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.
2 thoughts on “Podcast fiction”
This is an interesting concept for any author-independant or otherwise. I’d have to get somebody else to read my stories, however. My voice is horrible.
I really can’t wait until my wife and I join the 21st Century and get DSL so I can finally download some of your films.
I’m planning to read my fiction in my natural voice. The Northern Ireland accent is … well, it’s different. Foreigners have trouble understanding us, because we tend to speak very fast so that we drop syllables and allow words to drift into each other, as well as making up new words. For instance, I can easily make sense of the expression “m’braw” as “my brother”, and words like “querr”, which means “great”. So, whilst you might look in confusion at someone who said, “M’braw’s a querr fella,” I’d know exactly what was spoken.
Obviously, I will not be reading my fiction like that!