Attendees at BookExpo America visit the HarperCollins Publishers booth in New York, May 28, 2015.
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
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As the audiobook market continues to boom, publishers find themselves both grateful and concerned.For some publishers, as many as one out of every 10 books sold is in the audio format, a percentage far higher than just a few years ago. While the industry debated whether e-books expanded the market, or simply shifted it to digital reading, publishers agree that audio brings in new customers and allows them to encounter a narrative when a physical or e-book would be impossible – while driving, for instance, or doing housework.As the market thrives, competition grows and the industry looks warily at audio's dominant seller, Amazon, and the Amazon-owned audio producer and distributor, Audible Inc.Publishers wonder when Amazon will demand a greater share of audio revenues – they say it hasn't happened yet. They speak of Audible approaching writers directly. While major publishers are insisting that all rights be acquired together, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Grove Atlantic are among the houses with no audio divisions. Three publishing officials say that Audible recently paid well into six figures for B.J. Fogg's "Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything" and Adrienne Brodeur's memoir "Wild Game".
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