Audiobook Listening Keeps Growing

The June issue of the Christian Indie Publishing Journal, a monthly newsletter for the Members of Christian Indie Publishing Association, featured an article on “Is Your Website Ready for Voice Search?” Voice search is growing and will continue to grow due to smart speakers.

Half of all Americans have listened to an audiobook.

The article cited that around 52 million adult Americans own some kind of a smart speaker such as Google Home, Apple HomePod and Amazon Echo. The number of U.S. households owning voice-enabled digital assistants is expected to reach 55 percent by 2022.

Voice search is not the only thing that will be affected by the growing number of smart speaker users. The Audio Publishers Association (APA) believes that the increase in smart-speaker penetration will also increase the desire for audio products such as audiobooks as smart speaker penetration among audiobook consumers is nearly twice the U.S. average. Some 42% of audiobook listeners age 18 and older own a smart speaker.

Audiobook listening is on the rise, as supported by data from The Infinite Dial 2019, which shows 50% of Americans age 12 and older have listened to an audiobook. This growth partly due to increased listening in cars. According to the APA survey, 74% of audiobook consumers listen in their car. This makes car listening now the number one audiobook listening location.

With audiobook consumption growing, the market for audiobooks is also growing. More and more small publishers and indie authors are releasing audiobook versions of their books hoping to increase both the reach of their messages and book sales by tapping into this market.

June is Audiobook Month

Releasing an audiobook version of book is a great strategy for broader penetration to consumers. However, releasing an audiobook is not enough. You still have to market your audiobook. Visibility is the key to finding more readers and listeners. You can start with these two steps for increasing the visibility of your audiobook.

1. Link Your Audiobook to Your Print and eBook on Amazon

Having your audiobook linked so that it appears on your book’s page on Amazon—rather than on its own orphan page—helps your audiobook sales. Readers looking for your book can immediately see that it is also offered in audiobook format and some will choose to purchase your book in that format.

Many readers of books who also listen to audiobook use Amazon’s Whispersync technology. Whispersync allows a reader to alternate between an ebook and an audiobook version of a book without breaking stride. This function will only be available for readers who purchase both the ebook and audiobook version if your audiobook is linked to your ebook on Amazon.

If your audiobook is not linked to your print and ebook on Amazon, you can send an email to KDP-support@amazon.com to request an orphaned audiobook page be combined with the page that hosts your print and ebook versions.

2. List Your Audiobook on Goodreads

Add your audiobook edition to your author dashboard on Goodreads. You can do the same for your author profiles on the other book social networking sites like LibraryThing or BookLikes. While you are at it, host a book giveaway of the audiobook version of your book on these sites. Goodreads charges a fee, but authors can still give books away for free on LibraryThing and BookLikes.

Related Posts:
Audiobook Listening on the Rise
Should You Publish an Audiobook?
Five Christian Book Marketing Trends for 2019

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Photo courtesy of sik-life.