Tag Archives: marketing

ACX Success Story: Jared Tendler & Barry Carter

In addition to offering a marketplace where authors and rights holders can connect with audiobook actors and producers, ACX also allows those who have completed, retail ready audiobooks to upload their audio for distribution through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. Jared Tendler and Barry Carter used this DIY pathway to upload their completed audiobooks, The Mental Game of Poker and  The Mental Game of Poker 2 to ACX. They’ve stopped by today to talk about their decision to get into the audiobook game, and the success they found through ACX.

Leveraging the Benefits of ACX to Sell More Books

We published The Mental Game of Poker 1 & 2 to help poker players break through the mental barriers holding them back at the poker table. Interestingly, we had to break through our own mental barriers to be convinced that turning the first book into an audiobook was a good idea.

Jared

ACX Author Jared Tendler

Although audiobooks have been around for years, we were skeptical. How profitable could it be? How big is the market? In the end we figured that selling 1,000 copies would make the decision worthwhile and there was a decent chance that could happen in a year.

We ended up selling 1,000 copies in two months, and another 3,000 in the months that followed. (This is just sales of our first book, the second volume has just been released.)

In the 15 months since releasing The Mental Game of Poker we’ve learned a lot about audiobook production and marketing, and the market as a whole. Below you’ll find some of the things we’ve learned that in hindsight would have made our initial decision easy. Hopefully this will make your decision to get in the audiobook game easier.

The Benefits of Audiobooks

One integral part of producing and marketing a successful audiobook is to sell your customers on the the benefits of the format in general. We always thought audiobooks were the future of publishing, we just weren’t sure how soon it would arrive. There is no doubt anymore, the future is now. The explosion of mobile technology has given readers the convenience of being able to consume books at any time, even while even doing other things. In the case of our audience, that usually means eitf71rsl7v6yqd5nmf1378218555857her playing poker or driving to the casino to play poker.

Another benefit that surprised us quite a bit, was that it opened up an entirely new market of people to our books: people who don’t read books! Audiobooks can reach an entirely new demographic that softcover and ebooks cannot? We received many emails, tweets, and messages on Facebook from customers thanking us for making the book available in audio because they simply don’t read books anymore. One even joked that he could now tell people he reads books.

One final hidden gem we found was that a lot of people liked our book so much, they chose to buy it in softcover or ebook format in addition to audio. Our titles are reference books that customers often read multiple times. We didn’t anticipate them wanting to read it multiple times and in multiple formats.

The Benefits of ACX

We’re huge fans of ACX because of what they’ve done for our first book. They made distributing audiobooks worldwide as easy as Amazon did for eBooks, but they even took it a step further by offering two programs to make marketing and selling easier as well.

First, if your customers sign up for a free 30 day trial to Audible, they can get your book for free and you can still receive a royalty. This has allowed us to market our book as being available for free, which created some buzz from our audience. The blog post where we outline how to get the book for free has been viewed by over 8000 people and been a huge driver of sales. Promoting the free audiobook on our podcast has also paid off, because the audience is highly targeted—the fact that they’re listening proves they like audio content. But, no matter where we talk about this program, whether on social media, interviews, or newletters, we have their attention just by saying it’s free.

Barry

ACX Author Barry Carter

This success has in turn allowed us to capitalize on a second program offered by ACX called bounty payments, where you get an additional $25 if a customer purchases your book as one of their first three as Audible members. Many of the people who got a free book from us stayed members of Audible. They liked this new way to read books, stuck around, and everyone benefited.

But, even though the number of bounties we’ve received has exceeded our expectations, we would have had even more if there were more poker books available. The poker audiobook market is small and so we’re trying to convince other poker authors to produce an audiobook. This ultimately benefits everyone—authors, customers, and ACX. In your market look for win-win opportunities among other authors to promote your books together. Give your customers enough books they’ll love and they’ll stick around.

We had no idea how important audiobooks would be in our overall success, but it turned out that we got in at the right time. And now is still the right time. Audiobooks are set to explode, and if you already have a title in other formats get in the game before everybody else does.

Jared Tendler, MS is a mental game coach who works with professional poker players, you can find out more about him at www.jaredtendlerpoker.com and www.mentalgamefish.com.  Barry Carter is a writer and poker media consultant, you can find out more about him at www.pokermediapro.com

This Week In Links: September 2 – 6

We’ve got some top tier advice for ACX producers and rights holders this week. Producers can learn about studio gear and software, and how to keep morale up. Rights holders can learn how to reach readers and what to say once they do. Have a well informed weekend, and make sure to check back in with us next week for more audiobook info!

For producers:

Free ProTools 101 Classes – via Sam Ash – Let the experts teach you the basics of this popular software

How To Prevent Voiceover Burnout – via Bodalgo – Career and lifestyle advice to keep you happy and productive.

Do Voiceover Actors Suffer From an Inferiority Complex? – via NetherVoice – “Just because we don’t necessarily get recognized for our work, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take professional pride in what we do.”

ACX Studio Gear Series Part 1:  Microphones and Preamps – via The ACX Blog – Earlier this week we tackled the first step in outfitting your studio with recording equipment, and provided options for all price ranges.

For rights holders:

10 Ways to Fake a Professional Edit: – via The Creative Penn – Self editing is not a replacement for professional copyediting, but if you must go it alone, here are 10 tips to get the most out of your efforts.

9 Different Channels for Reaching Readers – via Chameleon Ink – Online and in the real world, here’s a list of ways to connect with your audience.

What NOT to Post When Marketing Your Book: 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid – via The Future of Ink – Now that you’ve reached your readers, here’s a few tips on what not to say to them.

Position Yourself For Audiobook Success This Holiday Season – via The ACX Blog – Now is the time to start audiobook productions you want on sale this holiday season. We’ll tell you why, and give you some holiday marketing tips to boot.

Did you read any audiobook articles worth sharing? Tell us in the comments!

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?

Advice From Authors Near and Far

We’ve attended quite a few publishing & voiceover events this summer, from BEA to That’s Voiceover, and met many current and future ACX users along the way. Last month, we attended the annual conferences of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA), and we learned great tips from successful authors along the way.

ACX’s own Jason Ojalvo took Atlanta by storm at the RWA’s annual conference, taking part in the fruitful Amazon indie publishing panel, and we’re not just saying that because he tried his first peach cobbler. Authors learned about the great benefits and services provided through Amazon, from Amazon Author Central to Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace, as well as ACX. We also attended panels conducted by ACX authors such as Bella Andre and Barbara Freethy. Both offered tips for their fellow writers, including:

  • Write more than one book. There is strength in numbers
  • Spend more time writing than promoting. Promoting your work is definitely important. But as a writer, your main job is to write.
  • Network with authors and cross promote. You can multiply each others’ efforts, especially when you’re in similar or complimentary genres.
  • Get to know your retailers. Different retailers offer varying services and have different timelines for getting your book in their store. Learn who offers what to best navigate the landscape.
  • Get all of your fans to sign up for your newsletter. This is mainly to drive sales on the release date, in order to get on the best seller list. Be aggressive about getting email addresses – they’re even more important than fans on Facebook or Twitter.

Moving now to the Pacific Northwest, ACX Product Manager Mike Stover presented ACX to the gathered authors at PNWA, participated in the Independent Author booth for the full three days of the conference, and expertly avoided the siren song of Seattle’s casinos. Here’s some of what he learned from the fantastic authors he met:

  • Authors love hearing their work in audio. And, it inspires them to write future books with audio in mind.
  • Authors are advertising their audio edition alongside their print and eBooks. This is especially beneficial with ACX’s $25 bounty program.
  • Authors are putting their 5 minute sample on their blog or website. Oftentimes, fans only need to hear their favorite work in audio to be convinced to buy it.

We look forward to spreading the word about ACX at upcoming industry events like Novelists, Inc. 2013 in October and Self Publishing Book Expo this November. We hope to see you there!

Would you like to see ACX at your next publishing or recording industry event?

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!

This Week In Links – July 8 – 12

Welcome to our newest feature: a weekly recap of notable links from around the audiobook world. Whether you’re an actor, producer, author, or a rights holder, we’ve got something good for you below. So, check out our roundup, and share anything we may have missed in the comments!

Rights holders:

How To Launch A Book In 3 Steps  via Duolit. Guest blogger Nick Thacker walks us through the setup and execution of his 3 step plan.

Book Publishing’s Big Gamble – via The NY Times – Big 6 mergers and self published authors are reshaping the publishing landscape.

The 3 Biggest Mistakes of Beginning Bloggers – Via CreateSpace – The basic do’s and don’ts of author blogging.

Couple Saves Their Home With Steamy Romance Novels – Via CBS News – Televised feature on ACX author Jasinda Wilder’s incredible story.

Producers:

Juan Carlos Bagnell on ModernMics – Via SomeAudioGuy – Video reviews of three popular mics used to record the spoken word.

10 Voice Over Twitter Feeds You’d Be Crazy Not To Follow – via VoiceOverGenie – The title says it all, though we’d add our own Twitter feed to this list as the 11th!

Cheap Microphone + $100 Part = Amazing Microphone – via Jordan’s Chopped Thoughts – For all the gearheads out there, Jordan shows us how a little microphone surgery can yield great sounding results.

That’s a wrap. We’ll see you next week!

ACX Success Story: H.M. Ward

2013 has been an incredible year for ACX user H.M. Ward: She’s been on The New York Times and USA Today Best Sellers lists, sold her 500,000th book, and was featured in Forbes, all after considering ending her romance writing career.  Her latest smash, Damaged, was just released in audio on Audible through ACX, and Ward couldn’t be happier with her experience. Today, she’s sharing her ACX experience and words of book-marketing wisdom with you.

Tell us about yourself.

mecolor Ward: I self-published my first book in 2011 after realizing that traditional book publication didn’t really jive with me. I wrote YA PNR (paranormal romance) and loved it. I created the characters, the stories, the worlds, and even shot and created the covers. It was awesome!

Then, in 2012, I tried writing a romance novel—Scandalous. The people who read it really liked it, but it didn’t really do anything impressive. I tried another stab at romance and wrote Secrets. Initially, those flopped too. It was pitiful. I was about to forget the whole romance thing, but decided to give it one more shot. I recreated the covers for Secrets, switching to something more traditional, and they got some traction. It was very noticeable. A book cover is like a stop sign. It needs to clearly communicate as much as possible about the book in a blink. Artistic covers don’t work well for romance.

Within a few weeks of the cover change, Scandalous hit the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists. That book sat in obscurity for nearly 9 months before people noticed it. By the time Damaged hit the ‘shelves,’ I had a decent idea of what I needed to do for the cover and the story. I almost gave up on writing romance. I’m really glad that I didn’t.

Tell us more about Damaged.

Damaged is a new adult romance novel about a college student that has a one night fling and finds out that he’s her new professor the following day.

Why did you decide to produce an audio version of your title?

When Damaged hit the virtual shelves, it took off. I receive emails and letters from fans saying how the book strikes so close to home. It’s an emotional roller coaster. I made sure that the audiobook was a priority because of how the story spoke to people. It was completed within the first few weeks of the Damaged eBook and paperback going on for sale.

How did you hear about ACX?

Through KindleBoards. Other authors mentioned how easy it was to use. I produced my first audiobook last year and was delighted with the results. Not only did I get to hear my story brought to life by a talented narrator, but the additional revenue from audiobooks was unexpected. I’d heard that audiobooks weren’t very profitable. I heard wrong. If you’re an author, you need to get your books made into audiobooks. It’s worth it.

What is the most interesting thing you learned about the audiobook production process?

I love the creative process. The whole thing draws on aspects I love about storytelling, including talking to some of the very talented actors hanging out on ACX.

What are your marketing, sales or publicity goals for your audiobook project?

Audiobooks allows me to expand my fan base through another medium. There are a lot of people that listen to audiobooks and some novels never make it to production. I think ACX is the new KDP in that it gives authors direct access to everything they need to produce their own audiobook.

Tell us about your marketing efforts for this book.

I did the things I normally do and tried a few new things, including a blog tour with a giveaway. The winner gets a Kindle Fire, a signed copy of Damaged, and all of my eBooks. There were over 50,000 entries. The giveaway created additional buzz, and Damaged hit number 1 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I engage fans as much as possible. I respond to every email, tweet, and Facebook post. It’s very time consuming, but I think it’s worth it. These people took the time to write me and tell me that they loved my book. I feel like I should take the time to say thank you. Without them, I’d be nowhere. My marketing is fan-driven and personal. It’s that personalization that makes the difference.

Has having your audio version produced affected your writing?

Actually, I wrote my books with the thought of having them spoken or read aloud, and that hasn’t changed. I think that’s part of why people are drawn to my titles: they’re written the way people speak. That means they cross over very well into audio. It’s easy to listen to a friend talking.

What advice do you have for other authors who are considering producing their titles as audiobooks?

There are options to have your audiobook made using royalty share or to pay a flat fee. I was a total chicken with my first book. I did a Royalty Share, and ACX graciously put a stipend on the title. I was able to get an awesome narrator with nothing out of pocket. It’s a good thing if you’re totally broke. Do it. It’s better than not doing it. However, if you can possibly afford to pay for the production costs yourself, do that. I was kicking myself for doing the royalty share. I had no benchmark, no idea how many audiobooks I’d sell. It turned out to be more than enough to cover the production costs. Do the math. Figure out what you can afford, and go for it.

What’s your next project, and when will we see it on ACX?

My next project is still hush, hush. It’s a New Adult romance novel titled Stripped. It will be out later this summer. In the meantime, I’m working with some wonderful talent to get The Arrangement series converted to audio. I’m really excited about to hear those characters come to life.

As are we! Thanks to Ms. Ward for sharing her thoughts with us. You can share your story with us via our Twitter and Facebook. And stay tuned for more ACX Success Stories!

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.

How to Promote Your Titles & Get on Audible’s Merchandising Radar – Part 2

Yesterday we brought you part 1 of our guest blog post from Audible editor Jessica. Part 2 is below and contains a lot more great info. Authors, be sure to share these posts with your producers and vice versa. Double your efforts and really drive your sales!

4.       Network, network, network. Building a base of contacts is essential to helping you get the word out about your audiobook.  However, what many people overlook is that networking is about exchange—of information, contacts, and advice.  In his book, Booklife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st Century Writer, Jeff VanderMeer shares the following tips for successful networking:

    1. Keep in mind that everyone you know is a potential contact and everyone you know is more than one thing—keep your eyes open to this to understand each contact’s potential.
    2. Realize that every (audio)book or project you create is about more than one thing—a quick Internet search of the topics your book covers can reveal a wealth of relevant groups, communities, and forums you can join to find others who would be interested in what you have to say.
    3. Take a genuine interest in what others are saying/writing/telling you.  Networking is about a give and take and you have to nurture your contacts.  Coming across as sympathetic to and interested in what others have to say, as well as being able to add a personal touch in your communications will go a long way towards building long-term relationships.
    4. Be concise and precise in your communication with people you don’t know, particularly if using a medium like email which strips out nuance.
    5. Do introduce your contacts to one another—if you connect people, they’ll remember you for it and be more likely to help connect you to their contacts.  However, respect others’ privacy and don’t give out contact information without first getting approval to do so.
    6. If nervous about a face-to-face introduction, project confidence by saying less, listening more, and starting off with questions, rather than launching into talking about yourself. It may also help to have a partner, spouse, or friend along to help take the pressure off.

**Also, take advantage of the biggest network for books: Amazon. Amazon is a powerful tool for growing your fan base and increasing your sales; click here to learn how you can better leverage Amazon to increase visibility of your audiobook.

5.       Cultivate review coverage. Research and reach out to appropriate online publications, blogs and podcasts. Promoting your audiobook(s) can be time-consuming and we know many authors/producers have full-time jobs, families, and other commitments, but active engagement in promoting your audiobook is a key factor in its success.  Look into online publications, websites, blogs or podcasts that might be interested in your book’s topic or genre, or audiobooks in general, and reach out to them and offer something of value: a review copy, an excerpt from the audio to post on their site, or, depending on the reach of the outlet, a copy of the audio to give away to readers.  You can also offer editorial content (a Q&A, a guest blog post on a topic, offer to lead a webinar/online chat, etc.) . Be prepared to explain why the topic you’re proposing would be relevant to an outlet’s readers, and be open to any suggestions you may receive.

    1. Potential offline opportunities (for the A+ student): It’s also worth reaching out to local bookstores and libraries for speaking engagements as a way to generate attention and word-of-mouth.  Take note, though: people attend speaking engagements because they want to gain knowledge about something of importance to them, so keep that in mind while crafting your speech. Also, research and reach out to book clubs that might be interested in reading/listening to your book, and offer up author participation.

6.       Keep in contact with the ACX team to let them know what successes you’ve achieved. You can share your feedback at support@acx.com.

7.      And lastly, stay focused:

    1. Continue networking as appropriate.
    2. Maintain your blog/website.
    3. Continue to offer to participate in book club discussions of your book(s) and speaking engagements.
    4. Measure the impact of your efforts to see what’s “moving the needle.” Click here to learn how.
    5. Keep up the hard work.  Continue to nurture and build your fan base—it will pay off when promoting your next audiobook!

So, there you have it! Between these two posts and the links to the ACX “Promote Yourself” section within, you should be off to a solid start. Of course, there are many great ways to promote, and the internet and social media are constantly presenting new opportunities. We recommend you frequently review your promotional plans and look for ways to branch out to new fans. And of course, if you hit on something good, be sure to share it with your fellow ACXers here at the blog, and on our Twitter and Facebook too!

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.

This post has been updated since publication.

How to Promote Your Titles & Get on Audible’s Merchandising Radar – Part 1

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