Storytime podcast?

I’m thinking that it would be cool, what with iTunes 4.9 supporting podcasts now, to start a short-story podcast. If you’re a writer, and you’ve got a short story you’d like promoted, I think it could be fun to record it to MP3 and send it out into the inkernet.

So, who’s interested? Wanna get heard? It’s a way to get published right now, and possibly heard by thousands of listeners. If we can get an iTunes slot (which shouldn’t be hard at all) you’ll probably get a hell of a lot of listeners for story.

I’m thinking the show would work like this;

* Intro jingle
* Introduction to the podcast
* Short Author’s Bio,
* website address and or email of the author
* The story itself
* reprise; how to contact the author
* outro jingle

Now, I’ve never podcasted before, but I’ve got the skillz to record it and publish it, if I can get the material. Who wants to be part of “Mindfire Storytime — stories with a spark of genius” πŸ˜‰

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10 thoughts on “Storytime podcast?

  1. Its an interesting idea, and I hope you find peops who are interested, but sadly its not teh sort of thing that’d look good in publication credits, so for the moment I’ll be saving teh stories I have for professional magazines.

    • I’ve just had a similar conversation with Derek (WINOLJ). I see where you’re coming from, though I have to wonder…
      The way Derek explained it, once something’s gone out on the internet, that story can’t be sold to a magazine with first publication rights. Fair enough.
      But – how many stories are there circulating looking for a few slots in a small number of magazines? It seems to me that trying to fill one of those slots with your short stories has a limited chance. However, I’m offering you guaranteed, instant circulation to a potentially limitless number of people.
      There’s a small window at the moment, potentially only a few weeks wide, where people upgrade to the new iTunes. When they do, they’ll scour the listing of podcasts for interesting things. Those who want to listen to short stories will subscribe to us. If we aren’t there, we’ll miss those people. We’re right at the beginning of a tide, and we need to catch it.
      A good fantasy magazine has a circulation around 15 thousand. But Apple has sold 15 million iPods, and every single one uses iTunes.
      So, here’s the thing. If one in a thousand iTunes users subscribe to us, we’d be instantly more popular than The Third Alternative. In a little while, a feature on a popular podcast will be like an appearance on local radio; a significant credit.
      I guess I see it as a numbers game – could be my numbers are wrong. Thoughts?

      • That’s just the thing – its not a numbers game at all – its a publicity game. I wouldn’t submit stories to this for the same reaosn I wouldn’t submit stories to the thousands of 4theluv mags/radioshows etc. Its the same reason I pop for TTA over Thirteen when I first send stuff off even though Thirteen is a nice enough mag with a reasonable readership. The Β£20-30 I’d get from selling it to TTA is nice, it’s great to think of my stories all glossy and looking professional, and of course I want to have lots of people read my stories, but ultimately I can’t just think of getting the individual story out there – if that’s all I wanted I’d go in for vanity publishing. Its about getting a rep. Getting a story published in TTA says something. And getting a story published in another, lesser, professional mag says something to TTA. Getting my mate to read it out over ipod (no matter how well produced) says something too, and its not the same thing. Ultimately it’ll look like vanity publishing. It’s not about the numbers, it’s not about the money, its about the rep. Someone’s random pod cast doesn’t have a rep at all, except the rep of ‘couldn’t get it professionally published’. It’s not something I’d want to put on a covering letter. And when it comes right down to it, I’d love to see the short stories in print, but its the novels I really want to get out there – getting the shorts published is the step I need to get the sort of rep that would get me an agent who isn’t a hack. Writing’s a tough and shitty business, and its all about looking good.
        If you get something that takes off and is genuinely popular and respected, then I’d submit – but I only have so many stories, and there’s a reason I start with the TTAs, Analogs, and Fantasy and Science Fictions of the world, over lesser pro markets like Thriteen; and there’s a reason I submit to lesser pro markets over semi-pro markets; and there’s a reason I’d submit to semi-pro markets over 4theluv markets. What you’re talking about here is submitting to something that isn’t even an established 4theluv market. I do wish you luck with it, but I’ve only got a small arsenal to work with atm, so I’m precision firing.

      • Right. I’m getting the picture now. So the main thrust is to get yourself noticed by agents?
        Is that a common reason, do you think? Is it the ‘standard method’ for getting yourself an agent?

      • Oh, yeah. Second thought – how many stories -do- you have? Do more writers have a small number of polished gems, or lots and lots of attempts? Any idea?

  2. Check out http://www.ralan.com/ as a place to advertise your podcast. πŸ˜‰
    I tend to have a bunch of ideas and starts, a few completed drafts, then not very many fully polished stories. But I’ve been writing more recently, so that should change soon. I have a plan – I’d like to get an acceptable story together every week or two at the most that I can hand over to you. It’s good practise for me, and it’ll get me writing more. I’m about 1000 words into a first draft of a space-based story for you right now. πŸ˜‰

    • I’d love to read the story! πŸ˜‰

      I’m wondering whether there are factors that seperate successful authors from unsuccessful ones. I have no evidence for these theories, so feel free to correct me with evidence here…
      My idea is that successful authors – published, professional authors doing it full-time – probably complete drafts more than amateur authors.
      I don’t mean, here, that professionals get more time to write. What I mean is, if you take 150,000 words from a pro, and 100,000 from an amateur, the pro will have produced a novel, three short stories, and a bunch of helpful notes, and the amateur will have produced fifteen half-completed short stories, the first three chapters of a novel, and several writing game outputs.
      Do you think that sounds reasonable? Because I think that if authors completed more stuff – even to first-draft level – they might have a larger portfolio, make more submissions, and thus be more likely to get under the nose of someone who’s interested in using your work.

      Now, also, a question raises itself; is it better to have one very polished story, or two relatively rough ones? I’d suggest that as a writer, it’s probably more helpful to have gone through the story-writing process twice, and learned from it, than gone through it once and polished. My thinking here is by analogy to other crafters; if a carpenter makes two rough tables, he’s going to be better at constructing solid tables than a carpenter who makes one and spends loads of time sandpapering and varnishing.
      Thoughts?

      • I’ve done another 1000 words on it – got distracted by the news about the bombers coming from West Yorkshire. 😦 It’ll probably work out to about 5,000 words, and will rewrite down to 3,000 I reckon. πŸ˜‰
        Q1: Undoubtedly, yes.
        Q2: Ah, here we get into writing theory… The first draft of anything is acknowleged to be ‘for the writer’. You get it off your chest, have fun doing it (with luck) and make sure you simply get to the end. Unless you happen to have imbibed storytelling with your mother’s milk, this rarely results in a story which is acceptable to pass around in public. As I am a genius, however, my first drafts are fantastic. :-p So really, the main difference between amateur and pro writers (after the ‘do you ever actually finish anything’ question) is that pro writers know how to rewrite. If you’re really good, you can get away with doing one rewrite, and maybe a final polish. Mostly, you’ll need to rewrite a few times to get things into a saleable state.
        That’s the first half of the answer.
        To put it into your analogy, carpenter 1 produces a whole bunch of tables. Some are missing legs, some are in a heap of bits on the floor, some are tied together with string and duct tape, and one is mostly ok but has a stack of books propping up one leg. Carpenter 2 has 5 tables. They’re a bit rough still, but they are at least constructed, and you could eat your dinner off them without fear of them collapsing. Carpenter 3 has 2 tables, but they’re beautifully polished, and now he has a job as a french-polisher.
        There is no point in taking a story and rewriting it for the next 30 years. That’s not going to get you anywhere.
        You can produce a whole pile of first drafts, but all that’s going to teach you is how to complete a first draft.
        To be a decent writer, you must learn how to complete a first draft. Then you must learn how to construct a good story out of that first draft. This may include chucking the first draft away completely, and just using a couple of the ideas. It may include adding and deleting characters, scenes, places, etc etc. It will certainly include polishing the language.
        So I guess my answer is that you need a happy medium. You need to write and rewrite. If you can’t do them both, you’re no carpenter! lol

      • > I’ve done another 1000 words on it
        Fantastic. I’m looking forward to it πŸ™‚
        I think the nearest real experience I have is in software development; you’ve got some of the same issues, I think; First Draft we call a prototype, rewrites are called refactoring, and final polishing is bug fixing.
        For me, then, the equivalent question is; do I learn anything by writing half a program? Often, the answer is no. With half a program, you’re never sure if it would have been good had you finished it. You don’t know whether it would have been useful, or stable, or magnificent. You can’t judge the success of your techniques if those techniques never reveal themselves in working code.
        To put that into a writer’s example; let’s say you want to try out Campbell’s Monomyth as a story structure. You write half a story, going four steps into the eight-step process.
        Can that artefact – the half-finished story – tell you anything about your use of the monomyth? No. That only becomes evident when you finish your first draft.

      • Getting closer! πŸ˜‰
        I don’t know what Campbell’s Monomyth is, but I think you miss my point. Finishing the first draft isn’t finishing the story; it’s the half-way point. You can only really start to learn anything from your story when you’ve completed the second draft.

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