Podcasts are the Big News in Book PR Lately

Founded in 1997, Smith Publicity has evolved from a one-person operation run in a bedroom office to one of the leading book publicity agencies in the world. Founder Dan Smith’s goal for the company was to offer unparalleled customer service and work to exceed, not simply meet client expe

Today's bookselling marketing place is legendarily competitive, but on the upside, there are more ways to promote a book than ever before. Every good book publicist has a range of proven successful tactics, and podcasts are one of them. Unlike mentions in articles or brief TV interviews, podcast interviews are generally long-form and conversational with an audience of highly interested listeners. They are an excellent platform for authors because they're easy to do, and niche audiences tend to be more responsive (book buyers) than mass audiences. Each year podcast listenership continues to grow.

One of the things people enjoy most about podcasts is their convenience. It's easy to listen while commuting, working out at the gym, driving, or doing many other activities. Mobile apps and the rise of smartphones as the predominant means of going online are helping podcasts more. Current statistics show 62 million Americans listening weekly and 166 million monthly. One of the most active podcast platforms reports 365 million monthly active users, and those numbers are impressive. They give you access to a significant audience and an easy way to target listeners interested in your book's topic.

Even very specialized books and authors can find interested niche audiences on podcasts. It means listeners come with knowledge of and interest in your topic. The long-form interview format allows you to connect more with them and make a deeper impression – think book buyers and new fans of your work. Your knowledge and command of your topic, or unique personality as a novelist, come through more clearly as you establish rapport with the host and listeners. Also, you're not limited to a single podcast, and if there are several related to your topic, it's an excellent approach to appear on all of them.

Like radio interviews, many podcasts will have you on as a guest by telephone. It's far less time-consuming than attending in person and allows you to be a guest regardless of the host's location. If you're trying to book yourself onto DIY podcasts, you can find social media groups where their hosts and producers are present—reaching out with an inquiry that's well prepared and presents you as a knowledgeable and interesting guest is appropriate. Do some research, and in your pitch, gently demonstrate that you are familiar with the podcast, its topic, and the host's interests.


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