Sunday, July 15, 2012

Gone podcasting...

I've interrupted my posting of 365 Jobs.  I'll get back to it in a few weeks.  Every once in a while - I'm sorry - but I have to do a podcast.  I just have to.  I've started recording a new one, and it will take a few weeks.  It's an obsessive, all-consuming project.  There's no time for anything else.

I became interested in podcasting about 5 years ago, when it was a relatively new frontier.  I'd just finished writing my novel Clear Heart and was looking for what every writer needs, the two "pubs": publicity and publication.

I ended up self-publishing Clear Heart and self-publicizing it by recording it as an audiobook to be distributed as a podcast.  I hoped that people would hear the podcast (for free) and then want to buy a copy of the book (for money). 

The podcast was and still is a popular success, but it didn't convert into book sales.  And why should it?   People listen, then they're done with the story - why read it again?

In the process, I came to love podcasting.  I love making audiobooks.  It's like a street performance with my hat out on the sidewalk seeded with a few dollar bills.  There's very little money to be made - a few people leave "tips" for the podcaster, but most people simply listen and then move on.  And that's okay. 

Five years after I started, the podcasting of audiobooks remains a relatively obscure subculture.  With the worldwide reach of the web, podcasting has the potential to reach billions of people.  One could at least dream of reaching millions.

In reality, I've reached about 60,000 people.  I'm still reaching a couple of thousand new people every month.  As a radio show, those numbers would mean I'm a dismal failure.  As a podcaster, I'm not ashamed.

For the new podcast, I'll be recording Danny Ain't.  By now I have realistic expectations.  There's no recognition by any other media.  It won't help sales of print or ebook versions.

I do it for love.  I love giving voice to what I've written, and I get satisfaction from having people hear it.  I love literature as an oral tradition, and I love being part of that tradition. 

I want to thank Evo Terra and all the folks at for hosting my podcasts and for their technical help.

If you're interested, you can download my podcasts from the iTunes "store."  They're free.  Simply go to the iTunes store and search for "Joe Cottonwood."  The most popular title is Babcock, followed by Clear Heart and then Boone BarnabyClear Heart is strictly for adults.  Babcock and Boone Barnaby are for all ages.

And of course, I'll let you know when Danny Ain't becomes available for downloading as a podcast.

If you don't care about podcasts, my apologies.  I'll get back to blogging (which I love as much as podcasting) in a week or two.  Or three.  It's summer.  Let's have fun.