Remember books on tape? Then they morphed into CDs, but it still took four or five CDs for a decent size novel. Now with smartphones, audiobooks are finding a new audience that appreciates the ease and portability of downloading recorded versions of books onto their smartphones. USA Today brought this information to us in their article, “Smartphones give new life to audiobooks.”

Though audiobooks are still a smart part of the digital revolution, they are growing in audience and revenue. Ease and portability are not the only reason for their renewed fame – quality plays a huge factor. I am an avid book listener. I am always reading one book (via my e-reader) and listening to another (via Audible on my smartphone in the vehicle) at the same time. Listening to books during my commute was a life-changer for me. Road rage, frustration and impatience were reduced significantly by letting the story unfold while waiting on the freeway. However the audiobooks of today are a far cry from the cassette tape monotone narration of the 80’s. They are so well performed – yes, performed, often by well-known actors whose talent comes through and pulls you into the story.

While the convenience of having a library in your pocket is having an impact, publishing remains an industry dominated by print books. According to the Association of American Publishers, 75% of books sold in 2015 were print, 17% were e-books, and 3.3% were audiobooks.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.