Congratulations on publishing your book! That’s a huge accomplishment. The world of publishing has expanded and grown exponentially over the years. In day’s past, you would have to send your book to a publishing house and hope that it even found its way to someone’s desk. Now, publishing is at your fingertips.
There are multiple ways to publish your book, including digital, print, and audiobook form. Audiobooks have been around for a long time, and they are starting to make a huge comeback. In 2018, sales of audiobooks neared $1 billion. Thanks to companies like ACX, creating one has never been easier.
Once your book is narrated, perfected, and published, you have to get it out there to listeners. Just like your digital and print versions, there are specific tactics you can use to generate traffic, reach new listeners, and maximize your profits.
Tip #1: Social Media
In today’s age of virtual social interaction, the line between personal usage and sales is non-existent. There are over two million self-published books released every year, and most of those books are sold predominantly online.
Social media is one of the most popular online activities in the world. Statista estimates that by 2021 there will be 3.1 billion people on social media, which is a lot of potential listeners for your audiobook. Out of those billions of people, though, you want to make sure you’re reaching the right ones for your genre of audiobook.
Create an author page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Link your author pages in everything! You want to use these pages as a way to connect to your readers. They are also great places to throw up posts about your audiobook. Link the book and send it out into the virtual world.
When you’re posting, make sure to do your research ahead of time. Find out what the best tactics are for catching your listener’s attention. Hashtags are excellent ways to get your post out there, reaching beyond your existing base of fans.
Hashtags allow anyone to search for keywords that interest them. Using the right hashtags can really open up your audiobook to a new world of listeners.
Don’t just use hashtags on Twitter. They can be used on all your social media posts.
Join groups and make connections. There are a multitude of groups on Facebook that allow you to promote your audiobook to their members.
Join the group, but don’t just post, join in on the conversations. Interaction will allow your listeners to feel more connected with you.
These groups are also great for running promotions with your audiobook and giving away the coveted promo codes we’ll talk about later in this report. Make sure to check out the group first to see if listeners are interacting. Choose quality groups over quantity joined.
When you post about your audiobook on Facebook, take the time to create a snippet of your five-minute retail sample. You can do it in the form of a video, using your cover as the visual aide. Always make sure to link your audiobook to these pages so they can grab a copy with just one click.
For all your different social media outlets, you want to create graphics to convey exactly what you’re selling. Using online programs like Canva.com are simple ways to create quality graphics. Use your cover and make sure people know the ad is for your audiobook.
Make sure to promote your audiobook separate from your digital or print version, too. There are two main types of readers, the digital and print readers, and the audiobook listeners. Sometimes you’ll find those that like to have both, which is great, but don’t overload your posts.
And the most important thing to remember when promoting on social media…
Let your unique and quirky personality show through and connect with your listeners. They will not only appreciate it, but they will come back for more when you release your next book.
What better way to connect to audio listeners, then through an already, incredibly popular, and ever-growing world of audio entertainment? There are podcasts out there for just about everything, and books are no exception.
If you don’t already have a podcast, creating one, and building an audience, can be a lot of work. But fear not, there are book podcasts out there for every genre of book that exists.
Before you start reaching out to the hosts of these podcasts, you want to take time and listen to their show.
Find out if the podcast is right for your audiobook, if they fit the personality you are looking to convey, and if they are accepting submissions for interviews.
When you’re on the podcast, you’ll usually be interviewed by the host. They will talk to you about your book about your writing, and about you.
Be genuine when you’re speaking. Sometimes, literary podcasts will ask you to read an excerpt from your book. Make sure to let listeners know you offer the audiobook form and use your five-minute retail sample either during the interview or have it linked in the show notes.
A few well-known literary podcasts out there include:
- So Many Damn Books
- By the Book
- Black Chick Lit
- Hey Ya
- The New Yorker: Fiction
Do your research so you can find the best audience for your genre. And make sure to promote your guest appearance or interview on your social media.
This will not only help to bring in listeners, but it will show your thanks to the podcast host for taking the time to talk about your books!
Tip #3: Guest Blogging
Yes, after all these years, blogging is still very much a part of promoting your work. Most authors will tell you that it’s important for you to keep up a regular blog on your website, but it’s also important to reach out and expand your audience.
Becoming a guest blogger on someone else’s page will open you up to an entirely new set of audiobook listeners. Just like with podcasts, you want to make sure to read the blogs you’re interested in guest appearing on, before reaching out to the owner.
Think about ways that your guest blogging on their blog will be beneficial to both of you. Let them know why you want to appear on their blog specifically. Be genuine and create a lasting contact with them. If you have a solid readership on your own blog, you can offer to trade posts.
Make sure to give your blogger a copy of your audiobook too. If they know the material, they will most likely be more than happy to promote your guest post.
Beyond just website blogs, you can also team up with Twitter users to have Tweet chats where you are talking back and forth about your audiobook, interacting with listeners, and creating a solid foundation on Twitter.
YouTube interviews can be great promotional opportunities as well. Usually, if you aren’t in the same area, you can go live or pre-record your interview with them. This will make for great marketing material as well.
Always make sure to go into these posts and interviews with something more than just a sales pitch. Offer the listener your expertise. Talk about the process, your inspirations, and even your goals for the future of your characters.
Always make sure to include your audiobook sample in the posts, as well as links to where they can download it.
Tip #4: Book Funnel
People use Book Funnel for many different sales promotions. Authors generally use it to build their email list. Email lists and newsletters are the bread and butter for book sales.
What everyone doesn’t know about Book Funnel is there is an entire sub-system of promotional opportunities, and they don’t cost a dime. Authors and publishing companies all over the world start promotions, which can be found under the promotion tab.
There is an ever-growing list of promotions that help you get your audiobook out there. The promotions allow a certain number of authors to sign up, are genre-specific, and help to cross-promote their fans. It is a great way to get your audiobook sample out to new listeners.
To participate in the promotions, the administrator of the promotion sets up guidelines to follow. You have to create a book funnel page with your audio sample to download as a bonus for them signing up for your newsletter.
You must share the promotion on the dates listed, a specified number of times, with your own personal link to the promotion. This link will allow the administrator to track your shares.
Book Funnel promotions are effective ways to get your audiobook sample listened to by new readers and build your newsletter at the same time.
Create an auto-response that will automatically send out a welcome message whenever anyone joins your email through that funnel page. In that auto-response, thank them for joining, and give them the link to your audiobook.
Personalize your autoresponder as much as possible and link it only to that promotion so that it only goes out to those that signed up through the link.
Book Funnel also has promotions for sales. When browsing the promotions look for those listed as “sales” instead of “newsletter.”
You will have to create a sales book funnel page for your audiobook. These are fully customizable and should reflect the tone of your book.
Tip #5: Encourage Reviews
If you are selling your book through Amazon, make sure that your audiobook is linked to the same page as your digital and print books of the same title. If a listener sees your book on Amazon, they will see all the reviews that are attached to your physical and digital copy readers as well.
Your Amazon page isn’t the only page you want to have audiobook reviews, though. You want to make sure you are focusing on the site where you are primarily selling the book.
For example, Audible.com is where your book will be sold if you use ACX for your production and publishing. A large percent of your audio downloads will come from Audible, not Amazon. Audible does display your Amazon book reviews, but they are under a separate tab.
When a listener goes to your Audible page or the page where your audiobook is primarily listed, they will see the audiobook reviews first. So, just like you do when you politely ask for a review of your digital and print versions, you want to promote reviews of your audiobook as well.
You can’t make it a requirement that listeners have to review your audiobook, but you can ask that they do so.
One great way of getting more reviews is by trading a promotional code or a free copy of your audiobook for an honest review. You can do this with your newsletter, through a funnel promotion, and on your social media.
Another great way to get reviews is by swapping codes or books with other authors. They listen to your book and review, and you listen to theirs. If you are worried that you won’t like their book and will be forced to review, try swapping with someone you know.
Professional book reviewers are also great tools for receiving honest online reviews. By giving away a free copy of your audiobook to a reviewer, they will listen and then post their thoughts. Look for quality reviewers, people with followings. Find out what their criteria is for submitting books for reviews.
Reviews help you pull in new listeners. Those looking for a new book in your genre will check the reviews. This will help to bring in organic new listeners. The more audiobooks downloaded, the higher you will rank. The higher you are, the more people will be exposed to your book and to your reviews.
Above all else, never pay for reviews, and always follow through if you are review swapping. Be nice, but fair, and if you listen to another author’s book and you just can’t bring yourself to leave a positive review, contact them first. Talk to them about it. Treat them as you would want them to treat you.
Tip #6: Interview Your Voice Talent
One of the unique things about audiobooks is that the quality of reviews isn’t just based on the content of your book. Audiobook listeners also consider the quality of the recording and the narrator. That’s why it’s important to choose the perfect narrator for your book.
After your book is live, though, don’t forget about your voice actor. Voice actors are highly underutilized when it comes to promoting your book.
Many voice actors have their own blogs, own channels, and their own followers. If you have a voice actor that people enjoy, ask if you can do an interview with them for your podcast, blog, or YouTube channel.
Usually, your voice actor will promote the interview, which will, in turn, bring more listeners to your audiobook. This will also help to promote your voice actor, who will appreciate the new contacts.
You can also work it out to swap interviews if your voice actor has their own blog or personal following.
Interviews with your voice actors can also be great live events. Promote your live event and promote the audiobook with links and samples during the interview. Interact with the listeners who are watching. They will be much more likely to purchase your audiobook if they’ve had a personal and fun interaction with you.
Tip #7: Promo Codes
If you aren’t familiar with the audiobook promo codes, then you are missing out on listeners and money.
If you choose to have your book narrated and published through ACX, the audiobook equivalent to KDP Publishing when it comes to getting your book live, then you most likely qualify for promo codes. When your book goes live on ACX, through their exclusive program, you will receive promotional codes.
Promotional codes are codes generated for you and your book specifically and allow you to give free downloads of your audiobook to new listeners. They don’t even have to sign up to Audible to listen to the audiobook.
And the icing on the promo code cake?
You get paid for every code that is redeemed. Currently, ACX is offering up to 200 codes per book. You can generate 25 U.S. codes and 25 U.K. codes at a time, up to a hundred each.
These codes can be given away to anyone. There are tons of groups on Facebook, specifically for you to promote your book codes to listeners. They are also great for giveaways, review swaps, and newsletter builders.
In the next section, we will go over sites to help you promote your audiobook, one that is specific to your codes.
Tip #8: Promo Sites
There is a promotional company out there for everything, and audiobooks are no different. Some sites are worth it, and some are money pits.
If you produced and published your audiobook through Findaway Voices, available at https://www.FindAwayVoices.com, they offer a promotional partnership with Chirp, a discount audiobook website. You can run a limited-time promotion through Findaway, and your book will be featured on Chirp for that promotional period. Most audiobooks on Chirp are listed for 90 plus percent off, but it’s a great way to bring in new listeners and make money from your audiobook at the same time.
Chirp is an affiliate of Bookbub.com, one of the most used book review sites out there. Technically, you don’t have to have produced your book through Findaway to submit to Chirp, but it may cost money.
One site that has recently become very popular is AudioBookBoom.com. It is owned and run by voice actor and producer, Jeffrey Kafer. You have two options on the site. You can submit your book to be included in their newsletter, or you can upload your audiobook and codes to their new beta program.
For the newsletter option, you pay $12, and they create a spreadsheet for you in Google Docs. When they send out their newsletter, anyone interested in a promo code for your audiobook submits their information. You have full control over who you send the codes to. You are also able to post on their Facebook page, which is lucrative in itself.
The other option with Audiobook Boom is its new automated promo code site. You can list one book or a hundred books, depending on your budget. One audiobook is $12. You upload the cover and the CSV from ACX with your book codes, and they do the work for you. People can browse, request codes, receive those codes, and you never have to lift a finger. You can re-upload the CSV as often as you like and the system knows what codes have already been redeemed, and which ones to hand out.
Other sites you can look into are news radio connected websites, podcasts that play audio clips of your books, and, if your budget allows it, marketing companies specializing in audiobook marketing.
Tip #9: Back Links
One of the most important things to remember when promoting your audiobook is always to provide the link to the purchase site. We live in a world of short attention spans, and you want to catch a listener’s attention and give them the avenue to download your audiobook right then.
When posting on social media, always make your link a clickable one. Don’t expect prospective listeners to type the address of a graphic into the search bar. If you are using Instagram, put the link in your bio, and let people know in your post that, “link is in my bio.”
Let your digital books market your audiobook as well. Whether it is the same version of the book in digital form or a different book, use the page before your book begins, or the first page after the book ends, to promote your audiobooks. You can put the link on the page and make it clickable. That way, when someone is beginning or finishing your book, and they are interested, they can go right from the digital edition to the audio.
Make sure to shortcut your links using websites like bitly.com to keep from posting extremely long links. With Audible, you can customize your link, and if someone signs up from that link, you get a $50 bonus. So, you get a personalized link, cash, and a new listener.
Also, include links to your audiobook on your author pages under the about section, and on your websites. Research has shown that it can take a person seeing something up to eight times before they purchase it, so make that link available wherever you can.
Tip #10: Paid Ads
Depending on your marketing budget, paid ads can help you reach listeners across the world. Your ads should be individually and uniquely created, showcase your book, and allow the listener to click and go right to the audiobook.
Most ads are run on either a PPC model, pay per click, or the CPM Model. Both advertising methods can be worthwhile depending on what outcomes you are looking for and the budget you have to work with.
CPM– This type of advertising is billed at a flat rate and covers 1,000 impressions. An impression is the number of times an ad has displayed. It doesn’t matter whether they click on the ad or not.
- More budget friendly than PPC.
- More control over how much you spend.
- Guaranteed showing of listings for a chosen number of times.
- Money can be wasted if no one clicks your ad.
- Monitoring the promotion is almost impossible until it is over.
PPC– These are ads that are only paid for when someone clicks the ad. These ads are usually more productive when it comes to results, but the cost varies. The price depends on the marketplace value of the keyword best associated with your audiobook.
- Easy to track.
- You only pay for the clicks you receive.
- Less of a risk of wasting money on bad ads since you only pay if they are working.
- You can change an ad or budget for an ad at any time during the promotion.
- Competition for popular keywords can make them too expensive to use.
- If your bid for your pay per click isn’t competitive with the market, you won’t receive any traffic.
- Just because they click, doesn’t mean they will buy.
- The ads can be tricky, and you can often lose money before you figure out the perfect system for your specific ad.
When choosing which ad you want to use, you also have to decide what network will be the most appropriate place for your ad.
For example, Facebook ads focus on new businesses, brand awareness, and products. LinkedIn, however, focuses on professionals by interest or job title.
When choosing your keyword, you’ll want to do some research first. You can use Google AdWords to find the most targeted keyword for your ad. This is important because those keywords should reflect what people are searching for, and what they would search for first if looking to purchase your audiobook.
You can also choose not to use one of the primary social media sites and focus on sites specific to books.
For example, BookBub has an ads program, and you can rest assured that everyone on BookBub is there because of books. It will help narrow things down a little bit.
Once you’ve decided on what type of ad you want, you should create or have an ad created for your audiobook. The ad shouldn’t be too busy, should be bright, and should reflect the theme of your book. Make sure the link takes the listener directly to your audiobook, or to the book funnel page, depending on your focus.
When your ad is up and running, it’s essential to monitor it. Keep records of what works and doesn’t, and don’t break the bank the first time around. It may take trial and error to see the results you are looking to get.
With the explosion of audiobooks over the last couple of years, they are becoming a must-have for all authors. The market for them is continually growing, making them the perfect investment as part of your book portfolio.
Whether its print, digital, or audio, you want to make sure you can get the final product to the reader.
Fortunately, audiobooks are marketable in many of the same ways you market your print and digital books. Go slow, do your research, and before long, your audio listener fan base will be just as prevalent as your readers.
To your success!