Book Promotion, Marketing

Podcasts That Feature Indie Authors

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Pic via Pixabay

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.

Podcasting Authors

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

  1. Write Stream
  2. Red River Radio
  3. Kobo Writing Life
  4. Newbie Writers
  5. The Funky Writer
  6. WebWeaver Books
  7. The Bookcast
  8. Indie Books
  9. Paranormal & The Sacred
  10. 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
  • books
  • writers
  • fiction
  • novels
  • authors
  • 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.

Book Promotion, Marketing, Networking, writing

How to Find Interview Opportunities

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Image via Pixabay

When I was marketing my novel, I would often find myself envious of all the media attention some authors received.  Little did I know the author had a team of helpers to scour the earth for interview opportunities.  Another fact I didn’t know was that sometimes these teams were hired by the author and not their publisher.  In fact, many authors spend their entire advance (if they get one) on marketing their book.

You can hire an assistant as well, so that it doesn’t feel awkward asking for an interview. Just write the pitch letter for your assistant and ask them to send it, this way you’re still in control.

Timing is Everything!

It’s been said a million times but I need to remind you, most magazines and websites publish by editorial calendar.  For example, some magazines start looking for Christmas stories in July and Halloween articles in May. This is why it’s so important to send a pitch or query many months before your promotional blitz. Consider this part of your soft launch.

Pitching the Right People

It should go without saying that you have to be careful as to who you pitch because not all media members are indie friendly. In fact, some places are downright hostile to self-published authors. I think it’s because some of them blame us for the downfall of publishing.  So save yourself the frustration and anger by learning about the publication you wish to break into. Also learn the name of the editor or assistant editor responsible for the section you’d like to appear in. They hate, Dear Editor pitches and often delete them or worse, they forward them to the interns. *gasp*

What to do if you Want to Break into a Magazine that Doesn’t Feature Indies?

If you absolutely must get your name in O Magazine, or the New York Times, then you’ll need to write an article that will captivate their audience. However, this isn’t the same as promoting your book, yes, it will give a nice byline but little else.  However think about it, when was the last time you’ve read the byline of an article?

Here are a few resources to find the right interview opportunity for your book:

Finding Opportunities on Social Media

Social media is a great place to find information for opportunities not available anywhere else. There are newspapers and magazines that update their social media accounts more often than they do their own websites. The search engines of Google+, Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter should be your best friends.

Research Tips:
Try typing the words: author interviews or looking for author interviews onto the search engines and see what you find.
Facebook
Twitter
Google+

You can do the same thing for the Goodreads search engine, just be sure to click both the events tabs as well as the groups tabs at the top.

Podcasts

I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about podcasts.  This past week, Red River Radio launched its first Facebook page and the turn out was tremendous.  In less than 24 hours, they had over 270 likes, and several authors contacted us directly about wanting to be on the network.

Podcasts are a great way to land an interview as well as get a book reviewed.  Hat tip to BookBuzzr for this list of Podcasts for Authors.  Also go to Blogtalkradio.com and type in the search engine, books or authors and see what pops up.  The same goes for sites like Podbean and even iTunes.  Just make sure to listen to the podcast before you request an interview to see if it’s the right fit for you.

Radio Programs

Yes, it’s been said radio is dead but hey, in certain parts of the country and even the world, radio is alive and well.  Many radio programs offer interview segments and some are desperate for guests.  This is where you come in with swagging with your free books and t-shirts.  You can find thousands of stations here on, Radio-Locator and another international one called, RadioStationWorld.

Television

Believe it or not, television is still an option for indie authors promoting a book.  Sure you may not end up on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) or the Today Show, and honestly, you don’t need to.  There are plenty of places that want to interview authors of any stripe.  Just check out a few local programs in your neck of the woods.  Here’s an online station locator and another here.

Who and How to Approach? 

Many radio and television stations have a contact us page like this one here.  Depending on what you have in mind, you can offer a contest of some kind or just request an interview.  Whatever you choose make sure to perfect your query/pitch letter before clicking send.  It would be wise to approach the producers (if you want an interview) or the marketing department (if you only want to run a contest) in order to get an actual response.  If that information isn’t easy to find on the site, Google it.  That’s how I found the producer of the local morning show in my town.  Most television stations have terrible websites so Google or Bing are a necessity.

So there you go, another hack to help you promote your book.  Stay tuned, because next week I’ll be discussing how to get featured on Kobo.