Audiobooks tend to have previews that can you listen to online and these are designed to give you a taste of the quality of the production and a sense of how the narration is conducted. The average length of a sample is around five minutes, but HarperCollins is looking to extend it.
HarperCollins Christian Publishing imprints Thomas Nelson and Zondervan are promoting their audiobook titles with extended samples known as First Listens as interest in podcasts and digital audiobooks continues to grow.
The publishing company is doing something really unique. They are posting twenty minute extended samples on SoundCloud and some of the ones in pre-production have been listened to a total of 65,000 times. The most recent, for country singer and songwriter Rory Feek’s memoir, This Life I Live: One Man’s Extraordinary, Ordinary Life and the Woman Who Changed it Forever, was streamed 40,000 times in under three weeks.
Jolene Barto, HCCP’s audio marketing manager stated “We have offered excerpted content from our titles in pre-order campaigns for many years now, but not a complete chapter,” Barto said. “We saw the First Listen opportunity as a great way to showcase Thomas Nelson and Zondervan audiobooks.”
There is no denying that audiobook consumption is on the rise and the growth of the format is dwarfing e-books. Many of leading publishers have been doubling down on production and are willing to take risks because audiobooks are quickly becoming a multi billion dollar industry.