According to the Audio Publishers Association, the audio book industry is growing at a rapid rate. The number of titles being produced doubled between 2012 and 2013. Retail sales during 2013 were estimated at $1.3 billion. One of the companies responsible for this huge increase is Blackstone Audio http://www.blackstoneaudio.com
Blackstone Audio offers more than 10,000 audio book titles, making it one of the nation's largest independent publishers in the industry. In addition to recording and releasing their own audio books, Blackstone also works on productions from Hachette, HarperCollins and Christian Audio.
Besides producing physical audio book products, Blackstone also offers a digital download service called Downpour.com http://www.downpour.com/
My personal belief is that digital downloads are the wave of the future, and that physical products will eventually become antiquated.
My association with Blackstone Audio began with my appearance as a guest on a podcast called “Get Behind Me, Now Stay There” www.justimagineitink.com which is recorded at the Blackstone Audio studios in Ashland, Oregon. Hosts of the show are Edward C. Stanton, President of Just Imagine It Ink, KSKQ 89.5FM radio personalities Maya Seligman and Holly Lorien Adams, New York correspondent and voice over artist Chrissy McIntyre, Blackstone Audio employees Cyrus Emerson (producer), and Jerry Renfrow (recording engineer). In addition to talking with people in the audio book industry, the show also features interviews with musicians, actors and artists and even “just the guy down the street.”
The moderators of “Get Behind Me, Now Stay There” have been gracious enough to invite me back on the show next month to discuss the upcoming Audies Competition. In the world of audio books, the top honors are called Audies. Blackstone Audio has four original titles which are up for Audies this year, and have worked on numerous projects for other companies which are finalists as well http://audiopub.org/Audies15/2015_Audie_Awards_Release.pdf
I predict the audio book industry will continue its upward spiral. Although my company, Straight to Audio Productions, is a just small speck in the stream of the audio book business, I benefit from the success of Blackstone Audio. Through their efforts to promote the art of the spoken word, the amount of people listening to audio books has increased for everyone. Here's wishing Blackstone Audio and all the other finalists the best of luck at this year's Audies Competition!