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The Work of the Audiobook

THE WORLD OF FICTION is changing, and it is happening at 1.5X speed. According to British sociologist and book trade expert John B. Thompson, the market for audiobooks has grown astronomically since the turn of the 21st century. Once upon a time, publishers would pore over their catalogs, choosing only a select few titles to produce as audiobooks, a format that tended to account for about 10 percent of a book’s sales. These days, when an audiobook can make up anywhere from one to 50 percent of a book’s sales, publishers cover the spread by producing far more titles. From 2011 to 2017, the number of new audiobooks produced each year grew from 7,200 to more than 46,000. Read more

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