According to a survey conducted by the Audio Publisher Association (APA) published last December, the size of the market for audio-books has grown to $1.2 billion for 2013.
This is up from $800 million in 2011 and $1 billion in 2012, a steady and consistent growth.
Most interestingly, the new audio-book consumers are more likely to opt for listening from a downloadable source than from a CD. Downloadable audio-books represented 29% of total volume in 2009, 36% in 2010, to 46% in 2011.
For authors considering investing in recording an audio-book, these statistics are very important.
Authors who pioneered the rise of digital publishing through Amazon benefited from the much sparser competition and had to put in much less efforts to appear on the top search pages of online retailers.
When the second wave began to rise, they already had established their presence and it was easier to maintain their lead.
Of course, the initial financial investment for producing a digital book is lower than the production of a quality audio-book.
That is the downside. The upside is precisely that the initial cost is likely to slow down the number of both self-published and traditionally published audio-books, while the number of consumer steadily rises.
So, can authors who already invested in professional editing of their books and/or a professionally designed cover afford to stay away from also producing an audio-book?