Monday, July 28, 2008

Wanna Be a Podcast Novelist? Here's How.





Well at least it's not likely to happen that way, but it's also not impossible. 

In 2006 I wrote my first novel, "Karl's Last Flight".  I thought it was great.  Who wouldn't want to buy a fast paced action novel about a forty something former Marine turned astronaut who crash lands in Iran, sets off a nuclear confrontation, then saves the world from nuclear suicide bombers?  I shopped it out to scores of agents, who all for the most part remained totally unimpressed.  Two agents did look at the whole manuscript but said it needed a bunch of work so "no thanks".

I was heart broken.  I went over the manuscript a few more times and tried again...nothing but rejections. By spring of 2007 I shelved it and started on the next book which had already popped into my mind, "65 Below" (North Korean Terrorists doing evil stuff in Alaska, but a retired Marine Force Recon NCO gangs up on them). 

While I was working on "65 Below" I stumbled across a newspaper article about a guy named Scott Sigler who writes sci-fi horror novels then records them as audio books and gives them away for free in weekly serialized 30-minute episodes.  This odd practice had garnered him about 40,000 listeners at the time.

"Hmmm" said my brain. 

To which I replied..."Yeah, baby."

Nobody was buying "Karl's Last Flight" anyway, why not record it and give it away.  I'm a pretty decent actor, and have a variety of character voices in my repertoire.  So I downloaded a free audio recording program called Audacity, bought a hundred dollar microphone and stand, set up a studio in my walking closet and gave it a shot.  After editing and cleaning up the MP3's I uploaded to a website called  "Karl's Last Flight" managed to gain about a thousand listeners via that website and a handful of other outlets I pushed the feed to.  I started getting email back from dozens of listeners from around the world. 

"Hey, this is kinda cool" says I. And after a brief inner struggle over podcasting my next novel I picked up the Microphone and did it again. 

Whamo...the bug had bit me.  I finished "65 Below" and it gained thousands of listeners.  My next series, a collection of action short stories titled "In the Shadows", went live in May of 2008 and has been downloaded nearly 10,000 times already.

I like this podcasting stuff so much, that my third full length novel, "Faithful Warrior" is in the studio now and will soon be hitting the web-waves in serial podcast form as well.

Have these podcasts gained me an agent or a publisher?  No.

But they are building a base of loyal listeners, many of whom write and some of whom even donate dollars, pounds, and euro's to the cause.  I have also made some pretty cool friends in the podcasting world and began working on some projects with other podcast authors. 

Some day...eventually...if everything works out and the USA is not invaded by hordes aliens, smashed by asteroids or otherwise comes to an abrupt halt...I will get published and make a tonne of those dollars, pounds, and euros.  In the meantime I will continue podcasting and...

If you are interested in giving it a go yourself...stay tuned to this blog.  Over the next few weeks I will be doing a "How to Podcast Your Novel" series. 

Here We Go!

Basil Sands

Who Dares, Wins

Get my free action packed audio novels at
*Over 100,000 downloads and counting*

Karl's Last Flight
65 Below
In The Shadows
Faithful Warrior - coming late summer 2008

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