Remember when blogging was all the rage for authors? Well, it still is an essential (I recommend that all authors blog), but it seems that the latest version of blogging is in the form of audio. They’re podcasts.
According to an article in Publishers Weekly, more and more authors are using podcasts, “as a way to build readership and bring attention to their sites.”
Who’s Doing Them?
There are a bunch of literary sites on the west coast that are doing regular author interviews via podcast. They include Brad Listi’s the Nervous Breakdown, Tom Lutz’s Los Angeles Review of Books, and Tyson Cornell’s company Rare Bird Lit.
Listi believes podcast are a great way for authors to connect directly with readers: “[Authors] are interesting and down to earth, and this is what I want to bring to our listeners.”
Authors can also do podcasts themselves. There are numerous authors who have used podcasts to replace their blog.
Who Listens to Them?
“One of the most obvious markets for them is the commuter market, whether it’s people riding on subways or driving in their cars,” Lutz tells PW. Lutz goes on to add that in his best month, his podcasts received over 100,000 hits. So people are definitely listening.
What Should You Talk About on a Podcast?
Sure, you should mention your book. But try to avoid having that be the bread and butter of the interview. “I see the book as the product and the author as the brand, and podcasts are an ideal way to build that brand,” says Cornell.
In other words, use a podcast to talk about yourself, your career, the humor that you find in everyday life, etc…
How Do They Help Authors?
Much like author websites themselves, podcasts “humanize the authors,” says Listi. Rare Bird Lit takes the personalization of podcasts even further … they’re live. “They’re unique because the listeners feel like they’re in the living room with the author, and since they’re live we can have people call in,” said Rare Bird founder Tyson Cornell.
Make sure to use a podcast as a chance to let people get to know you and like you. At the end of the day, that could be the impetus for purchasing your book.