Scott Sigler, Seth Harwood, ‘Mighty’ Mur Lafferty, and most recently Phillipa Ballantine: all these people are podcaster authors who have secured publishing deals because of the care, dedication and effort they put into serialising their work as podcasts.
What is a Podcast?
A year ago I wouldn’t have been able to answer this. To me podcasts were something alien that you probably needed an iPod to experience. Thanks to some schooling from, among others, Tabitha Grace Smith, I now know differently.
A podcast is a series of digital media files, usually digital audio or video, that is made available for download via Web syndication. The syndication aspect of the delivery is what differentiates podcasts from other files accessible by direct download or streaming: it means that special software applications, generically known as podcatchers (such as Apple Inc.‘s iTunes or Nullsoft‘s Winamp), can automatically identify and retrieve new files associated with the podcast when they are made available, and that these files can be stored locally on the user’s computer or other device for offline use.”
Why is this of interest to writers?
There are two main reasons:
Firstly, the people I mentioned above have become published authors because they have given their work out for free in podcast form. Some have given out free PDFs of their work, too. They gave it away and they still landed publishing deals.
Secondly, reading your work out gives you a very different perspective on your writing. I had read advice that told you to you should read it out loud but I hadn’t tried it before. I have been busily editing my novel (more about that soon) and wanted to try this technique. Let me tell you – it really works! If forces you to really read the words and pacing, intonation and style really come through. I also picked up basic typos that I had completely missed before.
Launching a Podcast
If you want to look into Podcasting I’ll be writing more about it next week with references and useful websites. In the meantime I’m editing and preparing to launch my new Podcast. It will be the first five chapters of my novel plus an omnibus. Each chapter is short – about 5 minutes long – so it will be ideal for a quick hit of humour! I have a reader, music and now all I need to complete is the promo. Exciting times!