Podcasting your way to a bigger audience–PART 1

My husband has been bugging me about doing a podcast for a year now. I have a book series for women–chick lit–by precise definition. The stories are bold and fun, and deal with topics that constantly saturate our conversations: men, marriage, what we want to do with our lives, and sex. He told me about this guy Scott Sigler that went from being just another author to getting a big publishing deal all by recording his stories and letting people listen to them for free on his website. I thought to myself: OK, I believe it (especially after another mediocre year of book sales). But the idea of actually doing the podcast felt like it was going to be an immense effort, because of course in my mind it was already a big production. I would have to hire actors to do the voices of the different characters because no one would be interested in just listening to my voice. There would have to be sound effects, and music, just like on This American Life…but 2009 being my year of taking action, I saddled up and started trotting on the path towards a “no frills” podcast.

You have already noticed that this is Part 1 of my podcast blog, because even though I decided to record my podcast “no frills” I stalled out today. I had no idea it was going to be so hard recording a 20 minute monologue, but it has been. First of all, I have been dealing with sinus issues for several months so my voice sounds off, and then I realized that my voice really has several tones depending on how I’m feeling, who I’m talking to, and the time of day. Even though I have recorded this monologue three times, it’s virtually impossible for me to cut and paste all the parts I like into one podcast.

But I am not giving up, and I don’t want you to either. I believe creating a podcast will be a great addition to my marketing efforts and yours as well. Think about it, people don’t always have time to read, not everybody can read, and there are a lot of people that would not survive their commute or the traffic on it were it not for books on tape (the grandfather of podcasts). Believe it, and get going on your podcast today!

The first thing I did was an Internet search for “creating a podcast”. I got a link to a great how-to video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hrBbczS9I0&feature=channel_page. As per this video you need four things to get your podcast rolling:

1) microphone ,

2) audio editing software,

3) a website or hosting service you can upload your podcast to, and

4) an RSS feed.

Here is where I am at: I have a Logitech microphone with a USB cable that plugs right into my computer, and as per the video I went to http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ to download audio editing software. However, if you have Garage Band on your Apple computer, or even Windows MovieMaker, I believe you will be able to accomplish the same thing. While I was on the Audacity website I also downloaded software to convert my raw audio file into an mp3 file; that’s what the video suggests and that’s an audio file format that I believe the whole world is familiar with. You can find other software on the Internet that does this, I just decided to spray two squirrels with one water gun. Microphone in hand I have been recording my audio file. I hope by tomorrow I sound less nasal and more like a happy customer service representative so I can finish recording my voice, play around with adding a little music, and figure out how to upload it somewhere for the world to see.

Stay tuned folks, Part 2 is on its way…

As always, I am happy to answer questions or help you brainstorm ideas for your project through my website: www.aohwrite.com.

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