Category Archives: Audiobook Marketing

Social Media Tips For Voice Actors

We recently attended a webinar broadcast by the APA, hosted by Tavia Gilbert and featuring a panel of veteran narrators and publishers discussing social media for narrators. Today, we’ve selected our favorite tips that will help audiobook narrators navigate an online landscape that can at times seem overwhelming.

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  1. It’s better to do a few platforms, and do them well, than try and be everywhere. There are many social media networks out there, from Facebook and Twitter to Google+, Pinterest and others. People can sometimes feel the need to be everywhere, but it’s easy to bite off more than you can chew. You don’t have to be on any social media sites. Only branch out to social platforms you’re comfortable on.
  2. Build your brand. As an audiobook narrator/producer your brand should be your efficiency and skill, colored by your personality. For more established narrators, your brand is also your body of work. Everything you do online should be tie back to the image you’re trying to project to potential employers.
  3. A good website will help the less established get more work.  Make sure your site is professional looking, uncluttered and easy to navigate. Feature a raw, uncut video of yourself narrating on your site. This will show potential clients that you’re fluent and work quickly.
  4. Promote your client’s work. This is especially true for royalty share projects, where you have a vested interest in the sales of your titles. But even if you’ve been paid on a per-finished-hour basis, you can add to your value in the eyes of those doing the casting if you’re willing and able to help spread the word about their productions.
  5. Keep track of metrics, but don’t be a slave to the numbers. Track things like how many times your posts are shared or retweeted, and how many followers you’re gaining (Hootsuite and TweetDeck are two good services for tracking metrics). Make note of what types of content do well with your network and look to recreate those successes. But don’t get discouraged if you’re not adding followers as quickly as you’d like, or if your posts don’t immediately “go viral.”
  6. Be positive! Never post anything that could be interpreted as negative about your work or clients. It’s ok to vent about a long day in the studio or the neighbor’s lawnmower, but don’t complain about the book you’re producing being boring, or poorly written, or your employer being late with payment. The things you say online live forever, and are only a quick Google search away. Employers won’t want the hassle of dealing with a “loose cannon” on social media.

With these six pointers, you should be able to confidentially establish yourself on social media. Remember: keep it professional, keep it positive, and look at social media as a tool you use, not a slave driver you have to put all your energy into.

What have you done to find success on social media?

Position Yourself For Audiobook Success This Holiday Season

The leaves are still green, and the kids just went back to school, but believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about completing your ACX titles so they are on sale in time for the holidays. Today, we’ll give you a brief breakdown of the timeline for audiobook production between now and the winter holidays, as well as some seasonal merchandising tips to help you generate some holiday buzz for your titles.

Holiday Production Timeline

To give your title the best chance of being on sale by the end of 2013, the audio production will need to be completed by the producer and approved by the rights holder no later than the first week of December.

Now, let’s work backwards from that point. Ideally, you’ll want your title to be available for sale on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes a few weeks before the holiday season starts. This will help you beat the rush of books coming in to Audible, as well as give you time to earn some 5 star reviews and build buzz around your book. It will take about 14-20 business days for ACX/Audible to process your book for our sales channels, and you’ll need about 45 – 60 days for the audiobook production and rights holder review (give or take, depending on the length and complexity of the title). ACX rights holders will also need about a week from posting the title to attract auditions and negotiate the schedule and rate with their producer.

Add it all up, and it soon becomes clear that now is the time to get your productions listed on ACX in order to take advantage of the winter holidays.

Holiday Marketing Tips

In addition to making sure your schedule is set up to get the most out of this holiday season, you can position yourself for success with these holiday marketing ideas:

  • Bonus content: Create a holiday-themed short story featuring supporting characters from your book. Publish it on your blog or as a Kindle Single through KDP.
  • Giving gifts: Host a Secret Santa gift trade between your fans on your website or blog, but with a twist: all the gifts must be items of significance from your book(s).
  • Interview your narrator: Sit down and chat with the voice of your book(s), and ask them about their favorite holiday memories, the best present they ever received, etc.
  • Basket case: Create gift basket guides based on themes from your book – and make sure your book is one of the suggestions.
  • Season’s greetings: Crowd-source greeting cards inspired by characters or scenes from your book, and host the top three on your site from your readers send to their friends and family.
  • Do some good: Let your fans pick a charity through a poll on your website or Facebook page, and donate 1$ per sale of your title(s).

As you feel the days getting shorter and the nights getting cooler, make sure you’re thinking about your upcoming holiday audiobook sales and marketing plans. Start now, and you’ll be extra thankful when the holidays roll around.

What projects will you be working on in preparation for this holiday season?

How To Guerrilla Market Your Audiobook

If you’re a regular reader of the ACX blog, you know that we’ve been working with authors Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch to produce their book APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. The book is a great resource for self-published authors, and we’re joined today by Guy, who has more great advice for ACX authors (and producers too!) on marketing your audiobook.

The key to successfully guerrilla marketing your audiobook is to approach the process as a launch of a new product, not simply an extension of an existing one. Think of it as a whole new product for a whole new kind of customers—one who might not “read” you book, but would “listen” to it.

As such, you should use every method and avenue that you tapped when you launched the book:

  • Write a blog post about the availability of an audio version.
  • Add a link or badge to your website and blog so that people can buy it with one click.
  • Update your social-media profiles to include a specific “plug” for the audio version.
  • Participate in webinars by using Google+ Hangouts and Twitter chats to reach the online audience—just pretend like it’s a new book.
  • Interview the voice actor.  It’s kind of cool to have a Google+ Hangout with the person who recorded your book—this is great publicity for both of you.

Guess what: you didn’t reach every buyer of your book when you launched your ebook and/or printed book. The release of the audio version is a great excuse to go back to the guerrilla marketing well again. Plus, between the time of your initial launch and the audio book launch, you probably added new social-media followers, so Launch 2.0 will be even better.

You can find more in depth info on marketing your audiobook here. Have you tried any of Guy Kawasaki’s guerrilla marketing tactics? Tell us in the comments!

Book Marketing Really Does Matter!

Authors and Rights Holders, today, we’d like to share a webcast from our friends at CreateSpace: Create a Marketing Plan to Sell More Books.

Brian Jud, editor of the Book Marketing Matters newsletter and host of the TV show The Book Authority, guides us through the intricacies of creating a book marketing plan to help you sell more books. Developing a thorough marketing plan for promoting your title early in the publishing process can help you develop long term sales across all channels.

Watch the video below to learn Brian’s method to make marketing as easy as PIE: Planning, Implementation and Evaluation.

Don’t have time to watch? Here are the key takeaways to developing your marketing plan.

1. Set your goals. Ask yourself the five ‘W’s to determine What you want to achieve, Who you want to reach, When you want to sell, Where you will promote, and most importantly, Why you’re promoting your book.

2. Think short term and long term. Build a plan that helps you reach customers today and find new customers tomorrow.

3. Time is an investment that pays dividends. Market your title every day, finding an extra hour in the morning or evenings after work to write articles or blog posts, interact with fans on social media, or plan in-person appearances.

4. Evaluate your efforts. Don’t be afraid to test new marketing channels and activities, but focus your time on activities that drive sales. Every marketing activity should support the goals you set at the beginning of your plan.

Do you have a marketing plan for your title? Tell us about some of your successful marketing activities in the comments.