In today’s show, we dig into audiobook promotions, looking at several low-cost methods for audiobook marketing and promotions that you can start immediately for either no cost or for very small amounts of money.

Our guest today is Karen Commins. She’s a professional narrator who has given voice to over 50 audiobooks. In addition to earning a BA in broadcast journalism, Karen has completed extensive specialized training in voiceover and audiobook narration technique, as well as digital audio production. She also, and this is how we connected, she also curates information to help authors create audiobook editions of their titles at and compiles ideas to aid with audiobook marketing at

In this 60 minute show, we discuss the relationship between authors and narrators and then consider different ways authors can promote their audiobooks online. Karen is already active and answering questions about audiobook marketing and promotion in the Author Biz FaceBook group, so if you have any questions after the show, either post them as a comment below or jump into the Facebook group and ask them there.

Karen sent this great of her recording (on the left) and production areas.  I love the soundproof room she’s built for her studio!

Show Notes

Karen Commins

Author versus Narrator in Audiobooks

    • Varies by ownership rights
      • Sold to indie publisher
        • Little involvement with book
        • May not have choice of narrators
      • Self-produced
        • Author can find their own narrator based on style
          • Many use Audiobook Creation Exchange
        • “It costs more money if you’re paying [for production resources] up front… but it’s a deferred payment on a royalty share.”
    • “The best relationships are when the author realizes that the narrator has a different set of skills than the author…you have to have trust that they’re going to read your book and understand it. It’s their interpretation of your words… It’s performance art. The narrator’s goal is always to make the author’s words the star.”
    • Different fanbases
  • Example: Scott Brick (Narrator) and David Baldacci
      • Scott Brick is a “superstar” in Audiobooks
      • David Baldacci has 213,738 Facebook likes; Scott Brick has 1,574 Facebook likes (as of 2016)
        • People appear to choose books based on author more than narrator

ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange)

  • Free service for authors and narrators
  • Narrators can post profiles and samples, authors can post titles
    • Narrators audition for specific titles
      • Authors hear the auditions or any sample
      • More input in audiobook production, to a degree
        • The end-product still lies with the narrator
  • Responsibilities
    • Author: when needed, give insight to characters, place names, and pronunciations
    • Narrator: read the book before recording. Make note of subtext and context clues in story arc to better read the story the way the author imagined it.

Marketing & Promotion of Audiobooks

  • Author’s perspective
    • Goal is to maximize visibility of audio edition of your book
      • Use your email list!
      • “Any chance that an author as to say, ‘I have an audiobook available,” they should do it!”
      • Interview your narrator, collaborate!
      • At book festivals or conventions, hand out cards with a QR code to link to clip from your audiobook, or even just mention in the wording on the card that an audiobook is available
      • Look for any kind of tie-in between your book and what’s happening in the real world
      • “The best marketing you can do, is always your next book.”
        • You have something new to talk about (your new release)
        • People are all about instant gratification; they will already be looking for your next book
        • Narrators can follow this advice, too!
      • Put the URL to your audiobook on the front matter of your Kindle book
        • It will appear on the “Look Inside” page, for readers that use that option
        • Simple, no-cost option that increases visibility
    • There is no good platform to share audiobooks on social media
      • SoundCloud Clips
        • Clips can be shared and played within a social media platform
        • Lacks sales conversions
      • Audible Clips
        • Anyone that has the audiobook can make a clip to share
          • When shared on a social media platform, like Twitter, they can see the book, hear the clip, and follow a link to buy the audiobook immediately
          • Great for sharing quotes
        • Audible also allows you to share an entire book from your library with a friend for free!
        • Example (shareable) audible clip from Karen
      • Create video trailers
        • Along with the book cover, include images that go along with the story
          • Stock photo libraries are available
  • Narrator’s Perspective
    • May have limited time for promotion
      • When one project is done, they may already have another lined up
  • BookBub good for cheap or free deals on audiobooks
  • Whispersync (Amazon program) For Kindle eBook and Audible Audiobook
    • Carries across multiple devices
    • Authors can ask KDP Support to add this feature to your audiobook
    • Offers discounts on these (digital) editions of certain books
      • If there is a paperback edition also offered, you must make sure that Amazon lists all your editions together, or you (and your readers) will lose the Whispersync connection
  • Goodreads
    • Good place to connect with audiobook listeners, share new releases, and hold giveaways
      • Important to physically add your audiobook as an edition on Goodreads
        • “Make it as easy as possible to let true audio listeners know that you have an audio version of this book.”
        • Anybody can do this; you don’t have to be a Goodreads expert. You just need an author page on Goodreads
        • The narrator has the ability to do this, as well
  • Audiobook Boom! – Created by Jeffrey Kafer
    • Weekly newsletter
      • Lists free audiobooks
      • You can have your book listed for $10
    • Also offers reviews of audiobooks
    • You will receive the email address of people that are requesting your book to review, and can hopefully convert that into future sales


Karen’s website:

Shareable Audible Clip 

Getting started with audiobooks:

Marketing audiobooks:

Audiobook Boom website

Email at [email protected]

Join us inside the Author Biz Facebook Group

Thanks for Listening!

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