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I was a guest on the global Indie Author Chat on Twitter in February 2020 and we discussed why and how I serialized my Content Performance Culture book into a podcast. You can find links to the different networks here or search “Content Performance Culture book” wherever you listen to podcasts.
Here are all of the questions and my initial answers in one place. If you’d like me to be a guest on your Twitter chat, drop me a note here If you’d like me to be a guest on your Twitter chat, drop me a note here.
Q1: What gave you the idea to serialize the chapters of your book on your podcast?
The credit goes to Joe Pulizzi. I interviewed him for the Business Storytelling Podcast (my original podcast) in November 2019. He mentioned that he was releasing his first mystery novel only as a podcast. He serialized his first.
I simply thought: “What a great idea.” I was just finishing up my book and was planning on publishing it two months later. Plenty of time to get the podcast episodes done and serialized.
I record in the Anchor app and started releasing episodes before the book was even available for purchase. Sometimes I offer a special discount code on the show and I release new episodes every Monday and Friday. They should all be live at the end of March.
As of this writing I have recorded over 5 hours of materials from the book and still have two chapters to record and already have outlines for two bonus chapters.
I will likely use those bonus episodes and other content published on my blog since the book published in a 2021 updated version.
Q2: What factors did you consider before deciding to serialize your book on your podcast?
I thought about the impact. Would it hurt sales? I doubt it. It’s a different channel and different audience, though, I suppose some commuters may consider buying the audio version. Now they have a free podcast. I think of it as a marketing tool. If you find me on Google Podcasts and listen, that’s a win. If you listen to my podcast and hire me to speak at your conference that’s a win too.
I like trying new strategies and I’m not aware of too many others who have tried this so I thought I’d give it a shot.
Q3: Did you choose to narrate the podcast yourself?
Yes. And it’s not true narration. I’m not just reading the book word for word. I talk about the topic in each chapter. Sometimes, since I wrote the chapters – in some cases – a while ago, I thought of new things and add them into the show. So some episodes have bonus materials or new reflections that are not in the book.
When I first started recording the episodes I read word for word. I couldn’t stand listening to that. I’m not a movie narrator, you know? So I changed that strategy and never published the word-for-word episodes. I just changed the strategy to record a conversational chat about each chapter’s topic.
That seems to work and the episodes sound much more conversational to me this way.
Q4: How much time and cost did it take for you to serialize your book on a podcast?
Each episode takes 15-45 minutes to record. It’s super easy in the Anchor app. I hardly ever edit anything. I usually add an intro with some music. Example:
Anchor is free to use and it distributes the shows for free as well. Other than time, I haven’t spend a dime on podcast production or syndication.
Q5: What have been the results of this exercise in terms of book sales, better or worse than expected?
I don’t recall anyone using the code from the podcast so I can’t say it has helped book sales, though the book hit the No. 1 new release spot in the public relations category on Amazon.
Also: People are listening to the podcast and downloads are in the 100s. Not bad for a new strategy. I had never serialized a book this way before. I’m happy with trying it. Podcasts are currently also a bit of a trendy thing to do so this plays into trying new and emerging strategies as well. Plus, a lot of people are asking me about it and some are asking for help to start their own podcast or get their book on a podcast.
Q6: Are you ever planning to sell the audiobook on Audible later and will you take the free podcast down before you do this?
I haven’t decided yet if I will put the book on Audible. I’m thinking no, but really undecided. I also have to decide if I record the book with a traditional narration. If I end up deciding that I should do that, then I need to decide who the narrator is. I didn’t like myself narrating on the first try. Would I hire somebody? I’m not sure how much that would even cost, but assuming it’s more expensive than I would want to pay for it.
And I assume somebody will have to edit the audio file of the narration. I’m not sure it’s worth the cost at this point.
I would not take the free podcast down before uploading it there. Here’s why: They are related audiences but not completely the same. I think of it as people listening to free songs on the radio. Sometimes they still buy the songs on iTunes and sometimes even the album as a whole. Maybe I should consider selling chapters on their own – like iTunes sells songs individually.
Q7: How can people find out more about Christoph Trappe and your book?
Find the book here: https://authenticstorytelling.net/content-performance-culture-book/.
You can also search your local Amazon site. The podcast can be found at the same link or search wherever you listen to podcasts. It’s available on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Alexa-devices, etc.
Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn as well: LinkedIn.com/in/christophtrappe
If you are in the United States I’m happy to send a signed copy. You can order that by using this link: PayPal.me/ctrappe/15