Saturday, 11 September 2010

On Matters of Tie-In Fiction and Audiobooks

Subtitled: Gav Thorpe beats Dan Brown!

As stated by Civilian Reader this isn't an actual fight between the Black Library author and the multi-million-book-selling author (although a smackdown between them could be entertaining - I think Gav would fight sneaky!)

Rather it pertains to this nice little chart:

The audiobook of Gav Thorpe's Raven's Flight (an release *only* in audiobook format) has beat off competition from many best-selling authors to become the biggest-selling audiobook of 2010 so far. And not by an insignificant amount either! Take that, Dan Brown!

I find this interesting on a few counts:

1) This is tie-in fiction! Something that many readers look down on and seem to despise. Clearly there is a great demand for this style of fiction, as demonstrated by the sales of the audiobook.

2) Black Library are being talked up as bringing out some excellent audiobook titles, with quality production values. Music, sound effects, decent narration - all contributes to a decent listening experience. This is reflected by the fact people have gone out to purchase the Black Library audiobook titles, and they have been receiving some sterling reviews.

3) In the case of Raven's Flight, it is a story that fits into the ongoing Horus Heresy series but is ONLY available in the audiobook format. It has not been brought out in a print run as well, which I think has helped to drive sales.

Interesting, non?

What are your opinions on audiobooks in general? Do you like them? And has anyone listened to Raven's Flight? Does it deserve the number 1 spot?


  1. I've never read audio books. I'm afraid it will take away my interaction with the books. I like to write in them and refer back to them. I also like looking at them on my bookshelf :-)

    Also,something that I've never thought about is the tone of the reader. Someone blogged about not wanting to continue listening to the book because the reader was boring. To me that was the ultimate turnoff.

    I think one of the most enjoyable things about reading is that I get to go at my pace and use my perception to determine intonation and prosody.

    So yeah, audio books are a ways off for me. If they're in my future at all.


  2. I must admit that audio books aren't something I 'read' very often - I much prefer the real book experience.

    If you check out the number of units shifted in the chart above, it strikes me that we are not alone in our distaste for the audiobook experience.