Audio-Book Marketing

 

If you’re an indie author, you probably market your own books – unless you’re lucky enough to afford someone to do it for you. This means, unless you’re a little crazy, you probably experience a bit of hair pulling and a whole lot of sighs.

Marketing isn’t easy, especially for authors who’d much rather be creating the books that eventually need to be sold.

Then audio-books come into the picture. How the hell do you move those? The only answer anyone seems to have is that those will sell when you market the ebook.

Hopefully. Not always.

I am someone who has had a lot of trouble moving audio-books despite having absolutely brilliant narrators and pretty well-received stories. One of the problems is that the audio-book market is still in it’s infancy. Yes, they’ve been around for quite a while, but not in download form and not for indie books. This means the market isn’t developed on it’s own. It hasn’t separated itself from the book/ebook market yet.

People buy audio-books because they hear about the book. End of story.

With the ACX production branch of Amazon growing so quickly, an audio-book market is trying to start. It’s sputtering a bit, but there are some tips and advice that every audio-book author/producer should know.

First is that ACX is the branch of Amazon that will bend over backwards to help you. Does that seem strange? It does to me because KDP, the ebook branch, is trying to control their authors more and more and it seems to be harmful to indies. There are so many rules for Amazon published ebooks that the “anything that works” approach to audio-books is a breath of fresh air. It won’t always be like this, but it’s nice at the moment.

ACX WANTS you to trade free audio-books for reviews. The very thing that KDP is trying to stamp out. They even provide you with 25 free audio-book codes to hand out.

Tip 1: ACX may not send you the codes right away. If you email them and ask, they are very pleasant and send them promptly.

Tip 2: Run out of codes? No worries – ACX will send you more. Last time I asked for an extra 10, they sent me 75!!!

Before you get your codes, you have to have an audio-book, right? Well, I don’t have that many tips for you here except that you don’t have to accept the first person that auditions. If you don’t get one you like, or get any at all, go looking for a narrator yourself. I did that for each book in my romance series and found the perfect voices. I had to wait for them to be available, but getting it right is more important than getting it fast.

Back to marketing! (Everything underlined is a link)

Ok, so you have your codes, all your friends hate audio-books, how do you find people that don’t?

Include them in a giveaway – the easiest thing you can do. Your newsletter subscribers and Facebook followers love when you host giveaways. When a blog accepts your audio-book for review, offer to provide a gifted copy for them to giveaway to drive traffic to their site (and their review of your book). Join with other authors to do larger giveaways. Stop worrying about giving it for free. Get as many audible reviews as you can in order to compete with the big boys and girls.

Audio Book Boom – They will find people who will request gifted copies in exchange for review. It costs $15 and there are diminishing returns each time you use it. For each of my books, it was only worth it the first time.

Books with a Groove – The jury is still out on this as it is a new service, but one that is growing. It’s inexpensive price tag makes it worth a shot.

Auda Voxx – There are two free options here. You can donate up to ten codes per book to be used to give your book as a subscription gift to their members. They try to match the book with listeners who enjoy the same genre. The second option is submitting your audio-book for review. Do both. 

Blogs – Find blogs that love audio-books and post on audible as well as their sites.

These blogs below accept submissions for review of audio-books depending on the genre. Make sure you read their preferences before submitting. They may or may not respond depending on their reviewing schedule. 

The Guilded Earlobe
DWD’s Reviews
Elsie’s Audio-book Digest
I am, Indeed
Bookish Things and More
The Audio Bookworm
Swept Away by Romance
eargasms Audio-book Reviews
Bookwormerz
Lost in Literature
Oh My Shelves
Kris and Vik Book Therapy
Lily Element
Under My Apple Tree
The Reading Date
Book Lover’s Life

There are many other things you can do. Facebook/amazon ads may work for you. Many of the bigger audio authors and publishers utilize radio ads. There are sites and magazines that only cost your first born. 

But this is a start! 

It wouldn’t be very prudent of me to write about audio-books without plugging mine (wink, wink). Dawn of Rebellion, Day of Reckoning, and Choices are all available. Eve of Tomorrow, Promises, and Dreams are coming soon! Click on the images to find the audio-books.

5 Things Every Author Should Be Doing

There are so many obvious things we need to be doing as authors – but these are the less thought of items we must have on our to-do lists!

  1. Beta Reading – I’d argue that this is the most important thing on this list. Don’t know what beta reading is? It’s reading another author’s work, typically just before it goes to the editor, and finding things like plot holes, inconsistencies, tense changes, and grammatical errors.

    Why is it important to do this for other writers? Well, the obvious answer is because the people you beta for will typically do the same for you. That’s a major plus.
    Less obvious answer? Because you learn a lot. Believe it or not, as an author, you don’t know everything. If you think you do, then you’re probably in the wrong business. We’re always growing, always improving. The easiest way to learn is to
    look for what someone else is doing wrong. It’s very hard to spot certain problems in our own books, but they’ll jump out at us in someone else’s.
    Beta reading is how you learn about different styles of writing and how to break certain habits.
    My beta readers used to constantly yell at me for using filler words like “had”. It wasn’t until I focused on cutting those words from a friend’s book, that I could see the problem in mine. Habit broken.
    This takes time – a lot of it. I’m not going to lie. I beta read for six or seven people. You usually have to read a Word file instead of an easier eBook. But it’s worth it and every author should invest the time.

  2. Reading Widely – Most authors are also avid readers. I mean, we get into writing because we love books. But more and more frequently, I see author’s mentioning how they no longer have time for it and that’s a shame.
    I’ve always believed reading breeds ideas. That doesn’t mean we copy ideas from the books we pick up, just that it revs our imaginations.
    Here’s where the widely part comes in. Read many genres, many styles. Read first person. Read third person. Past tense. Present tense.
    Basically, if you’re a romance writer and the only thing you read is romance, it makes it harder to breathe new life into the genre. That’s how genres become stale. Ideas are recycled and tropes are formed. So, if you write romance (or any other genre) read romance, but also read fantasy or sci-fi or historical fiction. Just something that is different. Something that will teach you new things or stretch your imagination in a new way.

  3. Network, Network, Network – I hear it all the time. Facebook only takes time away from my writing. You can substitute Facebook for any social media platform. Some authors try to stay away with the exception of interacting with readers.
    Taking the time to interact with other writers is not wasting time. There are many many valuable groups out there that provide advice and tips. They help you stay on top of the ever-changing publishing world.
    But they can also be friends. “But, Michelle, online friends aren’t real friends!” Sure they are! Writing can be a lonely business. Most of the people in our lives don’t understand it. But other authors do. They will be the ones to help you get unblocked or encourage you when the inevitable bad reviews come in. They’ll champion you and celebrate when you hit your sales/reviews goals – because they get it.
    Some of these connections will last many years and turn into very good, deep friendships. Don’t discount it because you think Facebook takes too much time from writing.

  4. Writing reviews for other authors – only on books you read, obviously. But when you do read a book, don’t just put it away and forget about it. You know from firsthand experience how much reviews help. My reviews even turned into a position on the indie team at YA Books Central.
    We’re all in this together, so don’t be hesitant to help someone out.

  5. Putting the pen down – ok, so most of us write on computers, but putting the computer down didn’t sound as good.

    Don’t be afraid NOT to write. This goes against what all the experts are saying. If you want to be overly prolific, then more power to you, but there’s nothing wrong with letting your life get in the way of your writing. Don’t let writing interfere with family time or fun days out. Don’t feel guilty to take a break. That’s how you begin to see it as a chore. Yes, writing is a job, but it isn’t life.
    My writing time has been severely cut because I watch my two-year-old niece twice a 
    week and then see them usually on the weekends as well. But I’m enjoying writing more than ever. I never want to lose my love for it, but I love my family more. Time goes by so fast and you won’t regret the time you didn’t spend writing. You will regret the time missed with family and friends.

    Your best books will come out of your love, your passion, for writing. Your best ideas will come from living your life.