I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time! If I had a dollar for every entrepreneur I meet who is writing a book but want to wait till that’s launched to think about podcasting … well I could probably buy you a coffee. With almond milk.
In my opinion, a podcast and a book aren’t an either/or. Or a this and then. They can work together brilliantly to help you build your audience and credibility holistically.
When you are planning the marketing of your book, you are already thinking of ways to build your audience and brand, your credibility and influence with those that will become your eventual readers.
Fact: a podcast is a supreme opportunity to maximise the launch of your book. It’s the perfect companion piece to bring your book to life, publish your work across multiple platforms and ensure that your message wriggles inside the brains of your ideal clients like an earworm so that they are slaves to you forever.
So let’s explore some of the top creative ways you can use a podcast to launch and promote your book.
One: Have your book sponsor your podcast
Quite possibly the simplest way to tie your podcast and book together to get more eyes on your book, this simply means you’re creating podcast content related to / aligned to your book topic and then the book becomes the sponsor – you can include calls to action in the episodes to buy the book or join a waiting list, an opt in to download a free chapter.
Example: Web Marketing that Works –
Example: Web Marketing that Works – Adam Franklin from Bluewire Media (authors of Web Marketing that Works) shared the thinking behind the launch of their podcast (Web Marketing That Works) slightly prior to the launch of the book of the same name: “we made New and Noteworthy 2 weeks prior to the book’s launch and stayed on New & Noteworthy for a further 8 weeks. The podcast provided an extra visibility platform for the book to be seen and found.”
Benefits of using your podcast to promote your book
- Extra visibility: You can find new audiences for your book.
- You can explore key insights in your book in a dynamic way.
- You will appeal to a wider range of audiences due to the multiple content delivery channels.
- Storytelling comes to life. Words on paper is one type of communication. It’s relatively static, and I say that even as a major book-lover.
Two: Create a modern day serial
Read your book aloud, serial-style. This format provides extra visibility as you bring your book to life through a direct read in segments, or reading it with annotations, bringing something “extra” to the story.
Examples: Craft Lit, Scott Sigler Audiobooks, My Dad Wrote a Porno – My Dad Wrote a Porno finds 3 comedians reading aloud the erotic fiction debut of one of the hosts’ author dad. Comedians’ friends interject comedic commentary. Hilarity ensues. The success of this podcast turned an Amazon e-book into a publishing deal.
Three: Share the book writing process itself.
Who doesn’t love some behind-the-scenes insights? Podcasts provide an opportunity to document the development journey of your opus, and the act of sharing behind-the-scenes footage builds community and trust.
Example: Zero to Book – The Zero to Book podcast profiled Pamela Wilson as she shared her book-writing process as she is live-coached through the writing journey. Showing work every step of the way not only kept her accountable to finish and publish, it also helped to build a community around her book, a community of buyers keen to get their hands on the first copies. (It helped that her book coach was Jeff Goins!)
Four: Make the podcast a companion piece that takes the book further
This is where you really build a podcast that is a tight companion piece to the book without just being a serial. You want to take the book to the next level, or provide something extra that book readers will love and podcast fans will want to go and read the book.
Example: Magic Lessons – As a companion to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, the podcast takes the topic of creativity and inspiration further through interviews and live coaching style conversations with ordinary people wanting to bring more creativity to their lives.
Five: Capture a broader audience by creating a standalone book tie-in series
Building a stand-alone podcast series that complements the book by sharing key themes serves a similar purpose to a serial, but provides the opportunity to purpose-fit the content to the audio platform and discover a broader audience.
Example: Virtual Freedom Podcast – A podcast series which came out during the launch period of Chris Ducker’s book, Virtual Freedom. This series wasn’t a serial, but it highlighted key themes in the book in a series, capturing an audio audience for the book.
Six: Involve your audience in the central messages of the book
The more interaction you can build around your book and it’s message, the more community you will build of fans eager to engage with you, your book and your message.
Example: Happier with Gretchen Rubin – Rubin’s podcast is a spin off from The Happiness Project, a personal development book exploring what it takes to live a happy life. It lends itself perfectly to try-this-at-home exercises and experiments and has garnered a thriving community around the podcast, the book and spin-off products like the one-line-a-day journal.
Bonus Tip: Be a guest on other podcasts
We’re not all meant to be show hosts, that doesn’t mean you can’t have the powerful podcast platform help you share the message of your book. Authors should view podcasts as a central part of their book marketing strategy.
I shared on the podcast (episode 63: LISTEN) exactly how to identify podcasts that fit your market, pitch them and get marketing mileage from the interview. Be creative with your pitches – look at the 6 promotional strategies I’ve shared above – can you bring something like that to someone else’s show?
My podcasting client Anna Chisholm recently approached me as she started my podcasting course, suggesting that I follow her journey on my podcast – a la Zero to Book but for her podcast. I loved the idea and you can see the result – a 5 part series of podcasts here.
So… how will you be using the podcast to promote your book?