The creative genius behind books such as The 4 Hour Work Week, The 4 Hour Body, and The 4 Hour Chef is now embarking on a new direction in the publishing industry: audiobooks. What was once a tired format with very few titles actually being recorded is now growing in popularity, due largely in part to the abundance of mobile devices to listen to them.
Tim Ferris, who has launched Tim Ferris Publishing, will be taking a stab at the audiobook market by focusing on books whose audio rights have not be realized. More importantly, he’ll be leveraging the traffic and online presence of his own blog to do the marketing and selling for him, not an outrageous idea considering that his own blog receives about one million visitors per month.
In an interesting twist to how viable and successful publishing typically function, Ferris’ company will only release audio titles that he himself has read and enjoyed, beginning with a title that he declared to be “life changing,” Vagabonding by Rolf Potts.
In an interview with Tech Crunch’s Anthony Ha, Ferris described the fact that there’s always room for a new model in publishing: “There’s also a place for a business model that capitalizes on audience and process. That just hasn’t been done really well.”
This shift into audiobooks wouldn’t be Ferris’ first experiment with the format. He released a BitTorrent Bundle in which readers could have a free audiobook version of his bestselling The 4 Hour Chef when purchasing the hard cover, an experiment that led to a significant increase in sales. He will be creating a similar experiment for the release of Vagabonding.