A year ago I took Google up on its offer to convert the ebooks I had in their store to auto-narrated audiobooks for free. In the last year audiobooks have more than doubled my sales on Google, accounting for 65% of those sales. Their ratings match their ebook version. When I converted my newest novel at the end of March, the program was still free, but they had added the option of using different voices for different characters in the story. You select a narrator, and then select from the voices they offer to voice the dialog of the various characters in the story, giving you the option of having an ensemble narrate your story instead of one person doing accents.
Traditional publishers will not sign a contract with an author unless the author gives them the audiobook rights. It is that lucrative of a market these days. Google is a free way of getting a foot in that market, with the bonus of being able to offer audiobooks at a very competitive price.
Sales of e and audio books on Google accounted for 67% of my total book sales for my eighth year of publishing. There are a billion reasons for this. Millions of people read and listen to books on their phones. The Google Play Store is the built-in store on all Android phones outside of China, and there are billions of them. There is no bigger market for your books in the world.
Everyone’s books, audience, and goals are different, but I have to believe that if you are selling wide, and not selling on Google or offering audiobooks, you are leaving money on the table.
Published by chucklitka
I was born in 1950 and spent the 1960’s reading hundreds of SF books while dreaming of becoming a SF author when I grew up. I enrolled as a journalism major in college, but dropped that after my freshman year when I realized I was too shy to be a journalist. I then decide I either had the talent to write or I didn’t. Time would tell. In the late 1970’s I finished and submitted a SF novella, a SF short story, and a fantasy novel. They brought me a small collection rejection slips. I continued to write for fun. In 2009, now with a computer with a built in spellchecker I got more serious and completed three novels the course of next six years, for the fun of writing. I had no intention of submitting them to traditional publishers. Been there, done that. If I felt they were good enough, I’d self-publish them, which I did in 2015, for free since I don’t need to be paid for having fun. As of 2021 I have published 10 SF/adventure novels, 2 novellas and one children’s short story.
I’m married. My wife and I have two children, and two grandchildren. I have lived most of my life in Wisconsin. I’ve worked at various jobs, including 13 year with a commercial printer and small town daily newspaper. I operated a cottage industry mail order tea business for a decade, and quit my day job at 53 to try my hand a making a living as an artist. Never made it big, never went bust. We’re retired these days and living a quiet life. The type of life I like.
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Which reminds me … I need to get started on Google Play. I’ve been dragging my feet.