In Your Corner: More on Podcasts (Part IV)

A month ago, I started a series on podcasting for self-publishing authors. For more explanations of why podcasting is an important tool for authors, check out the second post in this series, and for my reflections on the nitty-gritty of recording and editing those podcasts check out the third post in this series. This week, I’m back to complete the series with some final thoughts on podcasts and how they relate to self-publishing.

professional microphone

We are not the first blog to point out a connection between self-publishing and podcasting. Even a cursory Google search for the terms “self-publishing” and “podcast” together turns up thousands of relevant hits, including podcasts from self-publishing companies (e.g. the “story studio” Sterling & Stone), podcasts wherein the podcaster interviews famous and/or successful self-publishing authors (e.g. the Self-Publishing School), podcasts by self-publishing authors themselves (e.g. Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula and the Self-Publishing Authors podcast). These are just a few examples of the podcasts themselves, but there are also plenty of blogs who have put together lists of the top ten or so self-publishing related podcasts for you to peruse (we’re particular fans of Kindlepreneur’s list, as it mostly lines up with our own experience and has great rules for inclusion).

The downside of these lists, including our own mentions? You might become convinced that podcasting as a self-publishing author can or ought to only look one way, and that’s to say you might feel pressured to talk about the process of publishing and marketing your book, which may or may not be your comfort zone. Especially if you’re a self-publishing author just getting into the industry and you don’t feel as though you’ve got this polished life to offer up in thirty-minute chunks every month, podcasting the way that the podcasts on these lists do may feel preemptive.

The fact of the matter is, a podcast can look like whatever you want it to look like. And you don’t have to “have it all put together” (in your life or in respect to your publishing experience) in order to get started; many of the best podcasts today started with several extremely messy, experimental episodes as their creators worked out what they wanted the podcasts to be. You can use your podcast to read excerpts. You can use it to talk about your experience as it happens, warts and all. You can use it to talk about other self-published books, or engage with other self-publishing authors. Keeping a seed planted at the back of your mind that the podcast is another extension of your marketing strategy, do all the things you want to do and don’t wait to get started! That’s always the hardest part, isn’t it?

We hope you do decide to experiment with podcasting, and if you do, we’d love to boost your voice. Pop a link to your podcast in our comments, and we’ll happily make a mention on our blog!

You are not alone. ♣︎


Elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

 

In Your Corner: More on Podcasts (Part III)

Several weeks ago, I started a series on podcasting for self-publishing authors. For more explanations of why podcasting is an important tool for authors, check out last week’s post. I’m back this week to talk about the nitty-gritty of recording and editing those podcasts!

professional microphone

Generally speaking, there are very few requirements for putting together a fairly decent podcast, and most of the platforms are free. (Or, they only start charging fees after a certain number of podcasts have been uploaded. I’ll touch on distribution platforms and their fees in my next post on the subject.)

The recipe is simple, the ingredients few:

  • something with a decent microphone
  • a robust Internet connection for conducting interviews without lag
  • a software program to allow Voice Over IP (VOIP) conversations for the same
  • a software program to record and edit your audio

That’s really, truly, about it. And if you’re not interested in conducting interviews as a part of your podcast (although I highly recommend it as a way to alert other authors to your work, and to make your podcast feel more collaborative), then you don’t even need to worry so much about the Internet connectivity or the VOIP software. If you do go that direction, and you don’t already have Internet at home, you can probably reserve a study room at your local public library and use their wifi. (Some libraries even have recording studios you can book for free!) I recommend using something like Skype or Google Hangouts for the VOIP software, as they’re both free, and there are other, higher-quality services which you can pay for if it becomes important to your podcast.

The microphone is also negotiable! I have friends who have invested in high-quality standalone mics that plug into their laptops, but I’ve always found that my laptop microphone is decent enough at recording that I don’t need to worry about quality. When I’m traveling, I use a little handheld, battery-operated digital recorder that I bought used on Amazon a decade ago for other reasons (mainly, I had my best writing ideas while driving, and I kept forgetting them by the time I got to my destination, so I picked up the recorder to make recording them easy; I don’t recommend writing while driving). But really, the simplest option is usually the best, and the option you’re most familiar with.

The software you use for recording and editing is by far the most important component of this recipe! As with the VOIP software, there are lots of great options which you can download and use for free; I recommend Audacity, which is robust enough to do all the things you’ll need it for, and used by enough other people that there are lots of “how-to” videos online to explain the more obscure details, like how to reduce background noise and merge two audio files together. Audacity is free, and while it’s not pretty, it gets the job done if you take some time to familiarize yourself with how it looks and feels. I don’t recommend downloading programs from the Internet if you’re not one hundred percent sure you’re getting the right thing and from a reliable, virus-free source, so chat with your local Technology Specialist Librarian or other tech-savvy individual before choosing a program and a source to download it from. If you’re just not comfortable with downloads at all, take a look at the audio editing software programs available for purchase through Amazon; there are lots of options, some of them affordable.

For those of you already deep into the podcasting process, what do you use to record your podcasts?

You are not alone. ♣︎


Elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

 

In Your Corner: More on Podcasts (Part II)

Last week, I started a new series on the merits of podcasting. This week, I’d like to dive in a little deeper….

professional microphone

Podcasts are wonderful. I don’t know how much you know about them, but I spend a fair bit of every day listening to these wonderful recordings which are streamed via a number of apps and websites–SoundCloud, Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and more–and saved to my phone by default. They cover an endless variety of subjects, but the ones I mostly listen to have to do with science, technology, film and television, books and book reviews, and gardening. There are knitting podcasts, social justice podcasts, music podcasts, and cute animals doing cute things podcasts.

Having even tried my hand in the past at podcasting myself, I can say with confidence that with a little time and effort, this is something almost anyone with a computer and a built-in microphone can do. Audacity remains the best and most widely-available software in which to record, edit, and otherwise “mix” your audio tracks, but a component of the whole process which has evolved somewhat in recent years is the importance of social networking to a podcast’s success. Just look at how well the Nerdette podcast has done in engaging fans on Twitter, Goodreads, and elsewhere! Science Friday has a great and constantly updated website!

I highly recommend spending a little time exploring the notion, at least. Done well and thoroughly socially networked, podcasts can have enormous reach. And they are also a lot of fun! You don’t have to limit yourself to talking about your book, although that’s certainly an option; you might as well discuss any interesting thing you love.

You are not alone. ♣︎


Elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

In Your Corner: Can you use podcasts to promote your book?

Short answer? Absolutely!

podcast

If you haven’t already heard about podcasts, these are recorded sessions of either music or spoken audio. Podcasts that focus on books are perfect because they are already written (so you aren’t making something up at the same time you record) and they are either entertaining or educational (or both).

Recording a podcast of your self-published book is a great way to promote it. Once your podcast is recorded, you can upload it to popular sites like iTunes and reach a whole new audience.

Scribl is a relatively easy way to start creating a podcast for your book. You will find helpful instructions for what you need in the way of hardware and software to make your first recording. They also allow you to upload your files to their site for free, but once you have your podcast file (usually an mp3 file) don’t forget to upload it to other popular sites, too.  You can conduct a search on Google to find sites where you can upload your podcast, and you can submit your podcast feed URL to the iTunes Store here.

Other links that will help you down the road of podcasting include:
audacity.sourceforge.net
blogtalkradio.com

If you find that you have more questions, don’t worry! I’ll be delving more into podcasts over the coming weeks.

You are not alone. ♣︎


Elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

Using Podcasts to Promote Your Self Published Book

Perhaps you’ve heard about podcasts? These are recorded sessions of either music or talking. Podcasts that focus on books are perfect because they are already written (so you aren’t making something up at the same time you record) and they are either entertaining or educational (or both).

Recording a podcast of your self-published book is a great way to promote it. Once your podcast is recorded, you can upload it to popular sites like itunes.com and reach a whole new audience.

Podiobooks.com is a relatively easy way to start creating a podcast for your book. You will find helpful instructions for what you need in the way of hardware and software to make your first recording. They also allow you to upload your files to their site for free, but once you have your podcast file (usually an mp3 file) don’t forget to upload it to other popular sites, too.  You can conduct a search on Google to find sites where you can upload your podcast, and you can submit your podcast feed URL to the iTunes Store here.

Other links that will help you down the road of podcasting include:
audacity.sourceforge.net
mypodcast.com
switchpod.com
blogtalkradio.com

Good luck and have fun!
Kelly Schuknecht
selfpublishingadvice.wordpress.com