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Tuesday, July 26

Another Good Idea

It definitely wasn't my idea. Ronn has another insightful post. He's hit on a great idea that I wish publishers would listen to. In fact, I think that it would make everyone concerned a lot more money.

There is one basic truth for those of us readers who also have a busy life. There is not enough time in the day.

For most people, life is positively busy. We have to prioritize what and when we do everything. Gone is the era when Sundays were a day of rest. Mow the lawn, walk the dogs, do the laundry, spend quality time with the kids, write, answer email. The list doesn't end. Multi-tasking is the trend.

Now, we watch CSI while folding the laundry or knitting. Solitaire is dealt by the computer and played while stewing over changes in that last WIP. Reading is done five minutes at a time while waiting at the doctor's office, to fall asleep, for your break to be over. Pleasure must become hands-free event.

How many of you have a longer To Be Read list now than you did five years ago? In order to compete, fiction must follow current trends. Granted, there is nothing like curling up with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa. But, loyal readers are going to become the only buyers if something isn't done.

Audiobooks and e-books should be solving this dilemma. They aren't. There just isn't enough variety in the current audiobook/e-book selections. Bestsellers tend to have those editions fairly soon, but midlisters? Forget about it. Find S. L. Viehl or Wen Spencer in audiobook. It's a little easier to find them in e-book, but it is generally only once the print run has fled the coop. By that time, most people won't pay that much for the books.

Audiobooks tend to be prohibitively expensive. Why should people buy one audiobook when they could use that same money to buy thirteen or fourteen paperback books? It doesn't matter that they can listen to them while knitting or mowing the lawn. More audiobooks published would drop the price making it more affordable for the average worker.

For example, publish audiobooks/e-books for the same price as the paperback edition. CDs and digital downloads must be less expensive than the printing process. That would increase the profit on each book. Lower price would make audiobooks/e-books more popular. Do you see the sales rising, too? Especially, to the multi-tasking majority of today's workers.


at 5:40 PM, July 30, 2005, Blogger Steph T. said...

I really wanted to like audio books but I found myself doing a million things while listening and not paying attention at all to the book. I don't mind audio books in the car when I'm driving, but if I'm not the one driving, I'd rather just read.

And yeah - the TBR pile is huge right now. It's a guilt thing. Mainly because I feel like I should be using the time to write.


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