Eduardo García, Atmende Bücher, has been putting a strong focus on audio and is one of the first producers of audio books, in the 90ies. „At Atmende Bücher, we do whatever we want in audio.“ He strongly believes in the power of streaming.
Moderator Porter Anderson, Publishing Perspectives, stressed that audio is seeing a huge rise in sales, especially in the US and the UK. He added that for publishers, it is in many cases not feasible to do the work that is required for getting audio products to market, so they should establish partnerships with people like Eduardo who has a background in music (and lots of experience in the area, plus knows the actors etc needed for a production).
Porter also said that men tend to choose audio books, as they often relate reading to bad experiences at school. This channel might be a great possibility to get more male readers/listeners.
Helena Gustafsson from storytel in Sweden told the story of the development of her company, ‚a netflix for audio books‘. They were a bit early, as in 2005, there were no smartphones around. At storytel, you get access to all titles for your monthly fee. She said that publishers should not do the same mistake as the music industry did in the past — not to embrace the subscription business model.
Helena Gustafsson: »Die Verlage sagen immer, wir dürfen nicht die Fehler der Musikindustrie machen. Aber wenn man nachfragt, welche das waren, wissen sie keiner Antwort.« #pf18
— Wolfgang Tischer (@literaturcafe) April 26, 2018
Helena said that in this model, you can create a universe of its own, and subscribers in this universe don‘t care if the titles in it are new or old.
Mathew Clayton from Unbound makes use of the crowdfunding business model, which, among others, works great for ‚campaign‘ titles, but also for established authors.
Robert Becker from beemgee („it’s your story“) presented his company that has created a narrative computer game. It is not self-publishing, but a new way of storytelling and helping create plots and understand potential problems with a story, founded 2 years ago and 3,000 users at the moment. For them, the gamification aspect is important. Their tool helps to structure plots in an intuitive way.