Writers are mostly introverts, preferring to type away at their laptop screens in the solitude of their own homes, but if you decide to go down the self-publishing pathway, actively seeking out means of interaction and exposure will inevitably become a part of your book marketing strategy. Because, if you’re not going to start talking about your book yourself, who would know of its existence?
From being a guest writer or inviting guest writers to your blog, to hosting online book events, we have talked about many such ways of promoting your books. Here, we focus on the importance of being a podcast guest as a writer, which makes use of one of the most rising industries in popularity presently.
According to a study by Edison Research, about 26% of Americans aged 12+ listens to podcasts every month, and this percentage is increasing every year. In fact, according to Google Trends, during the past five years, podcasts have seen a considerable peak in public interest while blogs have seen somewhat of a decline. How can you make use of podcasts to promote your book, and be a great podcast guest?
1. Find the right podcast for your book
While it would be tempting to pitch to the biggest podcasts in the world, it’s not really the practical approach. Relevance and availability is more important than the number of subscribers (but, of course, that’s important too). Research podcast channels and find the one best suited for your book, because podcast hosts have specific subjects they talk about—and, as such, they will have a specific audience. Finding the right audience through the right podcast is key if you are to get the maximum benefits out of your session.
2. Be mindful of the space and the technology
When you get accepted to make an appearance as a guest in a relevant podcast, they will also usually send you a list of instructions—about the type of technology needed for quality sound, finding a quiet environment, etc. Remember to read these instructions thoroughly and follow them accordingly. Check your internet connection beforehand, and have a backup plan in case there are some unforeseen disruptions to your network.
3. Don’t read from your notes
Podcast hosts will notify you of the questions you will be asked during the session. This is usually to give you a general idea and help you get prepared for it, since the podcast will flow like a conversation and less like an interview. Don’t have pages upon pages of content that you read out of like a monologue. Instead, prepare your answers in bullet points, so you don’t miss out on any important information you had planned to talk about.
Have fun while you’re at it! Talk to the host like a friend, so you can get rid of that nervousness that makes your words fumble.
4. Stick to your allotted time
Always, always be mindful of the time. Keep checking the clock to see if you’re taking too much time to answer one question. If you’re going off on a tangent and talking mindlessly, the host might politely cut you off to proceed to the next question, which can be quite embarrassing. In fact, you might be so flustered that you lose your train of thought and forget everything you were going to say—so respect the clock!
Sharika Hafeez is a nerd, and she’s proud of it. Growing up, she fell in love with books and writing, and is currently following her undergraduate degree (for some mysterious reasons) in Physics. She likes procrastinating by watching the stars with a steaming cup of tea, composing poetry in her head.