When developing your book marketing strategies, the written word is not your only option for book promotion. Podcasting and interviews can be an effective way to reach potential readers.
We are half way through 2015, and a lot of people who didn’t consider themselves authors or writers this time last year have written and published books. This means there are more books available fighting to catch readers’ attention.
Just as there are more books available in all genres, there are new podcast shows launched every day. Since podcasting has become more accessible to everyone through smartphones and tablets, it’s popularity has grown significantly, and I’m sure you have your favorite podcasts you listen to regularly.
Thanks to new technology, we are no longer restricted to listening to our favorite podcasts on just our devices, because Apple and Android Auto (created by Google) have created the technology for podcasts to be accessed through a car’s audio system, meaning people will be able to listen to their favorite podcasts as they drive. For Apple, about 40 car manufactures have signed up to include this technology, and 32 for Android Auto.
This is a significant development for you as an author or writer, because it means there’s a wider audience available for you to tap into and market and promote your book.
You’ve probably heard people say you should create your own podcast show as it will attract and draw your ideal reader in, and you can build your audience that way. I see this as a long term strategy that may not appeal to everyone. For those of you who want to promote your book now, podcast interviews offer you an excellent opportunity to do that.
I’ve mentioned the technology in car stereo systems, and while that’s exciting in itself (to me anyway), the point to note is that exposure is what sells books, and it’s a combination of different book marketing strategies that work. There are hundreds of podcasts available for authors, and being featured on different podcast shows will feed into your objective to sell more books.
I think audio is an amazing communication tool! It allows you to connect with people and establish rapport easily. You don’t have to worry about what you look like, and listeners get a sense of who you are. They get to know, like, and trust you, and it helps you connect with listeners in a way that can help you sell more books.
If you are excited about this prospect and ready to get started, the first thing to do is to plan and maximize your efforts. As you plan, have this at the back of your mind: there should always be a synergy between you, your book, and the listeners of the podcast. I see/hear so many people requesting to feature on different podcasts show just because they may have a large audience. That shouldn’t be the goal. The goal should be connecting with the ideal listener who will want to buy your book after listening to you talk about it.
Here are a few things to take into account as you plan:
1. Identify the compelling aspects of your book
When you’re planning your book marketing strategies, you should identify the compelling aspects of your book as hooks to draw listeners. It’s important to spend some time thinking through them, so you are clear about the exact content you want to share on different podcast shows, and the amount of content too. You don’t to give away everything during the promotion process; and planning effectively helps.
For example, if you are fiction author, one compelling aspect about your book could be the location – where the book is set. Think about how you chose that location. What made it special for you? The time spent doing this will give you options on the different podcast shows that will find you and your book interesting, and more important, relevant to their listeners. This will also pay dividend when it comes to repurposing content which I talk about below.
2. Consider the listeners’ interest
When you’ve spent time planning the content you want to share, it should become clearer to you who will be interested in those aspects. Take the time to plan according to what listeners will be interested in. If people don’t see – or in this case, hear – something relevant to them, they are less likely to be interested in you and or your book.
Using the location example again, an author can approach a travel podcast to talk about why that location is central to the book. Highlighting the exciting features of the places their listeners can visit can put you and your book into context for listeners to relate to.
3. After the interview, repurpose your content
It’s easy not to consider what next to do after an interview. A lot of people don’t think their podcasting interviews have any value once they are over and published, but they are wrong.
One of the additional reasons I recommend authors plan content ahead of time, is so they have different content from their book they can repurpose. Ask the podcasting show host for a copy of the interview, explaining you want to use parts of it in your marketing and book promotion; most will understand and oblige you with an MP3 audio file.
You can edit the file into sound bites, upload to SoundCloud (the first 180 minutes is free!), and easily share across your social media platforms. SoundCloud is a great audio platform built with features for social engagement which authors and writers can benefit from.
Apart from repurposing into sound bites, you can create a video file and upload to YouTube, with an image with what the clip is about. There are a lot of people who only use YouTube as their source of education and entertainment, so there’s an audience there waiting for you.
Finally, transcribe your interview and use the content for your blog or website – or approach someone in the industry for a guest blog feature, further extending the reach of your book.
These are exciting times for you as authors and writers, because technology continues to create more opportunities for you to reach and engage with readers and potential fans at little or no cost.
Whatever your book marketing strategies, take into account that your potential readers consume content in different ways that suit their lifestyle and their learning styles. As an author, you should create content in various formats to reach as many people, and sell as many books, as possible.
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