Had a discussion with another author recently, ended up giving my usual 10:1 ratio for ebook to audio sales. Matt Dinniman (of Dungeon Crawler Carl fame) came in and pointed out his numbers were more 3:1. That made me pause, clarify a few questions and then, since I hadn’t updated my numbers in over 2 years, do some math of my own.
And would you know it? The numbers have changed.
It’s why having up to date information is important. So, here’s the details of what I’ve seen:
So, I’ve used book 1 for most of these except for ATL where it was easier to grab the whole series information. Now, the ratio for ATL as a series is probably lower since I’m missing some months but it’s good enough for this. In fact, with LitN it’s actually 3 (just rounded up for ease of reading).
Conclusions that can be drawn potentially:
- Your ratio is going to be around 3-5 depending on book length, popularity of book and narrator popularity.
- Both series that I expect to sell beneath the 3:1 to ratio (SA and ATL) are narrated by incredibly popular narrators (Nick Podehl and Travis Baldree respectively). The one’s that do well like AoB are by Eric Martin, while Patrick Zeller is mostly unknown and does Gamer’s Wish while Leveled Up Love is by the amazing Natalie Naudus but she isn’t huge in LitRPG.
- Book length probably affects things somewhat. AoB is 5-6 hours, HW is 6-7 hours, the others are 9-11 hours except LuL which is 15! You’ll likely see a worse ratio if your work is shorter
- Lastly, remember to always confirm how long ago data came. LitN data has shifted by over 10% (i.e. Audio units are 10% more than previous as a total) while HW and AoB numbers are still hanging around the rough % ratio.
These 10:1 or 5:1 or 3:1 ratios are definitely something you want to be careful about using especially if your work doesn’t line up exactly (shorter works, much longer works, hit series, unknown narrator, etc.).
There are also other factors that aren’t tracked here – when did these audiobooks come out compared to their previous works? How much marketing has been put into it? How’s the Omnibus doing compared to book 1? How long has each work been out comparatively, etc.
As always, this is a guide; not a guarantee. But here’s hoping it’s useful for you all.
Like the business blog post? Want to support me writing more of them? Want to read ahead (2 weeks) of others? Become a Patron and choose the $2-tier to be able to read the business posts only and ask questions about the business side of writing.