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  • [Reality Check] - Podcast Guests? Three Tips to Better Bookings by Catharine Bramkamp
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[Reality Check] - Podcast Guests? Three Tips to Better Bookings by Catharine Bramkamp
Written by
Zetta Brown
May 2015
Written by
Zetta Brown
May 2015

Hi everyone!

I have been very lucky by having guests on [REALITY CHECK] who have a wide range of knowledge with regard to their publishing experiences. My next guest is no exception.

I hope you follow along for the next 3 installments, because Catharine Bramkamp is going to give us a mini-series about podcasting.

Some of you out there may already have a podcast, some of you may have been a guest on a podcast. The following information will be useful. Some of you might not know what all the fuss is about! Stay tuned anyway, because podcasting is a very popular and viable tool for authors—and the popularity of podcasting continues to grow.


Podcast Guests? Three Tips to Better Bookings
Catharine Bramkamp
, Producer – Newbie Writers Podcast

You are a stud! You have your own podcast show! You have nothing to say this week!

After all the work and effort to create your podcast, it may come as a shock that into the tenth or eleventh show we run out of things to say, information to impart, or we are just plain bored with the sound of our own voice. No matter how clever you are, sometimes you need another voice, another human against whom to bounce ideas and jokes. A podcast guest is the logical next step. Need more to say? Book a guest. Need a different perspective? Book a guest. Admire someone? Contact them and ask them to be your guest. It is surprisingly easy to ask, and people are very generous with their time, as long as you make their experience a pleasure and not a pain.

After three years and over 170 shows, my partner and I have learned a few things about podcasting. So here are three quick tips for better bookings so your guests will truly enhance your podcast and your reputation.

Tip #1: Stick with your theme

I produce a podcast for Newbie Writers (www.NewbieWriters.com). We are a writing podcast, so every guest needs to address our theme. Stick with who you are and what your podcast is about. Like the constraints of a sonnet, you must be creative within your own category. This also means you get to say no. Leo Laporte (http://twit.tv/) keeps the video, chat, and commentary to tech, it’s all about tech. It makes it easy, then, for him to say no to a cookbook author who wants to be on his show. If you want to be successful, keep to your main theme, it's the best way to get noticed and succeed.  

Tip #2: Keep track of your people

Once you incorporate guests, you must also incorporate that most complex of organization system known to man—the calendar. Keep track of your guests. And while you’re at it, keep track of their information and e-mails.

Newbie Writers Podcast uses a Google Calendar (https://www.google.com/calendar) so my partner Damien can see what I’ve scheduled without asking. This is a great system for the weeks I remember to update the calendar.

I have more success with a simple weekly hard-copy calendar to keep track of guests. I also start the show notes as soon as I confirm a guest. I upload their e-mails and what they agreed to discuss, and make notes on why we all should care. I save the individual Word docs in a guest file. I know--simple, right? I also save notes even after they’ve been posted; you never know when you’ll need to reference what you said and when you said it.  

Tip #3: Be helpful

Send a confirmation to your guests a few days ahead of the podcast. It helps them remember and helps YOU remember who’s calling into the podcast. Ask for their links and their material at this time so you get the most recent information (I say this because I book guests three months in advance, which is the equivalent of five years in New Media time).

That said, have a few backup shows you can implement in case the guest bails. If you have an alternative show at the ready, you will be able to be gracious if a guest has an unexpected emergency. When you say, “Hey, no problem,” you really need to mean it, because they can tell if you don’t.

There is nothing better than a lively, engaging guest. You will sound smart for finding them and brilliant for sharing their expertise with your listeners. And we all want to sound brilliant.

TUNE IN NEXT TIME FOR: What Not to Do With a Podcast Guest


Catharine Bramkamp is the writer part of Newbie Writers Podcast (www.NewbieWriters.com), which focuses on newer writers and their concerns. She is a successful writing coach and author of a dozen books. Check out www.YourBookStartsHere.com for her current books. She and her husband have successfully parented two boys past the age of self-destruction and into the age of annoying two-word text missives.


©2015. Zetta Brown. All Rights Reserved. Zetta is an editor and the author of several published short stories and the erotic romance novel Messalina: Devourer of Men. She provides editing services through JimandZetta.com.

Got a [REALITY CHECK] about the publishing life to share? If you would like to be a guest on my blog, please friend me on She Writes with a message! :)

If you like this post, then stop by Zetta’s Desk for editing tips and follow “Zetta’s Reference Desk” where she features a writing reference book every week. Don’t miss this week’s featured reference!

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