Tag Archives: marketing advice

Tweet This!

With hundreds of millions of users, Twitter should be part of any audiobook marketing plan. So today, we’ve got a quick and easy way for you to drive more social shares of Twitter_logo_blueyour ACX productions. You’ll be creating a custom hyperlink that automatically generates a pre-populated tweet when clicked, which you can place wherever you interact with your fans online. This empowers an army of listeners to help you spread the word. Don’t worry, it’s easy—you can do it in just four steps:

1. Begin with this starter link: “http://twitter.com/home/?status=

2. After the equal sign, add the message you’d like your fans to tweet. Make sure to substitute spaces between words with a plus sign ( + ), as spaces are not permitted in hyperlinks.

3. The message can contain all kinds of helpful things besides plain text. You could include a link to a free 30-day Audible trial featuring your title; your and/or your narrator’s Twitter handles; or even a custom hashtag. (When including a hashtag, replace the pound sign “#” with “%23”.)

So a custom “Tweet this!” link would end up looking something like this:

http://twitter.com/home/?status=Check+out+this+awesome+%23audiobook,+written+by+@SA_McKayr+and+narrated+by+Nick%20Ellsworth:+http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Wolfs-Head-Audiobook/B00JG86YTI/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl?qid=1416506491&sr=1-2

And would pre-populate a tweet that looks like this:Populated Tweet_SMALL

4. Place your custom link from step three in any of your communications that use basic HTML. Like this (replace tweet this with whatever message you want):

<a href=”PASTE YOUR CUSTOM LINK BETWEEN THESE STRAIGHT QUOTES“>Tweet this.</a>

(For more advanced information on placing this link on your website, click here.)

Now go forth and promote. Be sure to show us your efforts by tagging @ACX_com on Twitter!

Creating Your Custom Audible 30-Day Free Trial Link

Few words are more enticing than “free.” Today, you’ll learn how you can create custom landing pages on Audible for your ACX audiobooks. These links can be used on social media, on your website, and in your email newsletters to entice listeners to purchase your book as part of a free Audible trial that could earn you a $50 Bounty for every new Audible member who signs up. It’s just five easy steps:

1) Visit your title’s product page on Audible.com, making sure that you are not signed into the site.

2) Find the URL at the top of the page and copy the Audible ASIN, which is the series of numbers and letters (but not the “?”) displayed after your book’s title, but before the “ref” tag.

Click to expand

3) Next, open a new browser tab. In the URL bar at the top, enter the following text (making sure to keep the word “asin” in lowercase letters): https://www.audible.com/t2/title?asin=

4) Add the ASIN you found in step 2 to the end of the URL and hit “Enter.” Your link should end up looking something like this: https://www.audible.com/t2/title?asin=B0741Q23GJ

5) A custom free trial page with your title and cover art is generated!

Click to expand

6) With your custom URL, your audiobook will be preloaded into the new Audible member’s cart when he or she signs up:

7) Copy this complete URL, and add it to your website, social media, or news blasts to your fans.

Not only is the Audible 30-Day Free Trial link a great way to invite fans to the joys of listening to your work, it introduces them to medium of audiobooks — great news for your future audio sales. And remember, you earn $50 for every new Audible member who buys your book first ($25 if you chose a 50/50 Royalty Share). Read the full details and terms surrounding the $50 Bounty Program here.

Have you found a great way to promote your titles and generate $50 Bounty payments? Tell us in the comments.

This Week in Links: July 28 – August 1

Welcome back to our weekly links roundup. Before we get to the collection of advice on writing and producing audiobooks, we’ve got a special announcement for our LA-area audiobook producers.

Voice and ACX Logos

If you’ll be in town over Labor Day weekend (August 27-30), you’ll want to head over to Twitter and enter our contest to win a free ticket to Voice 2014! All you have to do is follow @ACX_com and retweet the tweet below for a chance to win!

The contest is open through 11:59 pm on August 5th, and you can enter once per day for a maximum of 5 entries. We’ll announce two winners here on the blog on August 6th. Full contest rules can be found here. Good luck!

Now, on to this week’s links!

For Rights Holders:

Find the Right Publicist for Your Next Book – via The BookBaby Blog – Looking to branch out beyond self-promotion? Chris Robley has your guide to picking a publicist.

The Cast of Characters in a Novel – via Live Write Thrive – “Sure, life is interesting when you have interesting people around you. But we shouldn’t be writing novels just to showcase fascinating characters.”

The Writer’s Retreat – via The New York Times – A fun illustration of what your happy place might look like.

Bodices Don’t Rip: Writing Accurate Historical Fiction – via LitReactor – “Staying true to period doesn’t necessarily mean getting every detail right— it’s also about creating characters that interact with their settings in a believable way.”

For Producers:

8 Ways to Get a Well-Rounded VO Education Without Hiring a Coach – via CourVo – Dave Courvoisier offers advice for producers looking to step up their game without shelling out for a coach.

10 Cartoon Voices That Are Actually Impressions of Other Actors – via GeekTyrant – A fun look at the inspiration behind your favorite cartoon character voices.

Signs Your Voiceover Website Needs to Change – via RealTime Casting – Is is time for a business reinvention? RTC offers 5 ways to tell if it’s time to give your VO website a facelift.

ACX Storytellers: Scott Sigler

New York Times best-selling author Scott Sigler is an ACX bounty superstar, racking up over $10,000 in bounty payments this year alone. Releasing his self-recorded works as free podcasts, his “serialized audiobooks” built a dedicated audience that pushed his indie print novel Ancestor to #1 on Amazon’s Horror and Sci-Fi charts. His print success led to a recently signed three-book deal with Del Rey, and Scott successfully negotiated with the publisher to retain his audio rights. Read on to see why those rights are so important to him, and how he made ACX’s $50 Bounty Program such a large part of his revenue stream.

Sigler_Bio

ACX Author Scott Sigler

NO STRANGER TO AUDIO

I worked for fifteen years to land a publishing deal, to no avail. By 2005, I had a nice, neat file folder labeled “motivation” that contained 124 rejection letters. That year was also when I learned about this newfangled thing called “podcasting.”

As an author, a lifelong reader, and a big fan of audiobooks, I saw the writing on the wall: podcasting would let people serialize audiobooks and deliver them to listeners. I still had my first novel, Earthcore. Since I hadn’t signed a publishing contract, I owned all the rights, which meant that I could record it and release it for free. Anyone who wanted to try out my stories could do so without spending money on an unknown author, giving me a competitive advantage to help gain new fans.

I built a large audience of people listening to my serialized audiobooks. When it came time to sell a story in print — the indie trade paperback of Ancestor, published March, 2007 — that audience rewarded me beyond my wildest expectations. Ancestor was the #1 print novel on Amazon’s Horror chart, #1 in SciFi, #2 in Fiction and the #7 best-selling book overall.

That success got New York publishing interested. They wanted to partner up and see if we could make something big happen. My novel Infected went into auction, Crown Publishing won, and we set out to make great books together.

ACX – THE ACCIDENTAL DISCOVERY

I absolutely loved working with Crown Publishing (a division of Random House). I wouldn’t trade that experience for all the footballs in Texas. But it was one small difference of opinion with Random House Audio, over my audiobook marketing strategy, that led to my fantastic relationship with ACX.Nocturnal Cover

By my fourth book with Crown, Nocturnal, Random House Audio simply chose to not put out the audiobook. Since they owned the audio rights, I couldn’t record it and release it on my own. Therefore, no podcast.

So we asked them: if you’re not going to release an audiobook, can we have the rights back? Happily, they said “no problem,” and promptly worked with us to release the rights back to me, the author.

That left me with the audiobook rights to a pair of in-demand novels. What to do, what to do…

HOW ACX BECAME A TRUSTED PARTNER

We had released one book with ACX, my horror short story collection Blood is Red. We next hired the golden-voiced Phil Gigante to record both Nocturnal and Pandemic, and released those audiobooks via ACX. We thought we might sell a couple of hundred copies, and that ACX’s high royalty rates would do us well.

We didn’t sell hundreds. We sold thousands.

And it’s not just the audiobook sales themselves: the $50 bounty we receive when a new Audible Listener selects one of our books as their first purchase is a significant line item in our revenue stream. We actively market the availability of our books on Audible, and ACX in turn rewards us when we bring them new customers. Everyone wins.

It’s Empty Sethard to measure our podcast audience, but our stats show we have around 20,000 listens per episode within the first month of that episode’s release. Therefore, we have an existing audience that already listens to audiobooks on a regular basis. Our podcasts are free, but also serialized and ad-supported. We regularly tell our listeners that if they want the whole book in one big chunk, free of ads, they can swing over to Audible and buy it — free or paid, the choice is all theirs.

Offer the customer a choice, and you’ll be surprised how many will take the “paid” option. In 2014 alone, we’ve earned over $10,000 in bounty revenue. That’s on top of the royalties we’ve earned for the books themselves.

Since I am a happy and active Audible customer, I really get into pushing Audible to my podcast listeners. It’s a great service at a great price and I know the vast majority of my fans who try it will love it. We regularly pitch Audible as a “pre-roll ad” where the pitch comes before our episode’s intro music, and we often pimp it with messaging in our blog posts and posts on Facebook, G+, Tumblr and Twitter. We only pitch about once a month on each of those locations, however, so that we’re not beating our readers/listeners over the head.

AND THE FUTURE ROLLS OUT BEFORE US…

I recently finished my five-book deal with Crown, and my agent landed me a three-book deal with Del Rey (also a division of Random House) for my Generations trilogy.

Part of the negotiation with Del Rey was that we keep the audiobook rights. Del Rey agreed, and we’re excited to be in business with thUntitled-9at legendary Sci-Fi imprint. The success of Nocturnal and Pandemic on ACX taught us that we’re more successful when we control our own audiobooks. Del Rey manages the print and eBook products, we’ll sell our own audiobooks through ACX.

We can’t wait. We’re looking forward to a lifetime of royalties and bounties for our products, a long-term revenue stream that will contribute to our company’s bottom line. More importantly, that revenue will help us keep making new products for the readers who have given us everything we have.


New York Times best-selling author Scott Sigler is the author of fifteen novels, six novellas and dozens of short stories. His hardcover horror-thrillers are available from Crown Publishing and Del Rey. He also co-founded Empty Set Entertainment, which publishes his YA Galactic Football League series (The Rookie, The Starter, The All-Pro, The MVP and The Champion due out in September 2014).

Guest Post: Karen Commins on Marketing Audiobooks – Part Two

Today we bring you part two of ACX producer Karen Commins‘ guide to audiobook marketing for narrators. Part one can be found here.

A Narrator’s Look at Audiobook Marketing – Part Two

The goal of marketing is to make your audiobooks more discoverable and to develop an audience. In part 1 of my discussion about marketing, we looked at reasons why audiobooks aren’t more widely accepted and three ways to create lasting connections to your audiobooks in the consumers’ minds. Today, we’ll look at four more ways to promote your audiobooks.

1. Be Detail Oriented.

Once your audiobook is released on Audible, check the listing for it on Amazon. It should appear on the same product page as the other editions of the title (paperback, eBook, and hardback).

Sometimes the audiobook is orphaned onto its own page. If that’s the case, send an email to Amazon from the Help/Contact Us page, succinctly list both edition pages, and ask them to combine the editions.

If the book is part of a series, you’ll want to ensure that the series link is used on Audible. I’ve had success in sending an email to Audible from this page to request that the series link is added.

The easiest people to sell to are the ones who already are fans!

Series

I also create a Google Alert for the topic of the book and/or do specialized searches so I can track mentions of it online, then I comment about the audio version on any blogs, forums, or other place where people are discussing the topic.

2. Be Real.

Many people tend to think of marketing as an online activity. However, some of your best results may occur when marketing directly to people in real life.

Tell everyone who asks you that you’re an audiobook narrator, whether you’re at a networking event or an informal gathering with family and friends. You can also volunteer to speak at writers’ meetings.

Here’s another real world marketing idea: except in the case of futuristic, sci-fi universes, most books are set somewhere. Can you market to people in that area?

As an example, my Dixie Diva cozy mystery series is set in Holly Springs, MS. In every book, the annual Pilgrimage, which is a tour of antebellum homes, is discussed at length, and some of the local businesses are key to the story lines.

Mississippi

Holly Springs, home of the Dixie Divas

My husband and I went to the Holly Springs Pilgrimage this year. I talked about the audiobooks to the people I met, got lots of great pictures and videos that I can use on my blog and in book trailers, and made a note on my event calendar to create a local newspaper ad and/or postcards in time for next year’s Pilgrimage.

You can also be real without leaving your home. In this terrific video, award-winning narrator and teacher Sean Pratt advises how you could, and why you should, use snail mail in your marketing efforts.

I also recommend that you view Sean’s companion video, The Actor’s Newsletter.

Speaking of mail, my email signature includes a link to my books on Audible. You may find some other ideas about being real in this post from my blog.

3. Be Social.

I use social media extensively to promote my audiobooks, and I’ve learned that different sites are good for different things.

Hashtag marketing (putting a ‘#’ in front of your key word, like #audiobook) can be your friend across many different sites. If you can find a relevant way to link your book to a current hashtag search term, like a newsmaker, TV show, or event, you have made it that much easier for new fans to find you and even share your content with their followers. Narrator and publisher Mike Vendetti often utilizes hashtags that tie in to a TV show.

Tweet01

Sometimes a news event will be a perfect tie-in to your audiobook’s story line.

tweet02

Although I’ve only shown examples from Twitter, hashtags are searchable on:

Now, let’s look at five social media sites ranked in order of my opinion of their current usefulness in audiobook marketing. I’ll offer a tip or two for each site along the way.

Goodreads

People may contribute the most on the site they learned first. If I were starting now, I would probably start with Goodreads, since it is all about books! Here’s what I do to market my audiobooks on Goodreads:

First, I created a Goodreads author page, and I add the audiobook edition on Goodreads for each of my titles as they are released. You’ll see a link on the title page to add a new edition.

GoodReads

After filling out the form to create your edition, you can ask a librarian to combine the audiobook edition with the print and ebook editions in this librarian’s group. You’ll have to look for the current thread of Combine Request in the folder.

I also make sure to visit the Goodreads Audiobooks group, which filled with audiobook addicts! Within the Goodreads Audiobooks group, you can announce new releases under the “General” tab and give away promotional codes under the “Promotions” tab. There’s even a Goodreads Romance Audiobooks group specifically for fans of that genre!

Twitter

A member of Goodreads recently wrote: I’ve discovered Twitter as a means to let narrators know when I really enjoy what they do.

If you don’t want to be a broken loudspeaker on Twitter, you can find other audiobook enthusiasts easily by signing into Twitter and subscribing to my three comprehensive lists of audiobook tweeps. You’ll be able to stay focused on audiobooks and correspond with audiobook folks without following all of them individually. You’ll do well to visit these links.

SoundCloud

SoundCloud is a great way to share audio files on social media and around the web. First, create an account, then upload your retail audio samples. Include the audiobook cover as the image, add tags, and link to your book on Audible in the “Buy link. You can then share those recordings on your web site, in blog posts, and other social sites. Note that you might need to pay for more storage depending on the number and length of samples you upload.

I was astonished to see that PostHypnotic Press has attracted over 900,000 followers on SoundCloud, and that number continues to grow! Publisher Carlyn Craig graciously offered this advice:

As for why we have so many followers, it seems to me that, as with other social media, the more you participate the more attention you get. It is first and foremost a place for creators to share their work, and as such, it does an admirable job. It offers great tools, like the “Embed” and “Share” tools. I love the Twitter media player, for instance, and we use SoundCloud to host all the audio on our site. I do try to be active every day, even if it is only to tweet a few SoundCloud samples.

I suspect that one reason for their tremendous success on SoundCloud is that they have created a number of playlists of genres or titles by author, like this one.

Facebook

When your audiobook is live on Audible, you can post the link on:

You can give away your promotional codes in this group that narrator Jeffrey Kafer created just for that purpose! You may want to subscribe to my Facebook list of Audiobook Publishers and Reviewers to keep up with audiobook news.

YouTube

YouTube is another visual site. I don’t know that you’ll have much success if your video only shows a cover of the audiobook. I think people would quickly grow bored and find a true video.

I loved creating a couple of book trailer videos! I plan to create more since the videos are evergreen products that I can always use, especially with hashtags! Here is an example of a book trailer I’ve created:

Remember that social media sites are a constantly moving target. I also add my videos to my blog and my web site. Of all the places on the Internet, my blog and site are the only pieces of real estate that I own!

4. Be Productive

If the variety and means of marketing audiobooks seems overwhelming, just remember that the best way to have more natural reasons for promotion and rack up more sales is to produce more audiobooks. You gain momentum every time you have a new release!

What are your favorite site-specific social media marketing tactics? Share them with your colleagues below!

Guest Post: Karen Commins on Marketing Audiobooks – Part One

Audible Approved producer Karen Commins is a prolific audiobook narrator who has completed over 20 titles on ACX. She is also a skilled audiobook marketer, working independently and with ACX rights holders to drive sales of her productions. Today, she joins us to share the first installment of her thoughts on audiobook marketing and some of the tactics that have brought her success.

A Narrator’s Look at Audiobook Marketing – Part One

Karen Commins

ACX Producer Karen Commins

After picking and performing a great royalty-share title on ACX, the next question many narrators and producers have is: “How do I market my audiobook?” Others ask: “Why do I need to market the audiobook? Isn’t marketing the job of the rights holder?”

Let me answer the second question first. Whether I’m paid per finished hour (PFH) or on a royalty-share (RS) deal, I always publicize my audiobooks because:

  • I want the world to know that I am an audiobook narrator! As a result, I have come to the attention of authors and publishers, and I’ve received ACX offers for books for which I didn’t audition.
  • Marketing is a value-added service that I offer my clients.
  • I have seen my sales numbers and the ensuing royalties for my RS audiobooks increase as a direct result of my promotion.

In addition to these reasons for marketing, I encourage other narrators to promote their books because, while audiobooks are a rapidly growing industry, the majority of people have never listened to an audiobook!

Those entrenched in the audiobook world may be quite surprised by this fact, but people resist audiobooks for several reasons:

  • The earliest audiobooks were only available to those with vision impairments. Some people do not realize that audiobooks are now mainstream entertainment!
  • Some devout readers won’t even invest in an e-reader because they like the feel of the actual book and the experience of reading the actual pages.
  • In past centuries, only the most educated people could read. Even in modern times, learning to read could be a difficult skill to master. Some readers still stigmatize audiobook listeners as “cheaters” if they choose to hear the text instead of reading it with their eyes.

So now you know what you’re up against. But with the right tactics and proper execution, you can become a skilled audiobook marketer who exposes new listeners to your work. Once you’ve decided that you want to market your audiobooks, we’re back to that first question – how should it be done?

Before I offer you some ideas, I want to address one misconception that seems prevalent with those who are new to marketing.

You’ve probably heard or read that it’s essential to repeat your message many times to get the attention of your potential buyer. I’ve seen updates on social media sites where the writer applied that advice literally.

They remind me of a broken loudspeaker continuously blaring the same phrases: BUY MY BOOK! READ MY BLOG! WATCH MY VIDEO! MY BOOK IS FOR SALE! HAVE YOU READ MY BLOG? MY VIDEOS ARE GREAT!

Loudspeaker

“Repeating the message” doesn’t mean that you say the exact same thing every time! If you use the same general words to present the same general theme, people will stop caring what you have to say. TV advertisers know they have to find new way to express their message. They change commercials frequently while keeping the underlying message the same.

“Repeating your message” really means that you are creating an association in the consumer’s mind.You create this association by continually and consistently letting the world know in a variety of clever ways that you are an audiobook narrator and that you have interesting audiobooks that they might enjoy.

Here are 3 ways to create those associations to your message.

1. Be Authentic

I recently read an author’s blog article about book trailers. She commented that other authors feel pressure to do something like a book trailer because “everyone else is doing it.” She wisely pointed out that you should do what is authentic for you. Don’t feel like you have to do it all, or any particular thing if it’s not you. As Shakespeare said, “to thine own self be true.” You’ll find millions of articles and videos from experts and gurus who will tell you all of the “rules” for any type of marketing. Don’t be afraid to break the rules and do things your way!

2. Be Consistent

It helps to view marketing as a system or process, not an isolated action. I certainly don’t do all of my promotional activities in one day or even in a week. The key is to regularly discuss your audiobooks. One way to be consistent is to always promote your new releases.

Narrator Andi Arndt offers this great advice about promoting new releases:

One thing I’ve figured out that seems important is to be sure and tag the author, audio publishers AND print publisher in social media posts.

It has been helpful to think of it as a congratulations to the author and publishers, and to follow their lead. Look up the press they’ve carefully put together for the book and use THEIR quotes, summary, description, so you’re reinforcing their marketing messages. Reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus provide great material. The positive stuff, that is!

AndiTweetWith a little thought and planning, you can find reasons to talk about your audiobooks on days other than the release days. Your growing fan base is interested in progress on your current book, funny quotes from it, etc.

I created an annual event calendar where I can connect the people/themes/events in my audiobooks with something in the news. I can create updates ahead of the date and use them each year.

For instance, my Blue Suede Memphis mystery series is set in – you guessed it — Memphis, and the main character is a tour bus driver. The titles of the books are plays on the names of famous Elvis songs. I can promote the series of books on Elvis’ birthday. On 13 July, I’ll talk about the audiobook Hound Dog Blues because it will be the anniversary of the release date for Elvis’ hit record Hound Dog.

You can also check Chase’s Calendar of Events each day to discover clever promotional tie-ins. Oh, and you should know that June is always audiobook month, so you could plan some promotions around that theme.

3. Be Creative

Think of marketing your audiobooks as yet another way to express your creativity. After you receive that email from Audible with your 25 promotional codes, you can write a fun blurb to give them away, as illustrated here by narrator Christa Lewis.

ChristaPost

She really makes you want her audiobook! And who knows – maybe someone who misses out on the download code is intrigued enough to BUY the book!

If you pay attention to what your publishers and authors are promoting, inspiration for a tie-in promotion may come beating down your door. One day, I noticed that author Barbara Silkstone wrote a blog post where her character Wendy Darlin (who is voiced by Nicole Colburn in audiobooks) interviewed Sasha McCandless, who is the main character in the series of books I’ve narrated for Melissa F. Miller.

I contacted Nicole about her interest in recording her character’s lines. We both obtained permission from our authors to record that blog installment like a radio show. The resulting recording was fun to create, thrilled our authors, and has been something that we continue to publicize.

Coming up in part two, I’ll share some more ways to create those coveted associations to your message. I’ll also give you site-specific social media tactics geared to make your audiobooks more easily discoverable.

You can find part two of Karen’s guest post here.

Help your fellow narrators out by sharing some of your favorite audiobook marketing tactics below!

Market Yourself and Your Books with Promo Codes for Producers

You Asked, We Listened: Promotional Codes for Producers

Producers, you told us you’d like more help promoting royalty share projects you’ve completed through ACX, so starting tomorrow, we’re arming you in the fight for higher sales. ACX producers will now receive 25 promotional codes for each royalty share production they complete. These codes are the key ingredient in your marketing recipe. Using promo codes to drive reviews and sales of your ACX productions will not only earn you money, it will help you sell your narration abilities to boot.

Audiobook Marketing for ACX Producers

We’ve covered the basics of self-promotion on ACX, as well as here on the blog. Lay the groundwork using those tactics, and don’t forget that most marketing advice written with authors in mind is applicable to actors as well. The tips below will help you market your ACX titles, but it all starts with cultivating your brand. Don’t just think of your website, blog, or social media accounts as sales tools for your vocal work, but as ways for new listeners to discover your audiobooks as well. As an actor you’re used to selling yourself, so don’t be shy about marketing your products as well as your services.

Let’s take a look at five ways you can use promo codes to get people talking about you.

1. Trade a code for a review – This is the simplest method of using your codes to promote yourself. Offer anyone and everyone a free download of your book in exchange for an honest review on Audible (just don’t be too pushy). A number of strong reviews will help sway potential listeners, and you can add quotes from listeners to your ACX profile, your website, etc. And make sure to send their code via email, then add the contact to your email list. Now you’re killing two birds with one stone!

2. Use codes in a contest/giveaway – This is a great way to generate big buzz with a small reward. Everyone loves to win, so hold a contest with a free download as the prize (or as  part of a prize pack).  Double your return by roping social media into the proceedings. Look for ways to enlist your fans and contacts in your marketing efforts in exchange for something cool from you. For example,  you could encourage fans to tweet about your audiobook along with a custom hashtag – then randomly select a winner to receive a free download.

3. Swap codes with a fellow ACX narrator/producer/engineer – Set up an agreement with a friend or colleague: trade download codes and review each other’s audiobooks on Audible, then expand on that review on your blogs. Offer the unique perspective of one audiobook insider reviewing the work of another, and make sure to include links to the Audible product page in your post. Feel free to give away each others codes as well. Their fans could become yours, and vice-versa.

4. Partner with your author – Pair with the author of the title you’re promoting to combine your efforts. Make sure you mention the book title and author’s name every time you give away a promotional code, and have the author do the same. You can also interview each other for your respective blog or websites, and focus on the creative similarities and difference between your chosen fields. Whatever you choose, find a way to make the most out of your relationship with your partner in promotion.

5. Don’t forget real world marketing – The only thing better than listening to a great voice in your headphones is listening to a great voice in person! Contact your local bookstore or library and offer to do a live read with a Q&A (if you have the copyright owner’s permission). If they’re local, combine forces and appear together. Make sure to bring your business cards with your website/blog’s URL, and hand them out at the end. Those that visit your website or follow you on social media will be added to your pool of potential code-getters and review-leavers.

You may not feel like a instinctive marketer, but if you start small and keep at it day after day, it will quickly feel as natural as narration. Remember that you’re still you, just with something to sell (or in this case, give away)! Don’t let marketing your titles take over your online persona, but do remember that you have a unique opportunity to drive your own income. A little marketing work is surely worth the extra sales and the chance to become an audiobook entrepreneur, right?

Help your fellow producers by sharing your audiobook marketing ideas below!

You Can Help Make June Audiobook Month!

Did you know that June is Audiobook Month? During the month of June, the Audio Publishers Association (APA) raises awareness and enthusiasm for audiobooks. This concentrated effort provides a great opportunity for ACX rights holders and producers to focus on audiobook promotion for the month of June and create buzz around the audiobook format and their titles.

Why Now?

With a set period of time on which to focus your promotional efforts, ACX users have the opportunity to band together and create a groundswell of audiobook-specific promotion that will benefit their titles and generate exposure for the industry as a whole. And with a “high tide raises all boats” mentality, everyone can benefit by putting a little extra effort into marketing their audiobooks. By thinking about your June promotion now, you’ll have a chance to put a plan in place and pull off some cool promotions that will make you a summer audiobook superstar!

Promotional Ideas

Aside from the basic, “do these all year round” ways to promote your audio versions, here are a few additional ways you can contribute to the big, coordinated impact June is Audiobook Month can have on listeners:

Team up with a fellow author/producer – Are you listening to a great audiobook now, or have you in the recent past? Reach out to the author or producer and work out some ways to cross promote. Have them interview you about your listening experience for their website/blog, and interview them for yours. Link to their audiobooks in the post and compel your listeners to download them (and again, have your partner in promotion do the same).

Recall a favorite listening experience – Can’t work out collaboration with a fellow audiobook creative? Take to your own blog and talk about a memorable experience listening to an audiobook. Rights holders can write about the emotions they felt hearing their work in audio, or how listening to someone else’s audiobook inspired or informed the choices they made while producing theirs. Producers can discuss their favorite project they’ve voiced, or talk about how they got into narration in the first place. Find a way to speak compellingly about the emotional connection you made with an audiobook and you’re halfway to convincing your audience to have a similar experience.

Encourage your fans to talk about listening to audiobooks – They can leave comments on your Facebook page or on your blog, and you can promise to publish the best in an update on your website. Why do they listen rather than read? Where do they listen? When do they listen? Their excitement can prove contagious to other potential listeners.

Narrated your own book? Describe the experience – Your fans will love getting a peek behind the scenes, and you’ll be able to provide insight and anecdotes that will help your listeners make an emotional connection with the work.

Take to Twitter – This year, the APA is encouraging use of the #audiomonth hashtag on Twitter. Add this tag to the end of your audiobook related tweets to ensure interested fans will catch on. You can also search Twitter for others using this hashtag and join their conversation, offering your own take on the topic or retweeting your fellow audiobook creative types.

Think about where you create or listen to audiobooks – Give your fans the inside scoop by sharing pictures or video of yourself in your audiobook space. Producers may want to offer a guided tour of their studio, while rights holders can show fans where they listen to auditions, 15 minute checkpoints, and final audio.

Run a contest – ACX provides 25 free download codes when your title becomes available for sale. Use some of these codes on their own or as part of a prize package for your fans. Here are three contest ideas to get you started:

  • Have your fans submit pictures of themselves dressed as one of your characters. Best costume wins a prize pack.
  • Challenge fans to write a “deleted scene” from one of your books, and have your narrator voice the winning entry.
  • Encourage your fans to tweet their favorite quote from your work with a specific hashtag that you choose. Randomly select a number of qualifying tweets and award a free download or prize pack. This tactic has the added bonus of enlisting your fans as members of your promotional team!

These are just some of the many ways you can use the month of June to drive excitement and sales of your audiobooks. Look for ways to join the groundswell, and catch the wave at the start of the month and work to build momentum for the next 30 days. You’ll likely be pleased with the results this summer and beyond!

What other creative ways can you promote June as Audiobook Month? Tell us below!

 

This Week in Links: April 21 – 25

Every we week scour the web for the best audiobook related links to inform your writing and producing. This week, actors can learn to get comfortable marketing themselves, and what to do about those tricky in-studios noises. Authors can find new sources for ideas and inspiration while learning how to handle their creative pursuits like a business.

Whichever camp you belong to, read our picks for the top articles from the past week, and add your favorites in the comments!

For Producers:

Noises in the Studio – via Jerry’s Voice – Where do all those little noises in your studio come from, and what can do you do about them? Jerry’s got you covered.

Voice Talent Wisdom: Not Your Typical Advice Column – via Christian Rosselli – Christian offers his take on a number of VO-related topics in this wide ranging post.

Free Pro Tools Classes – via Sam Ash – Sam Ash music stores is offering a FREE 4 week intro to digital recording class. Don’t pass up the chance to get free instruction on one of the industry’s most popular pieces of software.

Why the Horn-Toot is so Vital for Voice-over Marketing – via voxmarketising – Self-marketing can feel awkward and arrogant, but it’s necessary for your VO success.

For Rights Holders:

How to Treat Your Book Like a Business – via Wise Ink – “In a business, you install a process, a series of steps that lead you from the beginning of a project to a completed product. A process will insure you’re doing all you can to write the book with the quality you deserve.”

How to Find Inspiration at Any Point in Your Book Project – via How To Blog A Book – “To reignite your sense of inspiration so you can power on to the end of your project, remind yourself how your writing project combines your passion and purpose.”

The Single Best Way to Sell Books (Or Lose a Sale) – via Kristen Lamb’s Blog – Join Kristen as she covers the importance of strong sample pages.

Where Do You Get Your Ideas? – via Kill Zone – Nancy J. Cohen discuss the various places a writer’s ideas and inspiration can come from.

Mastering the $50 Bounty Program

Today, we’re talking bounties, more specifically ACX‘s $50 bounty program. If you hadn’t heard, bounties are a great way for rights holders and producers to maximize the earning potential of their audiobooks. Let’s review some bounty basics, and then we’ll hear from an ACX user who found success driving new Audible listeners to purchase their book.

The ACX $50 Bounty Program

Under the $50 Bounty program, users can get – or split in the case of Royalty Sharing partners – a $50 bonus payment every time a qualifying audiobook they’ve produced through ACX is the first purchase of a new Audible listener. This money is on top of any royalty earnings from your audiobook sales. Think of it as our thanks to you for helping new audiobook listeners discover Audible!

Profitable_rightDriving New Audible Listeners

Here are some quick ways to get the word out about your audiobook and start racking up those $50 payments.

1. It’s never too early to start promoting! You needn’t wait for your audiobook to be published to start spreading the word! Authors, let your fans know when you post your title to ACX and update them when you cast a narrator, and as production progresses. Producers, spread the word when you’re cast on a new title, and let your fans know when it will be out.

2. Use those promo codes from ACX. When your production is completed, you’ll get 25 free download codes right off the bat.  Use these codes to get people listening to and reviewing your book. Seek out audiobook reviewers and offer them a free copy in exchange for an honest review. Host a giveaway for your fans on social media, or trade codes with a fellow ACX user and review each others titles on your website/blog. Word of mouth marketing is a more powerful tool than ever!

3. Mention your audiobook every time you promote your book in ANY format. General book marketing is great, but to maximize your bounty payments, make sure you consistently talk about your audio version. A number of your readers may not yet be audiobook listeners, and a reminder that your book is available in this awesome format might be just the poke they need to visit Audible and start downloading.

A Bounty Success Story – Frank Eakin, 12 Years a Slave

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L to R: ACX rights holder Frank Eakin and narrator Louis Gossett Jr.

“We produced the official movie tie-in audiobook for 12 Years a Slave, and we published the top-selling edition of the e-book and print book. I believe that relatively few authors and publishers truly grasp the importance of audiobooks in driving sales across their portfolio of products related to a title.”

“When you are ready to launch your audiobook, be sure to cross-sell your audiobook inside your book. For example, in one of the front pages of our e-book and on the back cover of our print book, we try to excite the reader about the audiobook, and we usually pitch it as a different and unique way in which to experience the story. We mention that the book can be purchased at Audible inside our book and in our materials. Also, in our e-book and print book, we plug our free Audiobook Extra, which can be downloaded exclusively from our product page on Audible. A free digital extra, which in our case is a unique map related to the story, will draw many potential customers to your Audible page; by engaging readers in our free map, we help to convert them into customers of our audiobook.”

“In social media, including Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., we plug Audible and provide some of the benefits of becoming a regular audiobook listener, which helps to drive memberships and thus increase our number of bounty payments. Our Facebook ads bring potential customers to our Audible page (to download the map) and to our unique website, which features audiobook clips in a multi-media format, and engages readers so they will want to click on our Purchase Now page, which provides a link to our Audible page.”

Are You The Next Bounty Success Story?

Have you been successful at driving new listeners to Audible and collecting your $50 bounties? Tell us in the comments and help your fellow ACXers learn from your efforts. We just might feature you in a future post!

Full terms and conditions on the $50 Bounty program can be found on ACX.