If you’ve been watching trends and sales figures, you know that narrating audiobooks is a booming part of the voice over industry.
The fact that there was a reported $2.5 billion dollars in audiobook sales in 2017, shows that there is a wealth of opportunity for those who are willing to explore and produce their own audiobooks.
Not only does this large and growing market show great promise for audiobook producers, it also presents an awesome opportunity for voice actors who wish to land narrator voice over jobs.
Here is a bit more on the audiobook market, and why the ‘classics’ are a very attractive genre for many publishers.
The Number of Audiobooks Produced in One Year is Growing!
Craig Black, President of Blackstone Audio said that in 2007, 4,000 audiobooks were recorded. Ten years later (in 2017), the industry saw about 79,000 new audiobooks produced in just that one year alone.
This is great news for everyone involved in the audiobook market – from authors and publishers, to audiobook narrators and of course, those who love listening to audiobooks.
The Most Popular Genres of Audibooks
In 2017, the genres of classic literature and fiction held the greatest share of sales at $4.94 million. The division of sales speaks to the popularity of classic literature and the importance that those classic stories still hold.
A simple Google search on narrator preferences returns countless threads on the debate over what makes a good narrator – whether it be female versus male, pacing, the incorporation of noises, having one narrator per character, and more. After scanning through those conversations, it’s easy to pick up on a resounding “it depends” sentiment, demonstrating that while each approach is worth considering, what is ‘best’ is based solely on personal preference.
Because of the varying opinions about what people like in a narrator, narrating classic literature audiobooks adds another option into the mix.
Creating Audiobooks from Classic Literature in the Public Domain
If you’re not familiar with the term, the ‘public domain’ refers to works of art that are no longer bound by their copyright or intellectual property rights, due to expiration, forfeit, or a myriad of other reasons. Works in the public domain are often sought after by those who wish to produce their own ‘take’ and sometimes, also offer it up for sale.
The good news: there are at least 1,000 classics in the public domain.
For Publishers and Enthusiasts, Classics are:
- Low hanging fruit that have good track records
- Potential best sellers
- Acknowledged by the academic community
- Beloved by generations of people
- In many cases easy to get your hands on
How Can You Make Money From Audiobooks?
The short answer? Become your own audiobook publisher, provided you are:
- Recording works in the public domain
- Recording original works that you own the copyright to
- Or, recording works that you have licensed from the author or copyright holder for resale (* this may cost you money and we’ll explore this option in a future article).
Looking forward to hearing about your new audiobook projects!