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Seeing the marketing possibilities in our wired culture

December 27, 2012

When I saw the GalleyCat article How to Put Your Audiobook on Spotify, I kicked myself–mostly because I wrote about Spotify on this blog more than a year ago. I use it almost every day. And it never occurred to me to use it for an audiobook.

For the uninitiated, Spotify is a music-streaming service, similar to Pandora or Rhapsody. It has a free version where you have to listen to periodic commercials, and a pay version you can access from smart phones and dispense with the commercials. It’s a good product with a wide selection of music. (I’ve been able to find pretty much everything except The Eagles and The Beatles.)

In terms of making money, you won’t get rich on Spotify. You will get a tiny bit of money–between .05 and .06 cents per track played. To be clear, you’d need someone to listen to 100 tracks to make 5 cents. And there’s work to do in terms of getting your book there. According to the article, it’s not insurmountable work. But unless something magic happens, your work won’t pay off enormously. Unlike songs, people don’t tend to go back to book chapters and listen to them over and over again as part of playlists.

Spotify can help get your books in front of people, especially if you have a backlist. It’s a common practice to price your backlist low to get people interested in more current work. Spotify can work into this strategy. You could even make limited numbers of chapters available as an enticement to for people to buy and read the rest of the book.

More to the point, there are enormous options available on the Internet to put your work in other peoples’ hands. You can create an app based on your work. You can blog excerpts. You can load audio files on any number of audio-sharing sites. There are options that you probably haven’t considered–that will lead you to kick yourself for not thinking of it.

So as you’re playing in Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, Pinterest, or whatever, be aware of the possibilities. They’re there.

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