Blog Talk Radio Makes Podcasting Easy for Author Promotion

by NanciArvizu

If you've ever dreamed of hosting your own radio show, the Internet now makes that a reality for anyone with a connection and a microphone.

Podcasting is a great way to grow an audience, turn a hobby into a business and meet lots of interesting people from around the world.

Hosting your own show is as easy as opening an account on Blog Talk Radio and using your telephone. Blog Talk Radio even offers a way for podcasters to make money with their show.

Page Readers Radio, my own podcast, has been on the Blog Talk Radio platform since 2009. The show focused on Indie Authors, an emerging market back then. Even though there hasn't been a new episode of Page Readers in over two years, the episodes are still available as listen on demand, and people are still listening!

Self Publishing: The Ugly Step Sister of Publishing

Indie authors were looked upon as "lesser than" their traditionally published counterparts.

Now that we're years into the Indie or Self-publishing cycle of life, it seems almost absurd that people who went the route of self publishing were treated with such disdain by authors who had the backing of a large publishing house.

But that's how it was. 

And truth be told, it wasn't always an easier path to take in order to get a book published. iBooks were the new thing, Kindle wasn't even thought of yet. Digital publishing still meant converting your word document into a PDF and emailing it to someone. Smash words was not an easy thing to figure out (like it is now) and Create Space was still a few years away.

I will admit, many of these pioneers took short cuts, possibly thinking that by choosing the self-publishing route, they could bypass the steps it takes to create a well polished book: like editing and proofreading. I saw many, many - too many - books that read more like a first draft than a completed work. I also saw authors with thin skin, unable to handle the scrutiny and criticism that traditionally published authors had to face as their work was taken over by their publisher.

Every so often though, I'd be handed a book that the author had taken the necessary steps to do it right. To do their story and their time justice by hiring professionals to help them create a professional product. A well written, edited, proofread and formatted Book. 

Still, I felt that no matter how the book turned out, the author deserved a moment in the spotlight. Well polished or not, work - time, blood sweat and tears - had been spent to create their dream of being a published author. So I created Page Readers Radio.

Page Readers on Blog Talk Radio

Podcast interviews with Indie Authors
Page Readers
Page Readers

A Little Fear

It wasn't as easy as I thought

The first obstacle was finding guests. 

Especially since I was so new. I needed people who would help me test the waters, the controls and my nerves. It wasn't easy figuring out how to open the show, write the dialogue and sound like I was just breezing through it all. 

I had to record the first guest interview twice. The first time I was nervous and shaky. The second time through I sounded better, realizing this was nothing more than a phone conversation between friends. A friend that I'd only first spoken to 30 seconds before the show went live.

Turns out, it was fun! And very quickly news spread that Page Readers was a great place for Indie Authors to talk about their book in a fun interview, completely focused on them.

So Many Authors

So little time

Being online made it fun to connect to authors from around the world.

Like this interview with Graham Storrs, author of "Time Splash". Graham was living in Australia when he was a guest on Page Readers. This took a bit of time to figure out our time zone differences and when an interview would work around our schedules. But totally worth it! Graham was a great guest.

As the popularity of the show grew, I connected with publishers who were putting together anthologies, bringing authors together to write stories focused on a central theme. Pill Hill Press published "Silver Moon, Bloody Bullets" with contributions from over 20 authors. I had the majority of them join me on this special "multi-author" episode of Page Readers.

Many guests turned into repeat visitors on the show. As authors continued to expand their libraries, Page Readers became a top spot for promoting their work because not only would the author promote their interview, I was working to promote the show. It was a win-win for everyone.

Unfortunately, fame sometimes has a way of ruining a good thing. As the requests for interviews grew, I found myself with a 6 month waiting list. I was trying to get 3 or 4 interviews recorded per week. Even though the interview themselves only lasted 30 minutes, I would spend hours corresponding with the author trying to schedule a time and then have to put together my information sheets for each interview. And after the show, it was time to promote it. 

And, I was doing all of this for free. Something had to change!

Turning a Hobby Into A Business

Deciding to take a leap of faith

As I found myself doing more free work and having less time for myself, I realized something needed to change, and fast! 

The first way I knew I could help Indie Authors turn out a better book was to offer editing and proofreading services. Because I'd proven myself a friend to the Indies, as soon as I hung my shingle out, I had a list of authors wanting to work with me. It was an honor.

Being an avid reader, I knew what sounded right and what didn't. Repeated words, lack of emotion, story lines that didn't make sense. It takes a lot of work and a lot of kindness to tear a book apart and then bring it back together in a way that honors the authors true vision and voice. It is their story after all, not mine.

But all this editing took time away from being able to host the show. I still wanted to keep it going, I just didn't have the time anymore to spend scheduling and planning. Around this time audible books were becoming a favorite of mine, so I thought, why not read some of my favorite books out loud for the Page Readers audience?

Page Readers OutLoud

Something new

Yes, I purposely spelled it "OutLoud", not sure why I did this, but I did it. 

I recorded a few episodes of OutLoud. Having been the reader of the bedtime stories, I enjoyed playing the characters of each book, changing my voice and acting out the emotion. On the radio though, it was a little different.

The first excerpt came from Peter Healy's Vengeance is Sacred. I tried a new introduction and a few other things. 

Then I tried my hand at poetry, reading from No Ocean's Here, by Sweta Srivastava Vikram

But I think my favorite reading is The Cabin, by Jared Garrett. Jared had been one of my first guests on Page Readers, a repeat guest and has become a friend on Facebook. After much persistence, his writing career is finding success. 

 

Rethinking and Tinkering

Times Change

It's been a few years since I've recorded a new episode of Page Readers. My editing and proofreading business kept me busy until I need to take a break from all the words and stories of other people. The urge to write my own stories became stronger than the will to read the work of others.

But now that I've scratched that itch, I find myself wondering if it's time to breath some new life into Page Readers. The Self-Publishing industry has grown up and outlived it's traditional peers. I'm sure I'd have no trouble finding guests!

The best part of podcasting, like blogging, it that once the show (or post) is done, it's done! As long as it is not deleted, it will remain there for anyone to find and listen. Episodes that were recorded years ago are still being listen to on demand, giving the author another opportunity to share their work with a new reader.

Updated: 07/22/2015, NanciArvizu
 
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NanciArvizu on 09/22/2016

Actually yes! I've put the show on the back burner, a nice option when you're the one in charge. And I'm writing my own 😊

DerdriuMarriner on 09/22/2016

NanciArvizu, It's always helpful -- for those who learn by osmosis and role modeling -- to have a history of the ups and downs in prescient "inventions" such as pod-casting and self-publishing. Will your schedule ever allow you to write your own stories?

NanciArvizu on 07/24/2015

Thank you Claudia! It has been quite the journey. I'm ready for new things :)

happynutritionist on 07/24/2015

It sounds like you have had success with the various things you have done, and enjoyed them as well. I wish you continued success.

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