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!
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.
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.
Sometimes a news event will be a perfect tie-in to your audiobook’s story line.
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.
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.
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!
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.
- https://twitter.com/KarenCommins/lists/all-audiobooks – This list of narrators, publishers, and bloggers was originally created from the list compiled in this blog post from Susie Sharp. I’ve added other people found along the way. If you’re not on this list and want to be, send me a tweet so I can add you.
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.
When your audiobook is live on Audible, you can post the link on:
- Your personal page
- Your business/fan page
- The Audiobook Community page
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 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!