Why All Indie Writers Need a Podcast

I've done podcasting for some time now, first with Fanboys on Fiction co-hosted by the amazing Ryan McKinley, and now Three Cylinder Stardrive, co-hosted by the fount of pop culture knowledge, Richard Kutz.

I'm about to embark on a new podcast, a solo podcast of sorts.  I say "sorts" because it is going to be a traveling interview podcast coupled with an audio advice column.  I'll interview local writers and artists, asking them hard questions about how they work through the writing process, how they market themselves, and generally bounce ideas off of each other.  I'll also rehash some of my well-trafficked blog posts from "Tolkien's 10 Tips" to "How to Market Yourself as an Indie Writer".  

I'm also starting up a third podcast which might end up dwarfing the first one (Three Cylinder Stardrive).  It will be with my current co-host, Richard Kutz, and it will be called Southern Fried Christianity.  In this edgy little podcast Richard and I will put on our Berean hats and talk about all of the extra-biblical things American Christian churches are doing right now, calling them out on their hypocrisy.  Topics would include swaying people politically from the pulpit, judging people when it's scripturally God's job, and generally anything else that does not jibe with what we read in the Bible.  

I say all that to say that if you are an indie writer, you need to get yourself a podcast.  Three things to consider when deciding on a niche are:

  1. Is the podcast being oversaturated? - Currently our first podcast Three Cylinder Stardrive is floating in a sea of other podcasts about pop culture and bad movies.  We are running out of things to talk about (even though we enjoy reviewing films for listeners) and we are probably going to abandon it pretty soon if we can't find new life for it.  Think of a podcast subject that is unique and more close to your personal experience.  What can you offer audiences and how can that info drive them toward your books?
  2. Promote yourself and your books - Be shameless.  It's your podcast, after all.  Plug your books and plug your website.  It's pretty much why you do it.  Make sure that you have a link to your website on every podcast page that reads the RSS feed from your host.
  3. Find a good host - Richard and I (and Ryan as well) were using Podcast Garden for a long time, but their site (even though cheap) was exactly that...cheap!  (I don't recommend them.). Since then, Richard found a new podcast hosting site called anchor.fm.  It is totally free and they even have an app to podcast on the go.  Check them out.  You won't be sorry.

What is wonderful about a podcast is that you will gain more followers who will track back to your website and hopefully buy more books.  People have a way to hear you and get to know at least your public persona on the podcast.  They will write in, you will provide feedback, and you will use podcasting for what it is meant: communication and networking.

I'll be writing a new post next week about how to get started on anchor.fm, but until then, get busy recording on Audacity or Garageband.  It's fun and easy.  Or you could download the anchor.fm app and make them right on your phone!

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