Increase sales by publishing title as an audio book

Often new authors just think about getting their books into paperback and ebook. But potential purchasers of your book don’t just read words on a page or screen; they also enjoy books by listening to them. With the explosion of listening devices that connect to the Internet – from iPads and Kindle tablets to iPods and Mp3 players, not to mention cellphones – potential readers today can listen to your book while on their way to work, while running errands, or while waiting for others.

Audio books are a largely unexploited market for authors. Though more than 100,000 books were published last year as either paperbacks or ebooks, fewer than 5000 of them also were published as audio books. That means there are far fewer audio book listeners to sift through, increasing the chances they’ll select your book over a competitor’s.

Creating an audio book is easier than you might think. Amazon.com, for example, recently created ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange), a division that converts published titles into audio books (ACX is the equivalent of CreateSpace to paperbacks and Kindle DP to ebooks). They match your book to professional narrators (called producers) who will read your title and then distribute the audio book via Amazon.com, iTunes and Audible (a subsidiary of Amazon.com).

Of course, all of this comes with an expense – unlike CreateSpace or Kindle DP, where you create and market your book for free…that is, unless you’re willing to let Audible be your only distributor (in which case you share royalties). There’s also a 3-8 week wait for audio book production; it’s hardly “instant” as is publishing an ebook.