In Marketing Strategies Help Vitalize Audiobook Collections, Raya Kuzyk offers great marketing strategies you can use at your library to improve circulation and visibility of audiobooks. (It doesn't hurt that June is Audiobook Month, and winners of the 2013 Audie Awards will be announced May 30th.) Try these top tips for cross-promoting audio with other formats:
- stickers could be put onto print books to advertise companion audio editions, as well as onto DVD packaging in the case of movie/book/audio tie-ins
- For certain of its children’s titles, MPL displays audiobook editions alongside the print. The measure has noticeably enticed young readers — “especially those [with] reading difficulties” — to check out both versions. Says MPL’s Stirling, “They seem to like the idea of being able to listen while following along with the book.” Indeed, there is much evidence to support the idea that listening to audiobooks can help with reading comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, and more.
- audio enthusiasts are just as, if not more, drawn to a title based on the reader as on the author. Notably, when certain audiobooks are celebrity- or author-read, they can skyrocket in consumer appeal, as with Bill Clinton’s reading of My Life (Random) and Johnny Depp’s narrative contribution to Keith Richards’s Life (Hachette). In such cases, library circulation could see a real boost simply through the showcasing of the voice behind the story, rather than the “read by” credits relegated to fine print.
- At CCL, where audio and print versions of the same book are often paired, “we have found that people respond very positively to the combination of the two formats,” says CCL’s Hensley, calling the effort “instantaneously effective — we need to refill the shelves constantly.”
- staff at Sacramento (CA) Public Library place “Now in eBook Format” stickers on the covers of corresponding print titles in the library’s physical collection, a move that SPL electronic resources librarian Amy Calhoun says has improved discovery of their ebook holdings.
- CCL plans to implement a “shelf-talker” approach to its physical audiobook collection, spotlighting authors and subject areas that do well with brightly colored Mylar-encased signage. “We want to be sure that [our patrons] see our special collections without having to hunt for them,” says CCL technical services and collection development coordinator Elizabeth Hensley.