Tag Archives: merch guest post

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