It’s not easy finding a podcast that will interview a self-published/indie author. Trust me I know, I just spent the past week researching, emailing and tweeting podcasters. And I was pretty surprised to learn that there are still lots podcasters that won’t touch an indie book. I was even more stunned to learn that there are podcasters charging fees for an interview. By the way, it’s unnecessary to pay for an interview, because most podcasts make their money from advertising, not from charging their guests. I’m not saying these businesses are frauds, they do provide a service but there are no stats that say paying for an interview creates anymore buzz than a free one. It’s kind of like paying for book reviews, often it’s unnecessary and yields no ROI.
In my search, I did manage to find several podcasts that will take a chance on an indie author and won’t charge you a dime. But before I tell you that, let me explain why you should consider appearing on a podcast.
Podcasting is Hot Right Now
Podcasting has gotten so popular that even the New York Big 5 publishers have gotten in on the act. For example, Penguin, and Harlequin, both have podcasts where their editors give submissions tips and discuss upcoming books.
Not to be outdone, Barnes and Noble launched several podcasts via their, Barnes & Noble Studio division. Now before you get excited, be warned, B&N only favors bestselling authors. The same story goes for Apple, and even the U.S. Library of Congress. :( But don’t fret, if they want to pretend that we don’t exist, that’s fine, we can build our own networks.
In true indie spirit, some authors have started their own podcasts where they feature other indie/self-published books. In fact, 90% of the podcasts who welcome indie authors, are hosted by indie authors or authors signed at small publishing presses. If you were wondering, authors at small presses often face the same uphill battle when it comes to marketing their work, so they really do feel our pain.
Two Possible Arrangements
There are two types of book podcasts, one where you submit your book for review and another where you get interviewed about your book or about writing in general. Both are good ways to promote your work. Now before I go on, I need to be brutally honest with you, this will not make you a bestseller. In fact, most marketing methods like blogging, radio and yes, even television are ineffective at selling products short term. However, they are very effective at selling books long term.
10 Podcasts to Consider
- Write Stream
- Red River Radio
- Kobo Writing Life
- Newbie Writers
- The Funky Writer
- WebWeaver Books
- The Bookcast
- Indie Books
- Paranormal & The Sacred
- Good Reads Mad Reads
Here’s a spreadsheet with more details such as genre, and contact info.
Important Tip: Make sure to read the description of the show and actually take the time to listen in because not all shows will fit well with your personality. If you’re a romance author, maybe a show like Dudes & Books isn’t your style. Trust me, you’re doing everyone a favor by doing your homework. Also keep in mind, a lot of these podcasts are booked well in advance, and are biweekly or monthly shows. There is only so much air time to go around, so if they say no, it’s nothing personal.
How to Find Indie Friendly Podcasts Yourself
Most websites like Blog Talk Radio, Podbean, Sticher and iTunes have terrible search engines. To make matters worse, some podcasters don’t tag or categorize their shows properly making it difficult to find them, so you may have to get creative with your search.
Here are just a few keywords to type in the search engine:
- author interviews
- indie authors
- self publishing
For a more specific result, try your genre or niche such as; business, health, legal, sci fi, romance, erotica, mystery etc.
Your Job as a Guest
As the guest, there are certain things expected of you such as promoting the show on your social media sites, blog or newsletter. Not long ago, we had an author write a press release before she appeared on our show. That was unexpected, but very much appreciated because many authors just show up, promote their book then, leave. No thank yous, or communication whatsoever. If you’re having trouble understanding why that’s a bad thing, read my post: How to Approach & Pitch Social Media Influencers.
A word to the wise: Keep in touch especially, if you plan on writing more books. That means, if they have a Facebook page, like it. If they’re on Twitter, follow them and retweet them whenever possible. It doesn’t take much effort to do these things. And if Facebook or Twitter feed overwhelms you, create lists and check on those lists often. Again, it’s all about sowing good Karma.
Did You Know You Can Podcast Your Book?
Several years ago, a few indie authors created audio versions of their books and posted them to PodioBooks where they were able to grow a following. This in turn, created a demand for the ebook and print editions of their work. One of those authors ended up getting a publishing deal down the road.
For those of you who’ve never heard of PodioBooks it’s a site that uses a pay what you can business model. That means readers decide how much they want to pay if at all. PB is a sharing site like NoiseTrade, so there’s no real money to be made here. On the flip side, you can serialize your books and possibly grow an audience.
Well there you go, I hope I helped you figure out with this whole podcasting thing. I know this was lot to digest, so take your time and decide what’s best for you. There are a myriad of choices when it comes to marketing, and podcasting can be a path to finding your audience. So it’s definitely something worth considering.