Exciting news! Submissions for audiobook deals on Chirp, our new audiobook retailer, are now open to everyone! (Read more about how to submit here.) The selection process for a Chirp Deal is similar to that of a BookBub Featured Deal. And just like with Featured Deals, we limit the number of audiobooks we feature each day to avoid overwhelming subscribers and to ensure all our partners’ listings have an equal chance of performing well.
Many of our partners are already asking how to increase their chances of being selected by our editorial team for a Chirp Deal. So we asked our editors for concrete advice on how our partners could improve their submissions. Here are their top tips! We hope this helps you understand where to focus your efforts before submitting for your next Chirp Deal.
It’s also important to note that Chirp is still a new platform! Things will likely change and evolve as we continue to learn about the audiobook space and our Chirp members’ tastes. For example, as of now we have a limited number of categories that we may expand over time. We’re learning things about our readers’ tastes every day, and we’re gathering data about what price points and content work best. Stay tuned here on the Partners Blog for updates — we’ll share our findings with you along the way!
1. Be flexible about your Chirp deal price
While your Chirp Deal price should be based on your marketing goals, the more flexible you are with the price, the more likely our editors will be to select it.
On the Chirp submission form, partners can select multiple prices at which they’d be willing to discount their book. Our editors then choose which one is best based on the book’s platform, plot, length, and category. We won’t necessarily choose the lowest price point if we think the book can support a higher price! But showing that you’re open to a wide range of potential price points can significantly increase your chances of getting selected.
2. Have a professionally-designed audiobook cover optimized for your genre
We look for audiobooks with appealing, professionally-designed covers. Like everything else in publishing, audiobook designs are incredibly subjective and best practices differ by genre. Elements like the imagery, colors, font face, and featured characters all impact the emotional reaction potential listeners might have. And unlike ebooks or print books, audiobooks have a square design, so you’ll need to adapt any existing covers to these dimensions — or create an entirely new design.
Here are a couple of tips to make sure your audiobook design meets our standards:
- Study trending designs in your genre. Review the designs of bestselling audiobooks or the Chirp features in your genre to see what’s working well. Our editors will pass on an audiobook if the design won’t appeal to that category’s listeners.
- Hire a professional designer. A polished, professional audiobook design can make a huge difference. If your book isn’t selected for a Chirp Deal, consider hiring a designer who has experience designing audiobook covers in your genre. We’ve listed a few of our favorite design resources here.
An audiobook’s design heavily influences our editors’ decision, but remember that it’s just one of the many factors they review, so redesigning yours won’t guarantee selection upon your next submission. But a great design can boost your chances of overall success in audio.
3. Optimize your audiobook description
When reviewing Chirp Deal submissions, we look for audiobooks with descriptions that are well-written, informative, clear, and error free. Here are a few things you should take into account when writing the description — or the elevator pitch — for your audiobook:
- Include a concise pitch of the audiobook. Make it really clear what the plot is about and what the stakes are. Avoid dense paragraphs of text, but also include more than two sentences of information.
- Add relevant accolades. Are you an award-winning author? A respected leader in your field? Was your last book a New York Times bestseller? Did someone famous give you a killer blurb? Add these kinds of accolades. If you don’t have anything that qualifies, don’t worry. The editors will look closely at the content and plot of the audiobook itself.
- Avoid typos and grammar mistakes. The audiobook description is one of the first things our editors review, and any errors in the plot description will leave an impression.
- Brag about your narrator. Is your narrator an award-winning voice actor? Have they narrated titles from other bestselling authors? Many narrators garner fan bases of their own, and listeners may be willing to give your book a try based on the narrator alone.
4. Accumulate legitimate listener reviews
Audiobooks with positive reviews and established platforms tend to perform best with Chirp listeners. These reviews and ratings also help our editors get a sense of how consumers have responded to an audiobook — both the story and the narrator. When all else is equal, editors are more likely to select audiobooks with higher numbers of authentic and positive customer reviews. These must be legitimate reviews, and we do examine reviews for veracity.
5. Garner critical reviews
Reviews from trusted editorial sources (for any book format!) can also help our editors evaluate a submission. Same goes for awards, bestseller lists, and other accolades. We see increased engagement when we’re able to cite an author as a bestseller or award-winner, or include a blurb from a big-name author, so whenever possible, the editors are going to choose those audiobooks. If your audiobook isn’t selected, you could improve your chances by winning a recognizable award or getting a blurb from a brand-name author.
Here are a few things you can do to try to amplify a book’s presence amongst trusted editorial sources:
- Submit the book for relevant editorial reviews. Publications like Kirkus Reviews and AudioFile let authors submit their books for editorial reviews. Keep in mind that some of these publications require submitting the book months before publication, so plan early!
- Get blurbs from well-known authors. Blurbs can help entice listeners to buy an audiobook, especially if they’re familiar with the blurbing author or publication. In fact, our tests on BookBub showed that book descriptions including blurbs got an average of 23% higher click-through rates than those without blurbs. Here are tips on how to get blurbs.
- Submit the book as an award contender. Find a recognizable, relevant, or genre-specific awards, and submit the book for consideration. Here’s a list of 30 book awards to jump-start your research process.
Keep in mind that this suggestion will only impact your chances of selection if the endorsement is from a recognizable author, publication, or award. If your chances of receiving these accolades are small, it’s best to focus your efforts elsewhere.
6. Resubmit at a later date
Your submission is always being compared to other submissions we receive in your category around the same time. This is why we encourage partners to continue resubmitting their audiobooks. If you resubmit your title in a few months, it may be one of the most competitive submissions we receive that week, even if it wasn’t this week (especially if you made some of the changes suggested above). Please always wait at least four weeks before submitting an audiobook for a second time, but please do resubmit — our editors will know when our listeners are eager for an audiobook like yours!
However, keep in mind that there are other factors in our editors’ decision-making process you won’t necessarily be able to control. For example, certain subgenres and tropes perform better with our audiobook listeners than others. We also simply might not have the right category for your audiobook right now, and if we do, it’s possible that the particular subject matter of your audiobook isn’t as good a fit as others that have been submitted in the same category. So keep an eye on our category offerings and the audiobooks we’re selecting! We hope we’ll be able to work with you soon.
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