So You Want to Be on a Podcast
My recommendations. Don't settle for low-calorie alternatives
It’s too easy to run a mediocre podcast and get visibility. All you have to do is have some time and equipment, then solicit people to be a guest. And generally, people just accept the invite without too much investigating. It has very little to do with the success of the show or the capability of the host and everything to do with guests wanting/needing to promote their work.
Nobody realizes how professional the host is or isn’t until after the show, right? If you have a terrible experience you just won’t go back but what about other people? Is there a way to let other people know you had a bad experience? You could leave a review but that seems potentially incendiary. I think the best way to organically allow poor podcasts to filter to the bottom and let good podcasts rise to the top, is to stop promoting the work of sub-standard podcasts while boosting the quality of the ones you support. So that’s what I’m doing now. I’m going to list the podcasts that I have enjoyed listening to, being a guest on, and generally providing quality programming. This list is based on real experiences that I’ve had as well as experience conducting my own interviews, moderating panels, and generating content for the Night Worms YouTube channel. You can judge for yourself if I have knowledge in this area. No particular order:
This Is Horror Podcast with Michael David Wilson and Bob Pastorella: I have been a guest multiple times and have thoroughly enjoyed my time. Michael and Bob treat their guests with respect, valuing their time by asking thought-provoking questions and having engaging conversations. They are knowledgeable about the book industry and have a ton of experience. They have published books, run a fan-based annual awards ceremony, and are genuinely pleasant people. I love listening to their interviews. Night Worms supports their PATREON
She Wore Black: A Gothic, Mystery, and Horror Podcast. I’m a regular listener of this show and I always encourage authors to book time with this host. Agatha is fucking brilliant. She is able to draw out interesting, engaging conversations from her guests. It’s abundantly clear that Agatha is an avid reader and spends time reading the books her guests are promoting so that she can offer compelling insights that the guests obviously enjoy hearing providing lively discussion listeners show up for. I have heard nothing but glowing feedback from authors after being on her show and I’m looking forward to my own time with her this year. You can visit her blog for ways to support this show
Paper Cuts LIVE podcast I am so excited to do my launch party for my 101 Horror Books to Read Before You’re Murdered release on August 8th with Paper Cuts! These guys, Brad Proctor, and Jason Grell are both booktubers with an infectious zeal for reading/reviewing and professionalism as hosts that impresses me. I had the best experience on their show. They had fun, original questions which showed me that they cared to learn about me and my work. I felt honored and respected which is so refreshing compared to other podcasts which treat guests like stepping stones to further their own spotlight. Paper Cuts shines a light on its guests which is a real treat for everyone, especially listeners who show up to hear more from their favorite authors. I can’t wait to celebrate the release of my book this summer on Paper Cuts LIVE
Talking Scared Podcast I am beyond excited to join Neil McRobert to talk about my book this summer! I’ve been on the show before with Emily Hughes to talk about our favorite horror in a year and I learned so much from both Neil and Emily. Two big fans of the genre and super knowledgeable. I’m also a fan of listening to the show, I think Neil has unique insights about the books he enjoys and he’s able to articulate them in a way I admire. He makes sure the guest is the star of the show, which is how it should be. Listeners show up to hear their favorite authors talk about themselves and their work so it is essential to have a host that encourages that with the most engaging conversation and Neil delivers.
Books in the Freezer Podcast I’m excited to join Stephanie on her show this summer to talk about Summer Scares! My first time on the show but not at all my first time listening. I know Stephanie from #bookstagram and TikTok because she is an avid reader and influencer. Pretty sure it was Stephanie that made a viral TikTok video with some extreme horror genre fiction that catapulted a few books into the stratosphere. People listen to her because she is a big personality and has great taste in books. Her shows feature a theme that she discusses with her guest. One of my favorites was THE BEST OF 2022 with Rachel Harrison episode 138 Stephanie has a way of making guests feel welcomed in a casual discussion about books that makes listeners feel like they're eavesdropping on a great conversation. I can’t wait to join her for our own bookish chat
The Dark Word with Philip Fracassi is a show for writers to talk shop. Episodes air once a month, I believe, and I was lucky to have an opportunity to talk about social media for authors in Season 1. He asked great questions and had clearly done his research, taking down notes about where I had previously discussed social media practices and mentioned articles that I have published on the subject. One of my favorite episodes is the one he did with Josh Malerman about writing habits. I need to catch up on the show, he always seems to interview my favorite authors
GHOULISH!! I almost forgot one of my favorites! MAX BOOTH III I have been on Max’s podcast several times and I have interviewed him a bunch too. We have the BEST time. If you’re looking to have a good time, like a party, in a safe space, this is one that is a favorite to be a guest on and listen to.
I also forgot to mention the good people at Lovecraft eZine, especially Mike Davis. I had a wonderful time on the show earlier this year and highly recommend them as an option to promote your work and have a great discussion with friendly hosts and professionals. Here is a link to our interview SADIE HARTMANN, AUTHOR OF 101 HORROR BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU’RE MURDERED
Dead Headspace Podcast, now I have only been on the show once and it was really in support of my Pandi Press team, Kasey and Joe R. Lansdale. It was a pleasant experience. I have yet to experience the show as a featured guest but it’s under consideration. Brennan LeFaro is one of the nicest guys on the planet and Patrick McDonough and I are rebuilding due to some interpersonal conflict but it has come a long way.
I feel like it’s important to carefully read reviews and watch/listen to make sure you see yourself as a good fit, the format works for you, and you would later feel comfortable promoting the show since it does require resources to be a guest. Time and energy are valuable. Also, agreeing to be a guest and promoting your episode is basically an endorsement of the show, generating visibility and awareness. I’ve seen too many podcasts come up quickly only for guests to realize LATER the experience wasn’t what they were expecting. Be discerning! You, other guests, and listeners deserve quality content for the investment of resources.