Simple Ways Authors Can Benefit from Podcasting by guest @SuzKelman

By Rachel Thompson | #NaNoProMo

May 17
Simple Ways Authors Can Benefit from Podcasting by guest @SuzKelman via @BadRedheadMedia and @NaNoProMo

Getting your voice heard above the social media clamor can be challenging. I have launched three books over the last few years and I am always looking for creative ways to market. As well as all the obvious ones, social media, ads, and building an email list, I have found podcasting to be very effective. Podcasting is a great way to carve a niche and develop an audience for you and your work without the “buy my book” mantra. Though it is not for everyone, there are some definite perks to having your own podcast.

How It All Began

Back in 2012, I met another writer KJ Waters on Twitter and we connected instantly. We were both in the midst of writing and self-publishing our first books and have continued to support one another as we traversed the mountain to becoming published authors of multiple books.

In our Twitter chats, we would talk about our ongoing projects and our conversations would often wander onto the topic of marketing. Both of our books had been out for about a year at the time and we were trying to find ways to keep interest, without a “buy my book” campaign or just doing ads over and over. We wanted to touch our audience on a more personal level. That’s when we started talking about doing a podcast together and this seemed to tick all the right boxes for us.

We did a lot of research and then spent about three months recording, editing, and branding and setting up the podcast. The show is called Writing, Publishing and Beyond hosted by Blondie and the Brit (I’m the Brit). Since it’s conception in the summer of 2015, we have gone on to publish nearly 100 podcast episodes with 20,000 downloads to date.

Blondie and the Brit Podcast: https://blondieandbrit.podbean.com

Perhaps you have considered podcasting? Here are some simple tips from our own experience to help you decide if that might be a good fit for you.

Branding

The first thing to consider before you even start recording is branding. There are a lot of podcasts to choose from on sites such as iTunes, Stitcher, and Podbean. So it’s important to clearly think through your brand. Make sure your podcast banner and name stand out.

We wanted to play up the fact that I was British and KJ was a blonde. But with no brand recognition to begin with, we decided to call our podcast Writing, Publishing, and Beyond—hosted by Blondie and the Brit. KJ and her book cover artist, Jody Smyers, created beautiful artwork that is a strong requirement for iTunes and making the “New and Noteworthy” list, which I’ll share more about later in this post.

Format

It is also important to get clear about the format of your show and your intended audience. The clearer you are about the audience that you want to attract, the easier it will be to sell if you decide to package for sponsorship in the future. Also, consider the length of each episode, keeping your audience in mind.

We decided to keep our show around 30-40 minutes in length, an average commute time, as our target audience is someone who may still have to work outside the home but dreams of being a full-time author. Thirty-five minutes for our show tends to be the sweet spot for us. It leaves them wanting more, not wishing we would get to the point.

Content

As well as the format of your show, you should also think through your content before you start recording episodes. Once you brand your show a certain way, your audience is going to expect a similar format each week. Unless you are a named celebrity, the rule seems to be less about yourself and more about content with value for your listener.

In our format, we interview traditionally published, and Indie authors about their work and social media tips, and we chose a fun and conversational style of interview with clean content so it is acceptable to a larger audience.

#NaNoProMo Day 17: Simple Ways Authors Can Benefit from #Podcasting by guest @SuzKelman and be sure to comment to enter to win a podcast slot or consultation with Suzanne!

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Tools

All you really need is a microphone, a telephone/computer  and a way to tape your episodes. We use the free Audacity software for recording, and we connect with our guests through Skype or Google Hangouts. It all tends to run fairly smoothly, but we did have Audacity crash after we finished an episode once. So now we create a file in Audacity at the beginning of each interview and back up the recording halfway through.

Editing

Unless you are planning on podcasting live (which is too scary for us to contemplate), the bane of our experience has been the editing process. It can be very time-consuming. Consider paying someone else to do the editing for you. Believe me, it will be money well spent.

Audience Reach

In order to get your message out to a wider audience, it is very beneficial to get your podcast mentioned on the “New and Noteworthy” section on iTunes. This will give your early numbers a huge boost.

One of the many ways to do that is to launch more than one podcast in the first week. We interviewed three highly social media savvy guests and launched the episodes on the same day. This created a lot of buzz around the podcast in that first week and got us listed on “New and Noteworthy” for several months.

We also hosted a Facebook party to launch the podcast and invited everyone we knew to broaden the reach for potential guests and listeners.

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Evergreen Marketing

Lastly, one of the greatest things for you as an author is, not unlike your book, podcasts are evergreen which means even if you taped a podcast six months ago, a new audience can find it today and in the future. This has been one of the best things about podcasting for us as authors who are always in the process of promoting their work. Unlike a Twitter or Facebook post, which has such a fleeting lifespan, podcasting is a great way to keep the word out there.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any questions? Please remember to leave a comment below to enter to win either a podcast with us or a consultation with me!

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Day 17 Giveaway

Suzanne is graciously donating a 30-minute podcast interview for authors or a 30-minute consultation (a $50 value) about podcasting or the process of writing/marketing (if the winner is either an author who is still writing or aspiring).

Comment below for a chance to win.

Suzanne Kelman...

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SuzanneKelmanAuthor.com

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To find out more about the Blondie and Brit podcast, check out their Twitter and Facebook  pages, or listen to the podcast

Suzanne Kelman Author Image

Suzanne Kelman is an Amazon international best-selling author and a multi-award-winning screenwriter and playwright. She is the author of The Rejected Writers’ Book Club and Rejected Writers Take the Stage, published by Lake Union Publishing, and The Rejected Writers’ Christmas Wedding published by Kindle Press as the Southlea Bay series.

As well as being an author, Suzanne is also a film producer, director, and screenwriter. Her film accolades include The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – Nicholl Fellowship Finalist 2015, Best Comedy Feature Screenplay, L.A. International Film Festival, Gold Award, California Film Awards and the Van Gogh Award from the Amsterdam Film Festival.

Born in the United Kingdom, her comedic writing voice has been described as a perfect blend of Janet Evanovich and Debbie Macomber. Suzanne now resides on a beautiful island in Washington State which is the perfect environment for bringing great stories to life.

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About the Author

Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs,  #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Leave a Comment:

(18) comments

Why Yet May 17, 2018

Thanks for the information. I used to volunteer as a radio show host for BRPP Radio Network on BlogTalk radio for two years and loved it but the thought of starting my own has been scary. I feel like I don’t know enough of the behind-the-scenes to start my own.

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Jena May 17, 2018

You were brave to jump into podcasting! Thanks for the tips. I have to say it does sound like fun to have your own show.

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Dena Garson May 17, 2018

You mentioned iTunes a couple of times – since I’m not a Mac user I never go there. But I’m curious if the podcasts hosted by iTunes are exclusive to that outlet or if they show up in other places like YouTube. I’m also curious how podcasts translate into book buys – as in, how much of a cross over is it between readers and podcast listeners?

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Suzanne Kelman May 17, 2018

Hi Dana,
Both great questions. “The blonde” of blondie and the Brit uploads to the channels, so I am by no means an expert on the technical aspects of that, but I can tell you we are also on Podbean which you can listen to if you don’t have iTunes. My understanding is there aren’t linked, and KJ uploads them separately. So, we are not exclusive to iTunes. Also, the book sales are hard to track, occasionally I have someone tell me they bought a book after listening to the podcast, but that isn’t our number one goal. The idea is to connect more with our audience and create evergreen material that we can use on social media to build our brand. Also, we learn so much from the authors we interview and also build relationships with them. When we both launched books last year, we did a multi-promotional campaign working with a group of authors that we had met and interviewed on the podcast, so though we can’t see exact sales from podcasts the by-product has created sales as we have built relationships. Also, both KJ and I have got consultancy jobs from people who found us on the podcast. Thanks for your interest 🙂

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Donna May 17, 2018

I’ve thought about podcasting to go along with my book blog but having the proper equipment (and lack of a quiet space – never fails my dog starts barking at nothing whenever I’ve done a few videos). But I recently learned that a local library has a sound booth for doing sound recordings. I thought I would throw that out there in case others are in the same boat and encourage them to check out their library.

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Suzanne Kelman May 17, 2018

Hi Donna,
Great information, thank you for sharing. If you listen to our blooper reel you hear plenty of pets making themselves known and also my cookoo clock. Finding that quiet space can be challenging.

Thank you for comment!

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Dana Lemaster May 17, 2018

Thanks, Rachel and Suz, for a very relevant post. Thanks, also, to commenters who gave tips about their own podcasting experience. I’ve heard about the potential for podcasts and have wondered how (if?) they would work in conjunction with a blog. It appears they can, so I’ll factor this into my to-do list. Recently I took part in a Twitter chat about podcasts, and the people posting there definitely piqued my interest. I look forward to exploring this!

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Jo Barney May 17, 2018

As an older writer, not well-versed in the tech world (not at all versed, in fact) the idea of a podcast interview both intrigues and frightens me.
Something about old dogs and new tricks. However, this week I got a smart phone and am beginning to find to podcasts I enjoy, and I can understand why listening to and learning from them has become a successful way to be informed and entertained. At 83, I’m not sure I should do it while I’m driving, but the pods are great while doing dishes or sitting at a desk waiting for inspiration. Thanks for writing this piece and helping me catch up on the ways of the world.

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Kelly Martin May 17, 2018

I’ve recently fallen in love with podcasts and have been looking into making my own. Great post

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Iola May 17, 2018

Editing … I’m a freelance editor but that means I deal with words, not sound. That kind of editing scares me 🙂 I have to admit, it’s the technical side of podcasting that puts me off, but thanks for the tips (and the warning).

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Tony Riches May 17, 2018

I’m new to podcasting and was surprised to find I could produce and post my podcasts to iTunes and loads of other sites for free using Podbean. I’ve since invested in a good quality mike but it can be a great zero cost option for authors looking for new ways to raise awareness of their books.

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Suzanne May 18, 2018

Hi Tony, thank you for your comment, I’m glad that is working out for you!

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Suzanne Kelman May 18, 2018

Hi Lola,
Yes, that was the biggest learning curve for us too, but there are companies out there that you can have edit for you. So, don’t let that hold you back if you are interested in podcasting. 🙂

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Suzanne May 18, 2018

Hi Kelly,
Glad you enjoyed it!

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McKenzie Austin May 18, 2018

I’ve never even considered podcasts as a way to subtly promote! I love this idea — a fresh approach to marketing that embraces changing technology. For those of us who would like to approach podcasters who might cover books in our genre, is there a way to do it without coming off as “spammy”? (That’s my biggest fear.)

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Dylann May 19, 2018

Love this idea although I’m not sure I’m brave enough to start one of my own!

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McKenna Dean May 22, 2018

I’ve been sorely tempted to try this on many occasions. I love participating in podcasts and think it would be fun, but it’s probably going to have to go on the backburner for the moment. But you certainly made it sound less daunting than I thought it was!

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Patrice Porter May 29, 2018

Love Podcasting for more exposure and I am toying with the idea of having my own podcast so thanks for the great info!

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