On audiobooks: I’m actually interested in the audiobook format. The problem is the cost. Smashwords recently started an initiative where the setup is free, but you have to pay around $500 for the reader and production costs. I’m not making enough in book sales to recup those costs, so for now it has to remain a wish until the cost comes down. But I am optimistic, because I see audio books on the same path as ebooks were on ten years ago. It used to be expensive to covert to ebook format (I remember I was asked for $250 to convert my first published book – now you can do it yourself for free). Hopefully, that cost will continue to decrease, and make this a possibility for indie authors like me. I doubt it will ever be free like publishing ebooks, as I’d want to hire a professional voice to do it, but I have my eye on it and am willing to consider it if the cost continues to go down. Of course, if my book sales increased enough to recup the costs at least, then I’d do it now. *Rolls eyes away and whistles innocently.* Of course, that’s the comment that usually elicits nervous chuckles and an excuse to go do something else. It’s funny how pointing out the obvious does that.
As a reader, I’ve never checked out audiobooks. But if my three mile commute from work to home keeps increasing due to insane traffic, lane blockages, wrecks, and fires on the Interstate, then it might become viable to hear several chapters of an audio books while I sit in a sea of brake lights. That admission shouldn’t make anybody squirm. I think we can all agree that traffic is a nightmare on Die-20 in the afternoon, especially on Thursdays. I mean, I-20.
On paperbacks: Blurry, my young adult murder mystery, is available as a paperback on Amazon, but I haven’t sold a paperback copy since 2012. All of my book sales since I switched to fiction have been ebooks, so there’s been no need to look into that option, especially since there are costs involved and I hear from other authors that the formatting issues are a nightmare. These requests are decreasing anyway, so I don’t see the point in going to all of that trouble. Plus, I’m a bit of a tree hugger, if you didn’t know that about me. I prefer to go digital every way I can. Ebooks are my standard for writing and reading. Heck, I use my laptop and my Kindle almost every day.
But I do occasionally read paperbacks, and even hardbacks. I can’t resist the lure of a bookstore, and went by one near my office yesterday called The Book Dispensery. The Book Dispensery is a secondhand bookstore where you can trade in books for credit, and buy books at 40%-70% off (which is a discount if you buy from a traditionally published author, who still charges regular paperback/hardback prices for their ebooks). It’s a good place to check out authors you’ve never read before to decide if you want to read more of their work. I discovered Ben Bova, Kim Stanley Robinson, P.D. James, and J.A. Jance by checking out titles I bought there. Given that the only new bookstores in my area is a Barnes & Noble clear across town and a Books-A-Million in a traffic nightmare location, I pretty much get every paperback or hardback I read at The Book Dispensery. If you live here, I highly recommend checking them out. If you don’t, check your area for secondhand bookstores where you can find some treasures that may lead you to discovering authors you’ll love.
So there are my answers on audiobooks and paperbacks. One’s on the radar, and one fell off. But I’m always open to reconsidering due to changes in the book industry. In fact, I pretty much count on it. The publishing industry, much like everything else in life, is in a constant state of change and development. You never know what might happen to change things in a significant way.
That’s all today. Take care. Have a Happy Friday tomorrow and a wonderful weekend.