It was all going great until…
Over a week ago I had a wonderful guest scheduled for Books in Heinessight to discuss how I was going to sell a million books in the next year. What happened is what can happen to any podcast host and in this short and easy to follow blog, I will tell you three things you can do when a podcast guest cancels.
It was all going great until right at the very last minute. Well, actually there were five or six hours until the podcast, but I had to set up my lights and write my script.
1 Million Books in 1 Year Challenge
The fact is, I have been working furiously for months getting ready for the 1 Million Books in 1 Year Challenge. I have been editing, reformatting and republishing six books across Amazon, KOBO, iTunes and soon Heinessight Books will be on Ingram Spark.
In order to increase my Heinessight brand awareness, I started designing my own line of Heinessight apparel. I have designs ranging from political to religious, and all of them unique designs thought up and designed by me and a lot of help from Canva.
In order pre-kick off the event, I needed to invite a guest on Books in Heinessight who could:
Give me and my listeners and viewers advice on how to sell a million books.
Of course, I would be asking them to cite their experiences. I want my listeners to glean as much information about how to turn their works into sales as possible. I needed someone who either helped to get books to market, or someone who had been through the process.
My First Mistake
I think my first mistake was to go through a spam email I get occasionally, if daily qualifies as occasionally. Since it says podcasts guests in the subject line, I thought that it was a gift from heaven or a sign of destiny, depending upon your disposition.
I scrolled through until I found what I was looking for, an author and comedian who did public performances. Of course it didn’t hurt much that she was attractive and would make a nice thumbnail for my podcast and YouTube.
I sent off an inquiry immediately, hoping to hear a response in few days. You can guess my surprise when I had a response within a few minutes. I was probably so surprised that I didn’t see the warning signs, but in Heinessight, they were there.
“Who is this? How did you get my name?” was the response.
I texted her back and explained I wanted her to be a guest on my podcast. “Books in Heinessight to talk about how to sell 1 Million Books in 1 Year.“
We then went back and forth for a few minutes when I finally suggested we speak on the phone.
It Was Going Great Until…
We spoke for almost twenty minutes and everything seemed to be coming up clover for Books in Heinessight. She was hilarious. She was smart and she had a great voice.
I explained to her that I was just a small podcast trying to get back on its feet after a year’s absence. There had been a political campaign during the summer. There was also another podcast I had started about aliens, Bigfoot and Dogman called Encounters USA.
Encounters USA really piqued her interest. She even offered to have me on her podcast with her and her son in the future. Things were going swimmingly.
With a guest like her starting off the 1 Million Books in 1 Year Challenge, what could go wrong?
We booked a date for Friday evening, 7 p.m. Central Time.
I then had a chance to go over her website and see what kind of comedian she was and what kind of books she wrote. Let’s just say, I was impressed. She was hilarious. It was going to be a great podcast and with her good looks, I was bound to bring on the viewers and subscribers.
It really was exciting. An author, a comedian and someone who shared my penchant for dry wit and puns.
Friday morning, day of podcast, I received the text message no podcaster wants to get.
What time is the podcast?
The reason no podcaster wants to hear that question is – it leaves it open for the guest to actually know the time of the event that is going to keep them from doing your podcast.
When I repeated the time by text, she explained there was a family issue that had to be dealt with and could we do it an hour later.
And so it went on and on through trying to reschedule for later and then the next day. Each attempt leading more and more to me getting the Jeffrey Dahmer treatment. In other words, every time I proposed an alternative, I got the cold shoulder.
I finally gave in and suggested she try contacting me in April and I would see if I had any openings then.
And so we come to the point of what are three things we can do when the podcast guest cancels.
3 Things To Do When A Podcast Guest Cancels
Don’t Get Mad – Get Even
A lot goes into making a podcast. Just the prep work involved includes writing scripts, doing promotions on social media and other outlets. The promotions themselves involve hours of designing thumbnails for podcast and videos that will attract attention and excite interest in the podcast.
When someone cancels it’s like they just stole hours of your life you will never see again.
Some podcast hosts recommend sure and swift retaliation for this kind of impromptu absence from their podcast. A general consensus of podcast hosts provides a list of common retaliations meted out to guests for cancelling at the last minute.
“You’ll never work in this town again!” A classic retaliation used by media moguls to force Hollywood Stars to put out or get up, or was that put up or get in? Either way, the sheer number of podcasts and the volunteer status of guests limit its effectiveness.
Dead horse head in bed – although still effective, the continued use of it and domestic servants since the The Godfather came out in the 1970’s has created a desensitizing effect and is more often taken as a practical joke than a form of Umberto.
Unwanted magazine subscriptions – A truant podcast guest will definitely think twice about cancelling on your podcast when they find themselves explaining the latest edition of Gay Asian Porn Magazine out of Hung Lo China in the mailbox.
Turn the Other Cheek
Around holiday time, there is no better time to just forgive and forget. Your podcast guest really may have had an issue and not just found your little podcast not worth the return on their time or investment, as you and everyone who has listened to your podcast might be inclined to think.
Somewhere in Between
Although I myself subscribe to Jesus’ admonition to forgive others their trespasses so that Jesus will forgive mine, it’s my first inclination to always believe the word of any guest who fails to keep a podcast appointment. Since there has only been one, my faith has not really been tested. Still, I cannot resist the temptation to resort to Option 1, while keeping the spirit of Option 2 alive.
So, I have left open the option of my cancelled guest returning in April.
April 1, that is.
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Matthew Heines is an author and veteran of the US 82nd Airborne Division with over twenty years of experience teaching in the USA, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman. Matthew Heines has six books currently in publication titled, My Year in Oman, Another Year in Oman, Killing Time in Saudi Arabia, Deceptions of the Ages, The Rainier Paradigm and Heinessights: Wisdom for the Ages. Currently living near Seattle, in Washington State, Matthew Heines is active in politics and has run, and is currently running for the US House of Representatives.