Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Is it Time for Authors to Speak Up and Sell More?

The more authors get their content out to more people, the better chance they have of discovery. 

The more discovery, the better the book sales.

I've long said that any author could and every author should "write once, publish to as many places, in as many formats as possible." This is known as the "multiple eyeballs" theorem. It's been applied to the mundane action of publishing to every distributor out there - which can double your sales almost overnight.

It also applies to getting into other formats, such as the three types of ebooks (epub, mobi, PDF) as well as several formats of print (two sizes of paperbacks, and hardback) - as well as audiobooks and even video. Not to mention people actually want to see your covers everywhere as well...

A recent re-discovery of podcasting seems poised to make discovery even more possible for authors.

The homework on this shows that it's becoming more and more mainstream - and (see links at the bottom) is becoming a key way to build an audience of your own through even more channels than regular ebooks allow.

 It's just so easy to do that I'm poised to dive off into the deep end of this pool myself.

How to do Podcasting - Quick and Low-Cost.

All you need to invest in is a decent microphone to get started (about $100 or so.) I've got a USB Blue Snowball mic, myself. Just Google "best podcasting usb microphones" and you'll see several brands that keep coming up. (You want USB so it records right into your computer without needing other cables and boards and whatnot.)

Here's the simple sequence and the lean approach to getting it done:
  1. Write your blog post like you would talk to someone.
  2. Record this to your computer and edit it on Audacity (that's a free download.)
  3. Find some royalty-free intro (beginning) and outro (ending) music and add it if you want.
  4. Upload the result to Archive.org for hosting.
  5. Embed their player on your blog post.
  6. Add that Archive.org MP3 link to your blog post as an "enclosure" link.
  7. Burn the RSS feed for that blog through Feedburner - which will give you all the meta-data slots you need to fill in terms of cover art, descriptions, etc.
  8. Then take that feed and post it to iTunes, Sticher, Mrio, DoubleTwist, Blubrry, and Libsyn (which are all the heavy-hitters in this field.)
And you're done. You've just added the top 6 podcasting directories to your list of distributors. All by just recording what you've been writing about on your blog all along.

Just keep podcasting every blog post from there on out. 

That series of links at the bottom of this blog post will tell you most of the above (and why authors should be podcasting). They also give you real examples of how expanding into podcasting brings you far more traffic in most cases.

What I'm doing with this blog

It's getting podcasts added for every blog post from here on out. (You can count on me to "eat the dog food" I make.)

Because it turned out to be so easy. A couple-thousand word blog post (which Google and LinkedIn like) turns out to be about 5-6 minutes of audio. Which is about a 5MB file - no stretch for anyone to post something like that. (A video I produced recently from the audio and a presentation went over 100MB, so I have to sort that out a bit, as my 'boonie-based-broadband has it's budget...)

Every blog post can have a soundtrack, and also simply get a PDF as well.  So the link-love from Archive.org and Slideshare.net will be a nice addition.

That also means that now I'm into the potential audience of people at those two sites to find what I write about - and so find my books.

How a fiction writer could use this

Ever hear of audio books? This is a perfect way to get them started (just save all your original recordings for later editing.

Charles Dickens use to publish like this - it's called serializing. 

Everyone loves to hear the author themselves read their book.  (If you have a membership, then you can give the first few minutes for free members, and the full chapter to the paid members - just like you don't let free members read the whole chapter on the blog.)

Paid memberships pay your bills so you can write full time. Paid members are able to contribute to the stories you write - like an avid fan base they are. (I think I've already covered this somewhat...)

For non-fiction writers, this is a godsend. By the time you've finished blogging all your research, you've also created an audio version. Even if you edit your book severely, just the audio files along with your other "cutting room floor" material can go onto a BitTorrent Bundle for promotion (and even sales, now)  and can also be sold as bonus materials via Sellfy, Payhip, and/or Ganxy for direct sales on your site - or inside your membership.

All this media production means discovery is easier, social signals are simpler to get, and your booksales should take off (if not audiobook sales.)

Next to crack would obviously be video, but that's another blog post and another day...

Good luck with this. I'll keep you posted on how it does for me.

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PS. Stay-tuned for iTunes and other podcast directories as I get this ramped up...
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Show Links for Reference:


Transcript PDF Available for download:

1 comment:

  1. *Another great experiment - poccasting about authors podcasting.* Overall, and as simple as this is, it makes more sense to invest a little more in that blog post to very probably develop even greater discovery from places you've never been - audio-lovers who like to listen to authors talk about their books (or whatever.) Interesting concept - Is a book not a book because it's spoken rather than just printed? #publishingtips