Two of the questions we are asked most frequently here at ACX are “How can I best promote my audiobook?” and “How do I get Audible to promote my Audiobook?” Jessica Amato from the Audible merchandising team is here to answer those very questions! There will be a ton of great info featured here today and tomorrow, so make sure to bookmark these posts and check back often as you promote!
Now, heeeeeeeeere’s Jessica!
My name is Jessica, and I’m an Audible Editor. My job is to get the right audiobooks into the earbuds of the right listeners, and as a result, I’m always looking for the next “you HAVE to listen to this” performance (as are my fellow editors). Our tight-knit team listens to books 24/7 and reads dozens of customer reviews every day. When a particular book or series starts gaining a following we celebrate with baked goods and high fives. Then, we look to keep the momentum going by showcasing that book or series to Audible listeners through promotions like store features, customer e-mails, social media call-outs, sales or discounts, or other editorial events.
So how does any of this relate to ACX? While we audiobook junkies are looking for our next sugar fix, we’re not blindly approaching the task at hand; considering thousands of audiobooks were added to our store in 2012 alone, we’re hard pressed to whittle down the best books for each week. How do we know what to pay attention to? In addition to natural curiosity – picking up books we find interesting – we rely on people who have listened and shared feedback on a specific book, author or series: the reviewers, both on and off Audible. If someone is going to take the time to listen to a book and then write a thoughtful review, we feel it’s our responsibility to seriously consider what he or she has to say. We also notice authors who have an engaged following or fan base and who promote their audio edition in addition to their print book and e-book. The popularity of the author matters less to us than the level of engagement: as long as you have readers and listeners genuinely interested in your writing, your degree of interaction with them tells us a lot about how big your book or series has the potential to be, whether your fan base is 500 or 5,000.
It sounds pretty simple: good reviews and a dedicated fan base. Don’t be fooled: it’s not quite that easy – but with a little effort here and there, you can get your audiobook noticed. Here are some tips – in no particular order – that our editors pulled together to help answer the age-old question: “I have a (audio)book. Now what?”
1. No publicist? No problem. Great publicists provide a wonderful service, but something to keep in the back of your mind always: no one can pitch you or your audiobook better than you. Don’t be intimidated. More to come on this in #4 and #5 tomorrow.
2. A website is a must. Make sure listeners, reviewers, and the media can find one current, central hub of information about you online. We recommend setting up a free blog to which you can add pages of additional information (like your bio, upcoming events, bibliography with links to buy your audiobooks, links to news/reviews, and information on which social networks you participate in). Make it a commitment to keep this site up-to-date, and post to your blog at least once a week, if not daily.
A good author website should include:
- An overview of your book(s)/audiobook(s), excerpts, and the story behind them. Make sure to include link(s) to purchase your audiobook(s)
- Awards, reviews, and praise
- Exclusive content: “behind the scenes” photos/video of producing your audiobook, short stories, etc.
- Your bio and photo (high quality headshot)
- Your social networking information (include buttons that link directly to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Soundcloud, and/or MySpace pages). If you are not on these social networking sites, we recommend familiarizing yourself with them and then choosing one to get started on. Once you’re comfortable with one and have a dedicated following, branch out to others that appeal to you. For tips on social media, click here and here.
- News (links to interviews and media appearances)
- Your speaking schedule and events
- Your contact information
- Mailing list sign up.* – Learn more about e-mail marketing here
- Your blog.* – Uncertain about blogging? Click here for helpful tips.
*Remember to keep your content up to date. Nothing will turn off visitors faster than having a website that is out of date. You don’t have to update your website every day, but be sure to update your events schedule and other information as frequently as possible, and try to update your blog posts on a weekly basis.
3. Keep your network updated throughout the audiobook production process. As your publication date approaches, email your friends, family and other contacts to let them know when and where your audiobook will be on sale, and any behind-the-scenes or noteworthy stories from the experience. Once your audiobook goes on sale, let your network know it’s available.
This concludes our first lesson. Tomorrow, Part 2 will cover networking, getting your title reviewed, and measuring the impact of your efforts. And remember, there will be a test on this. It’s called your monthly royalty statement.
Jessica has been in the audiobook business for nearly seven years, with a focus on digital and social media marketing. Some of the authors she’s worked with include Sandra Brown, Cassandra Clare, Vince Flynn, Stephen King and Jennifer Weiner. She is a new-ish resident of Jersey City, NJ