Since June is Audio Book Month and I'm participating in N. N. Light's Book Heaven huge audio book promotion (see sidebar) and since I've done audio book blog tours through Audio Bookworm Promotions, I thought it would be fun to interview Jess at ABWP and see what made her choose to focus on promoting audio books in lieu of print or E. So please give her a huge WELCOME!
● What inspired you to start Audiobookworm Promotions?
Simply put, the need for it. If there had been someone, anyone, already doing this, I never would have been driven to start. But there just wasn't anyone giving audiobooks the promotional attention I felt they deserved.
I started out as an audiobook blogger at The Audiobookworm. When I saw some of my fellow book bloggers participating in book tours, I wanted to join. I approached several large blog tour companies and was told that there simply wasn't a market for audiobook blog tours. One of the largest companies actually told me that they ran one or two audiobook blog tours per year.
Compare that to Audiobookworm Promotions, where we run an average of three audiobook blog tours per week. Audiobookworm Promotions is the first blog tour company specializing in audiobooks and catering to listeners. Our mailing list of over 400 bloggers was compiled with audiobook promotion in mind. We tour audiobooks in every genre. I'm so proud of what we have achieved in just 4.5 years.
● What makes you prefer audiobooks over print or E-books?
A lot of things, but the first to come to mind is: Multitasking. I'm a busy individual. As ironic as it sounds, promoting audiobooks really cuts into my time for listening to them. Fortunately, the great thing about audiobooks is that they enable a degree of multitasking not available to traditional book readers.
A prime example is listening to audiobooks while driving. This is a hugely popular activity for commuters. I like to listen while I work. Others listen while they work out! The list of listening activities is practically endless.
For so long, audiobooks have been underestimated, not only as a viable method of media consumption, but as an industry. That viewpoint has led to a “younger sibling” perception when compared to traditional books. But I try really hard not to have this ebooks vs. audiobooks mentality. To me, any type of literature consumption is a win! Do what works for you and don't judge someone else for doing what works for them.
● Where do you see the audiobook industry in 1 year? 5 yrs?
○ You know, that's hard to say because I'm terrible at making predictions, but I think it's safe to assume that this industry is going to continue growing and expanding. I think it will become much more mainstream than it already is now.
○ Just in the last few years, since I've been working in this industry, I've already seen it evolve so much. I remember when I first started, podcasts were really huge. They were the trendy thing. Everyone was listening to podcasts during their commutes and downtime. I don't think the popularity of podcasts has diminished any, but I've always said that podcasts are the gateway to audiobooks. It seems like now all those folks who were so hooked on podcasts for the last few years are finally making their way into the audiobook community. I think that will continue, because almost everyone who discovers podcasts will eventually make their way to audiobooks at some point, so there will be this steady flow of new people discovering a love for the format.
○ I also think that we'll see more diversification among retailers. When I first started promoting audio books, Audible (Amazon) had almost a total monopoly on audiobook retail. But recently, that has started to shift. They’re still a giant in the industry, of course, but some real competitors have also popped up. For example, my preferred listening service is actually Scribd and I know a lot of people, myself included, who have switched from an Audible membership to a Scribd subscription because of the different subscription model. I think we'll see more retail options and pricing models like that in the years to come.
○ And that's just from the consumer perspective. There's also been a shift on the production end with many authors choosing to go with someone like Author’s Direct over ACX (also Amazon owned) to produce and distribute their audiobooks. And I think that's fantastic! Not because I'm anti-Audible or Amazon, but just because I feel that more options benefit consumers and authors.
● What does it look like when you get the chance to relax and listen to an audiobook?
It could look like any number of things.
○It could look like me relaxing in bed at night listening to an audio while I fall asleep and then having to frantically back track the next morning to find the exact spot where I fell asleep.
○It could also look like me sitting at my desk working on audiobook promotional tasks while listening to an audiobook, like right now!
○But more likely, it would look like me sitting outside on my back porch, drinking a cup of coffee, admiring the verdant rural scenery and probably coloring, since that's my favorite thing to do while listening right now (seriously, try it!).
● When you’re not promoting audiobooks, what are you doing?
○Listening to them! No, really. I'm still an avid audiobook listener. It's what got me into this business and four years later, it hasn't changed. The number of books I'm able to hear on an annual basis certainly has, though. But I try not to get too caught up with the number of audiobooks I consume each year. To me, everything is about quality over quantity.
○What has changed, however, is the length of audiobook I listen to now. 20+ hour audios used to intimidate me, but now I crave them. So even though I may only hear three or four audiobooks a month, that usually means they are really long ones, or that I was particularly busy with audio promotion that month, because it definitely cuts into my listening time.
● Give us 5 fun facts about you/Audiobookworm Promotions
○ I'm a huge Elvis fan, but I've never been to Graceland. Not yet, anyway, but it's on the bucket list.
○ I wrote my Master's thesis on audiobooks! Well, on how listening to something affects the brain versus reading. Essentially, both have their merits, but the best method of comprehension and information retention is reading and listening at the same time, which is why we should all have our subtitles on when we watch television!
○ Audiobookworm Promotions is the first blog tour company specializing in audiobooks. We host over 100 audiobook tours each year and currently work with more than 380 bloggers.
○ Before going to grad school, I was vice president of a local animal rescue organization and regularly fostered kittens.
○ I'm an amateur genealogist. It's a terribly addicting hobby and one of the only leisure activities I can’t do while listening to an audiobook, because it requires too much concentration.
Hope you enjoyed the post friends and that you'll check back each week for Wednesday Words with Friends and Saturday Spotlight.
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Until next time take care and God bless.