Author Interview- Bhargavi Swami


Can you tell us a little about your book? 

When you pick up a new skill, language, or technique, you begin with the basics. P for Podcast, is that perfect guide to help the reader journey through the exciting world of Podcasts from the eyes of Bhargavi Swami, one of India's leading Podcasters of the successful Business Podcast Show - People Who Matter. With Podcasting becoming a niche segment that has captivated professionals and amateurs alike, this book is timely in sharing the very basics and beginners lessons on the Art of Podcasting in an entertaining first-person account. Getting you the inside story of how one actually can Startup as a Podcaster and can build it into a commercially viable business is the focus of the book. 


Is there a specific event that inspired this story or was this an out-of-the-blue idea?

Podcasting is a passion project and nothing in this book could have come to life without that hunger to do something more and be innovative with the platform. While I was researching on starting as a Podcaster, I realized there was zero information on the very basic steps of becoming a Podcaster for an absolute first-timer with no connection to media production or content creation. Despite having a background in Mass comm, I had my challenges and learnings. The book is written in the first person from my own experience of starting a Podcast, seeing it scale, and then monetizing it. It's to help all those who want to get into this but don’t know-how. 


What got you writing in the first place? 

Communication especially through writing is something that comes very naturally to me. I have been writing to express myself, ever since I discovered the wonderful world of poetry and limericks. They were my first pieces of work. Writing love letters and handwritten notes for friends in the 21st century made me love the written word even more. I have to admit I have written many half-done books before this and P for Podcast was the only one I was motivated enough to complete despite a grueling work schedule. I guess my passion for this medium and my own amazing experiences in this journey got me to share the tricks of the trade with the world. 


What was your impression of your first draft when you read it?

Frankly, I have written so many first drafts for other books or scripts for web series, by the time I got to working on P for Podcast, that I knew I had to have a systematic process in place. I had etched out the chapter titles and a rough idea of what would come under each chapter in advance and they were great guides to writing the first draft. My mother who is an academic and scholar was my first editor and her feedbacks helped refine the draft and give it the shape that it is today. It felt like an amazing bonding moment with my mother after years as we always loved working on projects together. 


Which part of your story connects the most with you? Why?

Well, P for Podcast, the book is my first-person account and my first experience of writing a non-fiction book. It was an interesting journey as I kept going back to my first time as a Podcaster or just my baby steps into content creation from my college days. The memories of some great episodes that we recorded despite a lot of challenges and the number of times we were almost unable to produce content but managed a last-minute production were just truly amazing. 


What makes your book the one to read?

I am a businesswoman primarily, so let me give you some facts on why this is the next big segment to focus on. Covid 19, the Pandemic created a lockdown lifestyle leading to an adoption of a digital way of life and an explosion in content consumption. As per global stats, the growth in Audio listenership especially the Podcast segment was globally 11.07 Billion $, and this is expected to hit 60.50 Billion $ by 2027. Hence if you want to keep with the jobs and industries of the future, then Podcasting is one of the top skills for one to have in their arsenal to communicate their way to success. There is no information out there from a first person’s experience that takes you through the journey of being a Podcaster from the very beginning till monetization. Giving a real-life perspective is the aim of the book. 


What was the best advice you got while writing? 

I think one of the best things that happened to my writing was a lot of half-done works, which received criticism, gave me perspectives on what I was doing wrong in terms of writing and what my focus should be. I read a lot of essays to works in non-fiction and fiction. If you want to write a book from start to finish. Remember to research your topic well, read and watch a lot about the subject. Secondly, map out a blueprint of your book with title headers, a one to the two-line description of what the chapter would consist of, and identify any part of the day where you can keep all other distractions aside, your mobile phones primarily and write a few pages. Start with 1 page and graduate to 5 and then 10. Do not be afraid of rewriting and reviewing your writing before you proceed to give it to the first set of people to edit.  


Who’s your all-time favorite author? Which book of his/hers made you fall in love with them? 

There are some amazing writers whose works I admire. From Arvind Adiga, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kiran Desai, Chitra Divakaruni Banerjee, Ashwin Sanghi, Pearl S Buck, Wodehouse, Jeffrey Archer, Agatha Christie, J.K. Rowling, and my list goes on and on. I am also a big fan of a lot of corporate thinkers and writers and love books on the subjects of Leadership and coaching, the science of Happiness, innovation, and startups.  


What is your evergreen tip to the writers out there?

As a writer, the easiest trap to fall into is the art of procrastination the actual writing process by reading other works or researching other materials for references. Like all addictions, the voice to start somewhere has to come from within and you need to be disciplined as a writer to write a few pages every day, if possible do draw out a blueprint of the book you want to write, and that makes the journey easy. 


Do you have another plot brewing?

Well, all I had planned was to live and dwell in the book - P for Podcast for a while as with re-reading the book every single time I found something new I had tried and was waiting to improve my skill as a Podcaster. However, the writer in me has lofty plans and I am working on scripts for a web series along with planning a fiction book on a young Entrepreneur and I am interested in writing a short story collection for children inspired by my super fun and smart nephews and nieces. I will share more in the coming months.

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