Tag Archives: promotional ideas

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: October 21 – 25

ACXers in temperate climates are starting to feel that first chill in the air. Autumn is upon us, and with it thoughts of holiday fun and the year’s end. As 2013 winds down, use the links below to inform and educate yourself as you embark on your final audiobook productions of the year.

Remember, now is the time to get those audiobooks recorded and uploaded to ACX for your best chance of having them live on Audible in time for the holiday season.

For Producers:

The 5 Things You Should Be Doing NOW to Close Out the Year – via Dave Courvoisier’s Voice Over Blog – As the year’s end draws near, Dave has a 5-point checklist that will help VO’s wrap things up right.

Whittam’s World Episode 8: Acoustical Treatments for your Home Studio – via Edge Studio’s Youtube Channel – Home studio master George Whittam talks soundproofing in this informative video

Bed, Bath and Beyond – via Finding My Voice – Justin S. Barrett gets philosophical about life away from the microphone.

Why Restaurants And Voice Over Talents Fail – via Marc Scott Voiceover – Marc sees popular TV show “Restaurant Impossible” as a metaphor for VO failure – and success!

For Rights Holders:

Conflict—Giving LIFE to Your Fiction – via Kristen Lamb’s Blog – “Bad decisions make GREAT fiction.” Kristen tells you how to work that adage to your advantage

How Writing “Small Stones” Hones the Writer’s Craft – via The Alliance of Independent Authors – “Novelist Satya Robyn explains the meaning, process and value of writing “small stones” – tiny observational pieces of poetry or prose detailing something close at hand.”

Passion, Purpose, and Power: A Pep-Talk For Writers – via The BookBaby Blog – In need of a pick-me-up? BookBaby’s got you covered

Did you find some great audiobooks links this week? Tell us all about ’em!

This Week in Links: October 7 – 11

We’re back with our latest installment of “This Week in Links.” We’ve rounded up our favorite videos and articles from around the audiobook world and listed them for you below. Enjoy some weekend reading, and embark on your next audiobook project as a better informed writer or producer!

For Rights Holders

10 Ways To Develop Confidence As A Writer – via Creative Thunder – “One sure way to become a writer is to write. Every day. With or without destination.”

How to Write a Great Death Scene – via Geek and Sundry Vlogs – Nika Harper offers her tips on write off a character.

How to Assign your Book to the Right Genre – via Chameleon Ink – “Getting the genre right further narrows down your target market and ensures that your book messaging addresses the right audience of readers.”

7 Guidelines For Writing a Nonfiction Book – via The BookBaby Blog – “For many would-be authors putting fingers to keys is the toughest part of the process. Here are seven suggestions to make it a little easier for you.”

For Producers

Mouth Noise – The Bane of a Voice Actor’s Life – via Anna Parker-Naples – Versatile voice actress talks about keeping mouth noise to a minimum.

Anatomy of a Movie Trailer – via Confessions of a Voiceover Artist – An interesting trip though the making of the audio portion of a movie trailer.

Time to Get That Perfect Mic – via Voice Over Garden – Jonathan Tilley offers his advice on what it takes to find the perfect fit for a lifetime of “quality jobs and stress free technical set up.”

Come back next week for more audiobook info, and share your favorite links form this week in the comments below!

Social Media Tips For Voice Actors

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

home2_r1_c3

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

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

What have you done to find success on social media?

This Week in Links: September 30 – October 4

The end of the week means it’s once again time for our roundup of links from the online audiobook world. Informative and entertaining articles and videos abound for actors and authors, so get readin’ and join us next week for more audiobook excitement!

For Producers:

Hard To Believe… – Via Dave Courvoisier’s Voice Over Blog – 2013 is almost over, and Dave’s got a year-end checklist for voiceover actors.

…It’s the Principle of the Thing! – via Road To Introspection – Terry Daniels offers his perspective on the narrator as a small business.

Professional Home Recording Studio Tour, Advice, Tips, and Tricks – via Jordan Reynolds – Informative video tour of a professional home studio.

I’m The Original Voice Of SIRI – via CNN – The voice behind the iPhone’s virtual assistant is finally revealed.

For Rights Holders:

Writing A Series? Tips From A Superstar – Via CreateSpace – ACX author Bella Andre discusses the pros, cons, do’s and don’ts of writing a connected series.

Techniques and Tension in “Breaking Bad” – via Huff Post Books – “Any writer who wants to learn about the art of developing tension in a manuscript would do well to watch, and learn from, AMC’s Breaking Bad.” (Caution – spoilers within!)

Website Tips For Authors – via The Bookbaby Blog – BookBaby’s sister site, HostBaby, offers best-practices to smarten-up your online book marketing.

GalleyCat’s Freelance Editor Directory – via GalleyCat – “A free, automatically updated directory where editors can post their services and writers can seek freelance editors.”

Did you find some great audiobook related content this week? Leave your favorite links below!

This Week in Links: September 23 – 27

This week, we’ve got food for mouths big and small. First up is 37 bite-sized pieces of advice for authors and rights holders. Actors and producers, on the other hand, can chew on in-depth info on studio gear and the craft of narration.

Enjoy this week’s main course, and come back for next week’s menu of delicious audiobook information.

For Rights Holders:

5 Ways For Authors to Handle Bad Reviews – via DBW – Bad reviews can happen to good authors. Here’s what to do about them.

5 Mistakes That Will Doom Any Self-Published Book – via Blue Ink Review – Advice on making sure your self-published book looks and feels professional.

5 Focal Points For Writers Reading Books – via Blood-Red Pencil – “We can all learn from the pitfalls and brilliance of other writers—learn what not to do, what didn’t work, and what did.”

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling – via The BookBaby Blog – Easily digestible tips from the masters of animated stories.

For Producers

How Lee Daniels’ The Butler Serves Audiobook Narrators – via Paul Alan Ruben’s “Audio Book Narrators” – Grammy winning audiobook producer/director offers his in-depth take on the movie’s lessons for narrators.

SomeAudioGuy on EWABS Podcast with George Whittam and Dan Lenard! – via East-West Audio Body Shop – Industry experts talk studios, microphones, and voiceover business.

E.G. Daily’s Voice Impresses, As Does Her Other Career As A Voice Actor – via The Huffington Post – Voice actor of Rugrats and The Powerpuff Girls excels as a singer on The Voice.

Did you see any great links this week? Tell us below!

This Week in Links: September 16 – 20

This week’s link will appeal to all 5 of your senses. See the faces behind your favorite carton voices. Get a taste of a professional audiobook recording studio. Feel the paradox of the modern writer. Hear how an action star can help you pump up your social media pages. And don’t forget to stop and smell the roses as you follow your career path.

Engage your senses with our weekly links roundup, and check back with us next week for more audiobook goodness!

For Producers:

The Art of Seeing Things Differently – via Voice of Wisdom – Advice on staying interested & motivated in your career.

Breaking Into Audiobooks – via Brick Shop Audiobooks – Voice actors in the NY area should check out this audiobook seminar from this Audible Approved studio

ACX Studio Gear Series Part 2: DAWs – via The ACX Blog – Check out our rundown of the most popular DAWs on the market, as well as the discuccion in the comments.

I Know That Voice! – Here’s another great looking movie about the voiceover industry. This documentary looks at the unseen actors behind your favorite animated characters.

For Rights Holders:

The Vin Diesel School of Facebook – via Duolit – The SelfPub Team tells us how to grow your Facebook page as big as the action star’s muscles.

Hugh Howey’s ‘DUST’: The Cleverest Book Promotion I’ve Seen In Years – via Bestseller Labs – Draw marketing inspiration from the ACX authors successful strategies.

In Conversation With Neil Gaiman – via Book Riot – An in-depth interview with one of our favorite authors and the curator of the Neil Gaiman Presents audiobook label.

The Great Paradoxes of Writing – via Creative Writing with the Crimson League – Musings on the contradictory life of a writer.

Share your favorite links from this week below!

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 9 – 13

Today, we’ve rounded up both informative and entertaining links for audiobook writers and actors. Newbies and seasoned pros alike can learn about audiobook marketing, the business of voiceovers, and what happens when you narrate a stranger’s life like a movie trailer.

Use these links to have a fun and productive weekend, and check back with us next week for more on audiobooks and ACX!

For Rights Holders:

The Justin Timberlake School of Rocking Your Book Launch – via Duolit – The release of this pop star’s latest album can guide you as you launch your next title.

5 Rules Every New Author Should Follow – via BookBaby – Newbies can avoid classic mistakes by following these five tips.

The Short Story: A Way for a Writer to Experiment?
via Creative Writing with the Crimson League – “All authors need to stretch themselves and leave their comfort zone to develop new skills.”

Know Which Critics To Listen To and Which To Ignore – via The Alliance of Independent Authors – make sure to consider the source before you get all worked up over that negative review.

For Producers:

via J. Christopher Dunn’s Voiceover Blog – Reading is your business, so here’s seven books you can read to improve your business.

Voiceover Business Profitability – via Bobbin’s Voiceover Sampler – An in depth look at the business side of being a voice actor.

Voiceover Actor Pranks Public By Giving Them Epic Movie Trailers – via Simply Zesty – Honest Trailers voice actor Jon Bailey constructs hilarious movie trailers for ordinary people.

Are You A Gear Slut? – via Voiceover Garden – How to know if you have too much studio gear – and what to do about it.

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!