As a modern author, there are many more areas to consider than simply writing a novel. Before even beginning work on their manuscript, an aspiring author must look at the publishing industry to see where their finished product will fit into. Authors can do this by inspecting adjacent industries where they could possibly market their novel. One such industry is the audiobook market. The broad readership of most genres participates in audiobooks, in a Statista report from 2021, 45% of American adults have listened to audiobooks. In addition, according to studies done by Grand View Research, the book industry is projected to grow 1.9% by 2030. The audiobook industry, on the other hand, is projected to grow by 26.3%. For an author looking to get their material out in the world, that is a significant margin. The experience between an audiobook and a physical novel is staggering, and many people will listen to an audiobook just to experience a novel in a different way.
The primary differences in an audiobook and a physical book lie with the senses. While a physical book plays off of touch and sight and the feeling of pages turning beneath your hands, an audiobook gives you a chance to close your eyes and allow your imagination to lead how you are experiencing the content. It takes away the physical feeling of being grounded to an object and allows the reader to become lost in a wholly different way. Many readers take advantage of audiobooks, which leave their hands free to take on other tasks. On the whole, audiobooks provide a new experience, and an opportunity for renewed interest in the readership.
The audiobook industry also seems to open a new avenue for creativity, to combine the arts of the written word, the spoken word, and even incorporating elements such as song. For reference, the author/songwriter Kae Tempest narrated their own audiobook, Brand New Ancients, with a mixture of poetic reading and singing. The listening experience of the novel is nothing short of incredible, to close your eyes and hear a whispery voice, intoning both speech and song, finding the momentous in the ordinary. The audiobook genre is becoming interspersed with content such as this, authors and performers finding new ways to allow different genres to intersect, to create a product unlike anything heard before.
For creators, and authors especially, the most recent challenge has been finding new content, and new ways to make your product stand out from the staggering amount of material that has come before it. By looking at how and which areas the industry is expected to grow in, an individual person can come up with new ideas to make their novels stand out from the rest. There is a great intimidation factor that comes with agents and editors and publishing houses. Going to them with knowledge of the industry and how you can fit in to new trends will give you an advantage over the competition. With the publishing industry growing so much by way of audiobooks, up-and-coming authors need to stay ahead of the curve by keeping themselves up to date with what their readership will be interested in the coming years.