Public Radio’s ‘Tech Nation’ Shares Author Podcasts in Underwriting Deal with Publishing Co.

Struggling authors must sweat not only to get their books published, but also to generate publicity among potential readers. A recent underwriting deal between public radio’s “Tech Nation” radio show and specialty book publishing service Blurb aims to help them do so.

Select authors using the Blurb service will be interviewed for podcasts, which will then be shared on the show. The podcasts, which are hosted by the program’s host, Dr. Moira Gunn, are broadcast in a truncated form at the beginning of the show. Blurb then provides the entire podcast on its Web site and in links appearing next to the author’s available books.

Blurb publishes short print or limited-run books for authors, while “Tech Nation” is a national weekly radio program on the impact of science and technology issues. The initial podcasts, and “Tech Nation” itself, are produced at the studios of KQED in San Francisco. Blurb has signed on to underwrite the “Tech Nation,” podcasts.

As Blurb specializes in lesser known writers, it’s using the deal with “Tech Nation” to reach potential readers by giving them a personal connection to its authors. Writers will share their personal stories, according to Eileen Gittins, founder and CEO of Blurb.

“Instead of taking it into the purely visual realm of showing books, we’re providing that personal connection between the product and you as the creator of the product,” Gittins said. “This notion of utilizing a not so obvious media, to expand the marketing opportunities, is novel.”

While “Tech Nation” focuses on science and technology, the books being discussed in Blurb’s author podcasts are not. The topics authors are interviewed for range from books on family histories to “green” architectural design to a 11-year-old girl’s book of poems.

“The marketing of the book via podcast really presents a 360 marketing experience for people to get the word out about the books,” said Gittins.

(Note: An earlier version of this story said NPR is the producer of “Tech Nation.” It is not. ClickZ regrets this error.)

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