The Open Book Audio Store - Staying Ahead of the Trends

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Retailers

As I continue to grow older (it happens to the best of us) I am again and again reminded of how quickly things seem to move and change around me. When I was younger, the milestones in my life—birthdays, summer vacations, holidays—seemed to hold vast caverns of time around them. Years crawled by. It was easy to keep up with the latest trends in clothing, the newest music, and the greatest new technological toys.

As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve found that, if I want to stay current, I have to make a much more conscious effort than I used to in years past. The world is moving fast, and if I don’t work at keeping up, I will get left behind.

Well, it’s really no different in the business world. Businesses that want to remain current within their marketplaces, on top of trends, and exercise the Blue Ocean Strategy, must be willing to work at keeping up, or they’ll find very quickly that they’ve been left behind. Open Book Audio, from its founding, has striven to be a business that has always anticipated the market trends, and thus far, it’s served us pretty well.

One part of staying agile is identifying and evaluating those aspects of your business which, while valuable, may not position your business for the shifting market in the future. After identifying these aspects, you then need to decide what action to take to resolve the issue: do you correct course or do you perhaps reallocate your resources to more beneficial areas?

After long evaluation, Open Book Audio has found itself with just such a decision. And, it hasn’t been an easy one. But, after evaluating the changing trends in the audiobook marketplace we’ve decided that the time has come to close the Open Book Audio Store. The OBA Store was originally built as a home base for selling our titles directly through the OBA website, and it has served its purpose well. However, our market research has shown that a VAST majority of audiobook purchases are happening on the major audiobook retail outlets (like Audible and iTunes). Why would an audiobook buyer want to jump around the internet going from site to site looking for each audiobook on a different site, when they can go to one big mega-site to find everything they’re looking for?

We’ve signed several deals with retailers over the last year, and just recently inked a deal with Audible to list our titles both on their monster audiobook site and, due to their position as the exclusive provider of audiobook to Apple’s iTunes, list our titles on iTunes as well. In addition, our titles are available on LearnOutLoud.com and AmblingBooks.com, and we have several upcoming audiobook retail deals on the horizon as well, with some other major players in this marketplace.

So, rather than spend our time and resources on maintaining a store which won’t meet the needs of future audiobook consumers, we’ve decided that we’ll be transitioning away from being a one-off retailer, and instead focus our efforts on developing and improving the relationships we have with the already-established retailers. In short, we want to become the best audiobook distributor for independent authors and publishers anywhere in the world.

In early July 2011, we’ll begin the process of shuttering the Open Book Audio store. You’ll still be able to go to the Open Book Audio website to get information about all of our titles, listen to samples, and to find links to where you can purchase our audiobooks “out there” in the internet. And, if you’ve purchased audiobooks from us in the past, don’t worry. We will continue to support you and your purchase for as long as the company exists. If you run into any issues with your past order, you can always contact us and we’ll be happy to assist.

We’ve got several other big things coming soon on Open Book Audio, including a complete redesign of our Open Book Audio site, changes to the OBA podcast, and a new classics collection podcast. We’re excited for the future of the company, and for the publishers and authors who distribute their titles through us.

If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please feel free to contact us.

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