written by
David Hooper

How Book Authors Can Get on Podcasts

Media Training Mindset 5 min read

Jon Acuff has a new book on the dangers of overthinking and how to stop overthinking. He’s in the process of launching it.

The Background

The book is called Soundtracks and here’s what it says on the inside flap:

Overthinking isn't a personality trait. It's the sneakiest form of fear.

It steals time, creativity, and goals. It's the most expensive, least productive thing companies invest in without even knowing it. And it's an epidemic.

In Soundtracks, New York Times bestselling author Jon Acuff offers a proven plan to change overthinking from a super problem into a superpower.

If you want to tap into the surprising power of overthinking and give your dreams more time and creativity, learn how to DJ the soundtracks that define you. If you can worry, you can wonder. If you can doubt, you can dominate. If you can spin, you can soar.

As an author, Jon has had a good run so far, with his previous books hitting both the New York Times and USA Today best-seller lists.

But you can never assume past success will continue. Ask any songwriter. Or the FTC, who requires disclaimers like this one on “opportunity” sites:

THERE IS NO ASSURANCE THAT EXAMPLES OF PAST EARNINGS CAN BE DUPLICATED IN THE FUTURE. WE CANNOT GUARANTEE YOUR FUTURE RESULTS AND/OR SUCCESS. THERE ARE SOME UNKNOWN RISKS IN BUSINESS AND ON THE INTERNET THAT WE CANNOT FORESEE WHICH CAN REDUCE RESULTS. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS.

Smart authors, like smart podcasters, don’t take chances when it comes to a launch, so one of the things Jon has been doing is sending out advance copies of Soundtracks to people like you – podcasters who can help him get the word out.

This was delivered to my house yesterday. It wasn’t a surprise – Jon had checked in with me, verified, my address, and let me know to watch for it.

Included in the box was this letter:

The letter was a surprise.

I’ve been involved in hundreds, or book, album, and other product launches over the years, both as somebody directly involved in the creation of what’s being launched as well as, like this one, somebody providing assistance in getting the word out. And this may be the first time I’ve gotten a “form letter” that I think works better than a personal message.

To be clear, as I mentioned, Jon had already reached out to me about this project – that was personal. So it’s not like this package (and the letter it contained) just showed up.

Why This Letter Works

Jon (almost) immediately lets you know why he’s writing:

  1. You’re an influencer.
  2. I think you’ll dig my new book.
  3. I’d love your help to get the word out.

The order is important – it starts with an ego stoke and ends with an ask. But I think what’s really clever is the next paragraph, where he throws out ideas of specific things he’d find helpful.

So how can you help? It’d be awesome if you’d tweet about Soundtracks, post it on Instagram, or host me on a podcast. Any link, post, or photo would be fantastic, and it would make a huge difference. (An email to your list is the hold grail, of course.)

A tweet? That’s easy.

A photo on Instagram? A little more investment, but still an easy sell, especially given the bright colors and cool design of the book and box.

A podcast interview? Easy...if you have a podcast. And because Jon’s a professional speaker with a podcast of his own, he has the needed skills to make getting a great interview from him easier than it would be from most people.

Where It Gets Personal

The email address on the letter (which I’ve obscured) is his personal email address, not something like booklau[email protected] When you email him, he’s the one who gets your message, not somebody else.

He makes an offer to help you with your launch...almost. He doesn’t quite make you a promise, but he lets you know working together is a possibility.

NOTE: If you think Jon would make a good guest for your podcast? This is how to contact him.

All Book Promotions Need to Have This

I think the best part of this letter is the Jon is clear on why he’s writing and what he’s looking for, but he lets the recipient keep control. If you’re a podcaster, for example, he’s not pressing you to interview him, for example, but he’s letting you know it’s a possibility.

This sounds silly, but allowing “influencers” to control their own messages is important. When you start getting into how you want to do things on somebody else’s platform or when you want to do them, you risk moving from guest to pest.

Jon struck a great balance here – he lets you know what he wants and gives some ideas on what would be helpful to him, but he leaves all decisions on what that looks like, if it’s anything at all, up to you.

Advice for Authors Who Want to Be on Podcasts

I’ve done hundreds of radio and podcast interviews and it’s always shocking to me when guests, publicists, and managers attempt to play the roll of producer.

Don’t do this.

I think most podcasters are fine when it comes to working with guests to promote themselves and, when possible, making time to promote a producer or service. However, some guest-side people involved in a promotion go way over the top when it comes to telling podcasters how to run their podcasts.

Like Jon suggests in his letter, working with a podcaster, or anybody in media should be a partnership. If you can approach podcasters as partners, and let them know you’re willing to let them decide how they work with you and you’re flexible on this, you’ll have better luck getting their attention and buy-in.

Everybody in this situation, both podcasters and authors, wants a great interview (or other content) that is helpful for those listening. Trust that the podcasters you approach to be featured by will do the right thing for you.

We are in this together.

Where to Find Podcasters for Your Book Promotion

Podcasts (and podcasters) are a dime a dozen. Good podcasts (and podcasters) aren’t as easy to find.

A Good Place to Start

  1. Go to Podchaser.
  2. Search for authors who write books similar to yours.
  3. View the “Guest Appearance” section with author profiles – this will tell you the podcasts these authors have been featured on.
  4. Listen to these podcasts to make sure they’re a match for you.
  5. Reach out to the hosts and producers of the podcasts that are.

A Bonus Opportunity for Authors

If you want to control your message and develop deeper relationships with readers, hosting your own podcast is a great way to do this. If you already have a podcast (or want to start one), these podcasts will help you grow your audience.

YOU DON'T NEED ANOTHER NEWSLETTER! But since you're here, how about one to help you grow your podcast audience?
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