Sunday, November 17, 2013

NW Bookfest '13 Workshop Review #8: Podcasting for Writers

(Image:  Apple's podcast logo)
My sister "Rox of Spazhouse," has been a member of Weekend Justice for several years now.  Subject matter on the bi-weekly show usually revolve around sci-fi movies and TV shows, but also include music, technology, writing and pop culture in general.
While Weekend Justice bills itself as the "Internet's #1 Audio Trainwreck,"  there are other "cataclysmic" podcasts rampaging through cyberspace, covering as many topics as there are...well...topics.
Podcasting has even become popular within the wargaming community...
(Image from Boardgamegeek)
...okay, maybe it's a tad too popular.
Anyway, while I haven't made up my mind about following in my sister's footsteps, I'm intrigued with the idea of podcasting.  So the Podcasting for Writers workshop was another "must attend" item on my NW Bookfest list. 
The seminar was hosted by sci-fi author Cat Rambo, whose works can be found on The Escape Pod.
First off, what exactly is a podcast?
Cat's non-Wikipedia definition was:  An audio file that can by played or downloaded onto a computer or mobile device.
The benefits of podcasting are--
--Introduces a new set of readers to your work.
--Narrating your own podcast build confidence in public speaking and appearances.
--It's good exposure.
--When authors narrate their own work, it tends to improve sales.
What do you need in order to conduct a podcast?
A computer.
A good microphone.  (Cat recommended Snowball microphones).
And appropriate software, like--
--Audacity and
What do you podcast about?
Pick a story to read aloud.
Humor is often well received.
If you pick a tear-jerker, make sure you can get through it without sobbing.
Pick a story not heavily relying on dialogue, unless you can do voices.
Select a spot without a lot of ambient noise.  Don't do it in a large room.
Be sure to feed pets and children before you begin your show.
You can record other people's stories--if you have their permission.
Basic podcasting involves recording, editing and exporting in an MP3 Format. 
Some helpful hints that will make the process go smoother, included--
--Listen to your recording afterwards.
--Clap or shout when you make a mistake, so you can spot it on the audio track.
--Use only license-free music.
--Eat a slice of green apple before casting to help keep your mouth and throat "crisp."
--Keep drinking water handy.
--It often takes 2-3 times longer to edit than it does to do the initial recording.
How often should you podcast?
--This depends on what you're comfortable doing.
--Pick a schedule and be consistent.
You can even make a video podcast using Google Hangouts.
Up to 10 people can be hosted on a video call.  The session is broadcast live and can then be pushed to YouTube.
For more info, along with technical support, check out--
--or even take one of Cat's online classes.
Okay folks, that's a wrap!

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