Back in September I attended and then reported on this program on audiobooks. One of the messages of the program was the great opportunities offered to our patrons with the growth and technological refinement of the downloadable audiobook as acquired through your public library.
Here in northern Illinois, OverDrive has the biggest share of the market. As reported on the Audiobooker blog, Overdrive has a monthly list of their most popular audio downloads. Here is the most recent list.
The list is mostly bestsellers, which makes sense since access to the titles is much faster through downloadable audio than through a tradtional reserve on a hard copy. If people want to read The Lost Symbol today, they can with OverDrive. The wait for the book is still a few weeks long.
So where are the backlist titles? One would think from looking at these lists that people only want the newest, most popular books on audio. Hold on before making that assessment though.
What the list does not tell you is that libraries pay for a certain number of titles to offer to their patrons through OverDrive. When you have only a limited number of titles you can choose, good collection development policy would say you should buy only the most high demand titles; therefore, getting the most bang for your taxpayers buck. Click here to see what it looks like.
I would love to see OverDrive offer a few backlist titles for free to libraries so we could see how they would do when offered side-by-side with Dan Brown on our websites. This strategy is having great sucess for small publishers getting their works noticed by offering titles for free on the Kindle.
If you know anyone at OverDrive, pass my comments on.