Podcasts: The Indie Author's Secret Weapon

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Let's face it - many indie authors (which I generally refer to as "independent publishers," albeit smaller ones) will dismiss podcasting out of hand.

Too hard. Too time consuming. Don't quite get it. Pass.

And that would be a bad idea.

Let's start at the beginning. All podcasting is is recording yourself talking. You could be recording yourself talking, by yourself. Or you could record yourself talking with someone else, about a particular topic. And then you become consistent about these recordings, doing them every week, or every month, or every quarter. 

Congratulations! You're now a podcaster!

Now why should I be doing this, you ask?

Three easy reasons.

1. Podcasting Increases Discoverability

By creating and uploading podcasts to any of the major podcast networks (Apple, Google, Stitcher, TuneIn, or others), you'll be boosting your own discoverability within search engines. More people will find your name, and have the likelihood of hitting your website, presumably where your books are sold. More grist for the search engines means, ultimately, more book sales.

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2. Podcasting Increases Speaking Opportunities

By creating podcasts and making them publicly available, you're providing the ability not just for potential readers to get to know you better, but for other podcasters as well as event organizers as well. Recording podcasts begets recording more podcasts, and you'll find other podcasters will reach out to you much more as you start to create a paper trail of your own podcasts.

Additionally, if you have ambitions of speaking to groups, whether as a marketing vehicle to sell books or for some other strategic reason, having a podcast you host, or one you've been a guest on, that you can send to the event organizer considering you as a speaker, makes it much easier for them to say "yes." They've gotten a chance to hear your voice, hear your authenticity, and hear what you're about before having to make that call, and you've just made their lives a lot easier.

3. Podcasting Increases Audiobook Value

If and when you decide to record an audiobook version of your latest work, you can use the audio of podcast episodes you've been on—whether your own show, or someone else's show—as bonus content to append to the end of your audiobook. You could add a podcast interview or two to your audiobook and call it a "premium edition" or "expanded edition" and either charge a little more for it, or keep it the same price and just have a new marketing angle by which to promote and sell it. Regardless, you're taking advantage of that content in a new way.

The best thing you can do, as an independent publisher, is to start by being a guest on someone else's podcast. You can get a sense for how it all works, without having to mentally (or financially) invest in doing it yourself. And then, once you get a show or two under your belt, you can consider whether you'd like to host your own show, and whether that makes sense for you as an author and as a publisher.

No matter what you do, take a leap of faith and try it out. You won't be sorry.


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Bradley Metrock

Bradley Metrock is CEO of Nashville-based Score Publishing and executive producer of Digital Book World, the gathering of the wide world of publishing. Digital Book World 2019 takes place September 10-12 and is an invaluable, one-of-a-kind event for indie authors and small publishers to attend. Deeply discounted passes are available through IBPA and ALLi.