I've recently been exploring the idea of recording one of my novels on audio, hoping to add another market where I might be able to connect with consumers of my fictional work. Since the target market for my novels are professionals and managers with experience in larger corporations -- a place where I spent many years -- I was thinking about one of the main things holding people in this segment back from reading, a lack of time.
Back when I was still in a corporate job, I couldn't count the number of times I had a manager mention to me that they rarely read for pleasure. The number one reason they offered for this was their busy and hectic schedules. But almost everyone commutes to work, and I've been thinking that perhaps I could persuade some of my non-pleasure-reading acquaintances to try an audio book.
My first steps down this path was considering a company called Podiobooks -- a serialized, author driven supplier of audio materials. In the Podiobook model, the author purchases the hardware and software necessary to produce their own recordings, and then does the reading and editing themselves. Books are loaded into the Podiobook website a chapter or two at a time, and subscribers receive them as "podcasts" on their listening devices. The recordings are ostensibly free, but they do request a "free will" donation, and a large portion of that donation reverts back to the author.
I decided to try a sample book from the site, and found the process to be fairly confusing. I managed to get the first two installments of one book to download onto my phone, and I listened to them in the car. Then nothing showed up. Between the confusion, bugs, and the "free will donation" aspect, I was feeling somewhat discouraged about the whole thing.
Around this same time, I was approached by Cherry Hills Publishing to do an audiobook of INCENTIVIZE. We are currently discussing particulars of a deal now. They distribute through Audible for online purchases, and also produce physical media for sale at various audiobook outlets. I'm hoping this will ultimately result in another way for me to connect with the market, and as a secondary source of revenue.