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Tips for a Successful Podcast
By Melissa Miles McCarter
Blog tours are now becoming the standard for book launches and ongoing promotion. However, podcast tours can be equally — if not more — effective in building a readership. Authors get to connect with their audience in an immediate way and discuss their books in a humorous and personable manner. Here are four tips for setting up a successful podcast tour:
Figure Out Your Pitch
In order to reach out to potential podcasters, you need to develop a pitch. It is important to not just describe your book. What do you bring to the conversation? For example, if your book is chick lit, you could talk about the overlaps between this genre and romantic comedies in film. Or maybe you have recently attended a writer’s workshop and you want to talk about what you learned. Or perhaps in researching your book, you became an expert on some obscure language and can talk about that. The key is to figure out what is unique about you and how it might tie into the book you are pitching. Not only will this set you apart, it will allow you to have a starting point for the conversation during the podcast.
Searching for podcasts might seem difficult at first. However, there are a number of tools online you can use. The first is RadioGuestList.com. It announces guest opportunities on various podcasts and radio shows through their email list, website and Facebook page. Another way to search for podcasts is via Twitter. I have come up with a Twitter list with over 100 podcasters that you are free to use @Lissahoopy, but you can easily build your own. Podcasters can be reached by direct message if they are following you and they often have their website address in their Twitter profile.
Anyone who is going to be interviewed needs to come up with a list of talking points. Yes, you need to have a good conversation, but you also need to “stay on message.” You are there to promote your book, so be prepared to redirect the conversation to your book when need be. Also, it is a good idea to listen to one of the previous podcasts before you go on the show. Get a feel for it. If you have an opportunity to talk to the podcast host beforehand, that can help break the ice. Do as much research as you can, and you will feel secure when you go on air.
After the podcast, write a thank you email. Showing your appreciation to the podcast host is important for continuing a possible relationship with this valuable resource. You may have other books to promote, or there may be ways you can cross-promote each other. In addition, follow up by promoting the podcast as much as you can. Blitz social media right before the podcast airs to get as many people to listen as possible. Not only will the host appreciate it, you will have an even larger promotional bump.
A podcast tour can be lots of fun and a promotional boon. Enjoy the experience and keep on writing!
Melissa Miles McCarter is a book manager for Booktrope where she works promoting writers. She also is an author, academic, small press publisher and a contributor to The Huffington Post. She can be reached via Twitter and on Facebook. She discusses various writing news and topics at #writinglifenow.