How to Pitch Podcasters

In my experience, pitching yourself as a podcast interview is very different from pitching your book to a publisher or getting on television, with one exception: you have to do your homework.

Pitching your manuscript to a publisher requires a formal proposal containing certain elements, such as a marketing plan and a competing and complementary books section, in addition to sample chapters. Talk-show hosts like Jay Leno have very specific guidelines for going to be guests, along with the lines of You must use our e-mail submission form and you must send a video to a particular format. And, of course, for print media coverage, there's the traditional press release and its social media variants.

Take a Personal Approach

Because most podcasts are a personal and informal medium, most podcasters are suspicious of marketing-speak and press releases, especially if the pitch looks like something that's been Sent out on a massive scale. Most podcasters have small, vocal audiences, people who think of them as friends and who will let them know in no uncertain terms if they do not like a show. There is a strong sense of community among podcasters and listeners, and when it comes to doing interviews, podcasters prefer people who are part of that community to people who are not, unless the interviewee is extremely well-known.

Like bloggers (and many podcasters are bloggers), podcasters are as likely to lambaste a bad pitch to their listeners as to simply trash it and ignore it. Bad Pitch Blog Picking Podcasts to Pitch

In April 2006, FeedBurner reported that it was publishing 44,000 podcast feeds. That's good news: It's a pretty safe bet that whatever you're writing about, someone is podcasting about it. And no, you will not have to listen to all 44,000 in order to know which ones to pitch.

Remember the audience profile you had to create when you created your book proposal? You want to find podcasters whose audiences are the same as your ideal reader.

To find podcasts on the right subject, check out the podcasts Directories like iTunes and Podcast Alley, which allow listeners to rate and review podcasts.

And, of course, do not overlook any podcasts you're already listening to.

Joining the 'In Group'

So what do you do after you've gone through and found the highest-rated podcasts on subjects related to your book? First, listen to the podcast. Better yet, subscribe to the podcast and listen to several shows. Read the show notes and the comments. Find out if interviews are a regular part of the show. (Some shows feature interviews every week, others occasionally, and some not at all.)

Next, start commenting. When you leave a comment on the show's blog, you can enter the URL for your book instead of your home page for some subtle self-promotion, but the important thing is to respond thoughtfully to something in that episode. Write a paragraph or two that continues the conversation and shows you know what you're talking about.

Genuine Connections

While podcasters do not necessarily expect people they've interviewed to listen to every show from then on, they'll shy off anyone whose interest seems too self- serving. Just because a podcast has a lot of listeners does not mean that you'll like the show or the podcast. If you do not, do not try to fake it in order to reach a potential market for your book. Make sure the podcast and its host (s) are a good fit for your personality before attempting to line up an interview.

It's That Simple

You'll probably have to do this more than once before the podcaster asks you to interview you but if what you say is interesting enough to listeners Will usually hear it read out in the next episode as well as having the opportunity to read it on the show blog), the podcast may contact you immediately. If not, keep listening and commenting for a few shows, and strike up an e-mail correspondence with the podcaster.

Once you're sure that the podcaster and the listeners know who you are and find your comments interesting , Volunteer yourself as an interviewee. And as long as there is enough time before the interview date, send the podcast a copy of your book. Even if the interview is not about the book itself (and it will probably not be), having the book in hand helps the podcaster to come up with interview questions.

Keep the Discussion Going

Naturally you'll want to listen to the episode with your interview, but do not stop there. Check the show notes to see what the listeners have to say about the show. Is there anything you can pick up on and respond to?

It's also a good idea to listen to the next episode for more feedback and to send any questions you may have. Some questions may come directly to you, but many listeners feel more comfortable dealing with the podcast host (s).

If enough listeners want to know more, you may be invited back for another interview.

Side Benefits

Some podcasters also review books. Indeed, there are book reviews podcasts out there, and it does not hurt to search for them. A podcaster who likes your book may also write a short review on the show blog and include an affiliate link from Amazon.

One of the nicest things about the podcast interview, though, is that you can link directly to the episode From your own website without having to worry about how to handle the audio file at your end. (Very often though, podcasters will give you permission to repost the file on your own site if you do.)

Best of all, though, you do not have to go through layers of screening To get access to a podcast – which is part of why podcasters have such dedicated fans.

© 2006 Sallie Goetsch

Source by Sallie Goetsch

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