Authors are discovering that podcasts can be used for serializing their work, and also as a marketing tool – e.g. to record and distribute interviews and readings. Over the last several years, many podcast services have sprung up to make it easier to sample some of the delights of the writer “podspace.” I’ve been exploring some of the podcasting resources lately to see what is on offer. Here are a few sites I’ve found for your consideration. Each represents a different use for an author podcast.
Authors on Tour – This site has been podcasting author readings from Denver’s fabled Tattered Cover Book Store locations for the pst couple of years. The topics and authors featured cover a wide range. The site is a blog operated by Tattered Cover, but the podcasts are produced by BurstMarketing. The structure of the site makes finding and listening to podcasts easy and enjoyable. Each podcast entry features
- Brief bio and picture of the author
- Cover, price and ISBN of the book
- Links to the publisher’s website and author site (if available)
- Link to buy the book
The listener has the choice of using an embedded MP3 player, an MP3 player in a popup, or downloading the file for later playback. Because the podcasts are recordings of live readings, you get a strong sense of the author’s personality, as well as the audience’s reaction to him orher.
Written Voices Podcasts – This is a site run by Allan Hunkin, a self publishing consultant whose services include helping authors with podcast marketing. The site features podcasts from authors in such categories as relationship, diet and nutrition, personal growth and fiction. Hunkin conducts the interview in a relaxed, but professional style. Each podcast is accompanied by an author bio, description of the book, reviews, prices and ISBN. The playback is a little awkward. Clicking the “Play” link brought up a picture of an iPod and required you to click it’s Play button. This in turn lauched my Windows Media Player.
Podiobooks.com – This site contains audio versions of books in development, generally read by their authors. This is a place where authors can showcase their work and build an audience. The entries generally feature a synopsis of the story, the book cover, whether the title is complete or in progress, and there is a an area to make donations if you choose via PayPal. If you register with Podiobooks, you can arrange to have a customized feed for each title you’re following so that you start “reading” the book from the very first page. When you subscribe to a book, chapters (or episodes containing multiple chapters) are delivered to you one at a time at the interval of your choosing. By default, your feed is updated once a week. You can change that to once a month, or once a day if you need to. Registration also allows you to rate the book. The site uses an embedded player which gives you one click listening.
As more authors become familiar with the podcast medium and its ability to extend their readership, it will know doubt take its place as a standard tool in their marketing toolkit.