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Selling audio books

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Thanks Carolina!  The selling of our work can have three prongs - hardcopy, ebook and audiobook. I think they should all be launched at the same time (Oh no! more work before launch)  and then each highlighted at different times, maybe at 3 month intervals.  This keeps the message fresh. 

There is no doubt that sales of one format feed sales of the others. What I found interesting is that our audience considers the reading a different experience from the listening and will seek out both!  

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1 hour ago, Nicola said:

What I found interesting is that our audience considers the reading a different experience from the listening and will seek out both

Good point!! 

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OK, Lynn. Since this was in my email, not as a link, how do I do this other than copy and paste?


Audio mentions & embeds


The first thing to do if you want to sell more audiobooks is to make sure your existing readers know you have audiobooks. The more you push audio in your website and newsletter, the better your chances.

A great thing you can do is host samples of your audiobooks on SoundCloud and then embed those on your website. These can effectively act as a fun little teaser.

Here’s how to accomplish that with an Audible book:

Locate the Audible URL for your book;

Head to this handy “Audible Sample Finder” website by narrator Steven Jay Cohen;

Paste in your Audible URL and click on the “Audio sample” it returns;

Click on the three dots icon and download that sample in .mp3 format;

Head to SoundCloud, create an account, and upload your sample;

Click on “Share” below your SoundCloud soundtrack, then “Embed” and copy the Embed code;

Embed that code in your website.

You should also always send a newsletter when you have an audiobook out. Some of your subscribers might have already read your book, but they probably have audiobook listener friends they can share the news with! Or they might also buy the audio to listen to it again.

Which brings us to… Whispersync!

Whispersync, price promos, and the trickle-down effect

If you don’t know about Whispersync, it’s a cool Amazon technology that lets readers switch back and forth from reading the ebook on their Kindle to listening to the audiobook on Audible — without ever losing their place.

More importantly (for us authors), it allows readers to buy the audiobook edition at a deeply discounted price if they’ve already purchased the ebook. Here’s an example:

Now, this has created an interesting wave among freebie and deal seekers. Many audiobook listeners actively hunt for Whispersync deals. And because you need to have purchased the ebook first… they wait for the corresponding ebook to be discounted.

What does this look like from an author perspective? Well, if you run a free/discount promo on an ebook that has an audiobook companion in Whispersync, and manage to get a Bookbub Featured Deal (or to replicate the effect of a BFD through other promo sites), you’ll actually see a trickle-down effect of audiobook sales after the promo.

Why? All those audio deal seekers will get your ebook for free/$0.99, then buy the Whispersync audio for next to nothing! Instead of spending an Audible credit — or $15+ — for the audio, they’ll have gotten it for under $5.

And the best part: you get paid for a full audiobook sale! In some authors’ cases, this trickle-down effect has actually paid for their Bookbub free Featured Deal.

Making the most of giveaway codes

If you use ACX, you’ll know that they offer authors 25 promo codes per audiobook, so that authors can give away copies to eager listeners. And if you use Findaway Voices, they rolled out giveaway codes last year as well.

You can use these codes the same way you use Advance Review Copies: give them away in exchange for an honest review.

There are several ways to do this: 

You email your list and offer them the giveaway codes (and ask that they commit to leaving an honest review);

You research audiobook bloggers and try to get them to review your book (which will yield you additional exposure to audiobook listeners);

You pay for a $10 Listen & Review ad in AudiobookBoom, which will quickly get you a bunch of requests from their list of reviewers. 

That’s it for today’s audio marketing tricks. Don’t worry though, I’ll be back next Thursday with another three tried-and-tested strategies. And in the meantime, I’d love to hear from you: what do you do to market your audio titles? Do you use any unconventional tactics? I’m all ears! (Pun intended.)

Till next week,

From Reedsy

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