You probably heard that using a podcast is one effective way in promoting your book. And you’ve also heard about turning a podcast into a book both in the hardbound and digital form.
And now that you learned that these things are possible, you might be considering to turn your book into a podcast. Podcasts are becoming very popular and it’s not too long ’til we see even more books turned into a series of podcast. So if you’re a well-meaning author, considering to bring in a podcaster to your credits would be a good idea.
In this article, we’re going to explore the how, what and why of turning your book into a podcast.
What Exactly is a Podcast?
What is a podcast anyway? Why is it important to consider this way of promoting your book?
A podcast is an audio broadcast that is on-demand. It’s basically the same as those radio shows which are divided into episodes from your grandma’s childhood days. But instead of staying close to a radio to listen to a weekly or a daily installment of the drama, people nowadays can simply download a podcast episode into their device (tablet, smartphone, or computer). Once the episode is downloaded and stored, the listener can enjoy it in his/her car or while doing some workout at the gym. Podcasts can also be listened to while doing a neighborhood jog. Listeners can take advantage of some apps such as Stitcher or iTunes in case they’d want to subscribe to podcast shows and they’ll be notified once a new episode comes out.
Why Podcasting Your Book is a Good Idea?
You may already know what a podcast is but the question still remains. Why should you turn your book into a podcast? Is it even popular?
It is true that podcasting is a new medium but it isn’t less popular than the other media out there. Here’s something that you need to know about the American listeners; more and more Americans are becoming familiar with podcasts compared to the number of people who know the name of the current vice president.
There’s over a quarter of Americans who listen to podcasts monthly and that number is rising. Other research has found out that a big number of listeners download at least seven podcast shows in a week on average.
Turning your book into a podcast will increase exposure for your craft and spread your name even further.
Extra Benefits of Podcasting
Aside from increasing your book’s audience reach, you will also be able to build a larger fan base that can easily translate into readers and listeners who are loyal to your works both the existing ones and those that you’ll be creating in the future.
Podcasts also provide another way to earn. While episodes are mostly free, it is possible for you to find some who will insert advertisements into your podcasts and you’ll be making revenue from it. It may just be a small amount in the beginning but as your community of readers and listeners grow, you will have the power to command even more advertising fee from sponsors.
Another good thing that can possibly happen when you turn your book into a podcast is it’s creative aspect and potential. You are actually doing a form of art and transforming it into a new and more modern format. It’s an innovative way of telling a story so if you want to get on a new challenge, podcasting is a good direction to take.
Will Podcasting Work For My Book?
The truth is not all books can be turned into a podcast. For instance, if your book was published by a usual publisher, the rights are owned by the publisher and not you. In this situation, you will need to get the permission of the publisher before starting with the process of podcasting your book.
On the other hand, if you self-published your book, you can freely turn it into a podcast.
What’s the Difference Between Podcasts and Audiobooks?
So how does a podcast differ from an audiobook? After all, these two are both audible versions of your book right?
Both of these can be streamed online and they can also be downloaded for listening offline but there are big differences between podcasts and audiobooks. Below are the differences between these two:
- Audiobooks need to be paid upfront while podcasts are free. Advertisers are the one paying for the content in a podcast.
- Audiobooks are had to control. Most of the time, it is hard to find the best point to pause and you can lose your place easily. These troubles are solved in podcasts.
- The episodes in a podcast are mostly short. On average, a show only lasts under an hour. They are designed to be listened to in a single session. You don’t need to figure out where to pause so they are mostly easy to consume.
- Audiobooks are not episodic like Podcasts. Building a community (though at a slow pace) is easier with podcasts. Listeners often become loyal from listening to different episodes in a span of weeks or months. Once they’re done with one of your books, you can start with introducing the next one. There’s no need to tell your loyal listeners to wait for several months or years between every book. With podcasts, you can steadily feed them with content totally eliminating gaps which may cause them to forget about you and your craft.
Turning Your Book Into a Podcast
So how exactly is a book turned into a podcast? Here are some simple steps that you can follow:
1. Action Should Be The Starting Point
Podcasts listeners want to get into the action right away. A slow burn is a big no, no! Hooking a listener should be done in the first 60 seconds and it can’t be accomplished with a “Once Upon a Time” introduction. Yes! You will need a gripping scene at the start of your podcast. Start off strong so you have a good opportunity to tell the back story in the episodes that would follow.
The possibility of rearranging your book is there especially if you want to create something that’s more balanced and exciting. Remember that pacing is important. Front-loading the action only to the starting point of your craft is a bad idea. Be sure to distribute it throughout to hook your listeners every time!
2. Be Sure To Decide The Number of Episodes To Create
The decision is yours. It is possible to create different episodes for every single chapter in your book and it’s a good idea to start an episode with a certain scene and end it in the same way as well. Dividing your podcast into chapters that differ in terms of length can be a bad idea so create episodes of similar run time instead.
It is important to create a schedule for podcasting that you can accomplish every single time. Consistency is important in this game. If posting twice a month is the best thing you can do then be sure to do it consistently. Keep your loyal listeners excited by telling them when the next post would be.
3. Find The Right Talent
You can choose to read your own book for every episode of your podcast or you may also hire someone who’s got the right talent to do it. Just like audiobooks, hiring a professional voice actor for your podcast is a good action to take.
You should also consider dramatizing your podcast and if so, you’ll need different actors to give voice to the characters in your book. Adding sound effects, music, and other soundscapes playing at the background is also possible and for this, you will need to hire a producer if you can’t do it on your own.
It is important to note that these aspects are only options and you don’t need all of them just to tell an effective podcast. You can start with just your own voice!
4. Begin With An Introductory Podcast
In the process of creating your first podcast series for a book that you made, it is important to make a good introduction to start with. Make yourself known to your listeners being the author then you can give a brief presentation of your story. Be sure not to touch the ending of the juicy parts of your craft but give enough to get your listeners hooked to your show.
In the introduction of the next podcasts in the series, it’s a good practice to review what has been discussed in the previous episodes. This helps listeners to catch up with the previous episodes so they don’t need to remember what happened especially if the last one that they listened to was done a week before.
5. Start Recording
And so the fun part starts! It is time to start the recording process! While it’s possible to record one episode every now and then, podcasters advice that the entire series would be recorded all at once. You may be wondering why but it’s easy to get distracted by all the things that’s happening in your life then you realize that you’re already falling behind recording the next episodes. By making sure that the entire series is already recorded, you’ll be sure that they can be delivered on time.
Just remember to preview the next episodes after you’re done with the current one as this would help in building anticipation and excitement for every installment episode.