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The audiobook sector of the publishing industry has been growing steadily for more than twenty years, when Audible’s first portable audio player was released. Many authors are now choosing to publish in print, ebook and audiobook format, with some even choosing to publish in audio alone. If you do decide to take the audio route, it’s essential to have the tools to make sure your audience of listeners is waiting with open ears. Here are ten tips to get you started.
1. Three editions in one!
When authors search for your book online or on Amazon, it is vital that the option to purchase the story in audio format is clear. Sometimes, different formats can appear on separate pages on Amazon, making it more difficult to notice the available audiobook. If this happens, it’s simple to request that all formats are shown on one page via your Amazon Author Central account. That way, when you share a link to your book, you’re sharing a link to all formats of your books.
2. Create your audiobook advert
With an innovative format comes the opportunity for innovative advertising. It has become increasingly popular for authors to create a book trailer in advance of publication, and the very same is possible for audiobooks, but with one added benefit: the audio content itself. To build excitement around your upcoming audiobook, why not release extracts of audio with accompanying images or animations.* The most popular digital platforms for audiobook authors are Soundcloud and YouTube, where you can share extracts or sample chapters.
Maybe the title is a little unsubtle, but our point remains: to achieve audiobook sales, it’s essential that your author website is filled with audiobook content. In addition to creating a specific audio landing page to link to directly from your social channels, make sure to litter your website with audio extracts, images and news. After all, what’s the point in people visiting your website if they don’t know what is on offer?
4. Audiobook content is king
As with any book news, creating an audiobook is a perfect opportunity to create and distribute more content on your social channels, which in turn will help you grow your following and build a loyal readership. Consider taking some shots of the audiobook being created, produce tiny, dramatic soundbites and, if you’ve got a blog, why not demystify the audiobook creation process for other writers. After all, all traffic is good traffic.
5. Where there’s book bloggers, there’s audiobook bloggers
Even the largest book PR companies know that if you’re not partnering with book bloggers and influencers to spread the word, you’re missing a trick. With the book blogging community becoming increasingly large and competitive, some avid readers have turned to audio in order to consume and review new books as quickly as possible. Take a look at this list of fantastic audiobook blogs to discover some bloggers who may be worth approaching with news of your upcoming audiobook…
6. Go traditional
If you’re releasing your audiobook after the initial publication of your print book, chances are you’ve already built up a readership, and may even have a pre-existing newsletter or email list of subscribers. Although it may seem old-fashioned, never underestimate the importance of direct contact with buyers; even if they’ve already read your book, their audio-loving friend may not have. Make sure to include a hyperlink to your audio landing page in the email footer of every email you send out, and start planning a detailed email campaign dedicated to all things audio!
7. Free promo codes!
Whether you’re distributing your audiobook via ACX, Findaway Voices or iTunes, most platforms offer a limited number of promotional codes to be given out once your audiobook is live. These can be shared with reviewers to boost pre-orders or act as prizes in a social media competition to create more buzz around publication. Although you’re giving away a select number of audiobooks for free, many authors find this a fantastic way to draw in more attention and generate consistent sales.
8. Podcast pitching
If you love audiobooks, chances are you’re a fan of the audio format more broadly. Have a think about the books you like reading and the podcasts you enjoy listening to – how do the genres relate? Now think about your readership demographic… which podcasts do you think may appeal to them? While many authors don’t have the means to pay for advertising on podcasts, pitching for an interview or shout-out is free.
9. Learning from your mistakes
The key is to think of your audiobook (almost) as an entirely new book. It’s the same story of course, but it has a new look, a new sound and most importantly, a new publication date. Publishing an audiobook is the perfect opportunity to orchestrate a new digital marketing and publicity campaign, using the tools and lessons you learned when the print edition was released – it’s a fresh start. Start by looking back over what worked and what didn’t, and go from there.
10. Getting to know your audiobook audience
While it’s not an option for every author, paid advertising on platforms such as Facebook, BookBub and Instagram can be hugely helpful in increasing sales. Once you have established a social presence, have gained some strong Amazon reviews and got to know your audience demographic, it may be time to consider some targeted adverts.
When it comes to marketing, commitment is key. Every step is a process, and although you may not always see immediate results, the more time and effort you invest, the more you will gradually begin to see a return on sales. We hope these ten tips have given you some valuable information about getting started with marketing your audiobook, and the best way to get buyers heading your way. If you want to read more about marketing, audiobooks and all things self-publishing, head to our blog.
*Platforms like Canva are perfect for creating simple animations.
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