Periscope for Authors: What, Why, & How?


Periscope is a live streaming app for your smartphone that allows you to share and watch other live videos from around the world. It lets you get a “visual pulse of what’s happening right now” and “discover the world through someone else’s eyes.”

While there are two ways you can use Periscope – 1. Broadcast your own content 2. Watch others broadcast their content – this article will focus on why and how to broadcast as an author.

There are only two requirements to start broadcasting – have a smartphone & have something to say. As an author, you already have a message, so broadcasting is just another way of helping you reach and connect with more people.


Periscope helps authors send their message into the world in a personal way. Who better to tell your story than you? Who better to share your content or your passion? When people SEE you, they also see your authenticity. If people like you, they’ll be interested in your books, your message, and your heart.

– Tricia Goyer

As a broadcaster, Periscope allows you to share your world with others. Whether you’re at home working on a new book, traveling for a book signing, on a family vacation, or just bored in your office, it opens up an opportunity for a whole new level of connection with your viewers. Viewers are also invited to engage by asking questions for live answers and tapping the screen to send hearts to the broadcaster.

Although it is fairly new, it looks like it is here to stay. In just a few months, Periscope reached over 10 million users – a number that has only continued climbing. It isn’t just another social media site to schedule posts for; it’s a new, unique way to engage with your current followers AND create even more fans.


Here are a few thoughts on using Periscope to help you decide if it’s the right platform for you.

  • Broadcasts are live and great for interaction, but they only live on Periscope for 24 hours.
  • Although short lived, the videos can be saved, then posted on Youtube, and shared across your social media platforms.
  • Periscope is owned by Twitter, so that is naturally the main social media connection. If your Twitter following is large, definitely consider starting to broadcast.
  • If you Twitter following is not large, starting to broadcast could help build your presence on Twitter. Plus, you can always post on Facebook and any other social media platforms to invite people to join you on Periscope.
  • It still falls into the category of “social media” rather than a main source of content (i.e. a website, blog, Youtube channel, podcast station). This makes it an “add on” rather than a “necessity.”
  • Even if you’re thinking “I don’t know…My life isn’t that interesting. No one wants to hear me ramble about what I’m working on,” remember that people love “behind the scenes” and “on the go” video content. Every broadcast doesn’t have to be profound or long. Short and sweet is still better than nothing at all.


Check out these helpful articles for more tips and tricks to getting started!

Watch this video tutorial:

Tricia Goyer’s 10 Ways to Use Periscope as an Author

1. Offer tips. I recently did a Periscope, “Writers: How NOT to give up on the book of your heart” – I shared tips, but I also talked about my book Prayers that Changed History. Think about what will be valuable a reader…don’t just think about selling a book.

2. Show Behind the Scenes. What does your desk look like? How do you research?

3. Talk about the topic of your book. This can work for fiction or non-fiction. Share background, research, historical data, or any fun stories from the writing process.

4. Use the “private” group section. Connect with book clubs or readers. This makes them feel special.

5. Answer questions live—about writing or about your book topic.

6. Start a group. Author Kim Cash Tate has built an awesome Periscope audience of women benefiting each other.

7. Set up daily chats. I know homeschoolers who offer encouragement during the weekdays at 8 a.m. and authors who do devotions every morning at a specific time.

8. If you have an online store, use promo codes. Give the codes during your scope and you’ll be able to watch the traffic.

9. Share LIVE events. Have someone hold your device for you while you speak or give a presentation.

10. Invite people to visit your website, blog or to sign up for your e-newsletter. Hold up cards to give the URLs, making it easier to write down.

Are you on Periscope? Share your experience in the comments! If you’re not already on Periscope, do you think you’ll give it a go? Let us know!


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