In this week’s Self-Publishing News Special, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway looks at Audible’s entry into the unlimited subscription market and what it means.
ALLi’s new guidebook, 150 Self-Publishing Questions Answered: ALLi’s Writing, Publishing, and Book Marketing Tips for Authors and Poets, written by ALLi’s Outreach Manager M.L. Ronn (Michael La Ronn), is available now. You can read an excerpt in this blog post and you can purchase the book here. As with all our guides, ALLi members can access their complimentary e-book copy in the member zone. Members: just log in and navigate to “Guidebooks”.
Audible Offers Eat As Much As You Like Subscription in Spain
I’ve reflected several times on what might happen if Audible started taking on digital subscription platforms on their favoured turf. As part of Amazon, Audible is the go-to platform for indies who want to sell audiobooks. And as we know, audiobooks are growing their sales and market share rapidly. But the fastest growing platforms, the ones that have made headlines in the past few years, are not Audible. They are the likes of Storytel and Bookbeat. And unike Audible, they have fully embraced the subscription model, with all you can eat services for audiobooks. It’s been interesting watching them gain a stronger foothold while Amazon skirts around them.
This week, as Mark Williams put it, “the dam has been breached.” Audible has entered the Spanish marketplace, where Storytel is strong. And the big change is that Audible has joined as an all you can eat service.
Interestingly, at the same time as this is happening, as Nate points out at The Digital Reader, Audible is withdrawing Audible Escape. This was its subscription romance service. It was hugely popular with readers, but from November 1st it will be no more. Which prompts the question, “why?”
I would suggest you don’t need to be a soothsayer to see the connection between these stories. I’ve been warning indies for many months to prepare for the spotification of audiobooks, and the potential devastating effects on income. The window to make those preparations feels like it might be closing fast.
Mailchimp Adds Artificial Intelligence
Many of us use Mailchimp for our email lists. And the company is now looking to give us more tools to help with our campaigns. Specifically, the new artificial intelligence tools will help us make our campaigns more visually effective. It’s part of an ongoing expansion that has seen Mailchimp also acquire Courier, a podcasting and newsletter company. Which means we can expect this to be the first of many announcements. Fingers crossed the result will be much more than a mailing list provider. Mailchimp may soon give us a whole raft of ways to communicate with each person on our list in the way that works best for them.
Reflections on DigitalBookWorld
When I first started being active in the indie world, there was one big event on the block. DigitalBookWorld was a strange beast. It should have been the book world’s equivalent of the Tools of Change conference. Yet somehow it never was. It’s a problem that cutting edge book world conferences have often had. And I’m not completely sure why we have that problem other than as a mirror of our wider industry conservatism. One thing the early conferences did have going for them was Guy Gonzalez. Guy is now lead at the Panorama Project, providing crucial data insights on public libraries. But this week he takes a look back at the history of DigitalBookWorld, the week after its relaunched 2020 event. And it’s absolutely crammed full of essential insights for anyone who wants to know how we can be more forward-looking.
Podcasting on Amazon and DC Subscription
Sometimes with Amazon, you feel like they have weeks where they get stuff out of their system at once. And this week is one of those. They are making a concerted play for the audio market. And step two is the launch of podcasting on Amazon Music. This will include its own “originals” series. Exactly what opportunities this will bring remains to be seen, but the doors are very much opening for everyone using podcasts to grow their audience.
And as if digital subscription wasn’t prominent enough in the news, DC is in on the act. It is pulling all its digital products together into a single subscription platform – DC Universe Infinite. At $7.99 per month or $74.99 for a year, it’s $1 a month more expensive than Disney Plus. But for that you get access to 24,000 digital comics and books as well as the movies. Which compares favorably with Marvel’s $9.99 per month for 27,000.Audible enters the unlimited subscription market in Spain, and top #selfpub news stories for #indieauthors, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway @agnieszkasshoes #digitaleconomy #publishingopenup Click To Tweet
Upcoming Conferences and Events
Help us fill this with great online events in the coming weeks and months.
Frankfurter Buchmesse, 14-18 Oct [Frankfurt/online]
Over to You
Let us know about online events of interest to indies in the comments below.