Michelle Obama and Stephen Fry

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Cash spent on audiobooks within the UK nearly doubled in 2018, helped by the likes of Michelle Obama, Mel B and Stephen Fry.

Figures from The Publishers Affiliation present audiobook gross sales had been value £69m, up by 43% on the earlier 12 months.

The highest title with on-line guide library Audible was Changing into by former US First Woman Michelle Obama.

Elsewhere, digital guide gross sales rose by three% in 2018, whereas bodily gross sales had been down by 5%.

The latter bucks a three-year development for bodily books being on the rise. Digital development, nevertheless, has pushed the UK publishing trade to a complete worth of £6bn.

Speaking titles by Adam Kay, Heather Morris, Anna Burns and Lily Allen got here subsequent within the 2018 Audible chart.

Publishers Affiliation chief govt Stephen Lotinga mentioned “funding in digital is paying off and driving development”.

He added: “Audiobooks have grown phenomenally, as ever-increasing numbers of individuals choose to take pleasure in books in a manner that fits new applied sciences and retains tempo with our busy lives.”

Mr Lotinga additionally urged the federal government “to behave now to axe the unfair studying tax”, noting on-line titles have 20% VAT added, whereas their print equivalents don’t.

And he warned towards the “persevering with squeeze on college budgets”, which he mentioned had seen gross sales of college textbooks gross sales “take successful” as a result of “lecturers merely cannot afford the training assets youngsters want”.

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