Some of my favorite authors aren't being produced in MP3 format.  For example Michael Robotham.  He has 3 books that have either been out (Bombproof - 2008)  or are coming out and there isn't an audio version of the book. Or Stephen Booth. Or some Scandinavian authors. 

I have requested them on Audible (aka Amazon) to no avail.  Sometimes I wonder if they read those requests at all. [sigh]

So are e-books the main push in the publishing industry these days?  Have audio books fallen by the wayside?  Content - except for A-list authors (boring) seems to be dropping off.

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To the best of my knowledge, an author's agent gets him/her audio contracts. They are among the subsidiary rights. Of course, it's possible that the print publisher has contractual rights and isn't making much of an effort. In my experience, it's better to retain subsidiary rights.
My first novel came out with Audible about 6 weeks ago, and I'm certainly not an A-list author. I heard via ITW's (the International Thriller Writers) monthly members' bulletin that Audible was looking to acquire the rights to newer thriller authors, my agent submitted, and ta-da! Here I am.

I would imagine Audible listens to the requests they get for books. In my experience, producing an audio book took MUCH less time than the print version (5 months vs 21 months), so maybe you'll be seeing the books you're hoping for shortly!
A couple of years ago I happened to chat with a gal who produces audio books. She told me she doesn't approach an author until that author has five titles in print.
Possibly. That was probably true in my case. But Robotham is a rather good and successful author from the get-go. Still, it could be the explanation.
They have other Robotham titles on Audible in the US but there are others available in the UK. I just saw that Stuart MacBride's latest Logan MacRae is just out on Audible, but the previous two are missing in the series. I'm pretty sure they are available in the UK (MacBride narates the latest two himself.) (And his website and blog are pretty funny.)

Bit of a late comer to this thread! Generally there may be many variables concerning the release of audiobooks. From my experience in the UK, Audible will have agreements with publishers to release audiobooks of the publishers titles. They will re release these titles already available in audiobook format via the publisher. In effect audible are a 3rd party seller in some instances. I do know that they will only release when five titles are made available.

Some UK audiobook publishers that release to libraries will not entertain an author unless they have a good library 'Presence'. That may well be changing given the current climate of cutbacks to library funding.

Some audiobook publishers may also only release one title in a series initially to test the the water. If sales go well then they will re visit the back catalogue and release along with future titles.

The audio rights must be bought by the publisher wishing to release and this can also affect what makes it to audio and what doesn't. Obviously the rights to a well known and popular author may be a lot more than those of somebody just breaking through.

The good news is that Audiobooks in the UK are growing in popularity and appear to be shedding the coat of being a product known more for providing a reading experience to the visually impaired. Hopefully now the number of titles available to able sighted and the visually impaired will increase. I did see mentioned in the news just last month that audiobook sales (along with ebook) had risen from £4million to around £16million in 2010. All good news.

 

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