Podcasting, meet audiobooks

The New York Times has a story about Mignon Fogarty’s success at selling an audiobook version on iTunes of a book that will be released in print next year. The audiobook was put together in a few days using the equipment Fogarty uses for her podcast, Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips to Clean Up Your Writing, because she was scheduled to appear on Oprah.


“On March 26, the day the show was broadcast, iTunes’ home page highlighted “Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips to Clean Up Your Writing,” an hourlong audiobook that could be downloaded for $4.95. By the end of that week, Ms. Fogarty’s presentation had bumped “The Secret,” the advice book that espouses positive thinking which also had been promoted by Ms. Winfrey, from the top spot.”

While no specifics are shared in the article, the one-hour book has sold in “the thousands.”

While isolated, this is quite similar to publishing deals that have grown out of blogging — books which have been published that either leverage the popularity and expertise of the blogger, or aggregate some of the “best of.” As audiobooks — and the sales channel of iTunes — are clearly in the mainstream of e-commerce, it takes little imagination to envision a new marketplace of podcast-marketed audiobooks that need no manufacturing.

Flashback: Back in 2005, when Apple announced it would be supporting podcasting, I wrote a series of posts (the most extensive one-topic effort ever on this blog) regarding what I thought the long-term impact would be. One of those predictions was this: “If you want to, it will be easy (one day) to sell your podcast through iTunes.”