Follow our guest blogger and author M.K. Williams as she writes the Marketing Your Audiobooks Series of blog posts
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.
One of the biggest benefits of listing your audiobook through Findaway Voices is their distribution to libraries. Don’t sleep on this benefit. While you may find it easier to instruct your fans to purchase your books from retailers, library sales should not be forgotten.
But who are you marketing to? The librarian in charge of making purchases, or the reader who will check out the audiobook? The answer is both. Here are 4 solid ways you can make it easy for libraries to carry your audiobook (and the other formats as well):
- Get to know your local librarian. We all have a local library, and the next time you stop in, be sure to ask the librarian about their local author programming. Some libraries may not have any formal program, but some do. My own local library has a special purchase request form so they can carry local authors. They even put a special label on the spine of my print books so they can put it in a local author display. They hold a local author book sale at one of their branches. The first and easiest thing to do is ask what your library is already doing to support local authors.
- Make sure you consistently tell people. It is so easy to default to “yeah, get my book at X mega-retailer.” But then people will only go to that retailer. Change up your answer, “you can get my book anywhere, even your local library.” Many book lovers have to use their library to support their reading addiction.
- Show readers how to get the audiobook. Doing a quick tutorial on how to search, find, and borrow your audiobook on the OverDrive, Hoopla, or Libby apps will make it that much easier for readers to get your audiobook. In sales, you are overcoming objections, and for many listeners, they just don’t know how to use specific app features. Show them what to do.
- Make it easy to request. I found an amazing idea that I plan to borrow for my own books. Ellis Leigh features a PDF on her website that his fans can download, fill out, and hand to their librarian. It includes a cover letter, ISBNs, and the information the librarian will need to make the purchase request. Boom. Easy!
Some of these steps are easier than others, but here is what you can do today: Go to your Findaway Voices dashboard and check your retailer links for each of your audiobooks. Check your links on Overdrive. Schedule out several social media posts and your next Newsletter to feature these links. Just start by telling your audience how they can get these books.
Then, if you are still feeling motivated, contact your local librarian about their local author program.
Two easy steps you can take right now that will have a large impact on your library strategy.