As anyone working in book publicity or sales can tell you, more than 80 percent of books are still read in print copies. But authors and publishers should take advantage of other opportunities, and one of them is audiobooks. The market for them is pushing $3 billion in annual value, and they bring an added revenue stream for any book. Therefore, the reasons to have one are financially compelling and in terms of reaching a broader audience. They aren't expensive or difficult to produce and can be planned while arranging your book printing. It will pay off nicely in the long run.
One of the biggest reasons to produce an audiobook is to reach a broader audience. The visually impaired come to mind immediately, but many others consume audiobooks as a matter of choice. They include people who listen while doing something else, such as working, driving, or exercising at the gym. They appreciate the ability to "read" while doing other things or may lack time to sit down and read – yet still have a strong interest in your book and will buy it in audio form. Smartphones have also powered the audiobook market in the same way they have helped podcasts.
It's common for authors to be the one to read their books for the audiobook edition. It's another way to connect with your audience and build an author brand. Your voice becomes familiar to readers, and it will lead to a closer connection for many. You are creating a voice brand that is distinct from your writing and brings added value. Books in some genres do incredibly well as audiobooks voiced by their authors. For example, memoirs or nonfiction titles that contain advice or insight about doing certain things. For some readers, hearing an author speaking on a topic adds depth.
When you think about marketing your book and maximizing the profits, it's evident that offering it in added formats such as audiobooks and eBooks expands your reach. Anything you can do to encourage more readers to buy and read your book is beneficial. For PR and marketing purposes, there may be places where offering an audiobook chapter or excerpt works better than providing it as text. When you think broadly about marketing and reaching your target readers, the more ways you can do it, the better. As a result, more authors are voicing their work as audiobook editions today than ever.