Book Production

How to Turn a Podcast into a Book and a Book into a Podcast

Turn a Podcast into a Book

Is podcast publishing a thing? It may sound counterintuitive, but if you want to write a book faster, consider starting a podcast.

This article walks you through how to turn your podcast into a book, a tactic that works best for nonfiction writers. For fiction writers, we’ll talk about how to turn your novel into a podcast since podcasting has become such a habit.

Key takeaways: 

  • Podcasts provide ready content and an existing audience for when the book will be launched.
  • Converting a podcast to a book requires careful content selection, narrative structuring, and audience interaction. The key is adapting audio content into a coherent written format while keeping the creator's unique voice.
  • If you are looking to transform a novel into a podcast, break down the written narrative into episodic content, establish a consistent release schedule, and foster audience interaction. 

 

A. Steps to Turn a Podcast into a Book [for Nonfiction Writers]

Podcasts have become a powerful medium for sharing knowledge and building audiences.

With over 464 million podcast listeners worldwide as of 2023, this platform offers a unique opportunity for content creators to expand their reach and sell.

Turn audience into fanbase

Podcast listeners represent a prime audience for book sales.

These individuals prioritize knowledge acquisition over entertainment, making them inclined to consume books and audiobooks. Their choice to follow your podcast indicates an interest in your field of expertise.

Podcast audiences often demonstrate an appetite for additional content, expressing their desire for more information through various channels such as comments, emails, and social media interactions. This enables you to use your existing community to grow your fanbase.

Start building up to make sure your peeps are ready for your book.

Turn podcast into a book

1. Embrace your expertise

As a podcast host, you've developed a wealth of knowledge in your niche. It’s now time to turn your podcast into a book and start your career as a nonfiction author.

You've researched topics, interviewed experts, and engaged with your audience on a regular basis. This experience qualifies you as an expert in your field.

Recognize that your unique perspective and the insights you've gained through your podcast are valuable and deserving of a broader platform.

Your book can serve as a comprehensive resource that expands on the topics you've covered in your podcast, providing deeper insights and more detailed information than what's possible in an audio format.

2. Analyze your content

Begin by conducting a thorough review of your podcast episodes.

Identify which shows garnered the most listens, reactions, and social media shares. Look for common themes or topics that resonate strongly with your audience.

Pay attention to the comments section of your most popular episodes, as these often contain valuable insights into what your listeners want to know more about.

Consider conducting polls or surveys to gauge interest in specific topics within your niche.

This analysis will help you identify the most compelling content to include in your book and highlight areas where you may need to conduct additional research or interviews.

3. Curate and outline

Develop a central theme for your book that encapsulates its core message. This theme will serve as the thread that ties all your content together.

Create a detailed outline that organizes your topics in a logical progression, ensuring that ideas build upon each other. Incorporate personal stories, case studies, and expert interviews to add depth and credibility to your content.

4. Write and edit

With your outline in place, begin the writing process.

You can start by transcribing relevant podcast content and then expanding on key ideas. Maintain your unique voice throughout the writing process, as this is what your audience connects with.

🔥Remember, you're not simply reproducing your podcast in written form; you're creating a new piece of content that complements and expands upon your audio material.

As you write, focus on providing additional context, deeper explanations, and practical applications of your ideas.

Once you have a first draft, hire a professional content editor to refine your manuscript. They can help improve the flow of your ideas, ensure consistency in tone, and identify areas that need further development. If you plan to do it yourself, read how to edit a manuscript.

5. Prep for publication

Proofread your manuscript to catch any grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors.

Work with a layout designer to ensure your book looks professional and is easy to read. Invest in a professional cover designer to create an eye-catching cover that will stand out in both physical and digital bookstores. If you're including images or graphics, make sure they're high-quality and properly formatted for print and digital versions of your book.

💡If you want to handle this process yourself, read more on:

6. Launch and market

Develop a comprehensive marketing strategy for your book launch. You can promote your book through your podcast but don't rely solely on this channel.

  • Reach out to other podcasters in your niche for interviews or guest appearances.
  • Use your social media platforms to build anticipation for your book launch.
  • Create bonus content or special offers for your podcast listeners who purchase the book.
  • Explore partnerships with relevant organizations or influencers who can help spread the word about your book.
  • Plan a series of blog posts or articles that tie into your book's themes to generate interest.

💡Remember, book marketing is an ongoing process, so develop a long-term strategy to keep your book visible and relevant after the initial launch period.

🔥Key considerations for podcast publishing

  • Get written permission to use interview content in your book.
  • Ensure your voice remains the dominant perspective throughout the text.
  • Edit interview transcripts for clarity while maintaining the original meaning.

B. Podcast Novels: Turn a Novel into a Podcast

If you are looking into fiction, consider podcasting your novel as an effective way to build an audience and potentially attract publishers.

Scott Sigler's journey from an unpublished author to a New York Times bestseller through podcasting offers valuable insights for those looking to turn their novels into podcasts. Based on his interview, here are the best tips and strategies on how to [successfully] make your own story in episodes.

Many writers wonder how to make their own episode story. Here are the steps you need to consider.

1. Preparation

Before you start recording, ensure your novel is polished and ready for an audience. Reading your work aloud can reveal areas for improvement.

Singler himself notes in the interview: I became a much better writer by reading my books out loud. (...) I catch so many reading “speed bumps,” which is anything that reminds you that you’re reading.

I’ll hear a homophone in neighboring sentences or notice the same word too often. Repeated phrases and confusing quote attributions also stand out. You pick up much of that when you sit back and listen to it.

Next, consider breaking your story into manageable podcast installments for short stories or chapters.

Plan your episode structure, including intros, recaps, and outros.

2. Recording & production

You don't need expensive equipment to start. A decent microphone and quiet recording space are all you need.

Practice reading your work aloud to improve your narration skills.

When recording your novel chapters or your podcast installments for short stories, pay attention to pacing and natural break points.

3. Episode structure

To make your own episode story engaging, Sigler recommends the following structure:

  • Start with a brief introduction and personal touch (around 4 minutes).
  • Provide a recap of the previous episode.
  • Read the main content of your chapter or short story.
  • End with a teaser for the next episode.

It is important to remain consistent throughout all the installments.

4. Release

Consider a regular release schedule. Sigler's own success came from releasing episodes every Sunday for 16 years. He notes: No matter what's going on in the listener's life, they know Scott will tell them a story for 45 minutes. This consistency helps build anticipation and allows listeners to incorporate your podcast into their routines.

Avoid the "binge drop" strategy of releasing all episodes at once. Sigler warns that this can confuse listeners. Instead, focus on how to make your own story in episodes that build anticipation week by week. This routine also helps you focus on your writing as well.

5. Audience engagement

Engage with your listeners through social media or a dedicated website.

Sigler credits much of his early success to fan discussions and community building. He advises: You need to be responsive to people online. It's not a second full-time job, but you must budget time to respond to people who comment.

Read more:

6. Marketing your podcast novel

Promote your podcast on social media, writing forums, and podcast directories.

Collaborate with other authors or podcasters in your genre. Cross-promotion is a strategy that can significantly expand your audience. Do guest appearances on other podcasts in your genre and engage in shared promotions.

Build an email list. Your email list is a great asset for direct communication with your audience.

It allows you to bypass social media algorithms, providing a reliable way to announce new episodes, promote events, or offer exclusive content.

To build your list, offer incentives like early access to episodes or bonus content for subscribers.

💡Before starting, you need to make sure you have the right to podcast your work, especially if you're under contract with a publisher. If you're including music or sound effects, use royalty-free options or obtain proper licenses.

Podcast vs. Audiobook

Authors considering both podcasting and audiobook production need to understand that these can be complementary rather than competing formats.

👉 The podcast version of a book can serve as a unique experience, often including additional content such as author commentary before or after each episode. This approach caters to listeners who enjoy a more interactive, serialized experience.

👉 The audiobook version provides a streamlined, complete narrative for those who prefer to consume the story in its entirety without interruptions.

Authors can maximize this dual-format approach by offering the podcast as a free, serialized version released over time while simultaneously making the complete audiobook available for purchase.

From a production standpoint, authors have flexibility in their approach. They can record podcast episodes individually and later compile them into a complete audiobook, or they can record the full audiobook first and then release it in podcast format as serialized episodes.

A clever marketing tactic is to use cliffhangers or teasers at the end of podcast episodes to promote the full audiobook.

Reminding listeners they can access the complete story immediately through the audiobook can potentially drive sales while still providing value through the free podcast format.

Podcast Publishing: Impact on Writing Style

When authors consider turning their books into serialized podcasts, they often wonder how this might affect their writing process and style.

While recording, most authors find they don't need to drastically alter their writing approach when creating a book intended for podcast serialization. The story can be written as a single volume, with episode breaks determined later, often at logical points such as chapter ends or after a certain duration [20-45 minutes of reading time].

Podcasting may not affect structure, but it does affect style.

Many writers discover that vocalizing their work reveals areas for improvement, such as long-winded descriptions or sections that don't contribute effectively to the story. This often leads to a more succinct, spoken-word style that's more engaging for listeners.

The podcast format tends to encourage a more conversational tone, mirroring natural speech patterns rather than formal written language.

Reading aloud, whether for a podcast or as part of the editing process, can be a powerful tool for improving one's writing. It helps authors identify issues like repetitive words, awkward phrasing, or speed bumps that interrupt the flow of the narrative.

Many writers find that this practice leads to more approachable, engaging prose that resonates with a wider audience.

Whether using text-to-speech software or reading aloud themselves, authors can significantly enhance their work by listening to how it sounds when spoken.

Ready for Podcasting?

Turning your podcast into a book offers a unique opportunity to expand your audience and monetize your expertise.

With proper marketing and engagement strategies, your book can become a powerful extension of your podcast brand. Ultimately, the journey to turn your podcast into a book can lead to greater authority in your field and new avenues for growth.

If you’re a fiction writer, you can promote your book as a set of installments via your own podcast.

As for publishing, PublishDrive opens the door to 20+ channels, 400+ stores, and thousands of digital libraries worldwide.

 

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