The Audiobook Revolution: Get Your Royalties Here

July 5th, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

We lauded the iPod experiment at the South Huntington Public Library in South Huntington, New York when it was announced, and it’s good to know our enthusiasm has been repaid. Library customers are embracing the technology.

[Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know. But it’s always good to have alternatives.]

Book Standard looks at the growing industry and two key audiences: young folks and older folks. Those in their middle ages* really do need to jump on the bandwagon to remain relevant, don’t they? While the iPod phenomenon is credited with the huge increase in audiobook sales/rentals, we’d like to suggest that much of’s success also comes from the use of a common format and decision to make it easy for readers to access their books in the most convenient manner possible. Subscribers can use MP3 players or burn books to CD for use in the car. This flexibility is key — and it’s introducing the magic of books to readers who, for whatever reason, don’t have the time or inclination to sit down and crack the binding of a book.

On a side note, it’s time for audiobooks to move from the lower-royalty ancillary/subsidiary position to a full-fledged royalty rate. If growth continues at this rate, audiobooks will soon be a key distribution channel, not “bonus” income. Lower rates may have made sense (we’d argue not) at the point in time when distribution was limited and costs were higher, but the business models are changing and now is the time for author-publisher agreements to start reflecting this

* – Defined as any age between young and old. You know who you are.

File Under: Tools and Craft