No one has come up with a good way to promote audio books, IMHO. There are small blogs and bloggers out there who will do reviews and post them, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart, but frankly, there isn't a source, except for paid advertising in some expensive magazines that promotes audio books. It's still like the Wild West out there, every author and even publishing house kind of "doing their own thing."
I consider my friendship and collaboration with J.D. Hart a tremendous asset and a boon to my career. I can only hope that all of you find yourselves lucky enough to find a great narrator who can work with you on book trailers, snippets to SoundCloud or other things you might need for promotion. And remember, audio books are books. Funny how publicists and promoters don't think of that when they are designing an author's campaign. The audio book listener is different than the eBook listener. They like to savor the stories, take their time. Remember, most audio books are 7-10 hours long. A great reader can finish a good book in 3-4 hours, or less. So, younger readers I find are not into audio books, unless they are doing a long commute or have lots of free time. Unless you're very wealthy, most young people I know have little or no time. That's why I think there has been such a surge in the novella market.
Narrowing the field a bit more, some people want to hear their own idea of how the hero sounds. They may not like my husky voice of a man I like to whisper in my ears. They may have some other idea, so an audio book might take them out of the story. I find that the listener, if they will give the narrator time enough, can adjust to this. Remember that Diana Gabaldon didn't like the producers' choice of Jamie Fraser at first, but as she watched the actor reel and sample reading, she said he became the character Jamie Fraser to her. Simply put, she let the actor do his job. And he did.
Most authors don't understand that the Narrator becomes a character in her book, since the book is told through the narrator's eyes. He gives a read, but it is more than just telling the story, he performs the story for the reader, thereby adding his interpretation of the words. If we didn't have this, we'd have books we all would fall asleep over every day. And there are plenty of those out there to begin with!
My narrator had to point this out to me. Now it seems so obvious. The collaboration we do together isn't anything I could have done by myself. It gives the reader three ways to enjoy my story: to read it electronically, hold a printed book in their hot little hands, and listen to the story as told by a talented actor with a dreamy voice. My best and most loyal fans enjoy my books all three ways, and several of my author friends have had the same results.
I think in publishing, audio books allow the reader to have more bites of the Apple (if you'll forgive the pun) -- more chances to experience the story in a fuller dimension.
What are your thoughts on audio books?
Sharon Hamilton is a NYT and USA/Today bestselling author most known for her SEAL Brotherhood series. She also writes a Golden Vampire and Guardian Angel series.
A lifelong organic gardener, Sharon lives with her husband in the Wine Country of Northern California, where most of her stories take place. When she’s not writing, she’s getting verra verra dirty in the mud, or wandering Farmer’s Markets looking for new Heirloom varieties of vegetables and flowers.
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.