Face to Face with Librarians and Teachers
The recent resurgence in independent bookstores is a sign that booklovers are eager to interact with book experts and learn about great new titles from experts in person. With a format that is increasingly driven by digital sales, finding opportunities for audiobook publishers to interact directly with selectors and influencers in the library and school markets may seem elusive. Here are a few proven avenues to give you and your narrators face-to-face time with teachers and librarians.
Read to Succeed/Read in the Schools Celebrations Most school systems sponsor a day or week during the school year to focus on the benefits of reading aloud. They invite parents and community leaders to visit classrooms and share books in person. Often, the school librarian is the pointperson for these celebrations. Consider offering a narrator or narrators to participate, especially if there is a spotlight school where local media efforts are concentrated.
Parent-Teacher Organizations are always on the lookout for interesting and impactful programming. Many parents have the desire but not the confidence or the skillset for successful reading aloud. What better person to lead a workshop than an audiobook narrator? A narrator can cover book choice, developing character voices, and more in a fresh and interesting way.
Do you have some overstock of physical audiobooks? Consider a donation to the spotlight school along with information about Sound Learning (insert URL here) to help teachers and parents understand the value of audiobooks.
Library Programs Get to know your local outreach and programming librarians and discuss opportunities for readings and workshops. These can range from poetry readings during April to readings of banned books, or even thematic readings such as reveling in the wonderfulness of Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19) with readings of Treasure Island or Bad Pirate.
Local history can also be a gateway to a great narrator-led program. Whether it’s a colonial or Civil War tale or a shorter step to more recent events, an accomplished actor can make past moments come alive.
State and local library systems often host staff development days. Audiobooks, as a proven circulation-booster, can make for great programming whether it’s a deep dive into how an audiobook is produced, an educator or librarian fan sharing the advantages of the format, or an audiobook narrator explaining the preparation and recording processes.
Librarian and Teacher Conferences Librarians and teachers love to gather and share best practices on the national, regional, state, and local levels. Reach out to those conferences located or coming to your community with programming ideas such as those listed above. Be sure to request Sound Learning resources to share whenever you are talking with librarians, teachers, and the general public. Consider exhibiting in conferences and provide some type of takeaway so attendees can experience your excellent audiobooks for themselves with free CDs, promo codes or QR codes to free downloads, or sending a follow-up link to a free download shortly after the conference.
The most audio-friendly teacher and librarian conferences are the American Library Association Annual Conference and Midwinter Meetings, the Public Library Association conference, the International Literacy Association conference, the National Council for Teachers of English gathering, and the Texas Library Association conference. If your time and budget don’t allow you to attend any or all of these, consider Publisher Spotlight as a way to have a presence and know that audiobook advocates are talking up your talking books. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to learn more.
Relationship marketing takes time and energy, but the results can have long lasting benefits as a bit of face-to-face interaction with gatekeepers may lead to a lifelong love of listening for their students and customers.