Podcasting – Painless Promotional Strategies for Your Podcast and Book
This is another in my monthly column for Podertainment, the magazine by posters for podcasters. Promotion is a hard topic for many people because it involves getting out of our comfort zones and self-promoting which can feel like bragging and being brash and obnoxious. It’s not. You have something of value to share with the world and there are people who need to hear and read what you have to say. If you think about it, you are probably really excited to come across someone who has the answer to your questions, so just flip, and realize that sometimes, many times, YOU are the answer to other people’s questions and problems! It’s your opportunity to help them out, and if you don’t share what you know, you’re not helping.
Painless Promotional Strategies For Your Book
The hardest part of writing a book is the promotion that you have to do after the writing is done. The fact that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of places to promote your book does not help you get around the uncomfortable reality that you now have to morph into some kind of self-promotional creature if you want to have sales. Unfortunately, most of us are not naturally self-promotional. It feels too brash, or we have negative associations with “tooting our own horn.”
As a young man I was often told to “tone it down” and “don’t be so forward, let people discover you.” Well, that is actually horrible life advice in general, and precisely the wrong thing to tell a new author with a book that needs to be shared with the world.
Being a podcaster has a safety about it, we can “hide behind” the microphone, no one has to actually meet us in person. I know most of my interviews are done over Skype and many of them these days are not even video calls, just audio. If we’re shy about meeting people to talk to them, it’s going to be ten times harder to promote some new book that I want you to go and buy!
BOOK TRAILERS TO THE RESCUE!
There is a solution though that makes this a bit easier. It’s called a “book trailer.” The book trailer is a short video, think commercials on TV, that whets the appetite for your potential readers. Depending on what your book is about, the trailer can be done in any number of styles.
The book trailer I have for my book What About Wally? Co-Parenting a Pet With An Ex opens with a picture of my dog as a young pup and a voice over by me sharing the importance of how he made us a family. It’s a simple 30 second, Ken Burns effect photo montage and a voice over. That book trailer is used as a pre-roll ad on YouTube and I spend anywhere from 1 cent to a 25 cents for people to see it, that is IF they watch the whole thing. Most people click the “Skip Ad” button after the first five seconds and I don’t have to pay.
This is important, because you want to have your message in that first mandatory 5 seconds, it’s like free advertising.
The beauty of a book trailer is that it runs without any further input from me, and I don’t have to be confronting people and telling them about my book and why they should buy it. That level of personal interaction requires that I put myself out there in what many people say feels like “used car salesman” pushiness. That’s why most people don’t market their books well – they’re too shy and humble.
CROSS PROMOTION ON OTHER PODCASTS.
The second way that you can market your book with the least amount of fuss and embarrassment is by creating a commercial and cross posting on other podcasts. For example I could run an audio ad from a fellow podcaster/author who had a book on dating after a divorce, and they could run an ad for my ‘A Man’s Guide To Child Custody’. That way we are each promoting someone else’s material but don’t have to feel that we are infringing on each other’s territory.
I have ads for all of my books on YouTube.com and they run as pre-rolls because that is the best chance for them to be seen. Creating a commercial or book trailer is pretty simple, and if you’ve written a book, you’re plenty creative enough to talk about your book for 30 seconds and share your message with the world in a wider way.
Being more vocal about your book, letting people know where to buy it, will make you feel uncomfortable the first 15 times you do it. But I promise you, the only way to reach the wider audience you seek, to help more people hear your message or even to just increase awareness, is to be louder and prouder. You’ve done what many wish they could, you’ve written a book!! Now use your podcast to share it with the world. Use your fellow podcasters to share the message with the world. Create a YouTube commercial in an evening.
I promise you – more people will be thankful you share with them, than will condemn and mock you for being “too salesy.” If you need help you can find me at DavidPisarra.com or David@Pisarra.com.