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Sunday, October 23, 2011

by Clare Langley-Hawthorne
Ever since I purchased my iPhone and iPad a year and a bit ago, I have become a podcast junkie. I listen to them in the car, while cooking, even while walking the dog, if the mood so inspires me. I simply cannot imagine my life without listening to podcasts (of course, that might also be because Australian radio totally sucks!) After our recent blog discussions on 'discoverability' and the ebook revolution, I started thinking about all value of podcasts in terms of research, marketing and publicity for authors. Although I haven't (as yet) done my own podcasts, I can definitely see a role for them in the future for many authors.

Already I find podcasts are a great source of research and 'idea generation' - granted that is probably because, as a writer of historical fiction, I find the BBC History Magazine, BBC Witness, History of the World in 100 Objects and British Library podcasts so invaluable. I can be driving in my car when suddenly I hear a segment and I think - wow, file that away for a future novel!

I also hear about a good many books that I end up purchasing via podcasts. It might be a review on the New York Times Book Review podcast or on an NPR podcast or it might be through an author interview. Though it is just as hard to get these review/publicity opportunities for authors, I do think the wealth of podcasts out there widens the options for many authors seeking to publicize or discuss their novels.

Which leads me to the plethora of author options when it comes to podcasts. These include doing some yourself (either interviews or book readings) or appearing/speaking on other people's podcasts. There is even an option of publicizing author book tours this way ( Such as the Tattered Cover bookstore's authors on tour live podcast or Barnes and Noble's video podcasts). Apple even has its own "Meet the Author" podcast series and, for mystery writers the 'Behind the Black Mask' podcast series. I am sure this is just the tip of the podcast iceberg...and so, as I delve further into the podcast opportunities that abound, I'd like your feedback...
  • Have you incorporated podcasts into your marketing or promotional efforts, and if so how?
  • Which author/writer podcasts do you listen to?
  • Are there any podcasts that influence your book buying decisions?
  • How do you think authors might be able to use their podcasts to help increase their 'discoverability'? (Secretly I am hoping my sexy Australian accent will by ticket to my success:)!)
And finally, TKZers, what do you think? Maybe we should expand our repertoire into podcasting?


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