Monday, October 9, 2023

Podcasting for Authors - Hosting and Guesting!


First, I want to thank Insecure Writers Group for inviting me to talk to you about podcasting!  I have three podcasts currently, one about horsewomen and two literary podcasts.

I developed Carolina Writers Speak to give authors a voice that they may not have had through other mediums. I focus on authors and writers from North and South Carolina.  Shortly thereafter I launched Speaking of Writing to include authors that lived everywhere else. All three of my podcasts are on every major podcasting platform.

Did you know there are 465 million podcast listeners in the world and projected to be about 505 million by the end of 2024? The United States has more podcast listeners than any country in the world. People are making podcasts a normal part of their day. Many authors are finding this a great way to market their books, their skills, and their brand. So how are you going to prepare yourself to be a desired guest on podcast? Is there anyone here who feels that their book would be of interest to listeners? What is that “thing” that you feel would make your work desirable, is it your story, is it your life, maybe it is your knowledge.

When you are asked to do a podcast interview you will need to have a short bio (usually 3-4 paragraphs) be sure and highlight things that are interesting that you have done. Unlike a resume, this is where you caught my attention and made me want to know more.  This process will be of use to you regardless of how you choose to market your book. A great photo of your book cover.

This is a great time to make notes about what you want to cover. Make bullet points about your book that you think the audience will find interesting. If you want to read a part of your book, be sure it is marked and ready to go. Don’t read for more than a couple of minutes. Utilize the information that you used on your back cover as a teaser in the interview.

Another great opportunity when discussing your book in a podcast or wherever is to analyze the different types of audiences that you may attract. So, in your commentary play to those audiences.

You can ask standard questions. Make sure you listen and review a couple of their podcasts before you are interviewed so you will know what to expect. They may ask you to send them a list of topics you would like covered, fun facts about you or your book, will you be able to read a selection you’re your book? If your work is about a personal opinion, or you take a specific stance about a controversial topic, you need to discuss this with your host beforehand. Not that they agree or disagree with your point of view, but it makes it easier to navigate the interview process if we discuss this in advance. All journalists, whether written or spoken, slant their stories however they wish. To insure that you are seen in the best light and presented the way you wish to be, make it clear and easy for the host to know what you are about.

Also, not all podcast hosts edit their podcast or know how. You should ask if they edit or not so that you are prepared for what comes.

When I interview you, I don’t have a standard list of questions because I want it to be a free-flowing conversation between us. I have my guest tell us a little about themselves as a person and tell me about their most recent book. After you describe the book, I will ask where people can purchase it. If you have published multiple books, I may ask you about the others. Then we talk about whether you are published traditionally or self. Be sure to allow it to be a two-way conversation between you.

Podcasters use many platforms for their work. Be sure and ask if there is a charge, video, and audio, et. Audio files are small, and I can do them in my pajamas. My podcasts are very easy, just a telephone call. Be sure you are in a quiet place with no distractions. Every sound comes up during the interview and sounds are hard to get out, the dog barking or loud vehicles in the background. I also talk to you a couple of minutes before we start to help take the nervous edge off and relax you.

When you are interviewed take time to pause and breathe. I have learned that if you slow down, pause, and breathe you have more control over the conversation and you give your audience time to absorb what you are saying. Read their reactions, if they look confused, they probably are. Slow down, breathe, and give them time to respond.

When the podcast is done, your host will close it out by thanking the audience and will give you an idea of when it will go live and send you a link. Your podcast link won’t help you if you don’t make sure you post it to all your social media sites and include it in your newsletter. Make sure you ask if you can use their link to promote yourself and your book.  


Rose Cushing is an author, podcast host, publisher, television producer and documentary film maker. She loves horses, writing, marketing, and gardening. In her contemporary women’s fiction Chasing the Wind she takes us on a journey of life changing proportions from being a small-town journalist to an heiress traveling the world. Her debut novel will be available in October 2023 . She also established Cushing Publishing, a small traditional publishing house in 2023.  For podcasts Carolina Writers Speak and Speaking of Writing. 


Natalie Aguirre said...

I admire Rose for having three podcasts. It sounds like a lot of work. Thanks for the tips on how to prepare to be a guest. It's definitely a good idea to be prepared. I know I'd be nervous.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Never been a podcast guest but I know what to expect now.

PT Dilloway said...

I hate my voice too much to ever want to do a podcast. lol

Jo Anna Kloster said...

Great info, Rose. Thank you for taking the time to coach from afar. Comments by others confirm the value of your advice and info. And BTW, everyone sounds fine. We must be more gentle with ourselves and not judge our voice or "mistakes." Getting yourself out there is what's important. And it's all good!