Book vs Audiobook ?

Chapter 7 title Page

Blog Listeners, Readers,Watchers

I’d like to invite you to join a very special group: A Sharing Our Stories Focus Group.

As Biden likes to say, “OK, here’s the deal.” Understanding that maybe you’ve been hit over the head enough with promotion for my audiobook, nevertheless, I’d like to ask for some feedback to help me decide what I should do next.

The book has been getting terrific reviews from my friends and relatives. Problem is, no one else is buying it. With 60,000 audiobooks published last year, there is lots of competition.

I think the content is quite good. The stories from the 65 people I’ve interviewed are captivating. One of the problems, though, from what I am hearing, is the technology of audiobooks. Some people say they would be interested, but don’t know how to download an audiobook.

So, I’m thinking about turning it into a regular book – you know, one with real pages you can read and take notes on. Since most of it has been written already, this would be a manageable task. It would take a couple of months, and a few more thousands of dollars for book design and printing.

Here is where you come in. Your feedback is critical to helping me make this decision. Should I put in the time and effort? If you could shoot me a quick email, I’d be very grateful.

To get a flavor for what this might be like, I have translated one chapter from audio to a standard book format: Chapter 7: Fear.

If you have time, I’d appreciate it if you would listen to and read this chapter:

Please let me know,

  1. I have not listened to audiobooks before, and / or am not sure how to do it.
  2. I do listen to audiobooks, and I prefer the audiobook
  3. I prefer the print edition

Summary: For me to take the next two to three months and significantly more money, I’d like to know there would be a market for it. I very much appreciate your time and insight.



7 thoughts on “Book vs Audiobook ?

  1. Melinda Henning says:

    Interesting question. It reads easily as a book, goes fast, and the characters come alive because of the direct quotes. The photos add a lot that can’t be seen in the audio. The narrative portions are snappy, with short sentences centered on a clear them. Because of all that, I think it would be the kind of book you’d pick up just to check it out, and then not be able to put it down. Or that you’d have on the nightstand and enjoy picking up to read just one chapter at a time.

    Maybe it’s a time thing: I listen to audiobooks only when I’m doing something else that’s boring, like driving or pulling weeds; I’m not going to just sit down and listen to an audiobook. No time for that. And I end up having a whole catalog of audiobooks I can’t get to. But if a book is in my line of sight, I’m more likely to make a little time to sit down with it. As for reading in bed: I never last long. Has to be a short story or chapter, and can’t be fiction. So your book would be perfect for the night stand. Also a good one to have on the coffee table to talk about when friends come over for dinner – a conversation starter. “See this new book I got; interesting stories; one chapter is about fear,here’s a story about this cop; look at this picture … ” Then I bet guests would just naturally start sharing their own stories about fear! That’s not going to happen with an audiobook. I still think you should have the audiobook, though, because it’s production quality is great (music, voices) – which is kind of uncommon. So it’s enjoyable as an audiobook, too, for people who like audiobooks, or especially if they have long commutes.

    One other reason to have a print book would be that it would look so cool on the shelf right next to your other books. Your opus! (opuses?) Something to be proud of, to have published more than one book, and there they are, for everyone to see!

  2. jim hunolt says:

    Melinda Henning’s comments are right on target…..yes, publish a print edition… might consider self publishing through Amazon….no costs for printing….it is quite possible to do the book layout yourself too…..we did, and it keeps your hand on it all the way…..all good, rick….

  3. Eileen McGlynn says:

    Melinda said it so well. She brought up a lot of relevant points about listening vs. reading. I, personally, seem to get distracted when I try to listen to an audiobook. I can’t just sit there; I have to be doing something with my hands, or my whole body, and then I get distracted from the listening. Perhaps it is related to the era when I grew up when we didn’t have access to audiobooks, or even TV. I like the physical book, to hold, to turn the page when I am ready, to put sticky notes in, to ruminate on when it’s sitting on my desk or beside my bed.

  4. Mary Warren says:

    I listened to the audio and read the chapter. I prefer the print book for reasons already outlined by Melinda. I read 2-3 books a month and make time to do that. None of those are audio books. The only time I listen to audio books is in the car on long trips. Just one vote but mine is for print.

  5. Fritz Brauner says:

    Rick –
    Can we back up for a minute? What is your purpose in creating “Sharing Our Stories” – whether audio or book form? Why are you doing it? Who is your audience? How will you promote/market to them? What do you hope to accomplish? How will you know if you are successful?
    I want to help, but until I know your answers I can’t really give you good advice on audio vs. book format.

  6. Richard Morrison says:

    I’m going to stick my neck out here and say both of the publication formats are so ten years ago. People aren’t buying print books anymore. They buy Kindle. Unless you are a major author, people aren’t going to invest in an audiobook version. People WILL listen to podcasts. Seems like your audio book could easily be turned into a podcast, with each chapter being a separate podcast. Add a standard intro and outro and Bob’s your uncle. Now, monetizing all this is a whole ‘nuther thing, but those are my thoughts.

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