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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Search for Podcasts

I started listening to podcasts while I'm at work--mostly to block out the noise from the printer next to me--and I found some really entertaining ones. I love the Freakonomics podcast and Mysterious Universe, the Unexplained, and Science Hour, but finding a good writing podcast has been hard.

There was a podcast that looked promising and it was only about 20 minutes long. Unfortunately, it started out with 10 minutes of "rate me highly on iTunes" and shilling for the the paid version of the show.

At last, though, she started talking about writing, but it was nothing helpful or informative. I deleted her podcast from my iPad when she said her friend's publisher had done any promotion for her and she'd paid thousands of dollars to them and that said friend still had boxes of books in her garage.

NO! No, no, no, no, no!!! That is not a publisher! That is a VANITY press. Anyone who's done any research on writing knows you run far, far away from a company who wants to charge to publish your work.

There are quality small presses out there who will publish your work and PAY THE WRITER. Self-publishing is a viable option as well, and if you don't have the skills to do everything yourself, there are people you can hire who will do it for you, but they do not call themselves publishers nor do they charge thousands of dollars for their services.

Any podcaster who claims to be doing a show on the truth about publishing and promotion, but doesn't understand what a vanity press is doesn't know jack about publishing. The sad thing is the way her show is misleading new writers.

The second writing podcast I tried turned out to be more like we'll interview a guest writer and just talk about her and her books for the entire show. The man doing the interviewing was horrible and this wasn't the type of podcast I was looking for anyway, but I listened to most of it because the author was pretty interesting and she spoke about the more interesting aspects of her research.

She did such a good job, that I went to Amazon with the intention of picking up her book. And discovered her publisher had priced her at $9.99 in ebook.

Sorry, but I'm not spending $10 for an ebook, especially for a writer I've never read before. Given that this is the first story in a mystery series, I don't think her publisher was doing her any favors with that price point. They should price the first book low, get readers hooked, and make up the money on the later books in the series. JMO, but $10 cost her at least one sale.

I ended up deleting this podcast, too. I was looking for actual writing type shows--craft or promotion or creativity or how-to, something like that--not author interviews.

There are more podcasts out there about writing and I downloaded a few more. Here's hoping one of them is worth subscribing to.