How to promote audiobooks

Make the most of the audiobook boom and learn how to market your audiobook successfully

  • Due to the popularity of audiobooks, it's essential to appeal to audiobook listeners directly as part of your marketing strategy.
  • Exploring all popular audiobook marketing strategies, from social media marketing to QR code incorporation, is vital to increasing your listener base and audiobook sales.
  • This article details 13 key marketing strategies for effective audiobook promotion.

The audiobook boom phenomenon

The literary market is going through an audiobook boom, and there are good reasons for this phenomenon. With many hard-copy literature enthusiasts and avid ebook readers experiencing a lack of time to read physical books or ebooks due to busy schedules, audio listeners are beginning to outnumber book readers.

Audio format books are more convenient compared to print books and e-readers for several reasons: they're convenient to listen to on the go, allow you to multitask while listening, and are accessible to reading enthusiasts with vision impairments. 

Plus, audiobooks are becoming much more accessible with the development of AI tools like ElevenLabs. While audiobooks used to be the preserve of big publishing houses, now, anyone can create an audiobook with easy-to-use text-to-speech generators that create human-quality output in minutes.

The importance of audiobook marketing 

That being said, it's no wonder why authors like yourself have decided to explore the audiobook format to gain more exposure, enter the audiobook market, provide more accessible options for your loyal fans and new readers, and boost book sales. 

Although audiobook marketing may initially seem overwhelming, it's not significantly different from traditional book marketing - save a few key points. Whether you're a newbie to the audiobook business or a seasoned publisher looking to boost your audiobook marketing strategy, look no further than this guide to provide the necessary guidance.

The essential audiobook marketing guide

Suppose you want to promote your audiobook but remain unsure where to start. In that case, our foundational audiobook marketing guide will help you explore and choose the right marketing tools and tactics for your target audience, budget, and experience level.

Let's begin!

Share your launch with your network

Once you've hit publish, don't wait for people to find out further down the line - inform them! 

Whether this includes announcing your audiobook launch to your family and friends and asking them to support your milestone or announcing your launch week over social media, sharing your launch with your direct network is always a good place to start. 

Leverage social media channels 

Social media marketing (SMM) is booming right now, and for good reason. Social media platforms are an excellent marketing channel for any product or service, both digital and physical, and audiobooks are no exception. 

A solid social media strategy can help you achieve everything from sharing your launch on your personal social media accounts to promoting your audiobook on your official business pages (if available). 

Effective social media marketing platforms range from the basics like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to platforms with increased virality potential like X, TikTok (particularly the "BookTok" side of TikTok), and Reddit (excellent for networking with other authors and audiobook enthusiasts). 

Create an eye-catching audiobook cover 

Similar to your print book cover, your audiobook cover should be eye-catching, engaging, and high-quality. There are several ways you can go about this. If you already have an existing book cover, you can format it for audiobook cover parameters and upload it alongside other data to any publishing platform of your choice.

Likewise, if you still need to craft a cover that helps sell your prized work, consider hiring a graphic designer or digital artist to create a stunning audiobook cover. Lastly, if you possess the digital design skills to create one yourself, consider software like Adobe Photoshop to make the magic happen!

Choose a good audiobook narrator

Narration quality is key for audiobook success for several reasons. Firstly, audiobook listeners can distinguish between a professional narrator and a rookie. Narration is also a significant review parameter, with reviewers often rating the narration separately. Lastly, the audio element of an audiobook is what differentiates it from physical copies and ebooks. Narration should be clear, concise, natural, and expressive without background noise, unintentional pauses, or monotone delivery.

Regarding narration, there are three main options: 

  1. Hire a professional audiobook narrator or voice actor. Platforms like ACX, Fiverr, Freelancer, and Bunny Studio are excellent for finding professional voice over artists and narrators.
  2. Narrate your audiobook yourself (manually). This option requires you to set up a high-quality home studio and incorporate vocal training exercises into your daily routine.
  3. Use text-to-speech and AI voice generation platforms like ElevenLabs. Upload a 30-minute voice audio recording, and let the software do the magic for you. That way, you can narrate your entire book without spending the time and energy required for a full narration.

Ensure you employ the same narrator throughout the recording to avoid confusion.

Publish audiobooks on a publishing/distribution platform

Audiobook publishing and distribution platforms like Audiobook Creative Exchange (ACX) and Findaway Voices are excellent tools for self-publishers. They open you up to a new audience of audiobook listeners, provide a wider reach, distribute your audiobooks across several major retail platforms, and offer competitive royalty rates, production tools, and audiobook promotion services. 

Create a website or landing page

Another excellent and (often) cost-effective audiobook promotion strategy is through a personal website or landing page. If you don't already have an author website, now is the time to create one. While a landing page is excellent for building pre-launch anticipation, an author website helps you gain industry credibility while promoting your audiobook across search engines (given that your content is optimized for SEO). 

With many free and cost-effective website builders available on the market, from Squarespace to Wix to WordPress, building a website or landing page shouldn't be a problem.

Additionally, many of these website builders also offer useful plugins and built-in and third-party integrations to help you optimize your website for performance and SEO (search engine optimization). 

Consider influencer marketing 

If you have the budget or connections (or both), consider incorporating influencer marketing into your audiobook promotion strategy - particularly influencers in the reading lover category. From BookTok on TikTok to LinkedIn thought leaders to Twitter (sorry, X) users with large followings, there are many options to choose from to leverage an influencer's ability to, well, influence. 

Tap into an existing audience of audiobook listeners and promote your audiobook to the influencer's follower base. As a powerful incentive, you can even offer exclusive promo codes for the creator and their followers. 

Make podcast appearances 

If possible, appear as a podcast guest to promote your audiobook launch. Remember to incorporate subtle marketing tactics, introducing yourself as an author and speaking about your writing journey before mentioning your work. 

Use QR codes to boost audiobook sales

QR codes are an excellent way to promote your audiobook, especially during a physical book launch. Provide a QR code to your audiobook during book launches or other networking events to appeal to audiobook listeners directly.

Launch all formats of your book simultaneously 

According to several audiobook marketing gurus, simultaneously launching your physical book, ebook (e.g., Kindle book), and audiobook version is a great way to boost engagement and increase audiobook sales. 

It's also been speculated that platforms like Amazon display preferential treatment towards authors and publishers who launch all formats simultaneously (allegedly), providing more incentive for trying this strategy out.

Provide audiobook listeners with discounts and promo codes 

Provide discounts for your existing readers, listeners, and followers as a token of appreciation for their loyalty. Not only will they have an incentive to purchase your audiobook, but they will also be grateful. Incorporate this into your email marketing strategy, and you have a winning combination at your fingertips.

Create audiobook samples 

What's an audiobook promotion strategy without effective audio samples? Make sure to have a solid audio sample or two that you can upload to your website, share on publishing platforms, and include in further marketing campaigns.

The best thing? With ElevenLabs, audio samples can be quick and easy to create and share. Simply add in your text, use our text-to-speech tool to generate the snippet, and share widely! You can even transform it into multiple languages for a global reach.

Partner with reviewers and other authors

Partnering with reviewers is a great way to increase engagement and popularity for your title. If you're looking for an online community to join and benefit from mutual support, platforms like Reddit are excellent for this purpose.

Explore Reddit's author, audiobook, and book marketing communities and join subreddits that appeal to your genre, niche, and marketing goals.

Key takeaways 

That's a wrap! 

We hope this guide taught you everything you need to know regarding audio book marketing. Boost your audio sales and promote your print books simultaneously by incorporating the strategies listed above.

That said, we wish you the best of luck on your audiobook promotion journey. Remember to refer to this guide if you ever feel stuck or need to refresh your memory.

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