Last updated 14 May 2018
Don’t you just LOVE to market your audiobooks?
I think many people would answer an emphatic NO! to that question, in part because they feel uncertain how to proceed.
This page will give you plenty of creative ideas for promoting your audiobook!
Before we get to those ideas, I want to point out that the author and publisher should do most of the marketing and promotion of the title. Even on royalty share contracts, the narrator’s role in and effect from promotion is minimal. Narrators typically have larger portfolios than authors and have shorter deadlines, making it impractical for a narrator to do prolonged and/or substantial marketing on individual books.
I hold the view that the best long-term marketing any narrator or author can do is to narrate or write their next book. Being prolific in your field improves your skills, builds the fan base of buyers (with sales and royalties to follow), and always gives you something new to promote.
In addition, authors and publishers would do well to spend the bulk of their time and money in promoting the BOOK rather than a particular edition of it. Some of the methods on this page will work very well for promoting the book, while others will help you give the audiobook greater visibility.
Why do audiobooks need greater visibility? I answered that question and many more in the interview I gave to Sandra Beckwith at BuildBookBuzz.com. This interview is a good place to start when you’re developing a marketing plan for your book and audiobook.
My article in the February 2016 issue of InD’tale Magazine, “6 Low-Cost Avenues For Greater Audiobook Sales” lists 7 ways authors can mention their audiobooks on their sites and in their newsletter mailing list, references my 2 ACX articles below and offers even more promotional and marketing ideas: AudiobookBoom.com (discussed below), Whispersync, QR codes, podcasts (see this article for a case study), and radio shows.
Author Melissa Storm has created this video that shows her attractive sales buttons on her site and her links on Soundcloud. She also discusses email automations to send info about your audiobooks to your mailing list.
Social Media and Other Tactics
I had the pleasure of being a guest writer on the ACX.com blog to discuss audiobook marketing in depth. Both articles and their comments include examples from other narrators and me.
In Part One, I explained some reasons why people are resistant to listening to audiobooks. I then offered 3 ways to make your audiobooks more discoverable to an audience, with related tactics for each: be authentic, be consistent, and be creative.
Part Two contains 4 more ways to promote your audiobooks and includes some very specific tactics on 5 social media sites (Goodreads, Twitter, Soundcloud, Facebook, YouTube) such as instructions about adding the audio edition to Goodreads and subscribing to my Twitter list of audiobook reviewers and bloggers. Be sure to read my comments for updated info about the Goodreads process. This page gives more detailed instructions about subscribing to and using my Twitter lists to find reviewers.
I created an Evernote check sheet of my minimal publicity actions, which you can view here.
ACX published a great article on their blog highlighting 7 successful tips and tactics from authors interviewed at 2015 Romantic Times and BookExpo conventions.
You’ll find a growing number of groups of audiobook fans on Facebook. Be sure to read their rules and post promotions only where allowed. Here are a few:
Share the link to your audiobooks listed on Audible in the most favorable light to you as I explained in this article.
You can add the Audible sample of your audiobook to your web site and social media. If you don’t have the file, you can use this free, nifty utility from narrator Steven Jay Cohen to extract the MP3 sample file from Audible’s site.
This article on the ACX blog shows you how to create a 30-day free Audible trial. The free trial may lead to an ACX bounty payment!
Once you have the audiobook in your Audible library, Audible lets you send it for FREE to as many people as you wish!
Best of all, Audible has created Author pages that take information from Author’s Central on Amazon. This post in the ACX blog explains how to find and share your Author page.
AudiobookJukebox.com is an incredible site that indexes thousands of audiobook reviews for all genres. You only have to fill out a simple form to request a review. Reviewers can check the list and request your title if they are interested in it.
The popular AudiobookBoom.com site is the brainchild of audiobook narrator Jeffrey Kafer. It’s like BookBub but is for audiobook promotion. You can advertise your audiobook on this site and use your ACX promo codes to give copies of your audiobook to eager listeners in exchange for a review.
Thanks to the efforts of narrator and audiobook columnist Ann Richardson, InD’tale Magazine accepts audiobooks for review.
Fellow narrator Paul Heitsch created this document that lists sites for audiobook reviews. This Google doc of Audiobook Marketing Resources lists additional reviewers and was created for a panel at the 2017 Romantic Times Convention by narrator Karen White, bloggers Felicia Sparks and Viviana Izzo, and Michele Cobb, the executive director of the Audio Publishers Association.
You can find other reviewers and bloggers on Twitter by subscribing to my Twitter list of audiobook reviewers and bloggers. This post shows you how to subscribe and use the list.
I continue to interview audiobook bloggers and reviewers on my blog. You can read past interviews at this link.
Visibility is the key to strong sales. In this video, author Chris Fox talks about giving away a significant number of review copies to gain a spot in the top 20 in the Audible category.
You can pay to advertise your audiobook in AudioFile’s Indie Press Showcase.
Audavoxx.com offers several levels of paid advertising in its weekly newsletter.
If you’d like to run Facebook ads for your audiobooks, Melissa Storm covers them in her paid course.
In this article, audiobook narrator and columnist Ann Richardson explores many of the awards available for audiobooks. I want to highlight 2 of them to make you aware of their deadlines:
- The Call For Entries in the annual prestigious Audies competition, sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association, usually begins in July.
- The Voice Arts Awards, presented by the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences, has entry deadlines running from May to August each year.
When I was a guest on Stephen Campbell’s The Author Biz podcast to talk about audiobook marketing and promotion, I mentioned the ripple effect of BookBub ads for ebooks. As I demonstrate in this 3:03 video, Amazon has created technology called Whispersync that enables you to seamlessly go between the ebook and audiobook or even immerse yourself in both concurrently. Many avid listeners will acquire an Amazon Kindle ebook when it is free or heavily discounted in order to buy the Audible audiobook on Amazon at a lower price. In fact, the ripple effect is so high that the money made on the audiobook royalties following the promotion oftentimes pays the cost of the BookBub ad!
Members of the ACX Narrators and Producers group on Facebook may also want to check the FAQ in the group’s pinned post. I created the FAQ from that group’s discussions, and it contains 5 excellent discussions about audiobook marketing that may reveal additional tactics. Note that you must have a profile on ACX in order to join the group.
Obviously, marketing is such a broad topic and is subject to one’s availability and creativity that I couldn’t possibly write about or include every idea.
For instance, I don’t have much to say about Pinterest. I pin the audiobook cover on a board of my titles, and I like seeing which titles have been re-pinned. Authors and publishers also use Instagram and other sites to promote their titles.
Rather than being on every social media channel, I stick with the few I enjoy using. It takes time to build a following, and I hold to the belief that “scattered thinking leads to scattered results”!
By steadily employing multiple techniques from this page to promote your audiobooks, you’re sure to have consistent sales!