Do you want to create, publish and market your audiobooks?
Are you ready to use podcasting to grow your author brand and reach more readers with your books?
Audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment in publishing with double-digit growth in markets across the world. Podcasting has gone mainstream with listeners consuming audio on mobile phones and in-car devices, as well as through smart speakers. Advancements in voice technology continue to expand possibilities for audio creation and marketing.
With such rapid growth in opportunity, how can you position your books in an increasingly voice-first world?
I've been podcasting for over a decade as well as narrating and producing my own audiobooks since 2014. I'm an avid consumer of audio content and I'm also experimenting with AI voice technologies. In this book, I'll share everything I know so that you can position your books and your author brand for the next shift in reader behavior.
"I'm a writer and I've been looking for clear, easy-to-digest, information about how to create my own audiobooks. I've taken a course, read a couple books, and surfed the Internet until my board beached on the rocks of exhaustion, but I didn't have enough understanding of the process to get started.
Joanna Penn answered all my lingering questions and made me feel like I could do it. To me, this is an invaluable book."– Jo-Ann Carson, 5* Amazon Review
"I highly recommend Audio For Authors for anyone interested in adding audio skills to their author platform. In a highly readable, conversational style, Joanna Penn provides more of her informed insight into the world of audio, designed especially for authors. She provides the basics and answers questions you may not even have yet. Well worth the time invested before you pick up a microphone!"– Aime S, 5* Amazon Review
"Excellent resource for all things audio! There is no one better positioned to provide authoritative advice on the use of audio for authors than Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn, who brings to bear her practical experience gleaned from the production of her podcast, the narration of her audiobook, her use of dictation, and her other forays into the world of audio. She also applies her futurist bent, keeping tabs on emerging audio trends, such as the increasing use of voice assistants, and what that can mean for content creators. An excellent resource that examines all aspects of audio opportunity."– Kay Near, 5* Amazon Review
Why audio? Why now?
The advent of mobile and streaming internet speeds alongside cheap technology for creation and consumption have exploded the potential for audio in the last decade, and it just keeps getting better. Here are some recent headlines:
•The Audio Publishers Association reports seven years of double-digit revenue growth for audiobooks in the USA.
•The Independent reports that audiobook sales are predicted to overtake ebook sales in the UK in 2020.
•Tom Webster, Senior Vice President at Edison Research noted, "This is a watershed moment for podcasting — a true milestone. With over half of Americans 12+ saying that they have listened to a podcast, the medium has firmly crossed into the mainstream."
•According to the Edison Infinite Dial Report, "time spent listening to online audio reached a record high in 2019, with weekly online audio listeners reporting an average of nearly 17 hours of listening in the last week."
There is clearly a growing demand for audio in all kinds of formats, and as creators, we are well placed to take advantage of this shift in consumer behavior.
Audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment of the publishing market,and more opportunities arise every month for authors who want to get their books into the format. We can license our audiobook rights, work with professional narrators, or learn how to narrate our own work, distributing audiobooks through an ever-growing network of mobile applications to increase revenue.
We can start a podcast or appear as an interview guest on other people's shows to reach readers directly and spread the word about our books. We can build trust and a more intimate relationship with listeners by using our voices, which are far more personal than words on a page.
Audio will help you stand out
"We're moving inexorably toward a subscription-driven, human-driven, emotion-driven, ad-free, funnel-free, big brand loyalty-free world."
Mark W Schaefer, Marketing Rebellion
The written word is an increasingly crowded marketplace. There are more books published every day alongside many thousands of articles and many millions of social media updates.
At the same time, people are listening to more podcasts and audiobooks, making time for consumption in their busy lives while doing other things.
If your book is available in audio, you can potentially reach these readers with your words, and even your spoken voice if you self-narrate. The audiobook space is nowhere near as crowded as the market for ebooks or print, because the cost of entry is still much higher than converting text to a digital file.
An author who performs well is memorable — whether that is live at an event or on a podcast interview about their book. But good performance takes practice, and many authors prefer to create alone, and stay away from book marketing. I understand that feeling, but if you want to reach readers and sell books, you need to step outside your comfort zone and meet people where they are.
If you build a connection with readers, you will sell more books, because voice fosters a relationship. Listeners feel like they know you, like you and trust you, and that is an authentic way to stand out in a noisy world.
This book is intended to push you out of your comfort zone, because the world is changing, and there are more ways to reach readers through audio than ever before. The time is now for embracing audio, so I hope you will join me on the journey.