in 2000, were supposed to be the future of books and encyclopedias? "An entire set of encyclopedias on just one small disk!"
 
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