Podcasting for Authors: Considering the Possibility!
Writer‘s Digest March/April issue had an article about building an authors platform. One suggestion was to produce a podcast. I have been producing a podcast titled, Authors of the Pacific Northwest for little over a year.
This post will focus on the four main points one should consider before launching into podcasting.
Future posts will elaborate on these four details with my experiences & suggestions.
Purpose: it would be beneficial to consider the purpose of your podcast.
Do you have a specialty? Do you have new information to share with listeners? Are you writing non-fiction works that would translate to a podcast? Do you write in a genre that would fit well with a podcast; mysteries, true crime, or science fiction?
Plan the purpose of the podcast. The easiest way to discover the purpose of your podcast is to ask, who do you wish to listen to the podcast. How can you grow those listeners into future readers?
I narrowed in on my purpose. Then I wrote a purpose statement. Having a purpose statement helped guide me through the other three considerations. The purpose statement kept me grounded as I moved through the months of developing & recording.
Here is a snapshot of the purpose statement I send out in the communication to authors who I am recruiting to come on the podcast:
Time: Consider the time commitment. The production workflow for producing a podcast is time consuming. You will need to dedicate a good amount of time developing, writing, interviewing, hunting down guest, recording, editing, and marketing your podcast.
My podcast workflow quickly competed with my writing time. However, once mastered, the process of creating a podcast became automatic & less time consuming.
Overall, the time commitment to learning a workflow for development was well worth the experience of fulfilling the purpose of the podcast.
Technology: The learning curve for the technology skills needed can be steep. Unless you have a music, movie, or sound producer living with you, you need to consider the learning curve to record, edit, host, and publish an episode.
I have music, movie, and sound producers in my life. I could not justify the time it would take them to instruct me regarding how to use the tools to produce my podcast. I knew, going into producing a podcast that I needed to take the time to learn how to manage the technology skills on my own.
As a visual learning, I found that YouTube tutorials and reviews on the tools essential. Going beyond analyzing equipment, I needed to have training on the software tools, and hosting platforms. YouTube has a wealth of videos on recording podcast episodes, all for free!
Technology is expensive; narrow down technology needs. Read and watch reviews of each piece of equipment before you invest.
Most of the startup time included months of researching the following items I knew I needed to purchase to run the most inexpensive podcast I could produce: laptops, microphones, recording tools, editing software, and hosting platform for podcasts, before the launch of the first episode.
Format: You should start thinking about the format of your podcast by being an avid podcast listener. Podcasts are in their renaissance. At the start, many were rambling talk show format where one or more hosts talked about topics they enjoyed. Recently, a surge of drama related script based podcasts have taken over the streaming waves. If you are thinking about using a podcast to help you find your book audience, consider your format, wisely.
Will you interview guests? How do you find those guests?
Will you tell stories? Who will write the stories?
Will you create a drama series?
Do you plan on just recording yourself? How do you record others?
Will you cohost?
Are you only going to be using audio or will you use video?
In the past year of producing an podcast I will testify that producing a podcast has been everything I had hoped; rewarding, consuming, energizing, challenging, frustrating, and educational. If you plan to launch yourself in the world of podcasting, remember these four considerations.
Podcasts tend to be organic, creative ventures. The process, workflow, and methods evolve as you grow in your abilities. You may even find the learning curve is rewarding when producing a podcast. The process may simulate your creative energy as it can empower your writing skills.