Be my guest: Finding and connecting with blogs, podcasts, and video channels
Many authors are challenged by the thought of “creating” an author promotional platform, wondering “How do I best communicate with my readers and therefore potential customers about my new book?” Some of the first thoughts that authors have is to contact their colleagues and friends. They may also think of using social media. But one of the best ways that I normally suggest to potential authors to promote their books is to be a guest on various channels that others have created.
Whether these channels are blogs, podcasts, or video channels, the creators have an unquenchable thirst for people to help with their monthly or weekly burden of creating new content. And they are some of the best avenues of communicating the key ideas of the day in their fields.
Including specifics of which channels you intend to approach in your book proposal will also catch the attention of publishers. It shows your intent to be an active participant in the promotion and marketing of your book. But how does one go about finding these video channels or blogs to include?
Finding channels for promotion
The answer comes down to good old fashioned elbow grease and time. The main ingredient is an effective web search. Let’s say your topic is the macroeconomics in Asia. A simple web search of these terms andadding in blogs or podcasts will be your first step. You may need to refine your terms to have your search engine understand what you were looking for.
Sometimes the advanced search option may prove the most productive. If you are coming up short, take one step up and perhaps just use economics as opposed to macroeconomics or a specific country instead of Asia.
Let’s say your topic is physical therapy and young adults. You may want to search for rehabilitation or health care instead of physical therapy. For each search, change the term from podcast to blog to video channel. For videos specifically you may wish to use the YouTube or Vimeo search option directly.
These narrow or broad searches will produce a wide range of results. Your next step will be to actually read, listen, or watch these channels to see if they are a good match. The first criteria is to see if they are still active. Many times, blogs have been established and then have gone inactive.
The second criteria is to see if they invite guests to participate or whether they are just the voice of the creator.
After this, determine whether the topics that you were interested in would be a good match for this channel. Some channels have a definite perspective that would likely not be a good marriage with your content. If you found one of interest, the next step is for you to dive into several installments of the blog or video channel. I suggest if you want to approach them with the idea of contributing, you must be a true fan. Really understand who the creator is and what they are trying to achieve. Only proceed with contacting them if you are a good match.
If you have found a blog, podcast, or video channel, that you are interested in then reach out to them with a brief note about your idea. Summarize your background and professional credentials. Then briefly talk about your new book. Then propose a topic that you know would be of interest to their readers.
Important note: your guest blog entry, etc., should not be “I have a new book.” Any proposed guest installment should be about a topic of deep interest to the readers or listeners of that channel. It should not be promotional for you. If your ideas resonate with its readers, they will see in your author bio a description and link to your new book and they can make the connection. Of course, you can mention your book in your guest installment, but do not make it blatantly promotional.
Book promotion and marketing
If you intend to include this promotional method in your book proposal, I suggest listing exact channels that you will be approaching. You do not need to have secured agreement from the blogs, etc. Simply listing the idea will show your inventiveness.
As your book is set to be released, you can contact the creators of the channel to pitch your idea to them. These types of efforts, when properly executed, can expose your work and ideas to thousands or tens of thousands of potential listeners of these established blogs, podcasts, or video channels. The key is diligent research, targeted pitches to the creators, and well executed contributions for these channels that their readers or listeners will find interesting.
Every author struggles with how to contribute to the promotion and marketing of their book. This concept can make your proposal very attractive to potential publishers and can mean an enormous difference in the marketing and eventual sales of your book. It just takes time and elbow grease.
John Bond is a publishing consultant at Riverwinds Consulting. He works with individuals on publishing and writing projects. Schedule an initial complimentary phone call at Publishing Fundamentals. In his career, he has directed the publishing of over 500 book titles and 20,000 journal articles. He is the host of the YouTube channel “Publishing Defined.” Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.