Guest Post by Author Kwen D. Griffeth
Johannes Gutenberg introduced his printing press to the world in 1439. The device, with its ability to move the type, started a social revolution, and I have no doubt, the morning after the announcement, Mister Gutenberg found himself beseeched by authors, all wanting to get their books printed.
Getting our works, our visions, our efforts before the reading public has always been the biggest challenge to a writer.
New Revolution of Books
Move forward several hundred years to 2017, examine the printing landscape and discover the new social revolution occurring. We’ve entered the world of not printing books. The downloadable, transportable, adaptable audiobook has invaded.
Consider these statistics gleaned from an article written July 21, 2016:
- Audiobooks sales increased 121% in 2016 over 2015 (The USA and Canada)
- Downloads of audiobooks increased by 38% over that same timeframe
- As of the date of the article, Audible, the largest producer of audiobooks, stated its subscribers would listen to over 2 billion hours of narration in 2016.
Grab on and Hang on…
My case for why authors need to grab onto this phenomenon and hang on for dear life has been made. Classics are being converted. I have listened to Jane Austen’s Persuasion, as well as Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea and The Snows of Kilimanjaro. I also “read” my scriptures with sound buds in my ears.
All writers search for more readers, or in this case, listeners. I started converting my books to audio mid-summer last year. Six of my eight novels have been completed and are available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. I plead guilty of trying to enlarge my fan base. Along my route to more sales, I stumbled on the fact that working with other talented, motivated, gifted artists was fun. I recommend converting your books for the enjoyment of working with the producers if you cannot find any other reason.
A Final Thought
In August of 2016, I attended a writing symposium for the Western Writers of America in Dodge City. One of the presentations considered audiobooks; the author turned her discussion into an infomercial for the company that converted her books. No problem with that, I respect loyalty. I spoke to her afterward. The conversation was thus, more or less:
“You enjoyed working with the company (located in Seattle),” I asked.
“I’d never go anywhere else. They were great, and they charged me a very reasonable amount.”
“They charged you,” I desired clarification.
“Not much, but what I liked best was that they had six narrators they could have used for my book. I think the one they chose was perfect.”
“Wait a minute,” I said, “they only had six narrators, and they chose the one that produced your book. What if you hadn’t liked the job?”
With that look that reminded me I was but a child in the audiobook world, she said, “You’ll learn. The company I used is one of the best in the field. I heartedly recommend them to you.”
I thanked her and left feeling a bit of pity for her. The company I use does not charge me a dime, allows me to negotiate my own contracts (within reason) with the producer I select, and supports me with the marketing.
I won’t stoop so low as the writer in Dodge and brag about who I use by name, but if you have questions about converting to audiobooks, and you want a biased (there, I said it) opinion, contact me.
Kwen D. Griffeth, writes romance, mystery, western, crime dramas. Author of nine books, he self-published his first book in 2012: a novella named Dear Emma. Emma tells the story of a little girl whose mother dies and continues to contact Emma through notes. Next came his historical fiction trilogy which met with great reviews. Kwen is getting noticed from the literary community as well. The Law of Moses and The Tenth Nail both received the Gold Award from Literary Titan Book Review. The Gold Award is given to books “found to be perfect in their delivery of original content, meticulous development of unique characters in an organic and striking setting, an innovative plot that supports a fresh theme, and elegant prose that transforms words into beautifully written novels.” In addition, The Law of Moses was selected to be displayed at the 2017 New Title Book Expo in New York as well as the American Library Association showcase in Chicago.
Shadow on the Moon, his first fantasy book, is scheduled to be out later this year. He is also working on The Ghost in the Senate Chamber, and drafting Dance with the Devils 666.
Kwen’s books are available in e-Book, paperback, and audio from Amazon.com. See more at kwendgriffeth.com.
Kwen D. Griffeth, a fellow writer of Springfield Writers’ Guild, lives in Springfield, Missouri.