Friday, June 14, 2019

Pre-pub podcasting

I am working on a non-fiction book. In the book I also speak about my own journey. Almost everyone I talk with casually about the book says to me, “That would make a really great podcast!”
If I have a podcast out there with the same material that’s in the book, would my chances of garnering an agent’s interest be diminished? My sense is that an agent would put it in the same category as working with an author whose book has already been previously self-published, in other words – no dice.

Would it be necessary for the podcast to contain different material than what’s in the book on the same subject for an agent’s interest to be peaked?

And if I did have different material in each, is it even an asset to have a podcast?

Or would it be an asset only if my podcast had lots of subscriptions? My preference would be to podcast the same material as in the book.  I wonder if a podcast might open up a time-consuming can of worms that may not pay off in terms of my primary goal which is publishing the book or would it help?

Your questions can be synthesized into one: will it hurt my chances to secure representation if I have a podcast covering the same material as the proposed book.

Answer: Maybe.  You've circled around the real problem: if you have a podcast without a lot of subscribers it won't help you cause it will look like no one's interested. I've seen far too many queries for interesting topics that mention their YouTube channel ... only to find their YouTube viewers are fewer than 100.

You need THOUSANDS of viewers to make the platform worthwhile.

Do you want to spend time and effort on a building a podcast audience? Only you can answer that question.

At some point though, you are going to need platform for this book. What form that platform takes is up to you, but you MUST have people interested in your topic before you go on submission with a book proposal.


Pericula Ludus said...

Oh no, you said the evil P-word. Now I have to panic about the need to interact with human beings. Have tried that before. 1/10, would not recommend.

John Davis Frain said...

No expert here (on much of anything), but I've bought two books based solely on hearing the podcasts. From what I've been able to garner, each of these podcasts were SUPPLEMENTAL to the book.

OTOH, I totally hear you about wondering if the time investment is worth it. I can't even keep up with my blog, much less Twitter and, oh yeah, I'm trying to write a story that works.

K. White said...

Yep, what John Davis Frain said.

I just this week joined Twitter and FB after years of refusing to do so. I can already tell they're both exactly what I thought they'd be: giant time-sucking vacuums.

MA Hudson said...

Sounds like you’re going to have to develop a platform for your non fiction anyway, OP. If a podcast is the method that’s most attractive to you, then go for it. Just don’t reveal everything that’s in the book. Although, like John, I’ve bought books after listening to podcasts or radio interviews. Usually because I want to have a hard copy of that information to have on hand to refer to, and to be able to lend it to interested friends.

Craig F said...

It sounds like you have to be somewhat famous to become famous with non-fiction.

Maybe someday my fiction will become famous enough that I can write non-fiction.


Terri Lynn Coop said...

As a veteran podcaster in a network that had a built-in audience base, it's not something to approach because you think you should. You have got to want to do it. It's not 30 minutes on the air. It's the hours that go into setting it. It was a blast. Some days I miss it. Not enough to go back to it.


AJ Blythe said...

Like John Davis Frain I struggle to keep on top of the extra things, let alone my writing. A podcast is a lot more work than a blog where you can post a meme of a cat if time is tight. I agree with the others, you have to be wanting to do it, not feeling you have to.