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每日跟讀#474 : Listen Carefully, Book Lovers: Top Authors Are Skipping Print

書人注意! 暢銷作家跳過紙本書

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English
Shadow the audio clip two to three times for best learning results!dow the audio clip two to three times for best learning results!

每日跟讀#474 : Listen Carefully, Book Lovers: Top Authors Are Skipping Print

When Michael Lewis had an idea for his next book, a contemporary political narrative, he decided he would test it out first as a 10,000-word magazine article, as he often does before committing to a yearslong project.

當麥可.路易士有了下一本書的構想,是一個當代政治故事,在投入持續一年的創作計畫前,他決定依照往例,先用一萬字的雜誌文章試水溫。

But this time he made a surprising pivot. Instead of publishing the story in Vanity Fair, where he has been a contributing writer for nearly a decade, he sold it to Audible, the audiobook publisher and retailer.

不過這次他做了一項出人意表的關鍵動作。他沒有把文章交給擔任特約作家近十年的浮華世界雜誌出版,而是賣給有聲書出版及零售商Audible。

“You’re not going to be able to read it, you’re only going to be able to listen to it,” Lewis said. “I’ve become Audible’s first magazine writer.”

路易士說:「你無法閱讀它,你只能夠聽它。我成為Audible的第一個雜誌作家。」

Lewis is part of a growing group of A-list authors bypassing print and releasing audiobook originals, hoping to take advantage of the exploding audiobook market. It’s the latest sign that audiobooks are no longer an appendage of print, but a creative medium in their own right. But the rise of stand-alone audio has also made some traditional publishers nervous, as Audible strikes deals directly with writers, including best-selling authors like historian Robert Caro and novelist Jeffery Deaver.

路易士是跳過紙本書籍、發行原版有聲書的暢銷作家之一,這個成長中的族群希望把握有聲書市場爆發的良機。而這也是個最新的跡象,顯示有聲書不再是紙本書的附屬品,已自成一種創意媒介。而這種獨立有聲書的興起,例如Audible直接和作家簽約,包括歷史學家羅伯特.卡羅和小說家傑佛瑞.狄佛等暢銷書作家,也讓一些傳統出版商感到緊張。

Audible, which is owned by Amazon and the biggest player with more than 425,000 titles in its online store, has an enormous advantage in this increasingly crowded arena. Amazon has been pushing audiobooks on its platform, listing them as “free” with a trial Audible membership, which costs $15 a month, and includes a book each month. (The typical price of a la carte audiobooks ranges from about $15 to $40 depending on the length.)

屬於亞馬遜旗下的Audible是最大的有聲書商,它的線上商店有超過42萬5千冊書,在這日益擁擠的市場中享有巨大優勢。亞馬遜一直在自家平台推動有聲書,在Audible試用會員期間,有聲書是免費的;會員月費15美元,每月贈送一本書。(通常單本有聲書的售價從大約15美元到40美元不等,取決於其長度。)

In the past five years, Hachette has doubled the number of audiobooks it produces; it will release about 700 titles this year. Penguin Random House will put out roughly 1,200 audio titles, up from 652 in 2014, and now has 15 recording studios. Macmillan Audio will release 470 audiobooks this year, a 46 percent increase over 2017. Two of the company’s biggest recent hits are the audiobooks for James Comey’s “A Higher Loyalty,” which has sold more than 167,000 copies, and Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” which sold about 320,000.

五年來,阿歇特出版的有聲書數量已經翻倍,今年將出版約700冊。比起2014年的652冊,企鵝藍燈書屋今年將出版約1200冊有聲書,目前擁有15座錄音室。麥克米倫公司有聲書部門今年將發行470冊,比2017年多了46%。這家出版社最近最暢銷的書中就有兩本是有聲書,分別是詹姆斯.柯米的「更高的忠誠」,已售出超過16萬7000冊;以及麥可.沃夫的「烈焰與怒火」,約售出32萬冊。

Ellen Archer, president of HMH Trade Publishing, said she expects the audio release will boost print sales, rather than cannibalizing them. “The marketing muscle they’re going to put behind this book is going to drive interest in the print version,” she said.

霍頓.米夫林.哈考特貿易出版集團總裁艾倫.亞徹說,她預期有聲書的發行能提升紙本書銷售,而非吞食紙本。她說:「他們投入有聲書的行銷資源,將帶動對紙本書的興趣。」

Source: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/330427/web/

文/Alexandra Alter譯/莊蕙嘉
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