What is the NBN?

The NBN is a network of author-interview podcasts focused on academic books.

What is the mission of the NBN?

The NBN’s mission is public education. The NBN also serves the interests of publishers seeking to publicize their books, academic institutions that want to publicize what they do, and authors who want to be heard by a broader public.

How was the NBN started?

The NBN was founded by Marshall Poe in 2010. In 2007, Poe, then a professor at the University of Iowa, started a podcast called “New Books in History” in an effort to spread the word about good history books. That podcast proved successful. Other academics began to contact Poe asking why there were not “New Books in….” podcasts for other fields. Thinking such podcasts might serve the mission (public education), Poe began to launch other “New Books in…” podcasts under the banner of “The New Books Network.” The NBN then grew organically over the next decade as new channels were launched.

What kinds of podcasts are on the NBN?

The NBN features two types of podcasts. First, there are “New Books in…” podcasts. These are podcasts directly created and maintained by the NBN that feature (inter alia) interviews with authors about new books in the titular field of the channel. Second, there are hosted podcasts. These are academic podcasts that are created by individuals or institutions that are hosted and distributed by the NBN.

Who are the NBN hosts?

The NBN hosts are almost all professors and graduate students with subject-matter expertise, though there is no formal requirement that NBN hosts be professors or graduate students.

Can I become an NBN host?

If you have an area of expertise, yes. If you are interested in becoming an NBN host, please see “Learn More About Hosting” and “Become an NBN Host.” Each host must apply and be individually vetted.

What kind of books does the NBN cover?

Most of the books covered by our hosts are academic monographs. We also cover other kinds of books, namely those published by trade publishers.

Who chooses the books covered by the NBN?

Each NBN host selects the books they will cover.

How do I get a book covered by the NBN?

We encourage all authors and publishers to submit their books to the NBN for consideration. If you would like to submit a book, please see “Pitch a Book.” Once a book is submitted, it goes into a database accessible to all the hosts. The hosts review submissions and pick books. It is also a good idea to pitch individual hosts. You do this by searching the NBN catalog for books on a similar topic and then identifying the host who did the interview. You then should write the host an email asking if they would like to do an interview about the book.

The NBN does not cover my field. How can I start a “New Books in…” podcast on the NBN?

The NBN launches new “New Books in…” channels with some regularity. Our goal is to cover as much academic ground as possible. If you are interested in working with us to launch a new channel, please see “Launch an NBN Channel.”

I have an academic podcast. How do I get that podcast on the NBN?

The NBN is proud to host many academic podcasts. The advantage of having an academic podcast on the NBN is three-fold. First, the podcast will be presented to the large NBN audience directly and via “cross-posting” to “New Books in…” podcasts where appropriate. Second, the NBN will take care of all the technical details of podcasting (maintaining the RSS feed, distribution to the podcast apps, and in some cases audio editing). Third, the NBN will archive and make permanently available all a podcast’s episodes on the NBN website. This is a permanent repository that visitors use like a library. If you are interested in having the NBN host and distribute your podcast, please see “Partner with the NBN.”

I want to start an academic podcast and have it hosted by and distributed on the NBN. How do I do that?

We are always glad to help people who want to start an academic podcast. If you would like to work with us to start a podcast, do contact us. Please bear in mind that the NBN and all of its podcasts are permanent resources. You might think of the podcasts we host as academic journals in the sense that they are not limited series. Rather, they are ongoing enterprises. Starting a podcast is a serious endeavor that requires time and commitment.

How is the NBN funded?

The primary source of revenue for the NBN is advertising. The advertisements on the NBN are of two types. First, there are programmatic advertisements. These are slotted into NBN episodes by our podcast host, Megaphone. The NBN does not choose these advertisements; rather, they are selected (within certain limits) by Megaphone. Second, there are direct advertisements. These are advertisements in which an advertiser specifically asked the NBN to promote whatever they are promoting. Normally, these advertisements will be read by an NBN staff member. If you are interested in advertising on the NBN, please see the “Advertise on the NBN.” The NBN also has partnerships with publishers and academic institutions. If you are interested in working with the NBN, please see “Partner with the NBN.”

How do I contact the NBN?

We are always glad to hear from listeners and those who might like to work with us. To contact us, please write Marshall Poe at marshallpoe@newbooksnetwork.com.