Podcasts and Book Publicity
Podcasts are digital audio files listeners download from the Internet onto their computers or phone (iPhones come with a podcast app for easy searching, lists, downloading), and are often subscribed to by listeners. They are a great way for authors to increase book discoverability, and they are growing in popularity. Podcasts are convenient—you listen on your timetable—and offer a very wide range of show topics. According to Statista, in 2015, when surveyed, 17 percent of U.S. adults had listened to a podcast in the previous month. That’s over four million listeners. Clearly, podcasts can be a valuable addition to a book publicity plan.
Podcast interviews offer more freedom than radio interviews
Podcasts are different from radio in that that they are often more conversational and free flowing, rather than on a fixed format schedule with set commercial and news breaks. Radio interviews, especially in the morning drive time, are short - averaging seven to ten minutes. This is why media trainers instruct interviewees to keep their answers in the 30 second range. With podcasts, the average interview times range from 30 to 40 minutes. Authors interviewed for podcast often enjoy in-depth discussions with hosts who have had more time to prepare. Another positive for podcasts: authors do not get bumped for breaking news!
Podcasts offer rich content on a niche topic
There are podcasts for every topic under the sun. This gives authors the ability to reach audiences interested in their subject. For example, while there are the popular broad topic podcasts including “This American Life” (society and culture), “Freakomonics Radio” (society and culture) and “Radio Lab” (Science and Medicine), “Book Riot” shares their favorite literary podcasts, which includes “MuggleCast,” a monthly podcast dedicated to Harry Potter fans. Other examples of niche podcasts include “Real Ghost Stories Online,” a paranormal podcast with real ghost stories, “Green Tech Today,” for the eco-minded geek covering the technology, news, gadgets, and innovation fueling the green movement, “1 Year Daily Audio Bible,” to “Wired to Hunt: Deer Hunting for the Next Generation.” The list goes on!
Podcasts, like other online media placements, can be easily shared by authors
Podcasts are valuable because once available, authors can re-purpose the interview links on their website, blog, and through social media platforms. This builds credibility when building an author brand, gives an author solid content to share with their fans, and boosts an author’s overall digital footprint.
Tips for authors to prepare for a podcast interview
As with any broadcast interview, know the audience, be prepared to plug your book and website, know the host’s name, listen to other podcasts to get a sense of the show’s format, and invest in a good headset for your telephone. Be prepared for open ended questions, rather than yes or no questions. Remember the target audience. Your goal is to inform, entertain, educate, and/or inspire the podcast’s listeners. Some interviewers will offer questions ahead of time, if so, say yes! Podcast interviews are more of a conversation, so allow for the natural flow and listen for cues from the host on the direction. Be funny! If your topic allows, show your sense of humor, personality and don’t be afraid to have fun.