headphones on desk

Turn Your Book Into a Podcast

Did you know that you can increase your reach and create top of mind awareness for your book and blog by creating a podcast?

More reach means the potential for more book sales, blog visits and exposure for your business.  Podcasting is an excellent platform you can use to get your stories in front of more people and gain credibility as a writer.

Once you’ve set up the structure or bones of your podcast, all you need to do is learn how to set up a recording studio, record your voice, edit the audio file and upload your podcast to iTunes. When you move past the initial learning curve, podcasting is a breeze. And while podcasting isn’t for everyone, those who are willing to create quality content and make a commitment to show up can attract a responsive and supportive following.

Podcasting is an excellent platform to get your stories in front of more people and gain credibility as a writer. Click To Tweet

The good news is that you can easily repurpose the chapters of your book and blog posts for your podcast. You can generate interest in your book or blog by recording each post or portions of each chapter. You can reinforce interest with a call to action at the end of each podcast (a short audio bumper) giving thanks and inviting listeners to visit your website for a free gift. Every invitation is an opportunity to grow your list.

Podcasting allows you to serve up useful and supportive information with your unique voice. An added bonus is you will remain in front of your listeners — who are potential customers — on a regular basis.

I began podcasting in 2008 by recording my blog posts. This was a great way for me to see if I enjoyed podcasting, plus I always had content to record. I was committed to writing a blog post each week, which made it easy to commit to recording a podcast as well. My freshman podcasting experience fostered the birth of Anxiety Slayer in late 2009. Since then, the Anxiety Slayer podcast has several thousand downloads each week, over 5 million downloads since our debut, and a huge subscriber base.

Podcasting has helped me gain credibility as an author and coach, grow my following and sell a lot more digital products. Plus, it is a lot of fun!

More on repurposing your writing…

After I finished writing my first book, Life On Your Terms, I decided I wanted to create a home study program called Life On Your Terms Accelerator series. Extrapolating the workbooks from the manuscript was simple because I had already written actionable exercises to
promote interaction with my readers. Then I took things one step further and recorded all of the individual workbooks. When I was finished, my new offering included my book, 10 workbooks, and 10 MP3 audios that could be edited and repurposed for podcasts. Can you see how you might be able to do something similar?

Creating a podcast can also bring new life to an older manuscript. Click To Tweet

Creating a podcast can also bring new life to an older manuscript. If you’ve already written a book and you’ve moved on to new material, chances are your first book isn’t getting as much attention as it once was. What if you were to bring that book back to life by recording a podcast series? In the information age, we all know that content is QUEEN and the more ways you can creatively repurpose your valuable content the better.

How does podcasting create more interest in your book or blog?

  • You create an additional delivery platform
  • You build a relationship with your listeners
  • You regularly invite listeners to your blog or website for a free gift or special offer
  • You gain credibility by having a podcast on iTunes

How to structure your first three podcasts

  • Podcast Number One: An introduction or kick-off interview to let listeners know who you are and why you created the podcast along with what they can expect when they listen in. This is the perfect time to introduce your book or blog.
  • Podcast Number Two: A portion of the first chapter of your book or the blog post you want to begin with. You can use the material you’ve already written or you can summarize the subject of a chapter, article or blog post and share whatever it is that you want to teach that day.
  • Podcast Number Three: Summarize the prior podcast and continue the story or this may be the perfect time to introduce the next chapter, blog post or interview.

Creating and maintaining a podcast is one of the most effective ways to reach more people, grow your list, and sell more books: simply by repurposing your content.

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Shann Vander Leek is known to her community as a Transformation Goddess, Teacher, Producer, Voice Talent, and Author. Please leave her a comment and visit her website.

You’re the Voice

You know the feeling. You’re reading back through the start of a new project, admiring the first 10 pages of what might be your next novel. Yet, you recognize that something isn’t quite right. You can’t put your finger on it, but it’s there – daunting and taunting you. So, you read through your words again, determined to find the culprit. Often, the obvious is overlooked. The problem plaguing you could be this: you’ve written your story in the wrong narrative. Instead of telling your tale in first person, you’ve opted for third person, or vice versa. The struggle is real, as they say.

While there’s no golden rule that a specific genre should be written in a specific narrative, this choice is often determined by novels that have come before yours. Take a peek at the first paragraph of the top-selling novels in your genre. What narrative are they being told in? The same as yours? Maybe you’ve decided to break the rules and change things up by heading down a third person path when first person is the genre go-to. This is a risk worth taking, but only if its true to your story.

The question of which narrative to use can be answered by determining the most important elements in your work:

  • Whose story is this?
  • Who is your narrator?
  • Whose perspective does this story need to be told from?

This choice is ultimately yours, my fellow writer. Yet, it can be one of the most difficult to make. I recently suffered from this very issue while working on a new short story of mine. I was three paragraphs away from finishing the first draft when I came to terms with the fact that the manuscript was fighting back. It took a few read-throughs over a few days to identify the problem: this was not a story that needed to be told in first person —  it needed to be told in third. So, I rewrote the story with a third person narrator, and it worked.

I encourage you to to do the same, especially if the story and the voice aren’t working. Make the change. See what happens. You’re the voice.

More Than Ever

More Than Ever

“What author inspired you the most while growing up?” This question was posed to me by a critically-acclaimed writer and professor on my first day of graduate school. I was sitting in an old classroom in an old college in an old Southern town. The other students all responded to the question with very “literary” answers: William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Jane Austen.

I answered with, “Judy Blume“.

In the world of literary fiction, writing for and about teenagers can often result in a steadfast stigma, labeling you forever as “the one who writes the teen stuff.” For some reason, our work is often not taken as seriously as our grown-up, elite counterparts. We get grouped in with other categories muttered with similar lowly disdain such as “chick lit”, “beach books”, and “anything written by that Nora Roberts woman”.

I’m often quick to point out 27 books by Nora Roberts are sold every minute. And Judy Blume’s books have been translated into 31 languages and over 80 million copies have been sold…and counting.

Not bad company to be in if you ask me.

Yet, selling a gazillion copies is not my driving force as a young adult author. I write for teenagers simply because I love to.

I write for teenagers because when I was 13 years old, a woman named Norma Fox Mazer changed my life.

Just weeks after experiencing my first kiss with a Latin boy named Pedro (after he slipped me a crumpled note that read, “Meet me after school because I like your stories”), my eighth grade world was lit on fire when it was announced Norma Fox Mazer – one of my favorite authors – would be making a guest appearance at our school.

After some serious campaigning to the junior high powers that be, I was one of the few students selected to have lunch with her in the library. I was beyond thrilled, having read every book she’d written. Although I was terribly star struck, I bravely showed her a section of a short story I was working on at the time and told her how much I wanted to be a writer.

Norma Fox Mazer scanned the first page and informed me, “You already are.”

Two years later, I published my first short story. And the rest, as they say, is history.

But I never would have become a young adult author without first being a young adult reader.

Norma Fox Mazer was my best friend, without even realizing it. Each step of the way, she was there for me, guiding me through the field of adolescent landmines. She helped me cope with my parent’s divorce with Taking Terri Mueller. She taught me about death and grieving in After the Rain. She let me know that it was okay to not live like the rich kids in Silver. And she answered the questions I was too embarrassed to ask in Up in Seth’s Room.

Similarly, I learned valuable life lessons in every Judy Blume book I could get my hands on (particularly Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself and Then Again, Maybe I Won’t). I devoured every volume in the Nancy Drew series. I hung on every suspenseful word written by Lois Duncan, and later, Christopher Pike.

Yet, as much as I read and loved each book by these authors, I could never find a true version of myself in them: a young gay boy growing up in the conservative 80s in northern California.

My first young adult novel, (set in 1986 in Sacramento), has just been published by Bold Strokes Books. While the novel explores a very timely and important topic (the life of a young girl is deeply affected by the murder of her gay older brother), the book is truly a literary tribute to the young adult authors who made me the writer I am today. Without them – and their beautiful words – I never would have sat down and taught myself to type at the age of 13.

I wouldn’t be able to recognize how much weight our words as writers carry, especially when read by young people.

Teenagers need us now, more than ever. They want us to be their best friend, their older brother or sister, their confidant. They want our experiences: the choices we made or didn’t, the decisions we’ve never second-guessed, the regrets we’ll always have. It is imperative that we share our lives with young people – not just through our words, but also by example.

After hearing Norma Fox Mazer had passed away last October, I reached out to her daughter, Anne, who is a successful writer. In a letter, I recalled my eighth-grade memory of her mother in my junior high library, and of the tremendous influence she’d had on my career since.

In her response, Anne shared with me, “I was touched to hear the story about how you met my mother. She would have been so happy to hear from you again and to learn about your novel.”

In my heart, I will always carry Anne’s words, right beside her mother’s. Right next to Judy Blume’s, and Lois Duncan’s and Christopher Pike’s. Next to the characters and the stories that helped to shape my youth.

In my lifetime, I only hope my own words will one day resonate with a 13-year-old who has yet to be told, “You already are.”

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This article was originally published here.

 

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