I’ve been investigating and educating myself on the audio-book side of the business. Audible.com, of course, is the big player in the market, being a subsidiary of Amazon. I never realized how big the audio-book market actually is. It’s still small, of course, in comparison to ebooks and print books, but it’s growing in leaps in bounds.
Just to give you a snapshot of audio-book growth, according to the Audio Publishers Association, 3,073 new titles were released in 2007. In 2010, 6,200 new titles were released. In the past 5 years, downloading has grown by 300% of total dollar volume for a total of about 1 billion dollars between libraries and individual consumers. CDs are still the majority of the market at 58% of revenue, but they’re slowly declining.
As far as my venture, I recently decided to investigate doing an audio version of The Tormay Trilogy. After some due diligence in listening to scores of narration samples and figuring out the ins and outs of ACX and Audible.com, I’m delighted to announce that The Hawk and His Boy should be available in audio format by the end of the year. Wayne Farrell has agreed to do the trilogy. Wayne is a fantastic narrator with a superb style and voice that fits perfectly with how I’ve imagined the story should be read. There are some books on Audible.com that he’s narrated if you’re curious about his work: Andrew Biss’ The End of the World, C. J. Martin’s Two Tocks Before Midnight.
Anyway, I’m extremely pleased about this development. The theatrical possibilities and interpretation of the audio format fits perfectly with the drama of Tormay.