The Sword and Laser discussion

142 views
Why some audiobooks sell four times as well as their print versions

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 2: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4134 comments As an avid audiobook listener for over a decade, this seems like a very "duh" article. But it wouldn't surprise me to find out that others who don't listen to audiobooks or otherwise aren't familiar with how they can work especially when doing things like housework would find this possibly eyebrow-raising...


message 3: by Valerie (new)

Valerie (darthval) | 96 comments Interesting. For years, my SO and I have enjoyed listening to business oriented audio books during long road trips.

Then, my work commute got much longer, so I decided to give audio fiction a shot. This changed everything! From there, I started to listen as I trained for half marathons, while cleaning, then basically where ever it made sense.

It doesn't take long to realize that certain narrators, or I should say a good narrator, can enhance the experience by leaps and bounds.

However, unlike one of the last comments in the article, it is not an either/or situation for me. My actually reading has not slowed down, I've just supplemented my reading with listening as well.


message 4: by Joanna Chaplin (new)

Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments I'm like Valerie. I read maybe five or more ebooks for every audiobook I finish. Of course, I try to choose audiobooks that are longish to get my money's worth out of them. They are still noticeably more expensive.


message 5: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1672 comments Mod
Mostly this article just makes me sad that narrators only get a one-time fee and don't make more money based on big hits.


message 6: by Gaines (last edited Dec 22, 2015 02:31PM) (new)

Gaines Post (gainespost) | 198 comments Veronica wrote: "Mostly this article just makes me sad that narrators only get a one-time fee and don't make more money based on big hits."

Well, I recently hired an actor ( Nicholas Thurkettle -- who has a seriously amazing voice, by the way!) to narrate a dark fantasy short story of mine, and we used ACX (the audiobook creation company which publishes on Audible.com etc). There were a few options for payment; the one we settled on was the royalty option -- he and I split the royalties, 50/50. The numbers break down like this: ACX gets 60% of the money made from audiobook sales, and the author & narrator split the remaining 40% in half -- so, 20% each, for every copy sold. That's not great but it's still higher than the typical royalty an author used to make (and still makes, although it seems to be a dying thing) in the traditional book (not ebook) publishing industry. So, the "one-time fee" for narrators you mention, while it is an option, is probably not the one most narrators are choosing these days. That's my guess anyways :-)


message 7: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4134 comments Veronica wrote: "Mostly this article just makes me sad that narrators only get a one-time fee and don't make more money based on big hits."

Yeah! Though I saw your tweet and that Kevin Hearne said that Luke Daniels gets royalties. I thought that was pretty cool.


message 8: by Tommy (new)

Tommy Hancock (tommyhancock) | 97 comments I personally don't do audio books(not for any negative feelings towards them, I just don't). The idea that it's a profitable medium doesn't surprise me at all, but the idea of audio outselling the text version of a book on a regular basis is a bit of a shocker. I would have assumed that the text/audio sales would work much how Valerie and Joanna said their reading/listening works. The majority going to text, but audio offering a healthy boost.


message 9: by J.-F. (new)

J.-F. Dubeau (jfdubeau) | 41 comments Audiobooks are one of those things that I'm starting to lean more and more towards. Right now, most of my audio time is devoted to podcasts (because there are some pretty damn good podcasts around and more appearing all the time) but as my reading time is slowly getting eaten by other responsibilities, I've been considering adding books to my rotation.

As for how actors are being paid, I think this is one of those things where water will find it's own level. The people I know who listen to audio books have set preferences for quality voice actors and will seek out books narrated by certain narrators. Hopefully the industry picks up on this and adjusts. I know I'll be keeping an eye on the subject as I need to understand how to cultivate a good relationship with narrators if I hope to hire good ones for my own work.


back to top