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Podcast Profile


LiveWriters chats with Jenn Northington of 
Book Riot's "Get Booked"

Photo credit Swapna Krishna

Q: Get Booked is pretty huge. How has the show evolved over time? What motivated those changes or additions? 
A: The show has actually changed very little since Amanda started it, now that I think about it! It did take a little while to build up questions, but we've had no shortage for some years now; in fact, I think it's safe to declare that we'll never be able to answer every one we've gotten. (Sorry, y'all!) Amanda and I do occasionally record themed shows that aren't specific-question based (for instance, the February 25th "Cozy Show") when we notice we're getting lots of repeats around a particular topic, or if there's a theme that seems timely related to what's going on in the book world. And we'll have guests from time to time, usually based on when one or the other of us is traveling. But otherwise, it's what it says on the tin!
Q: Lots of podcast-hopefuls weigh the decision to have a cohost or to go it alone. What are the advantages of podcasting as a pair?

A: All of our main shows at Book Riot are paired, and there's a reason for that; it's extremely hard to do anything longer than a few minutes solo and maintain energy and interest! Having someone to bounce ideas off of, interact with, get differing opinions, you get the idea--it makes a world of difference. At least for me, The Handsells are as long as I can go without a cohost and feel like I'm tired of hearing myself talk, much less what listeners are interested in, and those generally aren't more than five or so minutes. Plus, I genuinely love hearing about Amanda's picks (and her dog, Petunia forever).
Q: What elements of each book do you consider before you recommend it? What characteristics does a book have to have to make the cut?

A: Well, that all depends on the question! Sometimes people are looking for very specific plot elements, or genres, or atmosphere, or character types, or combinations of those things. I do my best to match as many as possible, although longtime listeners will know I sometimes go off-the-rails when I get focused on a particular aspect of a question. And at least for me, I don't have to personally love a book to recommend it; I just need to believe it will work for the person looking for the recommendation. That doesn't mean anything goes; we have pretty enshrined values here at Book Riot around social justice, intersectional feminism, and promoting marginalized voices. And there are more than enough books to pick from!

Podcast News


Book Pages 

Pod Hack 

From Lantigua Williams & Co.'s Podcasting, Seriously Newsletter

Be very clear on who your audience is. That is the foundation for creating a successful show. Juleyka likes to say, "If you're making a podcast for everyone, you're not making a podcast for anyone." Who is your ideal listener? What do they look like? How old are they? Are they single? Married with kids? Where do they live? What are their hobbies and interests?

Start by creating an avatar— a hypothetical person who embodies your ideal listener. Build a psychographic profile around your listener that answers the questions above. To build, grow and monetize your show, you need to put it in front of the right audience. Being clear on who you're making the show for from the start will help you avoid wasting time and resources focusing on people that aren't part of this group. And the better you know your audience, the more effectively you can attract advertisers who want to reach them.

Listen to this episode on Latina to Latina where Juleyka talks about creating a successful podcast by defining your listeners first.

(Learn more about creator Manuela Bedoya here!)


For this Replay pick, we recommend readers and listeners check out "The Brothers Mankiewicz: Hope, Heartbreak, and Hollywood Classics by Sydney Ladensohn Stern" (Feb. 27) from WritersCast with host David Wilk. 

WritersCast regularly features one-of-a-kind author interviews, and its home website,, also takes readers and listeners to Publishing Talks, interviews with publishers; book news; readings and events; and more. Archives go back to 2008, so it's also a great source of information on talk-worthy backlist titles. 

In his interview with Ladensohn, Wilk dives into Hollywood history, what it's like for an author to dig that deeply into the lives of others, tips on hunting through historical records, and the particular challenges of writing a dual biography. As often is the case, Ladensohn explains, real-life "characters" can prove to be more commanding, more impressive, and more complex than fictional protagonists, and Hollywood in the early 20th century was a fascinating backdrop for the dramas we would marvel at so many years later. Give this episode a listen to find out why. 

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