How We Are Keeping Up with the Growth in Audio, Video and Audiobooks in Publishing
A book is far more than bound ink on paper.
Since our founding in 2007, we have published in many formats: hardcover, paperback and in various eBook formats. Increasingly, we are adding audio and video resources both as an integral part of publishing our books—and as part of the long-term outreach of our authors after a book has been released. With each new season, we continue to adapt to the latest in multimedia publishing.
Many of our authors now regularly publish their own audio and video. Here are several examples:
- Mindy Corporon regularly podcasts on Real Grief—Real Healing.
- Larry Buxton’s Leading With Spirit videos have become a weekly resource for men and women who want to know more about the values that shape effective leaders.
- Duncan Newcomer’s Thirty Days with Abraham Lincoln is an inspiring, thought-provoking book—and each chapter also links to audio from Duncan’s public radio broadcasts about Lincoln.
Multimedia books coming in 2022
In early 2022, we will be integrating even more audio and video into new books.
- Dr. David Gushee’s upcoming Introducing Christian Ethics will include both audio and video by Dr. Gushee through links readers can access from the pages of the book itself. Watch for this multi-media book to arrive for pre-sale orders on Amazon very soon.
- Martin Davis will expand upon the message of his Thirty Days with America’s High School Coaches through a second season of his Time Out for Better Coaching podcast.
- John Harnish already has recorded video introductions for readers of his upcoming Thirty Days with E. Stanley Jones as part of a complete discussion guide that comes with the book. Readers can easily access the video clips from the pages of the book, either for individual enjoyment or for help in sparking discussion in small groups and classes.
How We Produce Audiobooks
Our most important message to authors is: Audiobooks continue to expand each year as a share of publishing. Industry estimates vary but, in 2021, audiobooks represented less than a quarter of all book revenues in the U.S. Some estimates place the share of revenue at closer to 10 percent. Those sales totals also vary widely by genre and title. Of course, this means paper books—hardcovers and paperbacks—still dominate the market. Along with eBooks, these formats making up more than three-quarters of book revenues. Some genres and titles sell almost exclusively in print editions and/or eBook formats.
Bottom line: Audiobook sales are growing each year, but this is a highly competitive, emerging market and making a profit after audiobook production costs is not guaranteed. Discussions of audio and video in publishing require a book-by-book and author-by-author analysis.
Good news: That’s exactly what we discuss with authors in detail—including the importance of audio and video in building up a post-publication audience for authors.
We also are committed to keeping up with future changes in this expanding market. Just this month, for example, Spotify announced it plans to move aggressively into audiobook streaming. In the future, formats and distribution channels are likely to keep changing.
At the moment, Amazon’s Audible dominates audiobook sales and distribution in the U.S. Our latest audiobook release distributed through Audible is Mindy Corporon’s Healing a Shattered Soul.
How We Currently Work with Audible
Front Edge Publishing distributes audiobooks through Audible.com using the ACX.com platform. As we begin working with authors, we start with the book-production processes that produces hardcovers, paperbacks and eBooks. Then, we also discuss audio and video options with authors, including whether authors wants to pursue the production of an audiobook. Currently, there also are many other options for including audio and video with books—and in the ongoing marketing of our authors’ work.
If an Audible audiobook is a goal, then we explain to authors that currently ACX accepts two kinds of audio production files, with separate royalty structures for each:
- Fully mastered and chapter-separated audio files submitted by the publisher that fit ACX production guidelines.
- Production files created by producers using the ACX platform to accept production bids. For more information, see the offers help page. To work with a producer on the ACX platform, the book must be for sale on Amazon.com, which is a priority distribution platform for Front Edge Publishing books.
If you’re publishing a book with Front Edge Publishing, we will discuss audio and video options early in our production process. Most Front Edge Publishing authors who have developed an audiobook prefer to contract separately with an audio-recording professional and audio engineer, who then work with Front Edge Publishing staff to transfer files. If an audiobook becomes a part of the publishing plan, our staff can shepherd your production files to ACX and provide their quality-control notes to your audio engineer. We also can help manage the overall presentation of all of your book formats in Amazon listings.
After publication, your audiobook royalties will be reported alongside your print and ebook royalties.