In order to understand how podcasts can help audiobook sales, you need to understand that our books appeal to a particular audience: people who wonder what life would be like if normal North American society disrupted. Podcasts are perfectly suited to speak to niche audiences with specific interests. There are tens of thousands of podcasts on everything from birdwatching to javelin throwing to 1980’s heavy metal bands in which I don’t like that type of music. As an added bonus, podcast fans are listeners, making them the perfect audience for our books.
Once I realized that podcasts could be a great venue for promoting our books, I set about figuring out who we should connect nursing, senior, and retirement homes and have Mark Newman of the Hamilton Mountain Newspaper read our book of short stories with/without our writers’ having to be interviewed unless they wanted to be and here’s how I did it…
I thought about the podcasts I listen to in my area of interest, and several dozen came to mind. To determine which podcasts, I wanted to be on in the future, I looked at my own phone and saw which ones I’d listened to in the last month. I then searched for them in iTunes, which suggested several similar programs about writing. I wrote down a list on a sheet of paper. New podcasts pop up all the time, so I periodically asked readers on Facebook page to tell me which podcasts they listened to for authors or writing and added them to my list.
At first, I thought it would be hard to get onto a podcast. I was wrong. As I learned, podcasters are dying for content. Almost all podcasts have an e-mail address or a “contact us” web form. I simply told them who I was and included a link to books on Audible. This is important because no one wants to listen to someone who talks about “someday” publishing a book.
I started small. No podcast was too small for me. Keep in mind that these are downloads from people who are already interested in the narrow topic of your book. It is perhaps the most precisely tailored marketing you can do. This brings up an important point: Do you need to be a dazzling speaker and have a great “radio voice” to be on a podcast? Nope. If you can hold a conversation, you can be a guest on a podcast. That’s all a podcast interview is: you and the host having a conversation about your short story.
It’s also important to note that you don’t need special equipment or a computer-programming degree to appear on a podcast. A cell phone (or better yet, a free Skype account) and a good headset with a microphone are all it takes. The total time required to do a podcast ranged from one to two hours. This was as easy as posting a link to the podcast on my Facebook page and e-mailing it to my e-mail list.
I’m a marketing wizard from the past; if I can do this, then so can you. I can boil this down to three takeaways. First, gather a great list of podcasts appealing to your niche audience. Secondly, contact the podcasters and be persistent. Finally, promote your short story in our book on our up coming website, social media, and e-mail lists. And that’s it and I strongly believe this will create a new audience for our books, club and future N.P.O.
Thanks, and if you have any questions please send them to me and I will try to answer any question you may have.