Google Hangouts on Air is a type of video call that operates like your own private television broadcast talk show. You can have up to ten people participating on the call with as many as 5,000 live viewers submitting questions via text chat. Once the show is completed an automatic YouTube video is published.

For authors, this can be a great way to build up weekly or monthly content as well as deepen connections with your target audience. A recent article on Forbes reported that the reach of video “over white papers, case studies, even live demos with reps” was significantly higher in how audiences choose to absorb new content.

Getting Started

To get started doing your own Google hangout on air, you will need to pick a topic that offers valuable content to your target audience. Offer a tutorial on a subject such as photography, business, cooking or create an “interview with an expert series.”

Cookbooks are great for hangouts on air. Simply present a program on how to make a recipe from your book. Set up a webcam in your kitchen and create a show!

Business books
offer great content for a weekly video broadcast. You can offer your own material or bring in guests to reach out to a broader audience. As your audience grows, you can bring in bigger and better experts which will significantly impact how your audience views your own expertise!

If your work is fiction you can talk about your book’s characters, background, theme or setting. Talk about the research that went into creating your book, the struggles to get characters to behave and the joy of finding answers to problems that arose during the book’s creation. You can invite other authors that relate to your audience to be guests on your show. Readers love discovering new authors and the benefit to you is that every author you showcase will happily share being on your program to their own audience.

With a hangout on air, you can offer to do a unique presentation to a book group or study club. Instead of showing up in-person which means travel, time and expense, they can either watch you as a group or from their individual locations. Once you find a book study group, invite one or two members to be guests on your show. They won’t have to drive to your own private studio to be on-camera with you but can simply tune in as with a video call on their laptop.

The big benefit of Google Hangouts on Air is that even if a group you present to has only a few “live” viewers, once your program is published on YouTube it will continue to reach new people in your target market every day.

Once you have created a few programs, you can create a special video page on your website which will enrich the content you offer. Bundle two or three videos together as a “free giveaway” for new subscribers. Include a link in your email signature to one of your best videos .

Every video you create can be tagged with related keywords to your book audience. Once the video is published, broaden its reach by sharing it on your favorite social media sites. Posting a video on YouTube is an instant win, as well as tagging it for Google Plus and Twitter. If you have a Pinterest site, you can create a unique board with your videos.

Google Hangouts has an upside and a downside, and they are one in the same. That is this…

Google hangouts is pretty new.

Downside: People are not yet familiar with how they work, how to create them and even how to participate with them. The learning curve is a bit steep but there are lots of free tutorials, mentors, tutors, classes and master groups that can help you get going.

Upside: If you want to get into the latest social media blitz before it tips – this is it! Google handles over 80% of all search engine traffic. Hangouts on Air is Google’s new brain child and they are putting all their guns and warships into winning this latest social media front. If you are a new author with little traffic and few followers, Google Hangouts On Air might be your winning ticket to pushing your book to the top.