As an author, you’ve likely received advice on how to promote your book, including the importance of sharing purchase links on your marketing channels.
What you might not know is that some bookselling avenues are more beneficial than others. By sharing links to local bookstores and other independent options, you can increase readership, profits, and strengthen local economies.
But who are we and why do we care? Hi! We’re Libro.fm, an audiobook listening platform that makes it possible to purchase audiobooks through local bookstores. We’ve made it our mission to support independent bookstores, and have seen firsthand the positive impact an author’s support has on their business.
You might be wondering why you would link to your book on Libro.fm instead of Bookshop.org or your local indie bookstore. It’s not an either/or option—you can include links to all!
Read on for five reasons why you, as an author, should link to your audiobook on Libro.fm when promoting your book.
#1. Earn (extra) money
In addition to earning publisher royalties when a listener buys your book through Libro.fm, our Affiliate Program will grant you an additional 10% commission on the sale.* You’ll also receive 30% commission every time an individual starts a membership and 10% when they send audiobooks as gifts using your custom links—all while supporting independent bookstores! And, as an added bonus, you’ll receive access to advance copies of audiobooks.
Moreover, when your publisher sells your book to independent bookstores, it is usually for a higher price than Amazon pays. This means that your publisher actually makes more money per book with sales through local bookstores. Depending on your royalty agreement, this might mean you make more, too.
*The eligibility for royalty payments depends upon your publishing agreement.
#2. Make your book accessible
Audiobooks play a huge role in making reading accessible. They enable blind and visually-impaired folks to read, and also prove useful for those with mobility and cognitive disabilities who cannot use print or ebooks. Not to mention the fact that audiobooks allow those who might not have time to pick up a physical book to read! At Libro.fm, we’re committed to an accessibility-first approach, and are consistently working to meet the latest standards.
When you link to your book on Libro.fm, not only do you encourage readers to support independent bookstores, but you also make your book accessible to all readers, no matter their preferred method of reading, and potentially discover new fans.
#3. Support independent bookstores
There are numerous benefits to shopping local versus on Amazon. When customers shop at indie bookstores, they help create local jobs, keep 25% more money within their local economy versus chains, and more. Of course, shopping locally goes hand-in-hand with privileges of time, money, location, and accessibility and each reader has to do what makes the most sense for them.
“Linking to Libro.fm [and] Bookshop directly benefits local independent bookstores which, in turn, allows those bookstores to support their communities through providing jobs, paying municipal taxes, working with local schools and libraries, providing gathering spaces and opportunities for connection, and so much more…Even if you don’t have an independent bookstore close to you, linking to these non-Amazon sources can help keep the independent bookstore ecosystem thriving, which, ultimately, has a net positive effect on publishing and book sales as a whole.”—Billie Bloebaum, founder of Bookstore Romance Day
Although many readers are tempted to buy books on Amazon because of the discounts, these prices are only possible because Amazon does not depend on bookselling for profits. Booksellers, on the other hand, are dependent upon book sales. In fact, the average store operates on a 0.9% profit margin, which means they are lucky if they break even at the end of the year.
“[Amazon] has devalued the book itself. People expect hardcovers to be 15 bucks and paperbacks to be under 10. Those margins are a nightmare for our bottom line, of course, but they also cheapen the idea of the capital-B Book. There’s already enough happening to cheapen the idea of truth, research, and careful storytelling. We’re dismayed to see the world’s biggest book retailer reflecting that frightening cultural shift by—Danny Caine, Raven Book Store
Libro.fm makes it easy for readers to support independent bookstores, no matter their location. Every sale of your audiobook on Libro.fm supports independent bookstores—and at pure profit, as we don’t charge bookstores any fees. If more authors linked out to Libro.fm, they’d help increase bookstore sales by even just a few percent…having a big impact on their bottom line.
#4. Build relationships with booksellers
Indie booksellers notice when authors are vocal about supporting them. “They will want to actively support you and your books…they’ll probably sell more books for you, even beyond those first few weeks after release,” says Billie Bloebaum, the founder of Bookstore Romance Day.
In fact, booksellers have a history of pushing books onto bestseller lists. A Gentleman in Moscow stayed on The New York Times Best Seller list for 59 weeks and on the National Indie Bestseller list for a year and a half. Oren J. Teicher, former CEO of the American Booksellers Association, credited the book’s long-run success to booksellers, noting it’s a “favorite hand-sell.”
By promoting your books on Libro.fm, Bookshop.org, and/or sending traffic directly to the bookstore’s site, you’re supporting these sellers. You’re also increasing the chances that these sellers review and recommend your books, which they can do on Libro.fm in a number of ways, including by curating playlists to promote timely and favorite reads and providing reviews for audiobooks. (We also offer booksellers advance copies of audiobooks so they can consider stocking physical copies in their stores—another important reason to make sure your audiobooks are available on Libro.fm!)
#5. Make The New York Times Best Seller list
Many authors dream of making The New York Times Best Seller list, which is no easy feat! And most authors don’t realize there are lists beyond hardcover/paperback fiction and nonfiction—including audio. Each Sunday, we report every audiobook purchased on Libro.fm during the past week to The New York Times. These sales contribute to the monthly Audio Fiction and Nonfiction Best Seller lists. When you promote your book on Libro.fm, you make your book more widely available and therefore increase your odds of making the list.
How can you get started?
Regardless of whether you’re traditionally or self-published, there are many benefits to promoting your book through independent sellers, including Libro.fm, on your social, email, newsletter, and other marketing promotions. And if you’re unsure as to whether or not your book will be available on Libro.fm, we encourage you to ask your editorial and/or marketing contacts.
It’s as simple as these three steps:
- Find your audiobook(s) on Libro.fm or apply to our affiliate program.
- Add the link(s) to your website, newsletter, social channels, etc. (Here is a folder of logos and buttons for use. And check out these book promo pages from authors Abby Jimenez, Gigi Griffis, and Dahlia Adler for samples on how you might link out to Libro.fm.)
- Market your audiobook(s) to your audience with the help of our author resource hub.
After that, you’re all set! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.