Despite early worries that e-books would force print to go the way of the woolly mammoth and Elvis, it appears the end is not nigh. In fact, in 2016, paperback sales were up over 5%, with e-books down over 20%. Independent bookstores even saw a healthy uptick in sales (and book hounds rejoiced!).
What isn’t getting all the press it deserves are the incredible gains in audiobook sales. The audiobook market is booming, with sales increasing over 30% in 2016. Business for audiobook sellers like Audible.com and iTunes is good. Damn good.
The big question is, why?
I’m going to take a stab at it. From my vantage point, everyone is plugged into some device or another like stasis pods in The Matrix. We’re going to have an entire civilization of hunchbacks from all that craning down to gaze into our phones. If someone isn’t looking down, odds are they’re sporting earplugs and listening to music or podcasts or audiobooks.
Back in the day, which really isn’t that long ago, when I went to the beach, I would look over a sea of people reading books, magazines and newspapers. The beach is a perfect place to kick back and relax, unplugging yourself from the rat race. Now when I go, nearly everyone is locked onto their phones.
Audiobooks are a convenient way to read without having to – shudder – suffer from separation anxiety from our electronic devices. In a world where everyone likes to bemoan how busy they are, listening to a book during the commute to work or while shopping fits right in with their lifestyle.
Who has the time to sit and read anymore? In reality, everyone does, but we like to pretend our bouncing around like pinballs is so crucial to the survival of the planet, we refuse to sit still. Audiobooks are custom made for people on the go. I may read 100 books a year, but I also listen to a couple dozen audiobooks (in between the thousand podcasts I’m addicted to).
Production quality on audiobooks is advancing every year, with better narration and crisper recording. When GraphicAudio produced the audio for my book, The Montauk Monster, I was blown away by the end product. I didn’t know there were audiobooks like that. They call their audiobooks A Movie in Your Mind, and they are just that, with a large, talented cast, sound effects, music and more.
GraphicAudio recently released my latest tale of monster mayhem, The Jersey Devil. I have to say, even as the man who wrote the words, hearing it acted out is creepy and downright terrifying. To be able to hear the Jersey Devil screech and its hapless victims cry out for mercy chilled my blood. It reminds me of listening to the rebroadcasts of the old radio serials with my dad when I was a kid. Productions like this are the way of the future for audiobooks, in my humble opinion. It’s impossible to get bored or have your mind wander when you’re fully immersed in the story. Go on over to GraphicAudio and listen to some of the samples and see for yourself.
How do you feel about audiobooks? What are some of your favorites? It looks like they’re here to stay, but if anyone tells you they’re going to wipe out print books, point them to last year’s e-book sales statistics.
I know, Hellions, that’s one strange ass title for a blog post, but that’s exactly what it’s all about.
Thanks goes out to an old friend, Brenda B., for sharing this photo and story with me. Somehow, during my research into the Jersey Devil, I missed this! Back in the 60’s in New Jersey, a cow and a deer carcass somehow made it to the top of a telephone pole. Locals attributed it to their friendly neighborhood monster.
Cryptozoologists say the Jersey Devil has kept a very low profile since the early 1900s, but if you go out and talk to the people who live there, you’ll get a completely different opinion. And here’s another shocker – I can’t believe how many folks have first hand Bigfoot encounters in the Pine Barrens. I’ve spoken to quite a few, some of them still visibly upset, even if it happened years ago.
I wonder if this was the Jersey Devil’s idea of a pinata? Maybe she just wanted to throw a party for her horrid offspring.
And speaking of horrid offspring, Pinnacle has discounted all of my books for the month of February. You can snag an ebook of The Montauk Monster for $1.99, The Jersey Devil for 99 cents or Tortures of the Damned for 99 cents. Time to load up those e-readers on the cheap!
What’s the strangest thing ever found on a telephone pole? For me, we threw a Batman figure that had a parachute attached to our phone line. It stayed there for about 10 years, poor Batsy’s color fading with each year.
Just popping in for a quick howdy to my Hellions on this fine Cinco de Mayo. Tequila is your friend today.
I wanted to make you aware of two very cool specials that are available now. First up, THEY RISE has been discounted to 99cents on Amazon. Just a couple of days ago, it was the #1 horror book on Amazon as well as #1 in the Sea Stories category. Unfortunately, we couldn’t crack the cryptid erotica category. And if there is no such category, there needs to be. Click the cover below to snag a copy on the cheap!
Also, to get you all worked up into a lather over my upcoming monster book, THE JERSEY DEVIL, I’m giving away 5 signed paperback copies of my best selling THE MONTAUK MONSTER every month on Goodreads between now and August. If you’re on GR, enter the giveaway for your chance to win one. Take it to the beach and be very, very afraid!
Ah, October, or #Horrortober to me. 31 days of ghouls and ghosts, tricks or treats, pumpkin ale and comfort food. What’s not to like? I’m going to kick things off in grand style today, so be sure to read this here post from top to bottom. Lots o’ treats (aka giveaways for your trick or treat bags) for everyone.
This year, the Monster Men released our Halloween special a little early so you can gather great movies to watch and books to read. We also try a new pumpkin ale that you might want to stock in your fridge.
If you’re looking for more terrifying books, check out my 2015 Horrortober Reading List.There are some great reads on there by authors like Nick Cutter, Brian Moreland, Catherine Cavendish and more.
When I was a kid growing up in the 70s, some of my fondest memories took place in the kitchen of our Bronx apartment. My father and I used to put together monster model kits – Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Forgotten Prisoner of Castle Mare, Jaws, you name it. While we worked on those models, the smell of glue making me dizzy, we listened to the radio. A local college station played all the great radio plays from yesteryear, from The Shadow to Flash Gordon and even some Charlie Chan every now and then (you can listen to a lot of them now at http://www.RadioLovers.com)
I loved those old shows. I truly believe they’re part of the reason I grew up with this very active imagination. Some might say overactive, but I’m fine with that.
Last year, I was told that my novel, The Montauk Monster, was going to be made into an audiobook. Ok, cool, I’ve had that done before with other books.
The time has come, and when I heard a preview, I was floored – and it takes a lot to knock my socks and shoes off.
First, here’s the new cover designed by the great folks at GraphicAudio. Not for the squeamish!
Anyhow, GraphicAudio doesn’t just produce standard audiobooks. No, like their tagline says, they make movies for your mind. The Montauk Monster is acted out by a wonderful cast, complete with chilling music, sound effects and enough scares to give your goose bumps goose bumps. When I heard it, it was like listening to someone else’s book. Surreal doesn’t even come close to describing that moment.
I really can’t say enough good things about it. Just when I think I’m starting to get jaded, something like this comes along to flip the script. You can listen to a preview by clicking here.
I feel like a proud poppa right now. Give it a listen, I hope you dig it and jump in for an entirely new experience, even if you’ve read the book.
There’s even a chance I may have some copies on hand when I appear at Scares That Care in a couple of weeks.
Tell me what you think. Either that or I’ll be left asking my Creature From The Black Lagoon action figure what he thinks, and he’s not the best conversationalist.
Right now, you can get last summer’s smash hit monster thriller, THE MONTAUK MONSTER, on ebook for only $1.99. Load up your Kindles and Nooks and iPads for the beach, and don’t be afraid of the water…just what washes up on the shore!
And if monsters aren’t your bag, THE HAUNTED HALLS by Glenn Rolfe is free on Amazon aaaand Jonathan Janz’s THE NIGHTMARE GIRL is only 99 cents! You can get three great books for just under $3. I dare you to find a better dealio.
I know I’ve said in earlier posts that my book, THE MONTAUK MONSTER, is on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine. This is the museum created and curated by Loren Coleman. I haven’t been able to get there since it was put in the display, but thanks to Asher Ellis, I now have photographic proof! Kind of like what we have of the creature itself. Thank you so much Asher for taking the pictures and sharing. I’ll be at the museum this summer and maybe again in the fall with copies of my next cryptid book, THE DOVER DEMON, in hand. Now I can retire early and happy.
And a closer shot…
I’ve now seen the coolest review of THE MONTAUK MONSTER. I want to give a big shout out – and thank you – to Erik Smith and his Low Budget Review Show (love the name!). I have to say, I think he said nicer things about the book and me than my own mother. If you haven’t picked up the book yet, I think Erik can give you the final push to grab one at your local bookstore or online.
After taking a summer break from writing, I’m gearing up to start my next book. I wanted to go back into the world of monsters and cryptids, so I figured who better to ask for a creature to unleash on my readers than world famous cryptozoologist, Loren Coleman. I have to say, he gave me a great one to tackle. I’m going way beyond Bigfoot and Montauk Monsters this time around. Get ready to meet a monster you may not have heard of before, but will never forget when all is said and done.
Pinnacle is planning to release my next summer paperback in July, 2015. It’s called TORTURES OF THE DAMNED. Set in a New York suburb right at the moment when the world as we know it ends for good, TORTURES follows an ordinary family thrust into extraordinary circumstances. It’s 100% zombie free and not your typical post-apocalyptic nightmare. If it gives you heart palpitations, I’ve done my job.
OK, that’s all the news fit to print for now. I’m going back to my first movie marathon of the summer. So far, I re-watched Dark Skies (I’m a sucker for alien flicks and this is a favorite), Alien Abduction (pretty damn good), The Quiet Ones (better than I thought it would be but nothing to crow about), Thor 2 (dig it), and finally watching Arrow (promising after 5 episodes). The Green Arrow/Green Lantern comics in the 70s and 80s were always a favorite team-up of mine. And even though I’m a Marvel guy, I’m oddly psyched for The Flash this fall.
Oh, and I have officially given up on The Strain. Damn, I really wanted to like it.