I just posted Chapter Four: Friends Like These of the podcast version of my novel A Time and Place up on Podbean. The entire podcast (so far) is available via the big purple link below. Check it out by following the link at the bottom of this post, or at various places throughout.
A while back I promised to explain why I’m posting it as a podcast.
A few reasons.
Number one, I’m about to launch another podcast with my friend and fellow writer Mark Rayner, author of such fine fare as The Fatness and Alpha Max. (More about that podcast later, in another post.) Investigating how best to launch a podcast, I came across Podbean as a potential hosting service but wanted to try it out first. How though?
It just so happened I have all the audio files for A Time and a Place right here on my hard drive, originally created for the audiobook version. So I thought what the heck, I’ll put it up as a podcast, see how that goes.
And I have to say that it went pretty smoothly, in terms of the mechanics of turning it into a podcast. Podbean is pretty user friendly.
But why turn a book currently for sale into a free podcast?
For a few reasons.
Number one, I first published A Time and a Place in 2017. It has sold fairly consistently since then, but sales have definitely dwindled in all its various forms, mainly because of next to zero visibility. I don’t do any paid advertising for it because it’s not worth it for just one book (ideally you want to have a series in place. I’m working on that.)
So it’s not like I would lose any money by podcasting ATAAP for free. Sure Podbean costs a bit of money, but I’ll be paying for it anyway, for the other podcast Mark and I will be doing. If anything, podcasting A Time and a Place could conceivably make me money by increasing visibility for the book. For instance, if someone listens to a few episodes and decides they don’t want to wait around for the next chapters (which drop once per week). Or someone who listens and just wants to show their support by purchasing a copy in some form.
It’s also potentially monetized because I’ve placed a sort of “tip” jar on the podcast home page. (It ain’t easy to find, but it’s there at the bottom. Just look for the word “Donate.”) If you do opt to donate, thanks! (You will, very likely, be the first to do so.)
It’s not like I need the money. But creators like me do need to be careful about giving our art away for free. It potentially devalues not only our art but all art, no matter the medium. Ideally, when we do give it away for free, we do so strategically, to generate further interest in our product(s). To quote author Cory Doctorow, my problem isn’t poverty, it’s obscurity. (It’s less of a problem now for him than it is for me).
So how’s the ATAAP podcast going so far? From the beginning of my writing journey I resolved to be honest and transparent about the whole process. Same holds true for this podcasting venture. Four chapters in there have been a total of 78 downloads. 41 for chapter one, 21 for chapter two, 11 for chapter three, and 4 for chapter four. It’s been downloaded from Canada, the United States, Australia, France, England, and Russia. 70.0% from Google Chrome, 10.0% from Podbean, 10.0% from Podcast Addict, and 10.0% from Spotify.
If you’re one of those listening, I hope you’re enjoying it.