The short answer is neither. Or both!
The fact is, neither is superior, and they serve a different purpose. What is better? Trainers or wellington boots? It depends who you talk to and what they need doesn’t it.
Audiobook consumers tend to be multi-tasking. Often they will be driving, at the gym or otherwise multitasking while listening. Not in 100% of cases but much of the time. When reading a physical book, we tend to be focusing on the task of reading, generally.
Sales of audiobooks have doubled in the last year, where ebook and print book sales have stayed static. There is a growing culture of people using both, and a growing culture of non-readers using audiobooks.
I don’t like to generalise, but of the authors I have met, they do tend to be quite booky people. Makes perfect sense. People who love to write books are, by and large, people who love to read books.
A mistake I have made in business, is assuming that my ideal clients are like me, and they want the things that I want, the way I want them. Generally, I find that a small percentage of the time that is correct, however a huge number of people benefit from my messages and expertise who want things in a very different way.
Regarding audiobooks, I was chatting with an author at The Authors’ Journey networking event a couple of years ago. Her concern was that having an audiobook would damage her book sales. The fact of the matter is that, as I’ve referenced above, there is an audience of audiobook consumers out there who will never read the book versions. The majority of the time, it’s not the author’s choice over whether their client buys the book or the audiobook. Many audiobook customers will either buy the audiobook or not. There is an audience out there for your audiobook who will never read your book.
So in essence, the right product for the right person is the best thing.
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