Writing a book? Forget the keyboard; find the audio recorder

Let’s see: It’s hardback > paperback, >ebook > audiobook. That’s the natural sequence of things, right?

Maybe, maybe not.

A growing number of authors are rejecting this sequence and going straight to the . . . audiobook.

That’s what this recent article in the New York Times says. It uses non-fiction author Michael Lewis as an example. Lewis just sold his latest work, a contemporary political narrative, to Audible, the audiobook publisher and retailer.

And he has a deal for more.

Mr. Lewis is part of a growing group of A-list authors bypassing print and releasing audiobook originals, hoping to take advantage of the exploding audiobook market. It’s the latest sign that audiobooks are no longer an appendage of print, but a creative medium in their own right. But the rise of stand-alone audio has also made some traditional publishers nervous, as Audible strikes deals directly with writers, including best-selling authors like the historian Robert Caro and the novelist Jeffery Deaver. Source: Want to Read Michael Lewis’s Next Work? You’ll Be Able to Listen to It First – The New York Times

And because it’s audio and not print, some new possibilities open up. Instead of narration, there can be drama. Audible is actively look for original works to buy or commission.

As part of its push for original stories, Audible is commissioning one- and two-person plays, and recently awarded grants to 15 emerging playwrights. In May, it announced a deal with the actress and producer Reese Witherspoon to develop audio originals.

If you are an audiophile, this is all good news.

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About Jim Stovall

Jim Stovall, (JPROF.com) a retired journalism prof, is now a novelist, self-publisher, watercolorist, gardener, woodworker, and beekeeper -- among other things. Subscribe to his weekly newsletter at http://www.jprof.com .
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