This series is all about libsyn’s podcasters. Its sole purpose is to introduce these awesome podcasts to the world as well as share their podcasting insight to empower the community!
Q & A with Cindy from Thoughts From A Page
When did you start podcasting?
I started podcasting in June during the pandemic. I found myself with some extra time and a need to focus on something other than Covid–19 so I decided to try podcasting.
I spent about a month researching the various components – what I would need equipment-wise, software-wise and just all of the details. I also began to line up authors to be interviewed and thinking about what I would ask them.
I reached out to another podcaster and asked her advice about it all. Once I felt I had my ducks in a row, I got started. I timed my first episode with the book release for the first author I interviewed, Susie Orman Schnall.
Why did you start podcasting?
I love to read and have become progressively more involved in the book world over the past 5 years. I started a bookstagram account (book account on Instagram) about four years ago called Thoughts from a Page.
I work part time at an independent book store here in Houston, Murder by the Book, and I write two book columns (one online and one print) for a large Houston magazine called the Buzz Magazines.
I also write round ups for SheReads.com and review a book or two a month for Bookreporter.com.
Two years ago, my friend Krista Hensel and I formed a literary salon called Conversations from a Page where we invite authors to Houston and host events for them. At these salons, I interviewed the authors, and over time people kept suggesting that I expand that to a podcast, especially once everything moved online in March.
I never had the time to focus on that idea, but with the pandemic opening up my schedule some, I decided I might as well try. While I knew it would be time consuming, I had NO idea how much time it would truly take.
However, I love the interviews and have met so many authors that I would not have had the chance to encounter if it were not for the podcast. I have also read books that I might not have picked up were it not for the podcast.
What’s the name of your show and what is it about?
My podcast is named the Thoughts from a Page Podcast. I talk books on social media – Instagram , Facebook , and Pinterest – as @thoughtsfromapage so I used the name people already knew and expanded it to the podcast.
I use an interview format, similar to what I do for the literary salon, and I ask 8–15 questions per interview. I always end by asking the author for their book recommendations which has worked very well; people frequently tell me that they love hearing what authors are reading, and I have learned about new books (and authors to interview for the podcast) that way myself.
I publish new episodes on Tuesdays and Fridays and aim for them to run 22–28 minutes. Occasionally I run extra episodes when I am pitched an author that appeals to me, and I am already booked on my regular days. I focus on traditionally published-authors and only interview authors whose books appeal to me personally.
What’s your podcasting set-up? Hardware, software, CMS, etc.
I use a MacBook Pro, a Samson Q2U USB microphone with a pop filter and audio-technica headphones. Until recently, I used Zoom to record the interviews but have not been thrilled with the sound quality so I am currently trying Zencastr and hoping that the interviews will sound better.
I upload the interviews to Alitu and use it to edit the episodes and add my intro and outro. My website is from Podpage.com, which I absolutely love.
Podpage is very user friendly with so many design options, includes easy links to many of the big podcast players, allows me to write blog posts and much more. I just recently added transcripts and use Otter.ai.
As I publish a new episode, I create the transcript for that episode then and upload it to Podpage. I am working my way through the older episodes and getting those transcripts uploaded as I complete them.
How have you promoted your podcast?
I post on Twitter, my Facebook book account, Pinterest and LinkedIn for each episode, and I ask each author guest to promote also. Some authors are fabulous about this, and some are not. I also post some on my Instagram story and post about a group of episodes occasionally on my personal Facebook account and on Instagram.
I post regularly on Pinterest about recent episodes or by grouping episodes by genre. I have boosted pins on Pinterest and paid for ads on Overcast. I am also on Goodpods and am designated its “Good for Readers” guru. I am a member of various podcasting Facebook groups, and I post about episodes when they have posts specifically for promoting and post about it in my various Facebook book groups. I continue to add the podcast to every player I can and to find other places that I can promote it.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I love podcasting and am so glad that I started doing it. However, I do wish I had known how much work the promotion would be and how long it takes to find a following. But I am getting there and am grateful for everyone who listens to any or all of my episodes.
The podcast has been a great addition to the rest of my book work and that was a pleasant surprise for me. It has opened doors for me with publishers even more than my book columns, literary salon, or social media presence.
Reading good material turned into inspiration for a fantastic podcast. What inspires you? Turn it into a podcast. We can help! Check out our Start Your Podcast blog series! If you are ready, we have the best podcast hosting plans around!