How to get your book featured on podcasts (according to a former podcast host)

  1. Find relevant podcasts

  2. Research the goals/desires/audience of that podcast and it's hosts

  3. Write to the desires of the podcast and what they want for their listeners (What's in it for them)

  4. Consistently repeating these steps

podcasts for authors

How do you actually get people to read your book?

As a digital book marketer you hear a lot about the various ways successful authors have been able to get their book out into the world, getting read by thousands of fans.

The most common ingredients among them:

  • Consistency

  • Time

People are great at sprints but not so great at marathons. Unless you're a multi-millionaire and can afford to pay your way in, setting some core marketing tactics and then follow through with those day-in and day-out tasks is how you rise to the top.

Where should I start?

One of those tactics that comes up on my radar over and over and over again - getting featured on podcasts. As mentioned, his is a marathon - not a sprint and will require a healthy dose of rejection.

What does it mean to get featured on a podcast?

Getting featured on a podcast isn't like the placing of an ad.

It's an intimate conversation between you and the listeners of the show. It's you getting a full 30 minutes or even an hour to talk about the passion behind the writing. This forms a connection with the readers far beyond what an Amazon Ad, FB Ad, or any other flash in the pan can accomplish.

Why would someone want you on their podcast?

Short answer: They're playing the consistency game too....well most are. There's the top .01% of podcasts with hundreds of thousands of listeners and they have people lined up to get on their show. Realistically - those aren't going to be the ones we go after.

We're looking for podcast with anywhere from 100-10,000 listens per episode. These will be your sweet spot with enough listeners to make it worth your time, but small enough where your chances of getting a guest spot are much higher.

How do you find such podcasts? That kicks us off with Step 1.

Step 1: Research Relevant Podcasts

Search for podcasts as if you're a listener, not a writer.

There are podcasts catered to both authors and readers - if the goal is to get readers, you should search for podcasts catered towards readers.

Start with an Excel or Google Sheets Document like the one below:

getting on podcasts

Now, before we get too overwhelmed without even starting yet - lets just make it our goal to get 10 to start with.

We're going to start off with a few different ways to search. Let's pretend my book is about the College to Career Journey (Oh wait it actually is and you can check it out here) We need to ask ourselves, who are our ideal readers?

  • College students

  • Young professionals

  • Self-Helf Junkies (I can say that because I am one)

  • People who hate their job

  • People who want more out of life

  • 16-24 year old heavy hitters and go getters

  • People looking for a job

Now that we've made a list of who we want to reach, we want to start asking Google for related podcasts.

getting on podcasts

Google actually gives you a list of podcasts right at the top of the search results now that you can chose from.

Another great way to quickly compile relevant podcasts is to scroll down just a little further and find those "Top 10" lists that people compile for you.

getting your book on podcasts

You might say, "But Alex, I thought we shouldn't go for the big ones".

to which I say,

"Yes, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't start tracking them now".

A lot of these podcasts are going to be out of reach but this doesn't mean you should ignore them. Over time you'll build up a list of shows that you've been on of which you can leverage for getting on bigger podcasts with larger audiences.

So how do you find podcasts that might be a little smaller to start out with?

Search directly in the podcasts platforms themselves.

I'm going to admit it: I'm an Apple junkie. Open the Apple podcasts app on your phone, tablet, or computer and start typing in your ideal listener-descriptor words.

getting your book on podcasts

If you don't live in the Apple universe - don't panic! Most decent podcasters these days try to be on every platform. Spotify is another great place to search for desired podcasts:

getting your book on podcasts

A few other podcast platforms you can search are:

As we find these podcasts, let's go ahead and enter them onto our spreadsheet.

How do we get their info? Type in everything you can find about that podcast into Google.

On the icon of The Young Professionals Podcast, we can see ADAPT Careers at the bottom. Let's use that in our search.

how to reach out to podcasts

Bam - we found it. They have a website which we can now use to get more information.

Make sure they're currently active.

Do they have a podcast out over the past 3 months? We can see on their website that they do.

how to reach out to podcasts

They even have a contact page on their website with an email and phone number listed. This is a dream - not all searches will end this perfectly so be prepared to get creative in finding this information. At the very least, most legitimate podcasts will have a "Contact Us" form on their website for you to fill out.

how to reach out to podcasts

2: Research the goals/desires/audience of that podcast and it's hosts

Okay so our professional stalking doesn't stop there. Once we find the hosts, we're actually going to add one more column to our data collection: Social Profile.

Depending on your genre, the profile you record may be Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or even TikTok. It's our goal to find this persons feed so we can know exactly what they care about.

how to reach out to podcasts

Since our genre is on the professional side of things - we're going use LinkedIn. I did a quick search for the hosts name and we can see the third name that appears is our guy.

how to reach out to podcast hosts

We want to show Luke that we cared enough to stalk him so we could speak exactly to what he cares about/the world he lives in.

The more relevant you can make your outreach, the higher chance of success you'll have when reaching out.

Copy the link to his profile over onto our spreadsheet.

One final note as you begin your podcast research: Don't worry too much about size of audience for now - the goal when you're first starting out is just to get some interviews under your belt. I would continue to collect the big name podcasts as you come across them but you may wish to put your time and energy into the smaller ones to begin with. It's not always easy to tell what kind of a following the podcast may have. Doing an organic search on those podcasting platforms will often-times surface the ones that aren't getting written about. If you're not having much luck there, then refer back to those 'top 10' lists.

This brings us to...

3. Write to the desires of the podcast and what they want for their listeners (What's in it for them)

A bit of good Karma before we start: What's one way to instantly provide value to a podcast?

Give them a thoughtful review before reaching out. I wish I came up with this but it actually came to me back when we hosted the Practically Passionate Podcast.

how to reach out to podcasts reviews

Brooke Craven left this 5 start rating on our podcast followed by a thoughtful review. You can bet we were a whole lot more receptive to her message when it came.

The two main ways to reach out are -

1. Being more direct about why you should be on the show

2. Actually pitching what you will talk about in an engaging way

1. Being more direct about why you should be on the show

how to reach out to podcasts big audiance

After leaving her review, Brooke reached out and in the first line told us about how what she does is relevant to us.

"We help podcasters get awesome trained guests that have to deliver a powerful story to listeners".

What does she actually do? She represents people who want to get exposure on podcasts. But that's not what she said, instead she told us about the part of what she does that's relevant to us, getting us good guests.

Very clever copywriting.

The next part that really stood out was "Topics Beau Can Cover".

She presents to us a variety of topics the conversation could be about, allowing us to chose what we think might be most relevant to the audience. She's giving a nod to the fact that she knows we know our podcast best and what story our listeners might most be interested in. If she had just said,

"Here's what Beau wants to talk about"

it would be a go/no go depending on if the story was right for our audience. This is why she's doing the legwork of providing 4 different topics tat Beau is prepared to talk about with our listeners.

The main point here is that Brooke spends most of this email talking about what we care about instead of forcing some agenda on our listeners. This is the more direct way of reaching out.

Extra Credit: If you'll recall earlier, we did a little stalking to find the social feed of the host/podcast. If you can tie something you see on that feed into the email, that's going to warm them up even more.

For example: I saw that one of your listeners commented on your post about wanting more content on raised bed gardening - I think we can help you with that.

WOW - you actually took the time to research what the audience of the podcast wanted and spoke to those needs. I don't know who would say no to that.

2. Actually pitching what you will talk about in an engaging way

My friend Brian Meeks (I refer to him as the copy guru) got onto a podcast by writing an intro to his story in the highest possible form of dramatic fashion. He ended it with something along the lines of,

"If you wand to hear how this ends, have me on your show".

He tee'd up a super interesting story with a great hook - helping the podcaster understand what was in it for them.

He includes a riveting story that listeners would love to tune into. Brian didn't write about what he does or why he wanted to be on the podcast. He gave the host exactly what they wanted, a good story that listeners would be interested to hear.

How did he do this?

With great copy that showed Brian had a great story to tell.

This method does require you to do a little more research so the story you're pitching is in line with a story the listeners of the podcast would want to hear. You could write great copy, but if the story is not related to the goals of the podcast, it will be quickly overlooked.

So which should you use?


Try one and if that doesn't work, try the other. This gives you two different types of messages that you can send to your dream podcasters to get their attention.

4. Consistently repeating these steps

One Final Note: Don't be discouraged when the first 10 messages are ignored or rejected. This is going to happen. It's a numbers game so go out there and try again and adjust your messaging until something hits.

So there you have it:

  1. Find relevant podcasts

  2. Research the goals/desires/audience of that podcast and it's hosts

  3. Write to the desires of the podcast and what they want for their listeners (What's in it for them)

  4. Consistently repeating these steps

Good luck and I can't wait to hear you one day on a podcast.

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