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Ten Ways to Use Audio to Sell More Books

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We all know that audio can be a powerful way to engage your audience, but can it really help you make a book sale? You bet it can. Though with all the focus on eBooks is there any room for audio-anything? Yes, and in fact in February of this year the Audio Publishers Association announced that audio books were a $1 billion dollar industry - and growing. Don't overlook audio. Here are some ways you can use audio to help sell your book:

  1. Audio book samples: Do a reading from your book, maybe a chapter or two and load it onto your website (if you don't think you're a good reader, have someone else do it or hire some voice-over talent).
  2. Audio on your website: While I'm not in favor of having an audio file load when your website does, there's some merit to having a short little audio (or video) "hello, welcome to my site message;" for an example of this, check out the Author Marketing Experts site at: http://www.amarketingexpert.com(you'll see our video on the home page).
  3. Daily/weekly Podcast: Podcasting is powerful, there's no two ways about it and it's here to stay. Creating your own podcast that you update daily or weekly is a great idea and a terrific way to draw some interest to your book. You can do this easily through BlogTalk radio or you can record it on your own and upload it to iTunes. Super easy. Don't believe me? Check out this great article on podcasting: http://addicted2success.com/success-advice/6-ways-to-create-a-world-famous-money-making-podcast/
  4. Teleclasses/webinars: I've personally done webinars and teleclasses for years and I love them. They're not only a fantastic way to promote your message, but you're also educating on your topic which is always a great idea. Remember: record every teleclass you do so you can use it as another sales item on your website.
  5. Audio series: Consider creating an audio series based on your book's topic. Remember though, if you're just rereading the content from your book then these cd's aren't necessarily an added value item but an audio book. Your audio cd needs to be different from your book in order to entice the reader to buy it in addition to the book. For example, if you finish your book and you say, "Gee, I wish I had included a chapter on XYZ," now you can create that additional chapter (or chapters) in your audio series.
  6. Freebies: Offering any of your audio products as a freebie to add value to a sale is a great idea. Something I'll do at the end of a speaking gig is offer a free download to anyone who buys a book after my session! I also capture their email by doing this so I can market to them again.
  7. Speak up! It's not always about a recorded product or podcast, get out and talk about your topic in front of a crowd. Passion sells, and if you speak passionately about your topic, your audience will resonate with your message and (hopefully) book sales will follow. Not sure where to speak? There are tons of places you could start locally. Trade shows, rotary club meetings, networking events. Consider starting in your neighborhood and then when you're ready, you can branch out.
  8. Book trailers: Well, maybe that's cheating a little, technically it's audio and video, but we're still talking about hitting the same sensory targets. Book trailers are hot, if you don't believe me just Google them and see what I mean. Getting your book into a visual medium can be powerful. They can also be pretty easy to do thanks to programs like iMovie for you Mac lovers and Microsoft Movie for the PC crowd. If you have an eye for this, you can do one yourself. Check out this video, which was made by the author: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r90INxcl1bc
  9. Radio is another powerful way to sell books. Keep in mind that one radio show often doesn't sell books but doing many shows might. Also, if you're going to do radio, get some media training so you're spot-on in your presentation and can relay your most important points in succinct, bulleted, benefit-driven points. These will help engage the listeners and encourage them to buy. Not sure where to pitch yourself? Here's a listing of radio shows around the country: http://www.radio-locator.com/
  10. And we just got done talking about podcasting, right? Why not pitch yourself there, too? There are tons of online shows looking for guests and often you can find even more niche topics so you can really target your shows and your readers! Here's a directory to get you started: http://www.podcast411.com/page2.html
Using audio to promote your book is a powerful way to gain additional reader attention. Not only that, but you never know who will respond better to audio than to a printed review, ad, or article. Putting the audio element into your sales arsenal can make for a powerful partnership, and the good news is that every day, audio and the creation of audio products becomes more accessible.