Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hear Me Out: 26 Ways To Promote An Audiobook

The audiobook industry is in a position to see major growth as the explosion of mobile devices allows for the downloading of audiobooks to be listened to anywhere – bought everywhere.
What can audiopublishers do to lift audiobook sales? Here are 26 suggestions:

1.      Promote audiobooks at bookstore signings and events by playing an audio clip and actively pushing the sale of the audiobook version.

2.      Post spoken reviews online and encourage consumers to review audiobooks.

3.      Create a Net Galley version for audiobooks.

4.      Post audio trailers, not videos.

5.      Post interviews (no text, audio only) with authors and narrators.

6.      Take a single book and have an all-star cast of narrators and best-selling authors read portions of it.

7.      Get people excited for audiobooks by promoting a listenerthon at the newly launched Facebook page for audiobooks.

8.      Film a behind-the-scenes look at how an audiobook gets created.

9.      Promote audiobooks on a You Tube-like site but only post audio to the site, not video.

10.  Develop some cool slogans for the industry and have every audio publisher, author, and narrator use some version of these slogans simultaneously. Could that be “sensational” and “hear-oic”? See 25 suggested slogans at:

11.  Showcase audiobooks on a publisher’s Web site by only using spoken words and audio – no video, no photos, no typed words.

12.  More people need more exposure to audiobooks, as a medium, in order to appropriate its appeal and see the advantages presented by them. Audiobooks need to go viral!

13.  Consider changing, or better yet, defining the name ‘audiobooks.’ Even spell-check is confused by “audio” combining with “book” to form one of the most powerful compound words out there. Consumers need to know what an audiobook can do for them and why it is better (at times) than a written book or why it is more convenient to listen rather than read a book.

14.  Audiobooks are sold based on need (something to do while commuting, services the blind, helps kids develop literacy), and though more should be done to highlight this, what really needs to be pushed is the idea of audiobooks being desirable (theatrical readings and sound can enhance enjoyment; you can listen with your eyes closed and resting and not staring at a screen or book; they can provide a family/group experience).

15.  Audiobooks need more free downloads of entire books circulating so people get exposed to them.

16.  Actively promote audio as a preferred medium and not as an afterthought format.

17.  Make listening to a book like an event, much like going to the movies. Encourage meet-ups, where people come together to listen to a book and then discuss afterwards. A group of 10-20 people can gather and digest a book through the sale of just one audiobook.

18.  Focus on children. That is the growth area – once you win over a child and his parent, you will have new fans of the format for life. Partner with a parent, teacher, educator, and literacy groups to push kids to read while listening to a book.

19.  Promote, advertise, and market the audiobook for most and note the specific title or author. Further, promote the genres where audiobooks are needed (language books, business books, children’s books, novels, etc.).

20.  Market where sound is heard – radio shows, audio news releases, podcasts, etc.

21.  Don’t be laid back. Get out there and proselytize audiobooks. Sure you hope this develops organically, but all marketing needs to be pro-active.

22.  Create some humorous audio-video pieces that consist of some well-educated pieces and combines sound bites from various narrations that collectively tell a story.

23.  Promote the idea one can ‘read’ a book each week by listening to a book during their work commute. By the end of the year, you will have heard over three million words – and countless stories.

24.  Market to your consumer in a way that appeals to why he or she buys audiobooks: a parent who wants to help educate her child; a commuter who wants to be entertained in traffic; a businessman looking to learn a new skill; etc.

25.  Include a free audiobook with a device maker (smartphone, iPad, laptop, CD palter, etc.).

26.  Give the audio away with ebooks for a limited time, allowing device owners a chance to try audiobooks.

Maybe audiobooks need to be sold like birthday cards that play music when you open them up. Maybe books need a button on them as well.

How are you talking about books that speak to you?

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person

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