Sound is powerful. We often stop what we're doing to listen. It's virtually impossible to read or write anything when another is speaking. It's how our brains are wired. Harnessing the power of sound to build and brand your writing career just makes sense. If done correctly, you may even open up a new readership and expand your following with sound.
There are many ways to take advantage of sound and we'll look at just a few of them here, including: trailers, audio books, podcasting and Internet radio.
Trailers are one of the smartest and easiest ways to start using sound to reach your readers. By digitally recording your book's introduction or first chapter and making those available to readers on your website, you increase the possibility of sales of your book. Having your full work available in audio format (think books on tape) is another positive way to spread your words with sound. Companies like Books in Motion http://www.booksinmotion.com are always looking for new products to add to their catalog of audio books available for sales and rental.
To create sound files for your website or podcast, you'll need a digital recorder that allows you to create digital format audio files (.wav, MP3, .aiff, etc.). You don't need to spend a lot for quality these days. I'm rarely without my plug and play Olympia WS100 (retail: $79). While there are many generations of recorders that have followed, this powerful (and affordable) little recorder remains my favorite.
For high-end recording capabilities, check out Tech Smith's Camtasia Studio. This software allows you to record, edit, and post online audio, video, and screenshot recordings. How many ideas popped into your head with those possibilities?
As you discover how easy it is to create digital sound files, it might be time to explore podcasting & Internet radio. If you're investigating teleconferences, remember to record the events. These make excellent downloadable sound files for your website or for use through RSS (Real Simple Syndication). Creating audio newsletters (podcasts) that include interviews and discussions of your expert topic will draw a larger audience for your work. When done as a regular feature, you begin to create a body of sound files that can be listened to by your readers at any time. If you podcast on a regular schedule (i.e., weekly or monthly) your listeners will return over and over. Additionally, you can make these regular podcasts available through distribution sites like iTunes.
Giving your audience a meaningful way to tune in to your platform over time can help keep them coming back for more.