Boundless: Digital Publishing Roundup – Spring Edition

Photo by Michael Dales
Photo by Michael Dales

For many of us, spring marks a new beginning. A period of reinvention. An opportunity to grow. It seems the same can be said of digital publishing. With e-book sales slowing, publishers are experimenting with new retail channels and digital marketing opportunities, while other key players are transforming their business models in hopes of reaching more readers. Here are the latest developments…

Trains, Planes, and…E-books

Publishers are setting their sights on travelers…

Free Kobo E-books Now Available on Southwest Airplanes

Kobo has teamed up with Southwest Airlines to offer free e-books to travelers who want to read digitally…http://bit.ly/1FqoAl8

HarperCollins Takes Flight with JetBlue Ebook Partnership

Back in November, JetBlue rolled out its new in-flight digital content platform, which came equipped with a selection of samples of twenty best-selling ebooks published by HarperCollins…http://bit.ly/1uBmDWV

Amazon Goes Airborne With JetBlue

Amazon is adding one more advantage to the long list of services it already offers its premium customers. So long as they fly with JetBlue, Amazon Prime members will have unlimited access to the airline’s Wi-Fi, allowing them to stream all the Amazon Prime content available to them – for free. This includes thousands of films and TV shows via Amazon Instant Video, more than one million songs, curated playlists and 500,000 eBooks on Kindle’s Owner’s Lending Library… http://bit.ly/1KVnThU

[Read more…]

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About Erika Liodice

Erika Liodice is the author of Empty Arms: A Novel (Dreamspire Press). To read more about her publishing journey, you can visit her at erikaliodice.com.

9 Easy & Inexpensive Ways to Promote Your Audiobook

Photo by The Preiser Project.
Photo by The Preiser Project.

Back in July, I wrote a post about my reluctant journey into the seemingly overwhelming world of audiobook production and the lessons I learned along the way. I shared my advice for choosing a narrator and selecting the right royalty structure, and warned of some production perils to avoid. Many of you responded to that post with questions about how to market an audiobook. As a former corporate marketeer, your interest in this side of things got me excited— probably because my friends’ eyes glaze over when I say words like “metadata” or “demographics”—so I’ve returned today to address the issue.

As an independent author and publisher, I’m constantly faced with the challenge of how to compete in a crowded marketplace with titles that have big budgets and entire publicity teams behind them. Many shy away from the challenge, chalking it up as impossible, but I’ve learned that you can reach readers without spending big money; you just have to be creative.

Here are nine easy and inexpensive ideas you can try right away…

1. Reviews

Just as there are reviewers for print and e-books, there are reviewers who specialize in audiobooks. There are traditional publications, like AudioFile Magazine, which is published in print and digital formats and is dedicated solely to audiobooks, as well as a host of audiobook review blogs that are always looking for new titles. These reviewers can be found with a simple Google search or by perusing directories like the Book Blogger directory, Indie View, or the Book Blogger List.

Don’t forget about your own fan base. If you’ve produced your audiobook with ACX, then you will receive 25 promo codes that you can use to give away free copies of your audiobook in exchange for a review.

>Tip: As stellar reviews come pouring in, re-post them on your social sites to help spread the good word.

2. Interviews

Reach audiobook enthusiasts using other audio formats, like radio and podcasts. There are thousands of radio stations and podcasts that offer a variety of programs, which are often looking for guests and experts. Think about the subjects explored in your audiobook and how they could translate into an interesting discussion or interview. Then, identify a list of shows that would benefit from having you as a guest and pitch yourself to the shows’ producers.

For example, my audiobook, Empty Arms, explores teen pregnancy, forced adoptions, sealed records, and their devastating impact on an entire generation of women, so I’ve been targeting programs that deal with women’s issues.

To find radio shows that might be a good fit for your subject matter, check out the Radio Locator database. It’s a useful tool that allows you to search for radio stations by geography or format and then connects you to each station’s website, where you can learn about upcoming show topics and find the producer’s contact information.

For podcasts, visit the Podcasts section of the iTunes store and try searching for different keywords related to your book. You’ll be surprised at the number of shows you find. (Here’s an interview I scored over at The BookCast.)

>Tip: It can be time-consuming to monitor all of the publicity opportunities out there. You might find it useful to subscribe to Radio Guest List, a free booking service that sends you a daily e-mail with current radio, podcast, and television publicity opportunities.

[Read more…]

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About Erika Liodice

Erika Liodice is the author of Empty Arms: A Novel (Dreamspire Press). To read more about her publishing journey, you can visit her at erikaliodice.com.

Navigating the Next Frontier in Digital Publishing: Audiobooks

audiobooks
Photo by Jeff Golden

When Audible launched its Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) back in 2011, my initial reaction was to ignore it. I wish I could tell you that this decision was rooted in sound logic, but if I’m being totally honest, the very idea of producing an audiobook just seemed overwhelming. This was at a time when I’d finally gotten the whole MOBI vs. EPUB thing straight and the thought of learning a new vernacular threatened to make my head explode. After all, how many times have we writers been promised that something is going to be easy only to learn the hard truth?

I can’t pinpoint exactly when the shift occurred, but it seems like the digital publishing conversation changed from e-books to audiobooks overnight. Suddenly people were calling it “the next frontier in digital publishing” and it quickly became impossible to ignore this rapidly growing market segment, which, according to IBISWorld, currently represents about $1.6 billion (up from $480 million in 1997). I spent a lot of time thinking about my goals as a writer, one of which is reaching more readers, and I finally decided to take a serious look at audio.

Even though “talking books” have been available since the 1930s (they were originally intended for people with visual impairments), the confluence of digital audio formats, mobile devices, and our “on the go” lifestyle has made audiobooks more affordable, portable, and accessible to a wider audience than ever before, an audience who is embracing the format as a way to multitask. Last year The New York Times cited a Bowker survey that revealed that “among people who have recently bought audiobooks, 47% listen while commuting in a car, 25% while working around the house and 23% while exercising.” Though the audiobook market is smaller than that of print and e-books, if you consider that only a fraction of books make the transition to audio, you could argue that the audiobook market might be an easier place to get discovered. Add to that the fact that audiobook listeners have the most diverse reading habits—”84% of audiobook listeners also read a print book in the past year, and 56% also read an e-book,” according to Pew Research Internet Project—and you can see how offering your work as an audiobook could translate to e-book and print sales of other titles.

With all of this in mind, I decided that I couldn’t ignore audio anymore; it was time to embrace digital publishing’s newest technology, vernacular and all. At the beginning of this year, rather than setting my usual resolutions about losing weight and saving money, I set just one: to turn my novel, Empty Arms, into an audiobook. It was a long road and it wasn’t always easy, but my head didn’t explode and I find myself here, in the beginning of July, with a newly approved audiobook to launch and a number of lessons to share with anyone who’s thinking of making a similar journey. [Read more…]

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About Erika Liodice

Erika Liodice is the author of Empty Arms: A Novel (Dreamspire Press). To read more about her publishing journey, you can visit her at erikaliodice.com.

The Digital Revolution: Subscribing to Change

– photo by charlesdyer –

Please welcome Erika Liodice, who is no stranger to WU. In fact, Erika acted as the Writer Inboxed digital expert since our newsletter’s inception. She’s also the author of the novel Empty Arms, and Vice President of the MidAtlantic Book Publishers Association, and she’s here today to shake things up.

Would you like to learn more about the digital revolution? Read on.

The Digital Revolution: Subscribing to Change

The rate of change you’re experiencing today is the slowest you’ll see in your lifetime.

If you were following the Digital Book World Conference on Twitter, you probably saw this quote by Michael Cader Susan Katz, president and publisher of HarperCollins’ Children’s Books (thank you, Porter, for setting the record straight), pop up in your feed more than once. I don’t know about you, but it already feels like technology is changing so fast that it’s hard to keep up. How can it possibly change any faster? Every day it seems like there is a new way to write a book, publish it, and promote it, not to mention read it. Sometimes I worry that if I stop paying attention for even a moment, I’ll be left behind. While I’m still a relative newcomer to the publishing industry, having been at it for less than a decade, I’ve witnessed its rapid transformation in my own way—from the days when querying an agent meant putting a small dent in the forest to today, when the majority of my book sales don’t require a single sheet of paper. Back then, my author platform consisted of a well-balanced blog, Facebook page, and Twitter stream. Nowadays there are more social outposts than hours to keep up with them.

Of all the changes to shake up this industry, one of the most interesting, as of late, is the emergence of the subscription model. As recently as a few years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you if you’d told me that by 2014 not only would I no longer own CDs or DVDs but I wouldn’t even own my music or movie libraries, yet here we are in the age of streaming entertainment, the era of binge consumption, paying a few measly bucks a month for all the content we can digest. When it comes to the sensibility of subscription services, it all boils down to one question: will I spend more money buying new songs/movies/books each month than it would cost to pay for a subscription?

For the hard core among us, it’s easy to see why the shift is happening. [Read more…]

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About Erika Liodice

Erika Liodice is the author of Empty Arms: A Novel (Dreamspire Press). To read more about her publishing journey, you can visit her at erikaliodice.com.