Anyone “tuned in” to publishing will tell you the audiobook market is growing by a whole heckofalot. A survey in July 2019 by the Audio Publishers Associationdemonstrated how audiobooks are continuing to lead the book/publishing market in growth, with $940 million in sales during 2018, and unit sales increasing 27.3% over 2017. In summary: The audiobook business is booming. (At this point I should warn you, all puns are intended.)
As an independent author writing for a niche market, finding and reaching new readers is one of my main goals. It also happens to be my highest hurdle. My marketing approach has always been to cast as wide a net as possible. Ignoring audiobook listeners and not investing in audiobooks is like leaving a gaping hole in your net. There may be plenty of fish in the sea, but — in my experience — no population of readers is as consistently engaged, invested, and passionate as audiobook listeners.
I produced and published my first audiobook in 2014, more than one year after the ebook and POD (print on demand) version of that book were published. Since 2014, I’ve sold over 150,000 audiobooks across all my titles (not including downloads from Audible credits, Audible Escape, or library borrows).
In 2014, audiobooks accounted for 2% of my gross yearly income and the percentage has increased every year, with 2019 being the largest in terms of growth (30% growth year over year, presently 20% of my gross income). 2019 was also the year I decided to distribute all my titles wide through Findaway Voices, which definitely contributed to the increase in readership and royalty figures.
I hope this article will give you a road map for how to best market your audiobooks, not just during release week, but also over the lifetime of your title.