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7 Reasons Why Christian Authors Need to Embrace Podcasting Now

Podcasting is here to stay. Here are seven reasons you should take it seriously as an author. 

1. Podcasting Is a Tool of Bestselling Authors

Here is a list of the 10 bestselling Christian authors for September 2019. (A Bible study of Lysa TerKeurst’s book is actually #9, so I edited the list to remove the repetition.) 

  1. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis  
  2. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  3. It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst
  4. The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile 
  5. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey 
  6. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young  
  7. Boss Up! by Lindsay Teague Moreno 
  8. Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
  9. Overcomer by Chris Fabry  
  10. 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs 

Now here is that same list but with each author who either has a podcast (H = host) or has been a guest (G = guest) on a podcast in bold. 

  1. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis  (H & G)
  2. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman (G)
  3. It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst (G)
  4. The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile (H & G)
  5. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey (H & G)
  6. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (H)
  7. Boss Up! by Lindsay Teague Moreno (H & G)
  8. Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend (G)
  9. Overcomer by Chris Fabry (H & G)
  10. 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs (H & G)

As you can see, 100% of the bestselling authors this month were either a guest or host on a podcast. 60% of them did both! 

Out of curiosity, I did a spot check on the next 20 authors in the bestseller list. They all had a podcast presence too. It should come as no surprise that every major book marketing plan includes a podcast strategy of some kind.

In 2019, podcasting is something you can’t afford to ignore. Or, put another way, a podcast strategy is a required platform element for top authors. If you want to be a top author, you can’t afford to ignore podcasts. 

2. Podcast Listening Is More Popular Than Ever!

According to Edison Research, 51% of Americans ages 12+ have listened to a podcast. This means more people have listened to podcasts than not. 

Podcast listening is expected to eat away market share from radio each year for the foreseeable future. 

Among podcast listeners, the biggest chunk of their time goes to podcasts: 28%. That’s more than what they spend on AM/FM radio (24%) or streaming audio (15%). 

3. Podcast Listeners Are Book Readers

Not everyone reads books, and not everyone listens to podcasts. The kind of people who listen to a 30-minute podcast are the same kind of people with the patience to read books. It is no wonder bestselling authors are embracing podcasting so completely. 

Podcast listeners are also:

  • wealthier
  • more educated
  • more connected 

compared to the average American

4. Podcasting Is Not a Fad

Podcasts have been around for a long time. The “pod” in podcast comes from the iPod, to give you an idea of how old they are. Podcasts are older than the smartphone technology people now listen to them on. Podcast listening has grown continually for more than 15 years. And the rate of growth has been accelerating in recent years. 

5. Podcasts Are More Influential Than Social Media

What do you think would be more effective for convincing someone to buy your book: an image they saw on Facebook or listening to a 30-minute conversation between you and a podcast host they already know, like, and trust? 

It’s no competition. The conversation will win every time. Authors with a podcast-centric strategy will outsell authors with a social media-centric strategy. 

6. Podcasting Is Censorship Free

Because of how RSS (the technology behind podcasting) works, listeners have full control over what they listen to; and podcasters have full control over what they create. As social networks crack down on Christian authors, those authors are switching to podcasts to get the word out about their books. This protects them from censorship or anti-Christian practices while simultaneously giving them a richer connection with their readers. 

From a technological perspective, it is nearly impossible to fully censor a podcast. 

7. Christianity Is the Most Popular Podcast Category

One reason why podcasting is so particularly powerful for Christian authors is that there are so many podcasts for those authors to be guests on. 

According to Pacific Content, there are more Christian podcasts than any other kind of podcast. This is due, in part, to sermon podcasts. For years, churches have promoted the church podcast during the announcements and in the bulletin. 

Yes, You Need to Start Listening to Podcasts

Even if you are still an unpublished author, you need to start listening to podcasts to prepare for your inevitable interviews and potential show. 

Chances are you already listen to podcasts. If not, statistically speaking, you are most likely an Android user.

Android users trail far behind iPhone users in terms of podcast consumption. The reason for this is because unlike iPhones, Android phones don’t come with a podcast app preinstalled. But don’t worry. You can still listen to podcasts on an Android phone; you only need to download a free app like Castbox from the Google Play Store.

If you are looking for podcasts to listen to, we have a strong list of Podcasts for Christian Writers here.  

 

More Podcasting Stats

Infographic by MusicOomph.com.

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Four Questions About Publicity

by Steve Laube

Publicity is the art of telling the world about you and your book. We recently received a few questions about publicity via the green button you see in the right hand column of our blog (yes, it really works).

1.) When should a writer hire a publicist?
I think an author should wait to see what their publisher will provide in this area. If you do hire a publicist make sure they coordinate with your publisher so as to not duplicate efforts. (Don’t aggravate your local TV station with multiple PR contacts.)

But the question was “when” not “should.” So let me re-answer.

If you are on your own with regard to your PR, you should hire that firm six to nine months prior to the release date of your book. The PR firm will be handicapped if you wait too long. They need lead time especially in the area of getting reviews for your book. Few review outlets are interested in a book after it has already been released.

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Today’s guest writer is Emilie Haney, a freelance writer, photographer, and graphic designer living in Northern California. She’s a member of ACFW and writes young-adult fiction. She’s got a soft spot in her heart for animals and a love for the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. In her spare time, …

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How Long Does It Take to Get Published?

How much time does it take to get published?

I came to the publishing business from the retail side of the equation. The biggest adjustment was understanding how long the process takes. In retail there is instantaneous gratification. But book publishing is a process business.

There is no question the timeline varies from person to person and project to project. In the world of major publishers the diversity can be quite extreme.

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Would You Buy Your Own Book?

When I ask a room of writers if they would buy their own book if they saw it on the shelf at a major bookstore I am met with a variety of reactions. Laughter. Pensiveness. Surprise. And even a few scowls. How would you answer that question?

But the question is meant to ask if your book idea is unique. Whether it will stand out among the noise of the competition.

It is not a question of whether your book is important or valuable or even well written. It is ultimately a question of commercial viability.

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Recent Questions I’ve Been Asked

Since becoming a literary agent, I’ve been fairly impressed with myself. It became obvious, almost immediately, that (judging from people’s respect for and faith in me) my IQ climbed 20-30 points and my expertise tripled once I began accepting clients. So, as you might imagine, I field quite a few …

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