Opportunities For Audiobooks And Introducing The Findaway Voices Marketplace With Will Dages

How can you expand your creative and financial opportunities with audiobooks and podcasting? Will Dages from Findaway Voices talks about options as well as introducing the new Marketplace.

Findaway Voices

Will Dages is the head of Findaway Voices, which helps authors produce and distribute audiobooks to a global network of platforms and listeners.

You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and the full transcript is below.

Show Notes

  • Current trends and stats in the audiobook industry
  • Subscription services, libraries, and the future of audiobook consumption
  • Social audio
  • The crossover between podcasts and audiobooks and the potential for new forms of creativity when an audio product doesn’t have to match a ‘book.’
  • Introducing Findaway Voices Marketplace, where authors can find and work directly with pro narrators

You can find Will Dages at FindawayVoices.com and on Twitter @FindawayVoices

Transcript of Interview with Will Dages

Joanna: Will Dages is the head of Findaway Voices, which helps authors produce and distribute audiobooks to a global network of platforms and listeners.

Findaway Voices was recently announced as London Book Fair’s Audiobook Publisher of the Year in 2021, which is fantastic and well-deserved. Welcome back to the show Will.

Will: Thank you so much, Joanna. Always great to talk to you.

Joanna: We always geek out on audio. You were last on the show in early 2019. And the world has certainly changed since then.

Can you give us a high level overview of what the audiobook market looks like right now? And how has the pandemic changed things?

Will: Absolutely. Man, that feels like a lifetime ago. I’m sure you agree?

Joanna: Yeah.

Will: The world has been through a lot in those last two years. Luckily, though, one thing that has been pretty constant is the growth of audiobooks.

The latest APA stats show another 16% growth in sales year over year, which means eight straight years of double-digit revenue growth for audiobooks, which is fantastic.

Talking about the industry, they also have some interesting stats like 50% of audiobook listeners say they’re making new time to listen to audiobooks. And I think the interesting thing there is, more and more surveys are coming out that the home is the most popular place to listen. Where a few years ago, I think that would be much more skewed towards cars and commute.

A lot of people think of audiobooks as being this kind of commute buddy. But more people are really carving out time in their leisure time at home, while doing chores, or housework, or exercising, or going on walks and finding time to listen there, which is helping grow the entire industry.

The other trend that we’ve been seeing industry-wide is shorter books getting more traction, people picking up books that are one, two, or three hours long. And as the market grows outside of Audible, where the credit model demands longer books. You want to get your credit’s worth out of that credit by looking at the number of hours.

When the market grows around that and the books are appropriately priced, or they’re in subscription models or libraries like shorter content is having its day. And we’re seeing a lot more trends towards shorter content being really profitable.

Joanna: What about on a global basis, because a lot of the stats seem to be U.S. focused, as usual. But it feels to me from some of the things I’ve heard at London Book Fair and other things that there’s been growth in other languages and also other countries, whereas the market probably was more dominant in the U.S., UK, Canada before. Have you got any feeling for the global market?

Will: It is unfortunate that most of the surveys and the organizations that pay for the research are in the U.S. So it is a little U.S. focused. But we release every year, the ‘Headphone Report‘ is what we call it, and this is on our blog and stuff. And you can see some of our stats where the Findaway Voices reports we put out are not including big publisher data. So it’s a little bit more representative of what this audience of your listeners is seeing.

We’re seeing growth outside the U.S., especially in Canada, Australia, Sweden, England, Mexico, and different languages that are really growing. Spanish, obviously is our fastest non-English language that has been growing like crazy. And then behind that, German, Italian, Russian, and French are all really picking up steam.

So our catalog is still really weighted towards English content, just because that’s where the market seems to be more mature. But these emerging markets are really growing at a fast rate. We’re seeing a lot more diversity in sales worldwide for authors.

Joanna: You mentioned subscription models and libraries, and this seems to be a very big discussion both amongst indie authors and traditional publishers. And on the one hand, people say, subscription models are going to kill everything. And they take everything to zero. On the other hand, it expands markets, and the customer loves it.

What subscription platforms does Findaway distribute to? And how can authors take advantage of the growth of these services?

Will: I think subscription models are so strong and so important to an author’s overall portfolio. There’s no denying that a lot of consumer sentiment is moving towards subscription, or has already moved towards subscription.

How many subscription movie platforms do we subscribe to? Disney Plus, Netflix, and Hulu, and all of these. This is how you consume content and audiobooks are growing in the same way.

So we have a really strong base of subscription partners; we have about 15 of them on the retail side that we work with. Obviously, Audible is still a subscription even though it’s a credit subscription, we still classify it as a subscription.

Kobo has a subscription. Anyplay, Scribd, is a big one. Storytel, is a big one. We work with a whole bunch of others. I don’t need to list them all out. But they’re growing, they’re helping really diversify and be incremental revenue for a lot of authors.

It’s a platform where you’re on equal footing with every other book on the platform, because there’s no price next to the book. If somebody has paid elsewhere for access to the book, and you don’t have a price war on Scribd, and there’s no price next to your book.

It’s really seamless for consumers. And we’re seeing that really gaining popularity and help authors out in a good way.

Joanna: I think I feel like the difference is if people are used to being paid by let’s say, ACX with that credit model and the a la carte model, the micropayments that go around subscription and library services can take a bit of getting used to. It’s just a very different way of doing audio.

Will: Yeah, you have to approach it differently. You don’t want to approach it with an a la carte mindset to just start buying ads and pushing people towards subscription platforms. That’s not going to be profitable.

But using it as incremental, using it as additive, or trying to get some real scale going. We have some customers who, like the a la carte, the paper use library model gives pretty small payouts, you’re talking between 50 cents and $1 per check out.

But I’ve seen people who regularly consistently every month are making five figures, just from that business model, because they’ve been able to get traction with book clubs and library clubs. And they’ve effectively marketed to libraries.

The strategies are much different than if you’re doing a la carte sales. Because of a lot of different reasons. One that your consumer is not paying; they’re getting it for free from their library. But at the same time, you’re not going to want to spend $3, in your cost of acquisition, in marketing to somebody who’s going to pay it back $1 per listen.

You have to think about it a little bit differently. But it’s a great tool in the tool belt. And there’s not many people on the platform that are just making library sales. They’re not just making subscription sales, it’s one part of a really healthy sales portfolio.

Joanna: I think that’s really important.

I put on various audiobook pages on my website, and on my email list, I say ‘Hey, remember, you can get my books for free at the library or on your favorite subscription platform.’

When I look at my Findaway sales report it is across all these different areas, rather than just one vendor, which is the wide mindset, isn’t it?

Will: That is the world we’re striving for. That’s the audiobook world we want to exist. And that’s why our whole service exists.

That’s why we don’t have three partners, we have 40. We want that diversity and that healthiness in the ecosystem.

We want everybody to help build the audiobook ecosystem up. And that’s why we’re positioned the way we are. And that’s why we’re happy when we see that diversity in the sales reports.

Joanna: One of the other things that’s pretty awesome is the shared partnership with Chirpbooks, and the fact that I can do promotions there. And again, it’s U.S. focused, but it’s still a really interesting time. I feel like with audiobook promotion, we haven’t had such great options before.

Are you finding a lot of good opportunities for authors through Chirp?

Will: Yeah, don’t sleep on Chirp. If you’re listening to this, and you haven’t submitted your audiobook to a Chirp deal, I would highly recommend that you do it. You mentioned it’s U.S.-focused they have recently expanded into Canada.

If you’re a listener in the U.S. or Canada, you can buy on Chirp. But it’s open to authors anywhere in the world. Joanna you can put all your books on Chirp.

Joanna: Oh, I have.

Will: I’m sure they are on Chirp. Just because you can’t listen as a consumer they haven’t opened up to the UK yet, it doesn’t mean that you can’t put your books as an author there. And it’s free to get your feature deal right now, unlike BookBub, which are pretty expensive, they’re worth it, but they’re expensive.

On the Chirp side, you’re not paying anything right now for a Chirp deal. So you can apply once a month through the BookBub Partner dashboard. I would encourage everybody to do that because we’re not only seeing great results on the book that gets featured, but the rest of the series gets bumped for months, the resulting reviews that happen from that help boost it.

Because remember, Chirp is a full retailer, they’re not just a platform for the feature deals. They’re a platform that helps sell books just kind of every day. And the feature deals help bring people in. But more people are loving the app and continuing to use it for follow-up purchases.

The other thing that they just launched…I don’t know if you’ve seen this yet, Joanna? But they launched the ability to follow authors. So you can market yourself on the Chirp platform and to have people follow you. And then they get email notifications anytime you discount your price, even if you’re not running a feature deal.

So it’s a great base, another marketing tactic is getting people to follow you on Chirp. And then whenever you run a sale, even if it’s not a featured deal, they’ll get notified via email for sure, which is fantastic.

Joanna: I love it. And you can also on BookBub itself do BookBub ads for audiobooks, and the cost-per-click is much, much lower right now. And some authors are clearly focusing on Chirp because I found some great target authors with many, many, many, more listeners than they have readers on the eBook promotion. So that’s one option.

Now I wanted to ask you about social audio, which I find very difficult as an introvert. This is about social as I get on audio. You and me. But you’re doing chats on Clubhouse, and I just got an invitation to a session about Fireside. Facebook have audio, Twitter have social something coming.

What are your thoughts on how social audio fits into this wider ecosystem of voice-first marketing?

Will: Personally, I’ve had a lot of fun with Clubhouse. I got in pretty early on it. And I actually have the handle @audiobooks. So if you’re interested in working with me on Clubhouse, you can find me that way.

I’ve had a lot of great talks with authors. And there’s a really strong narrator community there as well. In general, my perspective on marketing doesn’t really change based on the platform, it’s you go where the attention is. Your currency in marketing is attention.

If there’s a lot of people on a platform, I think you want to be there. Nobody likes to be sold to either. So you have to find ways of marketing your book and marketing yourself that are natural. And I think you can have a lot of fun with it on some new platforms that are still getting their legs and the best practices haven’t been written yet.

I think we saw this with TikTok for the last couple of years. TikTok is getting huge in book marketing right now. And it’s very different from all the other forms of marketing, but it’s where the attention is. I think Clubhouse is the exact same way.

There’s a lot of attention around these platforms. Which one will win? I don’t know. Is it going to be Clubhouse? Is it going to be Greenroom? Is it going to be Facebook’s or Twitter’s?

That doesn’t matter to me as much as where does the attention go? And how can you innovate on those platforms to grab more attention? Because that will lead to good things for your book sales.

Joanna: I did go on to Clubhouse, but because it’s a live platform, again, this is the international perspective. If everything is done in the time zone of the U.S., then when I log on, it’s either completely the wrong time of day for me or at all, when I log on, actually most people on there seem to be in Asia. So it’s a very different time zone thing.

I don’t believe they have recordings still. So it means that yes, you get a certain sociability, but it’s only within a time zone, which when all the marketing that I’ve done for over a decade has been international in focus. That to me is is difficult.

Will: I totally see that. But I also see it as an opportunity. Have you never reached people in those time zones before? And is this a unique opportunity to reach other English speakers in those time zones and establish yourself in a new way?

I’ve also seen some really interesting things in the narrative communities about, ‘Early bird UK narrators meet late-night U.S. authors.’ These matchups where you’re embracing the time zone difference and saying, ‘Boy, us night owls have never talked to you morning birds before.’

We’re going to mash up in a new way here because it doesn’t have to be live. So I always encourage you to look for the opportunity there that comes from that limitation.

Joanna: It’s a good attitude. I think it fits with, as you said, the growth in audiobook listening, and also podcast listening, which is people are sick of their screens. You and I are on Zoom, but we’ve turned off the video. And it’s too stressful to always have screens on. I almost feel like the rise of the social audio platforms is because people are sick of live video and too much video and all of that.

Do you think that social audio has happened more because of the pandemic zoom fatigue?

Will: I think so. I think that if you connect with people on an audio platform, it’s only going to be good for your audiobooks. It shows that people are hungry for more listening. And it’s a unique platform. I’m excited to see where it goes.

I don’t know which one will win again. And I’m not sure what the winning strategy will be on any of them. But anything that’s giving more popularity to audio is good in my book.

Joanna: Absolutely. And then I guess now old school would be just podcasts like this, which are also still growing. You’ve been listening to podcasts for many years, but some people have only really discovered them in the pandemic. I believe one of the statistics out of the APA is about the crossover between people who listen to podcasts and people who listen to audiobooks.

What are your thoughts on using podcasts for audiobook marketing?

Will: I love it. I’ve actually seen it go both ways. I’ve seen authors go on a blog tour of podcasts, and they’ll do things that way. But also, I’ve seen authors leveraging audiobook markets as a monetization channel as well.

There’s a lot of interesting crossover both ways, both for listeners and authors. And I think the line is increasingly blurring between a podcast and an audiobook, in a lot of ways, maybe not in an interview show like this one. There’s still a pretty thick line between that, but something that’s a little bit more narrative and storytelling, and is not taking on different guests every week, or month, or whatever the cadence is.

I’ve seen a lot of podcasters who starting to poke around the audiobook space as a potential way to monetize instead of just going to podcasting, bundling that up and selling it as an audiobook.

I think consumers just want a good story. They just want to be entertained. And I think that there’s a lot of room for some crossover marketing between the two.

Joanna: That brings us to the actual product of an audiobook because as you said, there are more and more crossovers.

We’ve seen Malcolm Gladwell and I think it’s Pushkin, his publisher for his audio anyway, do an audio first launch, that they’re actually selling direct from their own platform. I think I remember he launched as a sell direct link originally, which is fascinating.

I heard a lot of publishers at one of the events saying, ‘Yeah, we’re going to do more audio first product.’ So given that Findaway, have rules around what is an audiobook, and what is a podcast? What are your thoughts on where the lines blur between them both?

What is an audiobook product versus, say, a multi-cast audio production?

Will: I’m really open about this kind of stuff. If you have a podcast that’s narrative, and you want to bundle it up as an audiobook and sell it, there’s no problem.

There’s no requirement that all of the content that comes through Findaway Voices has to be based on a written book.

We are building more tools and more processes to help bring more of those stories in. There are some technical things like you need opening and closing credits that might not exist. But there’s also some things that I think can be borrowed from podcasts that maybe should make their way into audiobooks more.

If you listen to a serialized podcast, at the beginning of every one, they’re reminding you what happened at the last episode. And you don’t get that in audiobooks, chapter to chapter, but nobody listens to a whole 10 hour audiobook in one sitting, or very few people do. Those little reminders every once in a while where you are in the story might be helpful.

The audiobook does not have to mirror the ebook or the print book at all.

It doesn’t even have to be sourced on that. I think one of the interesting things Malcolm Gladwell is doing there is he’s writing them for the ear, not writing them for the eye. And that changes the way you write and the way you present a story.

Maybe there’s a little less exposition, and maybe you get into things a little bit faster. Because there’s no skimming through a page or something when you’re listening to an audiobook.

I think more authors take that mindset of borrowing some of the best things from podcasts, and changing up the narrative style, I think that’s what’s going to help evolve the audiobook industry in a really interesting way. That then in turn blurs the lines even more for consumers.

Joanna: I totally agree. I find this fascinating. Definitely my writing has changed since I have written with an awareness that it will be narrated. Once you understand how narration works, it really changes your brain.

I love the fact that you said there that the audio product doesn’t have to be linked to a specific ebook or print book, because that to me, just frees it.

I feel like as soon as people put constraints around things, you think that that is all there is. So the constraint that ACX has, it has to be linked to a ‘book’ book. And this just expands the possibilities. I’m really excited about that.

Findaway has tools and processes that can help authors and you’ve got some exciting new things happening. So tell us about the Marketplace.

Will: I’m so excited about this, because we’ve been working on this for a really long time. And I’m excited to break the news to your audience here.

We are building a marketplace for audiobook production. It’s going to be a free platform for creating audiobooks. You can use it anywhere in the world. It’s not limited to just a couple of countries.

It’s going to be a set of tools that will help an author and a narrator both find each other, and work through a production to get a finished audiobook. So we’ve taken everything we’ve learned over the last 15 years as a company, and we’ve rebuilt these tools from the ground up.

We’re giving the tools away for free. We want to be in the center of the audiobook production world. And we’re going out with really great terms as well. We’re not locking you into our platform, we’re not charging anything extra for this.

The only charge for the audiobook will be the cost of the narration that you do. There’s no extra upfront charge from Findaway Voices.

I’m really excited about that. Because there’s not a great global hub for audiobook production. Joanna, if you were to say, be on Clubhouse, and you met a narrator, and you wanted to like learn more about them? Where would you go to learn more about that narrator? How would you find them?

Joanna: I’d probably just google them and hope they had a website.

Will: That’s what we want to solve, we want to say, ‘I am going to go look for the narrator.’ And I know the first result that pops up is going to be on Findaway and I’m going to be able to learn about them.

I’m going to be able to hear all their samples. And I’m going to be able to see how many productions they’ve done in the past and what books that they’ve done.

So we’re really building this hub, there’s going to be public narrative profiles for anybody who wants one which are beautiful, I’m really excited. I wish this was a more visual medium, so I could share, but you’ll see them soon because they are opened up for narrators to sign up now, and start building these out.

They’re going to be the hub for their narrator business. And we have some really, really cool stuff to help them sell themselves and present themselves in really cool ways.

From an author’s perspective, this is going to be a great way to take the control yourself on finding the narrator you want.

We’ve done casting services and full-service productions since the start. But we’ve never just opened up the catalogue of narrators and said, ‘Search yourself. And here’s the great tools to help you work through production on your own.’

So that’s what’s different between yesterday and today, which is we’re opened up for narrators to start building their profiles, and later this fall will be open for authors to search for narrators and work through productions themselves.

Joanna: That’s fantastic, very exciting. A couple of questions there.

It’s one thing to find one narrator and one author who get together and do a project. But what about you mentioned full production with multiple people casting? And also sometimes there are co-authors on books. Can we have more than just one narrator, one author? Is that something you might include in the future?

Will: Absolutely. We want to include that in the future, it’s not going to be there for the launch. This has been an enormous undertaking to get it to launch.

Joanna: Of course.

Will: And we want to get it in people’s hands soon. So at the launch, it’s going to be one narrator, one author. But after that, we definitely want to start supporting more and more use cases, including co-authors, or more. And multiple narrators on a production as well.

Joanna: This is a broader question; does Findaway allow sound effects in audiobooks?

Will: We do. But we caution people who do that, that it may be rejected by some platforms. Sometimes it gets flagged by the ACXs extraneous noise, music and sound effects, and stuff like that.

Most of our other partners though, will take it no problem. And that’s great. So if you want to bake those in, just know that you may not be able to sell that book on Audible. But other than that, all of our partners are happy to take those kinds of audiobooks.

Joanna: That’s good. Because this is where I feel like we’re going next. For example, when I’ve listened to World War Z by Max Brooks, almost every chapter is narrated by a different author. And there are also various sound effects and also that Malcolm Gladwell bomber something about a bomber, isn’t it?

Will: Bomber Mafia. Yeah.

Joanna: Yeah, Bomber Mafia. These types of projects, I feel this is the future of audio.

Will: I agree.

Joanna: How much more we can do?

Will: Absolutely. And like I said earlier, there’s no requirement that what you have the narrator record is based on a book as long as they know what to read. It can be a script instead of a manuscript, but there’s no problem there.

I think narrators would be excited about that as well. Narrators are an innovative creative bunch as well. They bring a lot to a production. I think if you were to really inspire them with some crazy idea, most of them would be all about it and excited to experiment too.

Joanna: Definitely. Well, it’s great to hear about that collaboration platform coming. So very excited. And just on one thing; I’m obviously a narrator, as well as an author and I have a number of books I’ve narrated on Findaway. Does that mean I’ll be able to create a narrator profile as well?

Will: Absolutely. I would encourage anybody who wants to be hired for narration work to create a narrator profile. If you’re only going to narrate your own books, it’s not necessary. But your listeners could absolutely find that and it could add some credibility to your narration to have a profile on Findaway, I would love to see that.

There’s some really cool features, I won’t get into it too much, because I would encourage your listeners to go search it out and sign up for a narrative profile if the listener is a narrator.

We have, for example, an audio introduction on a page. So most of the time when you’re listening to narrator samples, they’re from books and pieces of work that they’ve done, obviously, the work samples, but we thought, ‘Oh, well, instead of a bio, where you just type it out, why not let these narratives introduce themselves with their voice and say, ‘Hi, I’m Will Dages, I’m the narrator of romance audio books, and I love blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.’

These kind of tools, we’ve sprinkled in a lot of fun things like that. And we’re excited to see the creativity in the community, leverage those for, maybe in your case, you’d say, ‘I’m Joanna Penn, and I narrate all my own books, and blah, blah, blah.’

However you want to introduce yourself to consumers, because maybe you’re not as interested in getting another nonfiction author to hire you to record books, or however you want to use it. But it’s open for everyone today. I’m really excited to see how people start using them.

Joanna: Cool. So people just go to findawayvoices.com? Or is there a special link?

Will: Yep. If you are already signed up as a narrator on Findaway Voices, you’ll see a path to update your profile when you next log in.

And otherwise go to Findaway Voices and sign up as a narrator and you’ll be shuffled right through the process to build your profile.

Joanna: If people want to do an audiobook with the narrator, again, do they just go to Findaway Voices, and sign up?

Will: Yes, if you want to go to findawayvoices.com right on the homepage, there’s a way to sign up for updates, we’re going to keep you updated on the progress, we’re going to show you behind the scenes, we’re going to offer a beta test at some point, if you want to participate in that.

If you don’t want to miss the actual launch of the tools to make a production as an author, you should definitely sign up at findawayvoices.com. And we’ll keep you up to date, and make sure you don’t miss it.

Joanna: Oh, I’m very excited about that. And of course, I always feel, as Jeff Bezos says, ‘We’re always day one with audio.’ There seem to be more and more opportunities all the time. So again, this opens up more opportunities. So that’s pretty exciting. And it won’t be the end of it, for sure right?

Will: No, thank you so much for saying that. We’re the center of the audiobook world right now. And you don’t get to keep that crown by staying still. So we’re always thinking of what the next thing is.

I’m really excited for this as the start of something really big that we’re going to keep building on. And we have big plans for the future too. Plans to take us beyond just being an audiobook distributor and help provide more value to authors in different ways.

I can only tease those at this point, because they’re still early testing and early ideas, but we’re going to keep growing, keep innovating, in really fun ways.

Joanna: Excellent. I did want to ask you, given that you and I have, for many years now discussed the interesting AI narration of audiobooks. Google recently did a session on auto narration at BookWire Audio Event.

I’ve actually had Ryan Dingler from Google on this show talking about their AI narration. And they are offering AI voices for free. And they’ve said they’re launching that by the end of 2021.

Now, both of us really do value human narrators. And I actually think we’re going to expand the market with audio. I don’t think it will be taking anyone’s jobs. So I think it will mean other languages. Other accents, more accessibility. So that’s not what we’re talking about here.

What are your thoughts on AI auto narration and how it might impact the market?

Will: I think it’s really interesting. We’ve obviously been keeping an ear on the demos as they’ve improved over the years. And I think what Google is doing is really interesting.

I enjoyed listening to Ryan on your podcast, I thought that was a great episode that was really, really interesting and informative. At this point, we’re putting all our chips on human narration, as you can see, with all the investment we’ve made into the marketplace platform.

For us, it’s all about human narrators and the human narrator community, and investing in that. At this time, we don’t have any plans to or even allow distribution of non-human narrated audiobooks. That’s where we are right now.

Joanna: Do you think you will know? For example, you allow upload of finished files for distribution, given the quality of some of the voices coming out of Google and there are other companies. Will the Findaway system even know?

Will: That’s a great question. We do QA of every single title that comes through our platform. So we have people who listen to a sampling of chapters, and credits, and everything, and it’s still pretty obvious when an AI book comes through.

Every once in a while, one slips through, and maybe a consumer complains about it. Because when it does happen, nobody’s going to want to not know. If a consumer believes they’re paying for human narration, and then they realize when they get the book that it’s actually a computer, they feel slighted.

There’s going to have to be some transparency. As of right now, everyone’s expecting a human performance. So we get complaints if one falls through, and we take it down immediately and handle that. But we’re listening to every book.

I will say, it’s still pretty obvious. When you’re listening to audiobooks all day long. And you’re listening to narratives all day long. As somebody in QA, who’s listening to these books, thousands books a month they get submitted, it’s still pretty obvious when an AI book tries to slip through.

Joanna: And just for people listening, if they don’t know it’s not the voice, the voice is fine. It’s the intonation, right? There will be a weird intonation that makes you go, ‘A human wouldn’t say it like that.’

Will: It can be that, it can be artifacts that are like little glitches and stuff in the audio that gives it away. But yeah, a lot of time, it’s the cadence and the porosity of the narration, not necessarily the quality of the voice itself. And it is much further ahead in short form than long-form.

When you ask Siri or Alexa to answer a question, you’re much more forgiving when it’s one sentence answer than when you’re sitting down for a 10-hour audiobook. So yeah, big difference in the industry there. But as of now, it’s still pretty easy to catch. We don’t have any plans to allow that on the platform.

Joanna: Any other thoughts about where audio might be going in the next few years? Is there anything you’re particularly excited about?

For example, right now, I’m talking to you with a microphone, but I’m listening to you with a Jawbone headset, whatever you want to call it. I don’t actually have anything in my ears. And this is really weird. I’ve only just got this to stop putting things in my ears basically. This is very weird, but it feels completely fine.

I wondered if there was anything that you think is cool at the moment, since we’re geeking out on audio?

Will: I think the Smart Home Speakers, are just going to continue to get gain in popularity. We’ve seen a big uptick on people who use those to listen to audiobooks. So I’m excited to see where that moves.

And beyond that, we already touched on this before. So I don’t want to belabor it. But the intersection between best practices, and podcasting, and audiobooks, and how can each innovate off each other?

I think that is really interesting for the growth of the audiobook industry to move beyond books, to thinking more about stories. And I think when that author mindset shifts a little bit, we’re going to see some crazy cool innovation in that area.

Joanna: Brilliant, well, exciting times ahead. So just tell people one more time where they can find you and everything Findaway, does online.

Will: The best place to go is findawayvoices.com all one word, and we’re on social everywhere to at Findaway Voices. But start from the website and go from there.

Joanna: Brilliant. Well, thanks so much for your time Will, that was great.

Will: Thanks, Joanna. This was so much fun.

The post Opportunities For Audiobooks And Introducing The Findaway Voices Marketplace With Will Dages first appeared on The Creative Penn.

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Author: Joanna Penn

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  • September 28, 2021