Ah, marketing. The publishers best friend and worst enemy.
You don't need to tell us that marketing doesn't come easy to you as a publisher. It's a gut-wrenching process to take your creation, that piece of your soul that you put so much work into, and put a price on it. Or to try and show it to somebody new that might not like it... or even worse, ignore it.
But of course, if you're reading this, you've grown to realize that marketing can do wonders for your work. Or at least, come to terms with it as a necessary evil.
Taking your audiobook to greatness
We promised you three marketing tips on this article's title, and you're not leaving without them. However, there are two quick annotations we need to make. First of all, as you know, just like a book, an audiobook is a big commitment of time for any potential listener. This means that, for them to start listening, they have to be sold on the fact that they'll enjoy it. They might even need to begin enjoying it before they start listening.
So marketing is really important.
Second, and this should help you get on the right mindset, you're more likely to succeed if you try and internalize the principles of trial and error and serving your audience as best as you can, rather than following our tips as a recipe. Remember that what works for an audience might not work for another, and that every person sees and feels things uniquely.
And so, on to the tips!
#1: Short bits lead to big bites
American comedian Andrew Schulz links his comedy specials' success to the time he started posting two-minute clips of his stand-up comedy shows on his Youtube channel. Many successful creators also concur that audiences need to start small before they build into consuming long-format pieces of content.
This, of course, makes all the sense in the world: Would you rather spend five hours with an audiobook of someone you don't know to find out if you like it, or try something for two minutes, and if you want, go for two more? Give them a chance to give you the benefit of the doubt and over-deliver. They'll want to come back for more.
#2: They're already somewhere; your job is to find them
Thanks to the Internet, there is no one big monoculture anymore, but rather a mega-assembly of small tribes. We gravitate towards those alike us, and we tend to do so more and more on the internet.
So, the people that are more likely to enjoy your book are already somewhere. Where are they? What do they like? Where do they hang out? What do they enjoy? Around who do they tend to cluster? Do they use Reddit? Ask yourself these questions, and you'll more than likely stumble upon them. Now's the time to reach out. How can you do so in a way that leaves them wanting for more? In a way that they feel served them as opposed to take time from them?
Marketing specialists spend all their time asking themselves and their clients these questions. If you don't have a huge PR budget, start there!
#3: It's about them
Do you like being sold to? Chances are, you don't.
Do they like when someone does you a disinterested favor? When they do something good for you, just because? Chances are, you do.
If you can recognize this difference in other people's behavior, you can recognize how your behavior will make them feel when you're trying to promote your stuff. Remember, at the end of the day, they'll listen because they think it's good for them, not because it's right for you.
- Rob Anderson 3/2/21
Why You, An Amazon Seller, Should Try Audiobook Publishing
These days, having time to read is a luxury well worth bragging about. Most of us are always either moving around, be it physically or virtually (Zoom meetings, Zoom meetings everywhere!), or trying to balance the rest of our lives. Whether things have gotten faster or we have shorter spans of attention, podcasts and videos seem to communicate what we want to know faster and better. Or to provide some much-needed relaxation as we're on the go.
Cue in the modern writer
You're probably already thinking, 'Oh, like it isn't hard enough to write. Now I have to produce audio as well?' and, believe us, you have our sympathy. You really do. Writing is hard, and having to go the extra mile AFTER you've already finished writing is even more challenging. This might not even be your only extra mile today. Again, our sympathies.
However, times change, and where some see hardship, sometimes there are opportunities. Whether you're currently sitting on the fence or are just exploring taking your writing to a new format, here are some powerful reasons why you should consider being a part of the first-mover wave into audiobook publishing.
Because you need to engage them through their prefered sense
By providing your readers (now listeners) with a new way to engage with your writing, you're doing both yourself and them a tremendous service. Because, first of all, we all learn, imagine, and feel differently when exposed to different stimuli. Over time, you might find that some of your listeners only listen and that your readers only read. Or that some people like to do both, and that's also ok. But also because you might discover that you can uniquely touch your audience through their ears, and that there are some things you can only achieve in a certain way.
Because you want to be where luck strikes
We all know THAT story. John Doe from town X, total no-one, got very into Youtube in the early days. Made awkward stuff, with a lousy camera, no microphone whatsoever, all edited in Windows Movie Maker. He didn't get big at first. But then Youtube itself got big, and good-old Johnny was right there when the masses came.
It could be Youtube. It could be blogs, podcasts, Vine, TikTok, whatever. The moral of the story remains the same: New things are catching up all the time, and audiobooks are just one more lottery ticket for you to make out of the content you already have. Will you miss out?
Because everything you need is at your fingertips
You might be intimidated by it (after all, you've never done it, and it's normal to feel skeptical at first) since, until now, you've only written. But, the truth is, with an afternoon of research and $100, you can probably order yourself a more-than-decent microphone, download an open-source audio editing/recording software and, within a couple of attempts, create something good enough to get started. Something that would've probably been the best quality around ten years ago.
Just like you published your first drafts before they weren't perfect, allow yourself to post your first audiobook drafts. Interact with your audience. Ask for feedback. On the internet, you're never alone!
Because (and you might not realize this) someone needs YOU!
We talked about those always on the go on this blog's intro, but we purposely saved an essential group for the very end: The multitaskers.
We've all been there. Bored, stuck in a mechanical routine. Sometimes on the move, but not necessarily. Just stuck. Filing paperwork, cleaning, assembling, or waiting. Not necessarily because we want to be there. Then, something comes along, and it brightens our day. We find a little jewel that makes the moment worth it. We feel alive.
There are people out there that need to hear what you can put out. They don't have time to read it, but they can listen. And it can mean the world for them. It can be everything that they've been looking for. And you've already made it.
Now's just the time to push it out, just a little bit further, for them.
-Rob Anderson 1/26/21
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