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Promoting Your Book
with an Author Podcast

by Patrice-Anne Rutledge

This report was excerpted by permission from Patrice-Anne Rudledge's The Web-Savvy Writer: Book Promotion with a Tech Twist. Web: http://www.websavvywriter.com.

Note: Some of the information in this article is out-dated (simply the facts of life on the Internet). Check her website for any updated editions of her book.

For more podcasting resources, click here

Just the Facts

Think of a podcast as an Internet radio show you listen to on demand. The term podcast comes from the words iPod and broadcast. However, the iPod aspect of podcasting is misleading. You can listen to a podcast on an iPod, but listening on another MP3 player or a computer capable of playing audio files works just as well.

With podcasting, the online audio content that you create is delivered via a feed. It’s similar to your blog’s feed, but it’s for audio instead. Using the feed, listeners can subscribe to your podcast so they’re aware of every new episode.

In order to determine whether podcasting is a good choice for your book promotion efforts, you need to learn the basics of podcasting.

Advantages of Podcasting

As an author, you can use podcasting to connect with your audience by:

  • Telling a story
  • Reading a book excerpt (serialized audio books are also called podiobooks)
  • Delivering tutorials related to your area of expertise
  • Producing your own talk show
  • Providing audio travel content for travelers with an iPod or other MP3 player
  • Offering paid subscriptions to value-added audio content

Listening to Podcasts

Before creating your own podcast, you should listen to other podcasts to get a feel for what works well in this medium. There are several ways to listen to a podcast. You can:

  • Listen directly from the web
  • Download a podcast and listen to it later on your computer
  • Download a podcast, transfer it to your digital audio player (such as an iPod or similar device), and listen to it whenever and wherever you want

When you find podcasts you like, you can subscribe to them just like you do with your favorite RSS feeds. You can listen and subscribe to podcasts through a podcatcher, which is very similar to the feed readers you use to read and subscribe to RSS feeds. In fact, many feed readers also enable you to subscribe to podcasts.

Planning Your Author Podcast

In order to develop a podcasting plan, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who is your audience? What content do they want to listen to?
  • What other podcasts target your same audience? How will your podcast be different?
  • What is your podcast’s goal? How does your content fit with that goal?
  • What is your format? Will you be the sole speaker? Or will you inter-view others?
  • How long will each podcast be?
  • How frequently will you podcast? Monthly, weekly, daily, or on another schedule?

Web-Savvy in Action

Trevor is the self-published author of a mystery novel he has chosen to deliver as a podiobook, an audiobook delivered as a serialized podcast. He posts each chapter on his blog and also created a podcast feed to promote his podiobook. His blog includes a link to Amazon.com, where listeners can purchase the print version of his book. A large graphic of the book’s cover appears prominently on his blog.

Trevor isn’t a well-known novelist, so he needs to promote his podiobook to develop an audience. He starts by contacting websites that target mystery buffs and then creates a series of online press releases related to his book. Because podiobooks are still a new concept, he is able to generate some press coverage on his book and expand his audience.

Creating Your Author Podcast

There are several basics steps to creating a podcast:

  • Record your podcast, either on your computer using recording software and a microphone or, alternatively, by phone.
  • Save your podcast as an MP3 file.
  • Upload your MP3 files to your server.
  • Create your podcast RSS feed.
  • Publish and promote your RSS feed.

Don’t worry if this sounds difficult to you. Many automated tools make podcasting easier.

Choosing Your Podcasting Tools and Technologies

If you plan to record your podcast on your computer, you’ll need a good microphone and some basic recording software.

Audacity - http://audacity.sourceforge.net. Audacity is a free, open source software program for recording and editing sound. Popular with podcasters, it’s available as a download for Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. If you need to export your sound file to an MP3 format (many podcast services do this for you, so it may not be necessary), you can download the optional LAME MP3 encoder to handle this task.

Don’t plan to use the microphone that came with your computer, or your notebook’s built-in microphone, for recording purposes. You need a solid, professional-quality microphone for high-quality podcasting. Plantronics, Behringer, and Stageworks all make affordable microphones that are suitable for author podcasts.

Creative Author Podcast Ideas

Here’s a trio of ideas for those who want to create a more sophisticated podcast:

  • Add music to your podcast. To do so, find royalty-free music suitable for podcasts, known as podsafe music.
  • If you want to include video in your podcasts, consider creating a video podcast. A video podcast is also referred to as a vidcast, vodcast, videocast, or vcast. Yes, the podcasting crowd does love catchy new names. This technique is similar to videoblogging, but it’s delivered via an RSS feed to which listeners can subscribe.
  • Include phone interviews in your podcasts using services such as FreeConference.com (http://www.freeconference.com), Conference Calls Unlimited (http://www.conferencecallsunlimited.com), or Maklitel (http://www.maklitel.com).

Web-Savvy In Action

Berrie is the author of a series of adventure travel guidebooks to the American Northwest. She likes the idea of creating a podcast to expand her audience and promote her books, but she wants to try something a little different.

Berrie enjoys making videos with her camcorder and creates a monthly video podcast that covers some of her favorite adventures in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. She promotes her video podcast in podcast directories, on her website, and on other travel websites that are interested in both her content as well as the new video podcast technology.

Profiting from Your Author Podcast

Do you want to make some money from your podcast? New ways to profit from podcasting are just beginning to develop, but here are some ideas:

  • Consider accepting advertising in your podcasts, also referred to as podvertising or advercasting.
  • Secure podcast sponsors related to your podcast topic.
  • Offer special discounts on your books, products, and services to your podcast listeners to generate more sales .
  • Discuss affiliate products that you recommend and refer listeners to your website for more information and related links.
  • Place ads, such as Google AdSense, on the web pages related to your podcast.

If podcast advertising is something you’re interested in pursuing, you should wait until you have a reasonable number of subscribers before seeking advertisers. No one wants to advertise on a podcast with just a few subscribers. Focus on developing an audience, and then sign up for an advertising program.

Web-Savvy In Action

Elmer is the author of a series of books on home-based business who produces a popular podcast in a talk show format. In each podcast, he covers an area of interest to home-based business owners and interviews an expert in that field. In addition to providing useful information to his audience, these guests usually promote their appearance on his podcast on their own sites and blogs. To give his podcast a professional touch, Elmer adds an introduction using podsafe music.

Elmer hopes his podcast generates revenue as well as promotes his books. On his website and blog, he provides detailed information on his consulting services and seminars and recommends affiliate products that his audience may be interested in buying. At appropriate times throughout his podcasts, Elmer discusses these products and services and mentions his website URL.

Promoting Your Author Podcast on Your Website

Once you create a podcast, the first thing you should do is to let your blog and website visitors know about it. One of the easiest ways to do this is to add feed subscription buttons, also called chicklets, enabling your readers to subscribe to your podcast feed.

To add these buttons, you need to generate HTML code that includes information about your feed and insert this HTML code into your web page or blog. Don’t worry. Generating the HTML code is usually an automated process. There are several ways to do this:

  • If you use FeedBurner, click the Publicize tab and then the Chicklet Chooser button to generate the HTML code for the buttons you want to use, including those for podcatchers such as Odeo, PodNova, My Yahoo!, and more.
  • If you use TypePad, the ability to add a podcast link to your sidebar is built into the existing template.
  • If you’re planning to issue an online press release, consider PRWeb’s press release podcasting service (http://www.prweb.com). If you purchase their SEO Tools distribution plan, PRWeb records a podcast interview with you and posts it with your release.

Submitting Your Author Podcast to Podcast Directories

Listing your podcast in the most popular podcast directories also helps new listeners discover your podcast. Here are some good choices to start:

Finding where to list your podcast on iPodder.org can be a bit tricky. To do so, choose a category from the directory and then click “Suggest a Link.”

If you want to find more places to submit your podcast, search on your favorite search engine for “podcast directory.”

Web-Savvy In Action

Molly is the author of a memoir about raising a family of ten children. To promote her book, Molly creates a slice of life podcast filled with humorous stories about her family. The main challenge for Molly is that her target audience generally isn’t very familiar with podcasting. When she first started her podcasts, she mentioned them on her website home page and provided a link to her podcast feed. Few of her readers subscribed, however, and many people at her in-person talks admitted to not understanding podcasting.

To educate her audience about podcasting, and increase her number of listeners, Molly reworks the information on her website to provide more basic background information, referring to her podcast as an Internet radio show. By providing direct links to listen online, her audience begins to develop. As her listeners become more comfortable with the concept of podcasting, they refer to Molly’s advanced information about RSS, subscribing via a podcatcher, and playing podcasts on iPods and other MP3 players.

Author Podcasting Step-by-Step

Podcasting helps you connect with—and entertain—your audience using the spoken word. Having your own “online radio show” is easier than ever. Here’s your step-by-step to-do list:

 Research podcasting and verify that you understand the basic concepts.

 Listen and subscribe to several podcasts to get a first-hand view of how it works.

 Create a concept and theme for your podcast and plan several shows.

 Research and choose your podcasting tools and hosting technologies (don’t go overboard on expensive equipment when you’re first starting out with podcasting).

 Record your podcast, either on your computer using recording software and a microphone or, alternatively, by phone.

 Save your podcast as an MP3 file and upload it to your server (many podcast hosting services simplify this step).

 Create a podcast feed with FeedBurner or another tool.

 Publish your podcast.

 Promote your podcast on your website, blog, and ezine; on the web; and in search engines and blog directories.

 Consider incorporating advertising into your podcast when your subscriber volume warrants it.


Patrice-Anne Rutledge is the bestselling author of 24 books, a successful technology journalist, and an online book promotion expert.

Her most recent book is The Web-Savvy Writer: Book Promotion with a High-Tech Twist, which shows authors how to profit from the latest techniques in online book promotion. To sign up for her ezine and receive a free special report on generating sales with author websites, visit her site at http://www.websavvywriter.com.


For more podcasting secrets, click here.

For more podcasting resources, click here.


Copyright © 2015 by Internet marketing expert John Kremer
Email: JohnKremer@bookmarket.com

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