Wouldn’t it be nice to get away from your computer for a bit? Instead of gazing at a screen, why not improve your skills with a book or two? You’re in? Then, let’s look at some of the best books for podcasting.
Books don’t have notifications or ads competing for your attention. They’re wireless, portable, and never need re-charging. Best of all, if you need to stop reading for a moment, they can be easily bookmarked.
Obviously, “best” is a relative term. The best podcast book for your needs, won’t be the same as mine. You and I are different kinds of podcasters; we make different shows. That being said, the sheer quantity and difference in quality of podcast books can be overwhelming.
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Best Book for Launching Your Podcast
For many aspiring creators, getting started is the biggest barrier. Though there’s really no one aspect of podcasting that’s inherently difficult, there are a lot of moving parts. You’re not going to learn it all in a day, either.
In Finally Start Your Podcast, the “wall of text” format of a typical book is replaced by accessible and beautifully designed pages, each focusing on a bite-sized chunk of podcasting wisdom. Read one of these each time you have the urge to pull out your phone and doomscroll, and you’ll quickly get up-to-speed on the who, what, where, why, and when of podcasting.
Best Book for Growing Your Podcast
You can plan and launch the best podcast in the world, but finding that first 100 or so listeners (and beyond) is tricky and often, frustrating.
Podcast Growth: How to Grow Your Podcast Audience draws on over a decade of podcasting experience. This book has specific tasks and checklists on every aspect of podcast marketing and promotion to help you nurture the audience you have while building a bigger one.
Best Book for Monetizing Your Podcast
Whether you want to podcast full-time or you want to simply recoup some of the cash you’ve spent, money always becomes an issue. David Jackson has been teaching people how to unravel the mysteries of the Internet since its infancy, and teaching podcasting for over 15 years. His book Profit from Your Podcast: Proven Strategies to Turn Listeners Into a Livelihood provides details of affiliate marketing, crowdfunding, and understanding ad jargon. Jackson’s philosophy isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a set of purposeful strategies to make podcasting financially responsible.
Best Books for Podcasting Culture and Landscape
Let’s Talk Podcasting by Amanda Cupido provides context as well as practical advice. Cupido’s experience as a university instructor and in major market radio gives you strategies and setting.
Podcasting: The Audio Media Revolution compiles interviews with some of the most influential creators in podcasting. Authors Martin Spinelli and Lance Dann let you have a window onto conversations, case studies, and analysis of how podcasting shapes our culture.
Best Books for Podcasting Technology & Gear
The tools you need to record and edit can be intimidating. David Power’s Introduction to Podcast Technology isn’t. This guide helps you start finding the gear you need, without giving you computer vision syndrome.
An all-around, solid podcast guide for everything from brainstorming through gear to sustaining your audience, is The Big Podcast by David Hooper. Everything in the podcast landscape changes quickly. This book arrived on the scene in March of 2019. You’d do well to add this book to your reading list.
Journalism and Audio Documentary Podcasting Books
Without a doubt, Jessica Abel’s Out On The Wire is a valuable approach to podcast craft.
Reality Radio is a compendium of the heavy hitters in audio documentary work. John Biewen and Alexa Dilworth interview radio storytellers to show how broadcast journalism has changed, and become more relevant.
Turn Up The Volume’s publisher aims this book to journalism students. However, anyone can benefit from Michael O’Connell’s approachable style. His “Down and Dirty Guide to Podcasting” provides tools and techniques, explores formats, and chats with industry experts.
Interviews are a cornerstone of nonfiction podcasting. The Art of the Interview should be your go-to guide on this art form. Lawrence Grobel’s decades-long career in journalism provides rare insight and strategy to build rapport, whilst Not Just Chatting by Nicole Christina promises to teach you how to become a master podcast interviewer. Read these, and spin great content with any podcast guest.
Speaking of nonfiction podcasting cornerstones: you might be interested in the true crime genre. If so, then How To Start A Podcast is for you. Mike Migas’ book about podcasting is chock-full of examples from his experience making a true-crime podcast. As he says, “Don’t overthink it, just do it and enjoy the process.”
Best Books for Podcasting Productivity & Planning
If you’re a fan of journaling, then The Podcast Host Planner might be for you. A physical planner is an excellent prompt for motivation, inspiration, and productivity. In here, you’ll find a whirlwind “how to start” guide, and templates to help you plan and grow your show for an entire year and beyond.
Best Books for Fiction Podcasts & Audio Drama
Another Bloomsbury publication, The Radio Drama Handbook provides history, case studies, exercises and activities, to learn how to craft a great script and bring it to life. Authors Richard Hand and Mary Traynor give you the nuts and bolts of theory and practice, to understand exactly why War of the Worlds scared so many listeners.
K.C. Wayland of We’re Alive is one of the podcast creators in the aforementioned book. Always generous with his knowledge, he’s compiled everything he learned the hard way in Bombs Always Beep. Take a deep dive into story craft to explore Wayland calls “theater for the mind.”
If you’re keen to build a library of audio drama-related tomes, take a look at our top five fiction podcasting books roundup, too.
Let Your Brain Shift Gears
Books are a great way to avoid distraction while consuming and retaining information at your own pace. With these books, not only will everyone at the beach or the pool think you’re a tech wizard, but also they’ll think you’re an old-school intellectual. You don’t even have to wear a tweed jacket.
Originally posted on October 12, 2023 @ 1:25 am