I’m feeling inspired by a bloke called Scott Sigler, the pioneer of the “podcast novel.” Audiobooks have been around for decades, of course, and they were never very popular, but I can’t help thinking that the current interest in iPods and podcasting might fuel interest in the format (you can hardly walk down a corridor in the school these days without seeing white earplugs sticking out of kids’ ears).
The original method of digital book publishing, the ebook, failed because no one invented a comfortable method of delivery that could supercede good ol’-fashioned paper. Maybe podcast fiction is in with a shot. In addition to Mr Sigler’s site, Escape Pod is also worth a listen. It podcasts sci-fi short stories regularly and boasts a download rate of around 7,000 listeners per story. That knocks the socks off all small press fiction mags.
As for my own online publishing efforts, the combined total plays and downloads of the four music tracks I’ve uploaded to my MacIdol page is currently over 2,400. And I did very little promoting to achieve that figure. As far as the MP3 format goes, online distribution is definitely not something to be ignored, especially when compared with all the hard work that went into shifting 1,000 paperbacks of my novel Ulterior.
I certainly won’t be abandoning traditional book publishing, but I need to give some serious thought to this podcasting lark. A good starting point might be to recite a short story for you, and see how the stats look after a month or two.
As for Chionophobia, editing has come to a standstill for a while, due to the house move, but I’m still aiming to keep my September deadline.