How to Launch and Sell More Books With a Podcast Guest Tour
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Most authors have no idea how to successfully launch their book using podcast appearances. In this session, Christine McAlister will cover crucial components like: How much time do you need to do a podcast tour? How do you cover your key topics without sounding like you’re reading a script? What do you offer at the end of an interview? How do you identify the shows that will actually sell books? Get ready to learn 5 simple steps to make the most of your podcast book tour!
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On May 1, 2018, my very first book reached number one bestseller status. I made back my entire investment within a month, not to mention the ROI that I continue to generate thanks to this book.
People started asking me how I was able to launch this book so successfully. My answer was simple: I planned a strategic podcast book tour. The problem is that most authors have no idea how to successfully launch their book with podcast appearances.
Today, I want to change that for you. Here are five simple steps to make the most of your podcast book tour.
This post is a transcription of one of the talks from our PodPros Quarterly Virtual events.
#1: Identify the shows that will actually sell books
Currently, there are about 2-3 million podcasts out there. That’s an overwhelming number to sift through! But do not worry. Here are some strategies to simplify the process for you.
First, there’s PodMatch. Alex and his team have created an incredible place where you can connect with podcasters who have an audience that might be interested in the topic of your book.
So get started with PodMatch. I also recommend Listen Notes, a free search engine for podcasts. And, of course, there is Apple podcasts.
These great platforms will help you build an initial list of podcasts to research on.
#2 Plan ahead
Let me ask you a question. How much time do you think you need for a podcast book tour? Recently, I received a message from a literary agent. His client’s book was coming out in two days, and he wanted to know if I could get his client on a few podcasts.
Here’s the thing: Booking a tour takes a lot of effort. That’s why you need to plan as far in advance as possible. Preferably at least six months before your book is published, during your book launch, and even after. What if you don’t come across this page until a few days before your book is published? That’s not a problem. Start booking now.
What if you’re writing, planning a launch, and running your business at the same time? Been there, done that. You need to allow yourself the time you can within the overall scope of your launch and your business.
#3 Prepare your expert topics
We all know politicians who’ll say anything they want to say, even if it’s nothing to do with the question being asked. That’s a mistake many people make in podcasts, too. But that’s not the way to go if you want to help shape a conversation in a value-oriented way.
Imagine someone following you on all these podcasts you’re doing on your tour. Let’s say they want to listen through them. When they get to the second podcast, they find you’re saying the same thing you said in the first podcast. That’s the end of the binge.
You want to have an authentic conversation, not just read off your talking points. How do you go about doing that?
First, determine the most important topics or keywords you might talk about and put them on sticky notes on either side of your screen. That way, you’ll have just enough keywords to remember what you need to talk about in case you get stuck.
You should also list the names or brief descriptions of your clients or your own success stories. I call these your stories that sell silently.
It’s common for people, including authors, to appear on a show and talk about their work in general terms. Either out of nervousness or uncertainty about how to bring it up, they miss the opportunity to talk about their book.
Don’t do that. You need to be prepared to have a conversation without running out of ideas or getting flustered.
Then, if they appeal to you, you already know what questions they are likely to ask you. You have the information you need to make that episode original.
You can also practice in advance with someone and have them ask you what you fear you may forget or not know. Have them ask you questions in real-time on a zoom recording so you can work out those nerves before the interview.
#4 Offer a freebie
The goal is to create a podcast that offers alignment at the end of the interview. This is one of the places where many people go wrong on a podcast. They end up confusing people rather than guiding them. You want to offer the most aligned call to action. Don’t say, “You can find my book on Amazon.”
That’s not a free, direct call to action. The customer might go to Amazon and get distracted by their lists. Instead, state the one place where the only option is to get that free gift. This will capture the people who’re ready to buy your book or contact you right away. Others need to be warmed up with a few emails first.
You may find it most useful to offer a free chapter of the book in your follow-up sequence. Then you might invite them to your private Facebook group on the thank you page of your landing page. The goal is to get one micro-yes at a time. Remember, it all has to fit within the framework of your launch.
#5 Request for the episode to be released around your book launch day
Ideally, you want a series of episodes to appear within a week or two of your book’s publication. This makes you appear in multiple places and can increase sales and credibility.
You want to make a big promotional impact. Whether you succeed, of course, depends on several factors, such as
– the size of the show
– your relationship with the host
– how much the host knows about how books are launched
All in all, don’t go into the show with preconceived notions. It’s their show, not yours. Respect that. You can ask, “Hey, do you’ve any idea when this is going to air?”
If they say, “Well, when would be best for you?” Then that’s the opportunity to say, “Oh, well, here’s the date of my book launch. So if they say that’s fine for them, that’s great. If they choose a different date, respect that. Again, their show, their rules. Fortunately, many hosts are happy to release around the book launch date.
A bonus tip before we wrap up.
If you’ve been a guest on a few shows, go back to that list and pay attention to two things:
– Which shows you particularly enjoyed
– which shows would match the theme of your book.
Check in with the hosts and say, “Hey, I have a new book out. Do you feel like that would be a fit for your audience? I’d be honored, either way, no worries.”
This is for someone you’ve had a conversation with before, and they’re not going to think of it as just being transactional. If you haven’t talked to them in two years, you should and first, find out what’s going on with them.
But if you’ve been a guest recently, take advantage of it. If you’ve been a wonderful guest, give yourself a chance to go back to those shows and be a repeat guest.
Watch some of your favorite interviews and look for places where you think there’s a natural fit between the topic of your book and the host and their audience.
Remember that PodMatch is a great place to find out which shows you should be on.
Thank you for writing your book and for sharing your important work with the world. Now go and create a successful book launch with podcast guest appearances!
About Christine McAlister
Christine McAlister is passionate about helping impact-driven entrepreneurs attract their next clients by being value-driven podcast guests. She’s generated well over 6-figures as a podcast guest and has been recognized as the best in the world at podcast guesting by 7-figure founders like John Lee Dumas, Dana Wilde, and Andrew Kroeze [CREW-ze]. A media expert for 2 decades, she’s helped broadcast the Olympic Games, produced an award-winning documentary for PBS, and has been featured in Inc., Business Insider, Bustle, The Huffington Post and on over 100 podcasts, in addition to hosting her top-rated show No One’s Ever Asked Me That.