5 Easy Ways Authors Can Use Audio to Promote Their Books

By on May 10th, 2011

HeadphonesAuthor, book promotion coach Lynn Serafinn shares her tips on building your list by giving away great audio to your social media network.

Authors are always looking for ways to promote their books online. However, many are under the mistaken impression that promoting your book means you need to put excerpts on your blog or give away free chapters for download. And while giving away parts of your book might seem to make a lot of sense, it’s not necessarily the most effective way to promote your book online. The Internet is flooded with information. Even free content has got to kick some serious butt to make an impression on readers these days, who probably have a backlog of things on their “to read” list.

So instead of running the risk of becoming yet another unread masterpiece, I’d like to suggest authors put down the pen (or their keyboard) for a little while and start recording their voice instead.

Yes, I’m talking about giving away audio instead of all your precious writing. Why audio? Well, for one thing, if you follow some of the tips below, you don’t have to do much to produce the content. Secondly, audio has a higher perceived value than simple text. And lastly, audio get your audience closer to you. Speaking to your audience directly, and letting them get to know the sound of your voice, is both powerful and intimate.

What kind of audio can authors give to their readers?

Here are some ideas:

  1. Get yourself booked on some Internet radio shows and then give away the recordings of some of your interviews (ask the host if it’s ok first, of course). Make sure the interviews are content-rich and interesting to the listener. If they are just “pitches” about your book, no one will be interested in them. In a future article, I’ll give you some tips about getting booked on shows.
  2. If you don’t have any interviews in the coffers, set up a webinar on your topic (or a series of them), use the recordings of those. Not only will it be a good promotional activity on the day, but you can reuse the audio as an ongoing give-away gift.
  3. You can also do a live reading of the most powerful part of your book in front of a small audience and record that, or record it directly into your PC if you don’t happen to have an audience on hand.

Use your imagination, but make sure you give away at least 15 minutes of audio as your free gift. Some of my giveaways have as many as 8 hours of audio, depending upon the subject matter.

How good must the quality be?

If you are recording at home, be sure your audio is recorded and mixed down to MP3 format at a sample rate of 44.1kHz at 16 bits. If your recording is from an Internet broadcast, it will be compressed and the audio quality will be much lower resolution, but for a free gift, that is usually acceptable. Some conference line recordings, however, are at set to such a low fidelity they are really not usable. Do a test run first and listen back to it. If there’s a lot of noise (indicating low bit rate) or it sounds like you have a lisp every time you say the letter “s” (indicating the sample rate it too low), it might not be a wise choice.

MP3 PlayerHOW do you deliver your free audio gift?

Be sure you have created a way for people to DOWNLOAD the audio, rather than use an online player (such as Audio Acrobat). Remember that people like to play MP3s on their iPod or other portable player while driving in their car or commuting on the train to and from work.

Secondly, don’t deliver your audios all at once. Spread them out over a few days or send one audio per week. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is to allow your audience to take their time “consuming” your content. People might be speed readers, but there is no such thing as a “speed listener.” An hour of audio takes an hour to listen to it. When you deliver too much audio all at once, people are LESS likely to listen to any of it (I still have a couple of my offers set up like this, and keep meaning to change them). But the other reason why it is a good idea to spread out your delivery of audios is this: when you deliver four audios over a period of four weeks, it allows you to build a stronger relationship with your audience.

Make your “squeeze page” (the page where they enter their name and email to get your audio) as MINIMAL as possible. Don’t confuse the reader with other offers or links on your page. Make the audio the-one-and-only offer on the page, and resist the urge to link out to other pages of your website.

On your download page (the page people go to after they sign up for your audio) make sure you have a “call to action”, which should comprise of a picture of your book, a quote from a great endorsement, and a link to buy your book online (don’t forget to use your affiliate link if you have one!). Also put this same call to action at the end of any follow-up emails you might send them. If you are delivering a new audio every week, your readers will see this call to action every time they go to retrieve their new audio.

WHERE do you offer these free audios?

Ok, so here’s where the magic comes in. Here are some of my favourite uses. And the nice thing about them is that once you have them set up, you just walk away from them and let them do their magic:

  1. As a ‘thank you’ gift when they subscribe to your ezine/ newsletter (this is probably the most common way people use them)
  2. As a ‘welcome gift’ when they “like” your fan page on Facebook
  3. As a ‘bonus gift’ on a JV campaign for another author’s book launch
  4. As a ‘Thanks for Following Me’ gift to new Twitter followers using Social Oomph
  5. As a ‘random gift’ on Twitter or Facebook. Every now and then when you tweet, just tell people you’ve got a free audio for them. You can use Twaitter to schedule them to go out 1x a day, 1x week, or whatever you like.

And here’s a Bonus Tip:

*** Give your audio as a totally ‘unexpected gift’ in your bio at the end of an article… like the one you see below. 😉

I myself have numerous audio offers going out on a regular basis throughout the year, which add hundreds of new names to my list without my even trying. I hope these ideas spark your creative juices and help you build your own list and social media following with lots and lots of wonderful new people.

I love to know whether or not you found this article to be helpful. Please DO leave a comment below to let me know, or to write to me at ask any questions you may have about this information.

Happy recording!


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  1. Francisco A. Ojeda says:

    I appreciate what you wrote in the article. I am desperate to promote my novel and poetry. Discussion with my publisher included recording my poems and particularly my novel. I found some of the technical aspects you mentioned frightening but will use your advice the best I can. Thank you.


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