Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Audiobooks: Have We Heard This Before?

Audiobooks, I've had a few would-be readers ask if I'd ever release my Immortal Spy series as audiobooks. If the Universe could guarantee that I'd make back my investment in having them done (and done to my satisfaction) sure. I'm a big, big fan of delivering products in formats consumers want. However, the costs of having seven ~90k books recorded are quite prohibitive, especially now that the consumer bar of expectation is rising due to a glut of products. I'm watching consumers clamor for recordings done with a full cast and sound effects; it's audio entertainment circling back to the Golden Age of Radio when radio shows like The Shadow, Flash Gordon, and George & Gracie held listeners transfixed. Indeed, readers who are visually impaired also want to enjoy the escapist journey, and audiobooks give them that opportunity. I want to give them that opportunity, but as a Self-Pub author, I just can't afford it.

As a reader, I don't listen to audiobooks, not because I'm a snob, but because my attention can't stay fixed on someone talking without visual cues. It's my quirk, by no means a ding on those who enjoy audiobooks. 

Do I think audiobooks will overtake eBooks and print? No. Not at all. I think the heyday has passed. Now, we're moving into the high glamour, which will eventually price itself out of viability before scaling way back and settling into the niche market that's been around for a hundred years...since the dawn of commercial radio.