A podcast is one form of promotion that every author can feel comfortable doing. While media training is not required for radio interviews and podcasting (like it is for TV), some methods of securing and executing audio content are more successful than others. Here is a template I developed based on advice from a radio producer who had seen thousands of pitches over his career.
The first thing you need is an attention grabbing subject line for your email pitch. If you are writing to someone who wears more hats than just hosting or producing a podcast, consider putting the words “radio guest” in your subject, so the target knows what part of their professional life you are addressing. Otherwise, put something unique and unusual in that line if you can. I rarely use the name of the book, but I might state the author’s highest attributes like “Award-Winning Comedy Screenwriter”.
The pitch email itself will have several sections. After the salutation, correctly spelling the producer’s first name, begin with how you are connected to the producer. If you have gone through all six degrees of separation and still have no one in common, then mention how you learned of the producer of host’s affinity for your topic. This will personalize your pitch and show the producer that you have done your homework researching the guests and subjects he likes to feature on the air. The goal of your first paragraph is to connect with the target and motivate him or her to continue reading, not to sell yourself.
The second and third paragraphs may link to breaking media news about you or your book.
For instance, if the Huffington Post has just featured an article you wrote, that makes you more attractive as a podcast guest, so make sure you mention it.
Sometimes in this section you can point out an item on the show’s blog that relates to the topic you’re pitching. Perhaps your content makes a useful update to a subject that was aired a while back.
The fourth paragraph describes the guest. This is your bio—why you’re relevant, who you know, why you’re the expert, and how your content ties to current events.
The fifth paragraph lists the “5 Things You Will Reveal to Listeners”. These are your talking points where you speak around the book and to the audience, peaking their interest so they will want to purchase your book. This can be information that is perhaps outside the book—an on-air exclusive.
The sixth paragraph lists “3 Good Reasons to Book You”. These are attributes that make you work well on the air, like your sense of humor, your performance experience, and why you fit the show’s theme.
The closing reveals contact info for who schedules you, plus your web & social links.
Good luck attracting producers with your podcast pitches. And remember, if you strike out you can always ask a book publicist with broadcast experience for help.
Stephanie Barko, Literary Publicist has been pitching nonfiction authors and historical novelists since 2006. Follow her book marketing tips on Twitter and Facebook and read what her clients have to say on LinkedIn. Visit with Stephanie at www.stephaniebarko.com