In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, readers are opting more and more for digital content—from books to meetings to interviews, everything has gone online. And yet, even before all of this began, audio was the fastest growing platform. Podcasts and audiobooks gave listeners the ability to engage in other activities while enjoying what they love. Mundane household chores no longer took up all of their reading time. Waiting in line at the COVID vaccination center no longer induced murderous tendencies—you could listen to your favorite book and not feel the time passing!
In our first two posts about audiobooks, we discussed the reasons for having an audio version of your book and the platforms you can use to publish it. Here, we will focus on ways you can market your audiobook to listeners and increase your sales and popularity.
1. Record Your Audiobook Early
In order to create the necessary hype and get your audiobook out into the world, you need to make sure the book is recorded and ready for release at roughly about the same time you plan to release the ebook or the physical copy of your book. By making your book available in several different formats at the same time for readers with different (or combined) preferences, you are giving them all equal importance. Readers who prefer audiobooks will not have to wait for a long period of time, ultimately losing interest or coming across spoilers in social media.
A combined release of your book will also help you save up on your costs because you won’t need to run separate marketing campaigns.
2. Get Advanced Reviews on Audiobook Platforms
Advanced reviews are just as important for your audiobook as it is for your paperback. Positive reviews show interested readers that your book has been loved by others, and would encourage them to purchase it in turn. But there is an added element in audiobook reviews: listeners do not simply look for the quality of the story, they also look for the narrator and the quality of his/her narration.
Securing reviews on audiobook platforms will have a greater impact than securing them elsewhere (like your website or author page), because audiobook platforms have a huge community of veteran listeners who would be interested in taking a look at your book.
You can get more reviews from listeners by sharing promo codes, which serve as an equivalent of ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) for physical copies of books.
3. Uploading Audiobook Excerpts to Newsletters & SoundCloud
SoundCloud is the world’s biggest open audio platform, and it is not a place dedicated only for music. It lets anyone upload their own audio content. You can use this platform to run quick promotional campaigns by uploading intriguing excerpts from your audiobook. You can then link it to the page where interested listeners can purchase the book.
Having a functioning author newsletter is crucial for a successful marketing campaign, as discussed in our previous posts (Email Marketing Part I and Part II). Author Marissa Meyer included an audio sample of her book Supernova in her newsletter, providing her subscribers an exclusive glimpse of how the story will be.
4. Use Extra/Bonus Audio Content
Besides the content of your story, recording some additional bonus content can come as a handy marketing tool. A small interview with the author or a character of the story can pique your listeners’ interest. You can even record an extra introduction to your book or an excerpt of a chapter from the next book of the series. It will provide listeners the opportunity to look into more of your fictional universe before anyone else.
Sharika Hafeez is a nerd, and she’s proud of it. Growing up, she fell in love with books and writing, and is currently following her undergraduate degree (for some mysterious reasons) in Physics. She likes procrastinating by watching the stars with a steaming cup of tea, composing poetry in her head.