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Self-Publishing: Podcast Guest Appearances

Have you ever dreamed of amplifying your book's readership? Then, consider stepping into the realm of podcasting! Among other things, let’s talk about some tips and resources to engage with new and existing fans.

Self-Publishing: Podcast Guest Appearances

Podcasting has evolved from a niche medium to a global phenomenon, with half a billion listeners tuning in daily. Guest starring on podcasts allows you to share your unique perspective, build credibility, and connect with potential readers on a personal level. By sharing your passion and insights, you can turn curious listeners into devoted fans of your writing.


Personally, I gained a lot more confidence through guest starring on podcasts. It helped a lot with navigating imposter syndrome, which is a common affliction among authors, whether novice or experienced.



TIMING

Timing is a crucial element when considering reaching out to podcasts to promote their upcoming book releases. Typically, it's advisable to start the outreach process several months in advance of the book's launch. This lead time allows for proper planning, coordination, and promotion. Only contact them when you have a solid book release date in mind, several months ahead. This allows podcast hosts to schedule the recording and release. It also sets in good standing for being organized and professional.



LANDING THE SPOT

Let’s start simple. The first step is to find several podcasts you’d like to star on. Make sure you listen to the podcasts beforehand. You don’t want to promote your romance on a horror show…unless it's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It’s also important to identify ones that speak to self-published authors, not just industry leaders and traditionally published authors with social media engines behind them. For the first podcast or two, think small and friendly so you can ease into it. 


Reach out to hosts through their website or social media channels, expressing your interest and explaining how your expertise or book can provide value to their audience. Craft a compelling pitch that highlights your unique story and the insights you can offer.


Before you reach out to the host, follow them and their podcast on social media. I often reach out through social media.



REQUEST TEMPLATE

To make your job easier, here is a handy little template. Remember, your job is to make their job easier by keeping it succinct and personable. Be direct. Change the format to suit the platform (email, website form, Twitter…).


Subject: Inquiry: Guest Appearance on [Podcast Name]


Dear [Podcast Host's Name],


Hopefully, this email finds you well. My name is [Your Name], and I am a self-published author in the [Genre/Niche] genre. I have been following your podcast, [Podcast Name], and I appreciate [something you like about their show; your candor, humor, insights, attention to detail, joy for reading…Make it genuine by listening to the recent ones].


I’d love to be a guest on your podcast. My journey as a self-published author and my perspective [mention one or two experiences, traits, habits, or motes of expertise you have] that could be of interest to your listeners. I am passionate about [briefly mention a theme in your book(s)] and would love the chance to chat about it with you.


Thank you for your consideration. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


Warm regards,

[Your Name]

[Your Contact Information]


For shorter a format to use for direct messaging on social media, you could use something like this.


Hi. I love your podcast. I'm a self-published(ing) [Genre/Niche Genre] author. I have been following your podcast and appreciate [your candor, humor, insights, attention to detail, joy for reading…Make it genuine but short].


I’d love to be a guest on your podcast. My author's journey and perspective [a trait, habit, or expertise] could be of interest to your listeners. Thank you for your consideration. -[Your Name]



PREPARE

It’s important to familiarize yourself with each podcast's format, previous episodes, and the host's style. This will help you tailor your request message, choose content that resonates with their audience, and prepare yourself for their quirks. Here are a few suggestions.


Media Kit: It’s important to have the following ready to go, including your

  • Short Bio (Not PDF)

  • Headshot

  • Book Title(s) to Promote

  • Short Book Description(s)

  • Book Cover Images

  • Book links

  • Social Media Handles

Follow-up: It’s important to follow up to answer any questions they might have.

Listen: Follow along with their podcast to familiarize yourself with their process.

Practice: Hone your ability to describe yourself and your book concisely. A more conversational version of your short book description.



SUGGESTIONS

You don’t need to be an overnight rockstar, so sit back and relax. Here are a few things you can do to keep the experience positive and helpful to you as an author.


Prepare: Familiarize yourself with the podcast's format, previous episodes, and the host's style. This will help you tailor your request message, choose content that resonates with their audience, and prepare yourself for their quirks.


Setup: Choose a quiet space, good audio quality, and a reliable internet connection to minimize disruptions during recording. Air conditioning, open windows, and microphone placement are the usual culprits for ruining a recording.


Pre-Recording: Be prepared to go over the podcast details. This can include a verbal agreement to record and post the interview, timelines, and some soundcheck. I always ask if they go back and cut out sections or if they play on through so you know whether you can go back and fix an explanation or if you need to keep pressing on.


Conversation: Listeners are there to hear you and the host have a conversation. That means, treating the host like a friend who wants to make you shine because that is exactly who they are. Actively listen. Ask questions. Show genuine enthusiasm for your interests.


Your Story: Share your journey as a self-published author, including your challenges, triumphs, and the inspiration behind your book. Personal anecdotes resonate with listeners.


Educate and Entertain: Offer insights related to your book(s) while keeping the conversation engaging and entertaining. Remember that they haven’t heard your personal stories or how they relate to your writing.


Promote Your Work: Your host will usually bring up the subject of your books. Take these opportunities to tell them about why you’re passionate about your stories. Explain why you’re the right person to be the conduit of your message.


Respect the Audience: Be mindful of the podcast's audience and avoid overly promotional language. Focus on delivering valuable content and stories.


Gratitude: At the beginning, during, and after the podcast, express your appreciation to the host for the opportunity.


Follow Up: Stay connected with the podcast's host and audience through social media, email newsletters, or future collaborations.


Be Consistent: Consider appearing on multiple podcasts to expand your reach. While you gain experience, keep reinforcing what you worked and improving what didn’t.


Circulate it: Promote your podcast appearance on your website, social media, and author platforms to maximize its impact.


Be patient: securing podcast opportunities may take time and persistence.


Promotions: Consider providing a special offer or discount to podcast listeners as an incentive to check out your book.


Smile: Even off-camera, you’ll sound happier and more engaging if you smile. Fake it until you make it. 



PODCAST HOSTING SELFERS

Here is a list of podcasts that host self-publishing authors. Note that some of them have wait times up to six months in advance because of demand. Those are often the ones that have the biggest following.




HELPFUL PODCASTS



FAQ

Q. How do I find podcasts that align with my book's genre?

A. Search podcast directories, social media, or podcast-specific platforms using relevant keywords. Research hosts and episodes to ensure alignment.


Q. Should I approach podcast hosts directly or use a booking service?

A. I’ve only gone directly, so I don’t know.


Q. Is it essential to have a professional recording setup for podcast appearances?

A. High-end equipment isn’t necessary, but clear audio and a quiet environment are essential. Most podcasts accommodate varying levels of equipment quality. Be prepared to swap from headphones to your phone or computer’s input and output.


Q. Can I introduce my pet parrot to the podcast host?

A. A pet parrot could add some colorful commentary and bring about hilarity. Just make sure your feathered friend doesn't upstage you!


Q. How can I make my podcast appearance engaging and memorable?

A. Share personal anecdotes, engage with the host and audience, and provide valuable insights or entertaining tidbits about your journey to authorship.


Q. What's the best way to mention my book without sounding overly promotional?

A. When asked author-centric questions, you can say things like, “While working on my book, [Amazing Book], I learned that…”


Q. How do I handle technical difficulties during a podcast recording?

A. Remain calm and communicate with the host. Be prepared with backup internet options. I’ve swapped my mobile’s hotspot because my wifi crapped out.


Q. How can I promote my podcast appearance effectively?

A. Share the episode on your website, social media, and mailing list. Create engaging teaser content to generate excitement.


Q. Can I wear my lucky writing socks for the podcast appearance?

A. Absolutely! Just make sure they're not too distracting for the video podcast, and you're good to go.


Q. What should I do if the podcast host asks a question I'm not prepared for?

A. Stay composed, provide a thoughtful response, and consider steering the conversation back to your expertise. This is a good time for filler while you think. “That’s a great question. Let me think. Hmmmm.” Hosts and listeners appreciate it when they know you’re thinking and being honest.


Q. How can I leverage my podcast appearances to grow my author brand?

A. Showcase your expertise and personality by building a connection with the hosts and their listeners.


Q. What's the etiquette for following up with podcast hosts after an appearance?

A. Express gratitude, share the episode, and stay engaged with the podcast's audience and host through social media and future collaborations.


 

As always, I appreciate your support of self-publishing and indie authors. In the name of putting myself out there, here are a few of my works.



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