Author Steven Lake
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A Return to Print, And a Questioning of Audiobooks
Wednesday, January 8th, 2020 3:30pm
Keywords: Books, Writing, Stories, Novels, Updates, Status Report, Future Projects

Well, I don't like to be one who seems driven by the tides or the trends, but one has to admit that, today's publishing world isn't the same one we all grew up on.  Then again, we didn't have multiple different primary formats for books either.  Back then it was either hard cover or paperback.  Today it's print in hard cover or paperback, digital ebooks in multiple formats with multiple referred sellers, audiobooks with the same, video books (yes, that's becoming a thing now), and more.  So, choosing the best way to publish isn't as cut and dried as it used to be.  So, with that being said, I'd like to let everyone know that I'm moving back into print again for all my books.  A few need some rebooting and cleanup before that happens, but that seems to be the direction the market is taking.

So how did this happen?  Weren't Ebooks the new print?  Well, they were for a while.  In fact, both ebooks and audiobooks were crushing the life out of print for a while there, at least a good decade or so.  However, with the trend in this world starting to shift away from electronic to print again, as people try to unplug from the digital world (you watch, cars and other things will go that way soon too, although they tend to lag behind in that change), and go back to a more simple, tactile experience when reading books and stories.  In fact, between print, audiobooks and ebooks, the latter has collapsed from its market high of 55% down to a paultry 20%, most of which is being drive by boomers, whereas the millennials are opting for print.  So in a sense, print is the new vinyl of the publishing world.  Audiobook adoption is also collapsing, although not as dramatically as ebooks.

Those I'm seeing fall from a high of 25%, to as low as 6%, depending on the market.  Now, that doesn't mean I am abandoning audiobooks.  I love them, and I know you do too.  However, my primary focus right now will be print, with ebook secondary, and audiobook taking up the rear.  I've also run several inquiries from my readers, and the general majority want print.  So what does that mean for those of you wanting audiobooks?  Well, I'm more than happy to provide them.  However, before I do, the rest of you will need to help fund the project, as it's around $2500 a book to convert a story into audiobook.  IE, 10hrs of reading time x $250 a studio hour = $2500 per title average.  So, if you want me to make audiobooks at this time, you'll need to pitch in and help with their creation.  If you do, I'll be sure to get you a free copy in exchange.

Right now, though, you don't have to actually commit any money, but rather merely pledge $10 per book to have them converted.  If I get 250 pledges, I'll convert a book to audiobook.  Until then, unfortunately, I can't afford it, as I do this as a paid hobby, not a primary livelihood.  Although, I wouldn't mind going that route at some point.  Until then, however, you as my readers will need to help me out as this part of the process gets very expensive, unlike print and ebook publishing.  But anyhow, right now I have Offworld Chronicles 1-3 in print, 4 on its way, and the first 3 books of the Land of the Lions saga going into print soon.  Book 4 of that series will get released in print too once I do some more manuscript tweaking.  The Earthfleet novels will need a lot of grammatical, spelling, and plot hole fixes before those will be released.  But they're on the list too to be converted back to print as well

So, my plans going forward are to try and get ahead of my publishing schedule so that I can start doing prereleases like I'm finally doing with The White Mountains, and hopefully with all future releases.  Those will be done in ebook format first, as per the usual, then they'll come out in print and, if I can either get a good enough cash flow to fund this myself, or all of you help out with my releases, I will also start releasing in audiobook.  So why am I talking about cash flow and money?  Well, contrary to popular believe, the vast majority of writers don't actually make that much money on their books.  Only maybe, at best, 0.0001% succeed in breaking even, let alone make a profit.  Hence my request for help in this as publishing costs money, even if I am taking the discounted way to the top.

Anyhow, that's my latest update.  And please, consider buying my books, telling your friends about them, and sharing them with your community.  The more people who know about, and purchase my works, the more I'm able to do for each of you as time goes on.  And thanks again to everyone who's been a faithful reader and follower of me!  I really appreciate your help in supporting my love of writing, and the sharing of my stories with others! :)

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