News for Authors

Anchor: Extend Your Author Brand with a User-Friendly Podcasting Platform

by Phil Stamper-Halpin|May, 2018

A podcast can be a great way to extend your author brand, but it requires a sizeable time and financial investment, and the process can be challenging. Enter Anchor, a new app that offers a user-friendly way to record and share your own podcasts.


What Is Anchor?

Initially conceived as a broadcasting app for short-form audio, Anchor became a popular choice for podcasters looking for a user-friendly way to publish their content. Anchor quickly adapted and reimagined the service as a free, easy-to-use podcasting program.

With Anchor, authors can, within the app,  record and add audio, create and edit episodes, and share to major podcast platforms to extend your reach. With robust marketing and social media campaigns, authors can generate good buzz about their new podcasts and the titles they publish.



How to Use Anchor

After downloading the app, you’re presented with a variety of features:

  • Click on the red “microphone” button to start recording audio for your very first podcast. After recording, you’ll be given a preview of the full audio, and you can add intro or outro music, transitions, and more. Once you’re finished with this piece of audio, you can add it to an episode.
  • If you’re doing an interview or Q&A, Anchor makes it easy to ask your listeners to send in audio messages to be played on your podcast.
  • Anchor can connect to your iTunes or Spotify account to add music to your podcast before it gets exported. If you need to sample a piece of music or you’re looking for a specific background song, the “music notes” button will automatically add it to your episode.
  • With the “record with friends” feature, you can bring in collaborators for a panel discussion, interview, or conversation. If you are working with a cohost, you can quickly get a call started and save the recording to your episode.
  • When you hit the “publish” button, you’ll be able to add a title and description to your episode, publish to Anchor, share on social media, and distribute externally to Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, and more. (Note that music will not be included on external platforms.)


Find a Cohost

Anchor’s most recent update, released last month, includes “Cohosts,” an innovative new feature that allows you to connect with others who are interested in discussing the same topic. Though Anchor makes it easy to collaborate with friends and colleagues, this new feature allows for unexpected, engaging conversations, and might be a good fit depending on your preferred topic and comfort level.

When you use Cohosts, Anchor immediately searches for someone currently using the app and connect the two of you to get started. If no one can be found immediately, the app will notify you when it finds a match.

If you’re interested in this feature, click here to learn more.


PRH Authors on the Platform

Alison Green, Ballantine author and founder of the popular workplace advice website Ask a Manager, used Anchor to create her podcast. Her advice on handling workplace dilemmas and dramas works well in an audio format, alongside her successful blog and current book.

When the Ask a Manager podcast debuted, it hit the Top 100 on the Apple Podcast charts (#54 in all show categories, and #7 in the Business category). It was featured for several weeks on Apple’s New and Noteworthy page, and in less than two months it has gained more than 100,000 downloads.

Podcasting may or may not be the right choice for you as an author, but many have found it effective and engaging. Think about whether a podcast makes sense as a way of extending your brand. Consider the topics you write about and whether they would translate well in the podcast space. Think about ways to make your extended content relevant and appealing to listeners. And make sure your podcast idea lends itself to abundant content that you can publish on Anchor on a periodic basis. If you are indeed interested in making a podcast, reach out to your marketing team for further information.


For more tips and trends on podcasting, check out these Author News articles from previous editions:


Phil Stamper-Halpin is Senior Manager, Publishing Development & Author Platforms for Penguin Random House.

Snapchat 101

by Milena Schmidt |October, 2016

It’s time we looked at Snapchat, one of the fastest-growing and most-buzzed-about social platforms, with more than 200 million active users. Snapchat is known for its high concentration of millennial users, which makes it a great tool for connecting with the thirty-four-and-younger set.  However, recent reports show that older users are quickly taking to the app as well.  Read more

5 Steps to Making a Great Smartphone Video

by John Clinton|September, 2016

Making videos using a smartphone is a relatively simple and economical way to create valuable content. In fact, depending on the goal of the video, smartphone videos can often be more appropriate than slick professional videos. Smartphone videos can feel more personal and authentic, as you are talking directly to your readers. While viewers are generally forgiving when it comes to quality expectations, there are several things you can do to ensure yours hits a comfortable quality threshold. Read more

Litsy: A New Social Network for Book Lovers

by Milena Schmidt|August, 2016

Litsy is a new social network that is generating buzz among readers. The platform is best described as a cross between Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads, because of its highly visual, short-form, and book-centric nature. Litsy made its debut this spring as an iOS app. (Android and Web versions are currently in development.) Continue reading for an overview of Litsy, and learn how to effectively use it to connect with readers. Read more

Connecting with Readers on Facebook Live

by Milena Schmidt|July, 2016

Facebook Live is an exciting new way to connect with readers on the platform using live video. This month’s marketing tip shares everything you need to know about this new feature, and how you can use it to effectively promote your book and your brand. Read more

Tips on How to Create Your Online Community

by Emily Condlin|June, 2016

How can you go from just another voice on the web to an online destination with a devoted following? In last month’s Penguin Random House Author Webinar, Kate Rados, VP & director of community development of the Crown Publishing Group, gave tips on how to grow and develop online communities by attracting new readers and retaining existing ones. Keep reading to learn more about gaining traction and growing your following. Read more

6 Tips for Writing an Engaging Author Blog Post

by Milena Schmidt|May, 2016

Engaging blog posts are a great way to connect with fans and give readers another reason to visit your site. Whether you’ve been thinking about starting an author blog or already have one, we’ve gathered tips to help create engaging posts that will inspire readers to revisit your site and share your content.   Read more

5 Steps to Creating Great Digital-Video Metadata

by John Clinton|April, 2016

As an author, you can use video to connect with your readers in a number of ways: announcing the release of your latest book, answering fan questions, or even creating your own book trailer. These types of videos help readers learn more about your books and discover the personality behind the pages—but in an online world inundated by video, how can you make sure the right audience finds yours? Read on to learn about five easy steps to optimize metadata and help your videos reach your readers. Read more

Live Chats and Engaging with Readers

by Alana Buckbee|October, 2015

From Reddit AMAs (“Ask Me Anything”) to Periscope, live content is becoming an increasingly popular approach to interaction on the web. Nowadays, it seems every social media platform is making a play in this space. For authors, this can be a valuable (and relatively easy!) way to powerfully engage with readers and fans. Below is a quick roundup of a few opportunities for dipping your toe into the live content pool. Read more

Why Followers, Influencers, and Brands Should Be Your Best Friends

by Carly Gorga|September, 2015

Relationships can be hugely important in book publishing, and often these relationships begin with the author. Whether it’s an author’s relationship to his or her followers, a group of influencers, or particular brands, these connections can significantly impact the success of a book. This article explores some of these connections, citing examples of  relationship-driven campaigns that worked. I should note that although these strategies were used for cookbooks, the ideas are applicable to all genres, with a bit of creativity and flexibility. Read more