Therin of Andor wrote:
Here's a stray thought about why Simon & Schuster may not have pushed unabridged audios when the technology was making them more efficient to produce.
If unabridged novels are bought by people as an alternative to reading the hardcopy book, but the book sales are still respectable, is there a pressing need to put a finger in the dyke?
Why not pose the same question regarding virtually every other book being released by a major publishing company these days? It doesn't appear to be hurting sales of books directly. And if it did as a result of consumers preferring the audio edition then so be it. Better to have that option for those with those tastes then to not have the option, because it is unwise to assume that people who are stuck with only the option to read a book won't decide to ultimately skip the book altogether.
Look at the film industry in terms of sales and rentals. The DVD market has been drying up and therefore the industry is pushing BluRays more. But they haven't abandon DVDs altogether as of yet. Not only that they are also starting to rely more on downloads because there are a numbe rof people who want to watch films on a tablet or an phone or a notebook. Do you think the film industry is thinking "hey, if we make these downloads available won't that take away from ouy DVD/bluray sales and rentals"? No. It can't afford to see how it all shakes up. It has adapt quickly, accept progress and ensure it is taking advantage of all possible options.
Unabridged audios might attract new consumers who prefer not to read, but established fans are supposed to choose audio or book, but not both?
I don't think established fans are going to have any extra angst making a decision. Most would likely still prefer to read the material although perhaps via an e-book. Other established fans may go with the audio. Or, as I already pointed out, they can choose both if they have a tablet. Amazon and Audible has it set up that you can purchase both for basically the price of one and go back and forth between the two forms of media depending on where you are and what you are doing.