Author of the Week, Christopher Joyce
Christopher Joyce writes The Creatures of Chichester, a series of six books where the animals in the city solve the problems created by the humans. He’s just launched the last book in the series as an audio book. We asked why:
Q Is there really any market for audio books?
Over the course of the past three years the highest growing segment of publishing are audio books. The global audiobook industry is currently evaluated at $3.5 billion dollars and the United States is currently the largest singular market with $1.8 billion dollars in audio sales in 2016 and this was a 31% increase from 2015. The Audio Publishers of America has stated that every year for the past three years 36,000 audiobooks were issued.
In 2016, book publishing houses in the UK reported revenues of £16 million generated from consumer audiobook downloads (139.8 percent increase since 2012).
The most popular audiobook genres in 2016 were mystery, thriller, romance and fantasy/science fiction. Incidentally, these are also the most popular genres in e-books too. My books are essentially mystery stories for children so although the sales of children’s books is much less than thrillers and romance, it’s still a growing market.
Q Why do you think this is?
The fact that one in ten people are now listening to audiobooks is testament to the incredible flexibility of the format. Not only can audiobooks bring stories to life and enable people to enjoy reading while doing other things such as running or driving, it is also a great way of making books more accessible. As well as providing a wonderful opportunity for people with print-disabilities to enjoy published products, audiobooks are a great way of removing barriers to reading for those who might otherwise struggle.
The audiobook sector has seen high double-digit growth every year for the past few years, fuelled by ubiquitous smart phones and tablets.Retailers such as Audible have reached out brilliantly to this audience-in-waiting, creating awareness of audiobooks, and making buying and listening into an easy, seamless process. Publishers have risen to the challenge of this growing market by recording more and more of the books they publish, and producing fantastic audio editions with massively talented narrators, such as Juliet Stevenson, Benedict Cumberbatch and Stephen Fry. All of these factors are combining to create a burgeoning new market that has grown, and will continue to grow, faster than any other sector of U.K. and US publishing.
Q So tell us a bit more about Audible?
There are thousands of books to download through their free app. In the UK you receive one credit per month, valid for any audiobook regardless of price. There’s a free period trial too.
- Thereafter Audible is just £7.99/month (renews automatically)
- Free Audio Shows. Members get free, unlimited listening to original, short audio programmes.
- Your own library to build. Every audiobook is yours to keep. Even if you cancel.
- Exclusive member-only deals with up to 70% off additional audiobooks.
- Exchange for free. Swap any audiobook, anytime for any reason.
Q Where can we find your books?
My books can either be accessed from audible.com or audible.co.uk. Just search for The Creatures of Chichester. Or from the books on the Amazon sites alongside the printed and e-book versions. You can hear a sample of all the books before you buy. Here’s a link to the latest one: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/The-Creatures-of-Chichester-Audiobook/B07BTHLDGN
All my printed books are dyslexic friendly with large, sans-serif fonts. The lead character in The One About The Golden Lake is dyslexic himself and solves the mystery because he sees the world in a different way. The audio books are also a different way to ‘read’ stories and I hope people enjoy them.
Q Can the books be read, or listened to in any order?
Yes, although some of the creatures appear in all the books, each one is a stand alone story so there is no need to have read the others first. For more information on Christopher’s books visit www.creaturesofchichester.com