Print Is Flat – Audio Is Growing – Are You Missing Sales?

A trend for the last several years, printed book sales have been flat or even down in most categories. E-books have been steady for sales, while Audiobooks have been growing leaps-and-bounds.

A recent Pew Research report shows one in five of us now listen to audiobooks. Reading print books or ebooks is still more popular, but audiobooks are the only format to have increased in popularity over the past year. Also, audiobooks are quickly catching up, tremendous considering that ebooks were twice as popular just three years ago (28% vs 14%).

More and more readers like to HEAR a good story. 

BUT, one of the common trends I see is authors publishing to print only. 

If your book isn’t in audio you are missing sales and maybe it’s time to read with your ears!

Unfortunately, many publishers aren’t into audiobooks. I get that it is foreign to them – as much as newspapers are different to television news, so they don’t offer that as a service to you.

You are left to learn the audio world on your own! And it’s scary, or it’s daunting, or it’s expensive. 

The truth is, yes, maybe it is all those! But it is also going to reach an audience that won’t buy print.

Here are 3, in my opinion, things you MUST know about audio:

  1. Buyers Are Listeners

Audiobook listeners, not readers and want your book in audio, not in print. So only offering in print form they are likely to pass it by. 


Just like readers having a Kindle subscription, Audible listeners who have a membership will buy from membership credits and not buy just stand alone. If your book is only in print, they can’t use their membership!

2. Another Format Means More Sales

Just like your favorite restaurant offers appetizers AND meals, drinks AND desserts – each one is not just for you to enjoy. They have all those on the menu because each is an opportunity for a sale. 

Just like dining – you may not get the appetizer but will get dessert, and a listener may not buy print but will buy audio. 

3. Professional Narrators and Producers 

When you are sending your manuscript to publish, you can find plenty of freelance editors, proofers, designers, etc for hire. 

There are plenty of professional audiobook narrators and producers who also freelance – whether for a self-publisher or a publishing company. You don’t have to know everything about audiobooks, just get to know someone who does!

Listen, there are about a MILLION different ways to do this, but the key is knowing WHAT to do first and what to do after that and etc, etc.

This is sequential, and to make it happen will require the right foot in front of the other.

Keep writing and let me know if this resonated with you,