Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Audible Tries to Tap Into Youth Market

Audio book sales were down by 5.7% in February according to the AAP but up overall by 5.6%. Audible is trying to increase its market by reaching out to kids. According to an AP article, 1/3 of all youth have an ipod or some other mp3 player. The goal is to reach these kids so that they listen to books instead of music.

I can get behind that concept and I also like the idea of audio books turning the reluctant reader into an avid reader. However, one statement made by Audio Publishers Association president Michele Cobb was worrisome:

I hear lots of people talking, saying that when they put their kids to bed, they put them down with an audiobook

While I am a big fan of supplemental book sources such as kidthing, I don’t think that there is any replacement for a parent reading to his or her child. Even when my daughter watches an animated book, she likes for me to sit with her and the evening hours when she is put to bed? I wouldn’t want to be replaced by an Ipod when she still wants me to read to her. The day is coming when the iPod will be more important so I am going to treasure our reading time until then.

Audible was purchased by Amazon earlier this year.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Phyl
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 10:23:23

    My nearly-12-year old loves audio books and will happily consent to riding in the car all over town to run (boring) errands just to have his books playing in the car so that we all listen together. BUT, he still insists on having his dad read aloud to him most nights before bed. You’re right, Jane. There’s no need for the two to be mutually exclusive.

  2. NHS
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 11:15:14

    I do listen to audio books myself and the neighborhood carpool dad always plays audio books in the car. My daughter listened to Pullman’s Golden Compass and that made her want to read the Subtle Knife.
    However in a way I think an audio book is a really lazy way to read. At least with TV you have to keep your eyes open, listening to book you don’t even have to do that. *lol*

    OT: My #1 problem with Romance audio books is having one reader. With Sophie's Gee’s Scandal of the Season all the women sounded like Dame Edna and with the Victoria Alexander I bought I couldn’t take the hero’s dialogue seriously spoken in such a feminine voice so I gave up.

  3. Karen
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 11:34:57

    When I was a kid (way, way back in the dark ages), I had dozens of “books on records”. Many of them were packaged with a small book, so you could follow along in the book as you listened to the record. I loved these when I was just learning to read – it definitely made me a better reader. My parents still read to me every day, but there’s no way they could have read to me for as many hours as I spent listening to those records – I remember that I actually wore out the grooves for “The Rescuers” which was one of my favorites. (This was before movie videos, so the record was the closest equivalent!)

  4. Jane
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 11:44:23

    OMG – Karen, I had those too. I totally forgot about them. We had a portable record player and I remember the first time I was able to load them myself. I had the Rescuers too. I don’t remember other ones that I had.

    Wow, what a walk down memory lane there.

  5. NHS
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 11:56:34

    I can still hear both the ding and the little sparkling noise that signaled you to turn the page.

%d bloggers like this: