Podcast Interviews: 7 Tips for Authors
If you’re looking for a fast and free way to grow your outreach and better establish yourself as an author, podcast interviews are definitely worth considering. Sharing yourself, your process, and your writing can be a great way to meet potential fans and network with influential authors around the world.
Unfortunately, you won’t magically get invitations to interview through your inbox after your writing reaches the right level of fame. You’ll need to do a lot of the work yourself. Here are seven tips to help get you started in podcasts.
You can locate podcasts with tools like iTunes or use a more specialized search engine like listennotes.com. It helps to have a large list covering a broad variety of relevant topics. We’ll wheedle it down in the next step. For now, make a spreadsheet or a list of everything that looks doable.
Get rid of any podcasts that aren’t relevant. Next, get rid of any that don’t do interviews (not all do!). Avoid any podcasts that are so big you’ll need to compete for a spot, but also the ones so small that no one will hear your interview except for your current fans. Lastly, make sure the podcasts are still operational. If you see one that hasn’t had an episode since 2018, there’s no point in tracking it further. Ideally, stick with podcasts that have had at least one or two interviews in the past month.
Take some time to listen to some of the prospective podcasts as well. This way you can familiarize yourself with the host and setup and be better prepared for pitching later on.
You could skip straight to pitching here, and strictly speaking there’s no problem with that. If time isn’t an issue, however, you can listen and comment on a few recent episodes. That way you’ll come off as a genuine active listener as well as a potential guest.
Of course, you don’t want to spam everyone. Don’t go overboard introducing yourself yet—merely comment on what you liked or any interesting and unique thoughts you have.
Before you start pitching, know what points you want to hit. What makes you different as an author? You can include the books you’ve written, something about your process or background that gives you a unique vantage. You could also include non-fiction activities like blogging or writing non-fiction books. Think about every part of your life as a writer and how those parts fit together.
Some podcasts will have contact forms if you’re interested in joining. Other times you’ll have to work through email or social media to get in touch about being a guest. Either way, keep your pitch brief and honest. Make a personal connection (mention a favorite episode or something you like about that host or podcast in particular) and tell them explicitly that you want to be a guest.
You might not always get a yes, and you might need to be very flexible in your scheduling, but stay casual and courteous, and keep moving around to different podcasts while you wait for a response.
At the end of your interview, what do you want listeners to do? This is the time to come up with a simple CTA (call to action) where you can share your social media info or tell listeners about your free reader magnet. Your call to action should be tied in with the reason you want to be featured on podcasts anyway and should be a good way for listening audiences to get involved.
If pitching podcasts really isn’t your thing, but you really want to connect to the podcast demographic, you might consider starting a podcast of your own. You can discuss your writing techniques or get in touch with other authors to expand your reach. Some authors, like Joanna Penn, have turned their own podcasts into serious parts of their job in addition to writing.
As bustling as the podcast industry currently is, it’s easy to jump on board and find someone who is open for an interview. If you follow enough podcasts on the side, you might even get hit with an invitation yourself and not even need to pitch.
What are your tips for getting onto podcasts? Please share in the comment section below or join my group for self-publishing fiction writers on Facebook for more tips and discussion!