Hachette Audio is one of the largest audiobook publishing units in the world and the company is trying something new to attract a new listening audience. They have partnered with Book Track, to add sound effects into four audio titles to provide a more immersive experience.
The four titles include Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor, as well as Beautiful Creatures, Before the Claiming and A Gatlin Wedding, all by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Each of these audio editions cost around $5.00, which is a steal of a deal, considering the average Hachette Audio title costs $31.00.
Audiobook production has a higher degree of costs, than simply distributing an e-book. It comes down to a concept known as cost per finished hour. Each audiobook is on average around 12 hours, which costs on average $300 and $400 an hour. They also have to account for multiple takes and editing. The finished product after its all said and done is normally $5,000 to $6,000 to make the audiobbook. Book Track is certainly not adding sound effects for free, but they are likely giving Hachette a big discount to get their name out there and to do future business with the publisher.
The first time Hachette did business with Book Track was in July. Their Little Brown publishing unit gave them four e-book titles, which had sound effects. These were distributed via the Book Track app for Android and iOS, which has a limited footprint. The audiobooks that Hachette Audio have added sound effects to have a wider distribution network that includes Audible, Audiobooks.com, Downpour, and iTunes.
Hachette Audio is trying something new and it will be interesting to see what the consumer response will be. In the first few days that the titles went on sale, most have zero reviews, but one has three.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.