With the prevalence of mobile devices like smartphones, MP3 players, and smart speakers, technology makes it easy to listen to an audiobook while driving, cooking, gardening, exercising, or relaxing at home. Although you receive the same story or information when you read, listening is a different experience than reading. A great narrator can bring a book to life, creating a personal experience for the listener.
Audiobooks make up a small percentage of digital sales, but they are on the rise. According to the Audio Publishers Association (APA), audiobook sales in 2017 totaled more than $2.5 billion, up 22.7 percent over 2016, and unit sales were up 21.5 percent. Over 46,000 audiobooks were published in 2017. (Like in print fiction, the most popular genres continue to be mystery/thriller/suspense, sci-fi/fantasy, and romance.)