Take the June Audiobook Challenge

June is Audiobook Month!

If your book is available in audiobook format, this month provides a great opportunity for you to promote, promote, and promote your book.

June is Audiobook Month

As an author, you don’t want to inundate people with just information about yourself and your books. Your followers—on social media, your blog readers and those who receive your emails—want you to add value to their lives. This means giving them information or entertainment that enriches their day.

So, here are two ideas to add value during Audiobook Month while promoting your books. Let these two suggestions get your creative juices flowing to help you create more ideas.

1.  Host a Giveaway of Your Audiobook.

Hold a contest and give away one or more copies of your audiobook this month. This is a great way to highlight your book and collect emails for your future email marketing efforts.

Unsure how to go about hosting an online giveaway? Members of Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) have access to the CIPA Guide: Online Giveaways, which provides instructions on how to host a giveaway and the best free and low-cost services available to help you run an online giveaway.

2. Take Part In and Encourage Your Fans to Join the June Audiobook Challenge.

The Audio Publishers Association is hosting the June Audiobook Challenge. Throughout the month of June, adults participate in the daily Instragram challenge. Here is how:

  • Take a photo of yourself doing the daily challenge (see chart below).
  • Post the photo on Instagram, follow and tag @audiobooks and use the hashtag #audiobookchallenge.

#audiobookchallenge

The Audio Publishers Association will DM the daily winner around 24 hours after the original post went up.

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Use Direct Mail for Better Response Rates

The average response rates for an email marketing campaign are about 1%. That means if you send out an email promoting a special on one of your books to 100 people, only one person will act on your email and buy the book—if you are lucky.

So, the question that marketers ask is: How can we increase this response rate?

The answer involves direct mail. Yes, it is more expensive. But it can also be more effective.

According to a study by Millward Brown, physical media generates a deeper brain activity than digital media, leaving a longer lasting memory when compared to email or television.

Studies also show that direct mail has the highest response rate when used in conjunction with digital channels such as email, website, and social media. Check out this infographic on The Power of Direct Mail & Digital.

The Power of Direct Mail & Digital

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How to Land Local Media Coverage

Dream big. But, remember that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

The same is true for marketing your book. Maybe you have big dreams for your book. It all starts with a small step.

Marketing Your Book Starts with a Small Step.

This small step is done locally, right where you live. Whether you want to conduct author events like book signings, start a speaking ministry, or be a guest on television and radio, you must start locally.

In his new book, Landing Local Media, publicist Jason Jones explains why starting local is so important. He says:

Your local market is not only where you’re best known; it’s also where you’re most relevant. The chances of you landing local media are exponentially higher than landing a covered spot on one of the major networks, cable outlets, or national radio programs. Besides, before you appear before a national audience, you’re want to have honed your skills before a smaller and friendlier crowd—and local media can you do that.

Jason’s book provides great information on the following:

  • Landing Local MediaWho your local media is
  • What your local media does and how you can play a part
  • The myriad things you should do before you ever reach out to media
  • What to do when you’re ready to pitch
  • What to do once you’re booked
  • How to deliver a great interview
  • What to do when your interview is over

In my years of working with independently published authors, I see many of them making some serious mistakes both when it comes to trying to secure media coverage and in their interviews. Two really important pointers that I have given authors are also highlighted in Jason’s book.

1.  Publishing a book is not news.

Many independent authors think that publishing a book is news—even for their local media. A new book is not a news worthy event.

Local media outlets are looking for entertainment and information that will benefit their audience. This means unique stories about people and events in the community, service or products that meet a need, and experts who can expound on local news stories.

2.  Your radio, television or newspaper interview is not about selling your book.

Your media interview is not a commercial for your book. It is about providing entertainment or information to an audience. The purpose is for your message to add value to people’s lives.

When what you share resonates with the audience, they will look you up. If you mention your book briefly in your interview, they will remember that you are an author and find your book.

If you want to secure local media coverage, I recommend that you read Jason’s book, Landing Local Media. The book will give you the information you need to launch a successful local media campaign.

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Photo courtesy of langll.

Is Free Really an Effective Marketing Strategy?

Everyone loves free stuff. Go to any convention and attendees all flock to the displays where items are being given away for free. When companies like Chick-Fil-A, 7 Eleven, Rita’s or Dairy Queen give away free products, people flock to the business.

Is Free an Effective Marketing Strategy?

Giving away free products is a form of advertising. After all, the goal of all advertising is for someone to use the product or service and like it enough to become a repeat buyer and tell other people about the great product or service. The ultimate goal of advertising is seeding word-of-mouth.

The same is true for book sales. Word-of-mouth is the top of driver of sales. Publishers and authors spend money on marketing a book in hopes that people will read the book and like it well enough to start telling others about it.

Giving away free books as part of a book marketing campaign brings the following three benefits to your book.

1.  It drives sales.

Giving away free books to readers drives discovery. It introduces an author to new readers. When avid readers like a book, they tend to read other books by that same author. After all, author familiarity is one of the top drivers of book sales.

Free is a powerful sales catalyst for series or backlists, especially with ebooks. Studies indicates that ebook series that offer the first book free earn 55% more on average than series that don’t offer the first ebook free.

2.  It develops rapport.

Giving free books develops rapport. Rapport is needed to develop a relationship. There are four main reasons people do business with someone. These four reasons are:

  • They like you.
  • They trust you.
  • They find you competent.
  • They believe you have integrity.

Rapport opens the door for trust. Giving free copies of your book to readers is one way to begin to develop trust with these buyers. If these readers like your book, they will tell others.

3.  It encourages feedback.

Feedback benefits you. Reactions and observations let you know what you are doing well. It also tells you what you need to improve. When you give away a free book, you can invite feedback. After all, you want to know whether the book resonated with the reader or whether you need to change a few things so you can better connect with your target audience.

Some individuals who receive a free copy of a book will provide feedback in the form of a review, either on their own blog, website, social media sites, newsletter, or on an online bookstore. This is the best type of feedback because reviews help sell books.

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Extend the Reach of Your Marketing Videos

Video has become one of the most effective ways to grow an audience. Studies show that 8 in 10 people would rather watch a video than read a blog or social media post.

Video traffic on the Internet keeps growing in popularity. Experts estimate that by 2022, video will make up 82% of all Internet traffic. Since search engines know that people prefer videos, they tend to rank video content higher in search results.

Video Tips

If you are creating videos to market your books, you may want to consider the following two steps to make your video content more accessible for everyone, and thus extend the reach of your video marketing.

1.  Add Captions to Your Video

Adding captions to your video means that the text of your script is synced with the video in real-time. Having your spoken words appear as captions in your video means that your content is available for any audience.

People who want to watch your video in a place where they may not be able to have the volume on can still do so. In fact, 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Studies have found that videos with subtitles are 80% more likely to be watched in full.

You can easily add captions to your videos via your video editing software. In addition, you can also add captions to your videos using tools that Google Drive and YouTube video editor provide, or a service like Subly.

2.  Make a Transcript of the Video Content

Not everyone wants to watch videos. A smaller percentage of people still prefer to read when consuming content online. These are often people who are busy and are either great speed readers or like to scan articles for important information.

You can reach these people by providing a transcript of the words in your video on the page the video is published. The full script of the video should be written out from start to finish.

You can either write out your script yourself, or you can use a free service like Happy Scribe or oTrascribe to convert the audio in your video to text.

The Apostle Paul said, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” In a similar fashion, as an author, by adding captions to your videos and including a full-transcript of your videos, you are ensuring that your content is accessible to anyone who may be interested.

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Photo courtesy of CreaPark.