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Audible.com, the world’s largest seller and producer of digital spoken-word entertainment, announced yesterday that it has established a $20 million fund for authors. Authors who sign up to participate in the Audible Author Services program will gain access to Audible’s marketing and merchandising expertise to help them enhance their audience. For each audiobook sold at Audible.com, Audible.co.uk or iTunes, enrolled authors will receive one dollar directly from Audible, over and above the royalty revenue streams Audible’s fast-growing sales are already generating. Audible will provide each participating author with a suite of quick-start tools, including audio samples and links, to deploy via social media and for promotion of their work, and will offer other awareness and audience-escalation services.
“Before I founded Audible.com, I made a living as an author and journalist for 20 years. But the economics of being a professional writer have profoundly changed. For new authors and for the majority of experienced authors as well, the days of sustaining the writing life by ‘just writing’ are over,” said Audible.com founder and CEO Donald Katz, speaking yesterday during a keynote speech at the London Book Fair’s Digital Minds Conference. “The good news is that in the digital era, authors have numerous ways to reach audiences and communicate more directly with them. We want to reward authors who are or want to become personally involved in growing their audience. At Audible.com, we have had great success working directly with authors to increase awareness of their audiobooks, and Audible Author Services will help us build on these accomplishments. Audible has achieved global growth by turning literate listening into a mainstream media format. This means that today, any book worth writing or reading ought to be available in audio. We hope this new program also helps us achieve this mission.”
“The astonishingly rapid growth of the digital audio segment makes audiobook listeners an increasingly important audience for all authors,” said acclaimed novelist Margaret Atwood. “I’m thrilled that 10 of my books are available at Audible.com. I’m delighted to be able to connect more effectively with my audiobook listeners, and to build this audience through Audible’s exciting, helpful and creator-friendly new Author Services program. Now, more than ever, I’ll be working to make sure that the rest of my backlist becomes available in audio as soon as possible.”