How I Turned my Podcast into a Book and Radio Show

This episode is the last of Killer Innovations as a radio show. Not an easy decision, but as part of our drive for innovation, we believe this is the best decision. We will discuss the show's history, my book and radio show deal, and what Killer Innovations will look like moving forward.

Radio Show

Making the Switch

Throughout the show, we have talked about how important it is to re-evaluate and try new things. This occurrence is a challenge that many organizations encounter as they have processes that often keep them narrow-minded. Our decision to leave the Biz Talk Radio format will open up opportunities for us to be more flexible, creative, and innovative.

With the coming change, I know that listeners will have a ton of questions. We will still be a weekly show, but will be shorter and have no interruptions. We will also be using a podcast-only format. We're hoping that you will continue to support us.

Killer Innovation's History

Let's jump into the history of the podcast. Launched in March of 2005, the Killer Innovations podcast is now on season 16, making us the longest continuously produced podcast in history. We were podcasting before iTunes was even a thing. We have averaged around 45-50 episodes per year.

The podcast's motivation came from a conversation I had with my mentor Bob Davis, who I have mentioned many times in previous shows. In the exchange, I asked Bob how I could pay him back for all the help he had given me throughout the years. Bob laughed and told me that I couldn't pay him back. Instead, I could only pay it forward.

At the beginning of the show, podcasting tools and technology were not nonexistent, so I had to hand-code each show. Following the podcast's launch in 2005, my book deal came about Mark, my agent from New York, approached me. One of his staff was a listener of the podcast and mentioned it to him. I had a meeting with Mark that went well, and he has been my agent ever since.

The book proposal was distributed in the fall of 2010 and had about nine interested publishers. I signed a book deal at the end of 2010 and finished writing the book in June of 2011, followed by the release in February of the next year. The content of the book came from the podcast. Doing this book deal was anything but easy and required a lot of lift.

As far as the radio show goes, I got approached by Biz Talk Radio in 2015 at a tradeshow where I was speaking. They said they liked the podcast and my book, and we ended up launching the radio show in July of 2016.

My Book Deal

I want to give you guys insights into structuring media deals as I have had a very successful nationally syndicated radio show and book deal. Like I said earlier, there were nine publishers interested in the book. After meeting with the publishers, there was an auction to see who the winning publisher would be. Hyperion won, and I committed to doing 75,000 words in eight months, which was a big hurdle.

I was lucky to get a significant advancement after the book in 2011. Publishers get paid back first in book deals, and after you get your advance, the publisher gets all the money to pay costs. After this, the author starts collecting royalties. In my deal, the publisher took control of the audiobook and had a professional voice actor relay it.

The Killer Innovations Radio Show

As far as the radio show goes, Biz Talk radio is a syndicator of the radio, so I had to do everything through them. They distributed the show all across the country as part of their service. As far as constraints, we had to comply with the FCC rules such as political messages, profanity, age appropriateness, etc. We also had to adhere to a time constraint slot as there were commercial breaks. We had four segments.

There was also a weekly fee that we had to pay to the syndicator to distribute the show. As part of the syndication deal, we got several ad spots, which we gave away to charity. Zoom funds part of the show production and has done so for six years. The sponsorship is what allowed us to give away our ad spots to charities.

Lessons Learned

Let me share some lessons I learned in creating my media platform. Firstly, do what you love. I have been doing the podcast for fifteen years, and If I didn't love doing it, we wouldn't have lasted this long. Secondly, please don't do it for the numbers. Contacted by so many, I can't tell you how many times I've heard people discouraged about how many listeners they have for their podcasts. If the numbers drive you, you won't stick with it because the numbers are hard to get.

While this show has been around a long time, some people aren't as interested in our content as they are in other people's, and that is ok. If you focus on your new subscriber numbers, you will drive yourself crazy. Thirdly, be open to new possibilities and let your followers aid you in finding what works best. Also, you need to know when to walk away from something like we are doing now.

To know more about the Killer Innovations podcast, listen to this week's show: How I Turned my Podcast into a Book and Radio Show.

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2 thoughts on “How I Turned my Podcast into a Book and Radio Show

    • Just to clarify — we are just stopping the nationally syndicated talk radio show. We are returning to doing the podcast as a podcast. While the radio show was a blast, it was very restrictive is requiring us to meet the very tight timing to support commercial breaks, etc. This created an unnatural flow the shows and especially the interview.

      Plus — it was time to innovate the show. So we will no longer format our show for radio and instead, experiment/innovate with structures, content, etc. for you.

      Looking for feedback over the coming weeks as we were where this leads.