How Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hanson Became Mega Authors

podcasts and radio create mega authors

Bestselling authors don’t reach that status simply with good ideas and writing. Mega authors focus on book marketing and promotion. In today’s guest post, Kathleen Gage (@KathleenGage), an internationally recognized Internet marketing advisor, explains the importance of podcasts and radio shows in the making of  successful authors and books.

Ask most authors if they would like the success mega authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen enjoyed with their first Chicken Soup for the Soul book, and the answer would be a resounding “Yes!”

When I mention these two authors, more than one author has said to me, “They’re so lucky they sold so many books. I wish I could be as lucky.”

The success Jack and Mark enjoyed then and now has little to do with luck but everything to do with massive action.

Both authors set out to change the way authors market their books. They utilized multiple avenues to gain visibility for their work but focused on one of the most effective ways: radio interviews.

Massive Action Equates to Massive Success

According to many reports, Jack and Mark reached out to a minimum of five radio stations per day to set up interviews. Not a week, not a month, but a day.

Imagine the kind of visibility and reach you would have if you were to do the same. Over a period of a year, you would connect with 1,825 radio show hosts. Even if only 10% of the hosts interviewed you, that’s 182 times when you would have the opportunity to share your message. The reach of each show could be in the millions.

Ask these same authors—the ones that think Jack and Mark were “lucky”—what they are doing to market their book(s), and you’re likely to get a blank stare.

If you’re not willing to do everything in your power to market your book(s), you’re not going to experience the kind of success you claim you want.

Utilize What’s Available

Hands down, podcast and radio interviews are incredibly effective in reaching the masses. There are thousands upon thousands of shows to reach out to. However, to receive a high, and positive, response rate, you must follow specific guidelines. More on that shortly.

The beauty of interviews is you can do them from the comfort of your home. You don’t need to dress up for over the phone interviews. You simply show up.

With proper planning, you can interview several times a day during a book launch and beyond.

Keep this in mind: the more you interview, the more you interview. It’s not uncommon for a show host to reach out when they’ve heard you on another show.

Shows Don’t Necessarily Equate to Sales

Appearing on a show won’t necessarily equate to book sales. However, it does equate to market reach and credibility.

To get the most from your interview efforts, have all your ducks in a row.

  • Your books should be properly listed on book sites, such as Amazon.
  • Your website must be visitor ready including a media page.
  • Your response time needs to be stellar when a show host (or someone on their team) reaches out to you.
  • You need to have all the necessary documents and images ready to send out as soon as a host confirms your appearance on their show.

Again, don’t assume you are going to sell boatloads of books and become an overnight mega author when your episode airs. Do assume listeners may Google your name to find your website and social media networks.  Be prepared for those who visit your site and social media location; make sure every page is current and up to date.

What Hosts Look For

Producing a show takes a lot of work. Add to this the fact that audiences want to hear top-notch experts and you realize it can be difficult for a show host keep an audience engaged.

Show hosts look for engaging, entertaining and timely experts to be on a show. Every author wants to become an in-demand guest for podcasts and radio shows. That’s why it’s wise to figure out how to gain entry onto these platforms.

Opportunity Abounds

Many authors say there is no opportunity to get on shows. Others say there is more than enough opportunity.

I’m here to tell you, there’s ample opportunity. You just need to know how to find the shows looking for someone with your expertise. Once you find the shows, you need to approach the host in a professional manner by being fully prepared.

Radio Appearances Produce Mega Authors

During the launch of their first Chicken Soup book, Jack and Mark sought out every interview opportunity they could find. Knowing the power of this medium, both authors left no stone unturned to reach as many people as possible through the power of radio.

Amazingly, at the time of their first Chicken Soup book release, podcast shows were not at all popular. Jack and Mark’s success was directly related to radio.

“Radio interviews have been one of the cornerstones in the massive success of our Chicken Soup books,” according to Mark, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and Co-Creator of the “Chicken Soup For The Soul” Series.

Today, authors have more opportunity than in years past, but there also is more competition. That’s a reason to be fully prepared for opportunity.

Plan the Process

To get the most out of your efforts, you need to plan the process. Have all your marketing material ready to go, your website media-ready, and a solid follow-up system in place.

Two marketing pieces you need are a media kit and an expert one sheet.

Your Media Kit

A media kit, also referred to as a press kit, is information that represents you, the author. It also includes information about your book(s).

In days past, it was a physical package that you would mail via snail mail to a show host or producer. Today, it is often a PDF document that contains the necessary information a show host needs.

A few key elements of the media kit are your bio, images of you and the book, information on your book, media releases about the book, FAQs, an expert one sheet, and a list of previous media appearances.

To make things as easy as possible on those who express interest in as a show guest, create a section on your website where your media kit is easily accessible.

Have an Expert One Sheet

example of speaker one sheetAn expert one sheet, also called a speaker one sheet or author one sheet, can be one or two-sided. It’s an easy-to-access document containing similar information to a full-blown media kit, but it’s on one page that is either one sided or two-sided.

A few elements included on a one sheet are:

  • Author bio
  • Headshot
  • Book image
  • Testimonials
  • Speech topics
  • Contact information including social media platforms
Create Opportunity

Don’t wait for show hosts to contact you. Your job is to create as much opportunity as possible. First, develop your marketing material. Next, seek out shows for which you would be a great fit.

One of the best ways to get booked on shows is to sign up for a service that sends you listings.

In this short article, you will find great tips on how to do this.

Of course, you also can look for shows on which other authors who write in your genre have appeared. Create a list of ideal shows you want to appear on; then contact the person who books guests. This is time-consuming but a very targeted way to find opportunities.

There’s no guarantee that interviews will work, but there is a guarantee that if you do nothing, you definitely won’t sell books. Put your heart and soul into gaining visibility through podcast and radio interviews, and you might be well on your way to becoming a mega author, too.

Do you seek out radio show or podcast appearances?

About the Author

Kathleen Gage headshotx175Kathleen Gage is the “no-nonsense, common sense” online marketing strategist, speaker, author, product creation specialist, and owner of Power Up For Profits. She helps entrepreneurs package their expertise into money making products and services. Her clients are driven by making a difference through their own unique voice.

Although Gage is best known for her no-nonsense approach to life and business, when she’s not working with clients, creating information products, writing books or speaking on the platform, she can be found training for a marathon, walking her dogs, working in her many flower gardens, feeding her horses or playing a fierce game of cards.

Kathleen’s memoir – The Gap in Between – is scheduled for release in early 2018.

Visit her website at

Photo copyright: Maksym Yemelyanov|123RF.COM

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