Guest blogger M.K. Williams talks about marketing your audiobook through relationship building—keep in mind many of these tips will apply to your other book formats as well.
M.K. Williams is an author and independent publisher. She has written and published numerous books under her own name and helped several authors realize their dreams of publishing their books as well. After having learned the ins-and-outs of self-publishing and independent publishing she is now on a mission to help aspiring authors get the answers they need, avoid money-traps, and navigate the process of self-publishing their first book through her brand Author Your Ambition.
When I talk about “relational marketing” I am talking about the way that you can build a relationship with your audience, your readers, and your contemporaries to help sell more audiobooks. It’s building a genuine relationship, not a transactional one. Here are some things to keep in mind: Building your email list. I know there are a lot of “gurus” out there telling you how to build your email list overnight. But there are no shortcuts to getting a QUALITY list of truly engaged subscribers. It takes time. Provide value to your subscribers so they want to keep opening your newsletter each month, they want to recommend other people to subscribe, and keep your promises. If you say you’ll message once a month, only send one a month and if you plan to deviate from that, give advanced notice. Your list trusts you, keep their trust.
Stemming from this is building your ARC list. Not everyone on your email subscription list is going to be a great ARC reader or listener. For someone to get an advanced copy they need to be able to commit to reading or listening to the audiobook prior to launch and leaving an honest review. The people who make good on this get to stay on the list. Be sure you offer those interested the chance to get an ARC of the audiobook too. If you want more reviews for the audiobook on audio specific platforms like Chirp, Audiobooks.com, or even Audible, then you need people to listen to the audiobook and leave a review.
Keep in mind that getting a solid audio review will also include a review of the narration, not just the story. With Findaway Voices new marketplace you as the author can find the perfect voice for your audiobook.
And just as you’ll build a relationship with your narrator over the course of producing the audiobook, you can and should connect with other authors. Like actually connect with them and support each other's launches. 1 for 1 newsletter swaps with authors you don't know and who are just looking for you to post about their book may not get great results because it isn’t genuine. A friend, a true author friend, will endorse your book, buy it, tell their friends and audience to buy it, leave a review, etc.
I wish I could give you some magic recipe to get your results fast, but building these relationships takes time. But as an author, you have a long time to be able to promote each book and you need to continually market your backlist. So, start making these relationships today.