Can you leverage a podcast tour for your book launch? Absolutely! Podcast tours can be a great way to share a book launch with your target audience, generate conversation and attract listeners into your ecosystem (for way more than just a single book sale.) With strategic planning you can extend the value of your podcast tour investment and drive results across social, paid, owned and earned media channels. We know that a podcast tour is just a slice of the media relations pie. Here are a few things you need to know before investing in podcasts as part of your book launch strategy.
What is a podcast tour?
The podcast book tour is an alternative to traditional satellite media tour. The explosion in podcasting means authors must look beyond the traditional satellite tour. This option delivers much more bang for your buck. A podcast although is timed for release, is actually evergreen and available on demand for years after the interview).
Why are podcast book tours so great?
Because book tours are a proven strategy and are now an option for self-published authors. The podcast tour is the book your you never have to leave your house to do. That’s zero time spent in line at airport security and waiting in airport departure lounges or Ubers/ shuttles/ cabs en route to check-in at a hotel. Rather than reaching a large and general audience once in each geo-location for 3-5 minutes you reach your target audience for 30-60 minutes on demand.
A podcast tour means the shows you guest on are handpicked with your target audience in mind. So if you’re at a bookstore or on the radio, the local TV station in Chicago at 9am on a Tuesday for a 5-minute segment and someone in your target audience misses it then you’ve lost them. On podcasts, your target audience is actively seeking information and solutions in the niche so with podcasting your 30-minute interview is available on demand for years.
Podcasting is on demand so if your audience member is actively searching for information and solutions in your area.
A virtual book tour saves weeks (months) of your time spent in transit, going through airport security, in airport departure lounges and away from your family and business.
Launching and marketing your book comes down to spending your budget on the right things. We get it. A podcast tour gets rid of all travel costs that come with a traditional book tour such as flights, airport shuttles, cabs, Uber, hotels, and meals. These individual costs compound to many thousands per city not to mention the tens of thousands per tour.
When should I book my podcast tour?
Yesterday! But if you don’t have a time machine then three months is a solid buffer. Even if you haven’t finished your book yet. If you want to reach your ideal audience, you need to plan your podcast book tour well ahead of time. Plenty of authors ‘pre-sell’ their book before it’s written so this is no different.
Planning your podcast tour
Timing your podcast tour is critical if you want your interviews to go live the week your book is published. Podcasts are recorded well in advance (sometimes weeks and months ahead of release). So as a medium, podcasts don’t have the turnaround or schedule of traditional media. There’s no 24-hour news cycle in podcasting.
With this in mind choosing to do a podcast tour means you need to start at least three months out.
We recommend you do a pre-launch podcast tour prior to your book release. This round of podcast interviews is a vehicle to ingratiate yourself with the host and audience so they are more likely to want to know about your product (book). Establish yourself (know, like, trust) with the audience and host before you ask. Get the audience into your ecosystem first.
To put this in dating terms, you need to ask for a second date before you ask them to marry you.
Booking Agency vs DIY
Can you DIY? Yes! Absolutely. It’s the old, “How much is your time worth?” scenario or “Will my VA deliver the same results?” You can get on ‘shows’ but are they the right shows?
There are a lot of moving parts with the searching, vetting, pitching, and following up and booking shows and not burning bridges and getting blacklisted for submitting bad or pitches in the wrong manner to the wrong shows.
The difference in investing in an agency and being represented in the marketplace is the pre-existing media relationships with hosts and producers, the quality of the hooks, headlines, pitch & associated media assets.
A booking agent is in daily communication with shows and savvy on what hosts and producers really want, what works, what doesn’t and what’s already out in the market that you are competing against.
Hiring an agent to represent you in the marketplace can ultimately be the deciding factor in your podcast tour’s performance. We advise our author clients early in the podcast tour process on how best to design and deliver their call to action and framing book mentions throughout the interview.
Can I request when my interview will go live?
Request? Yes. Demand? No.