The Podcasting Question: To Speak or Not to Speak?

Here are the ramblings I took out of
yesterday’s post in the interest of staying on topic and not
writing an entire tome for Monday reading. You’re welcome.

I was toying with the idea of
podcasting books one chapter at a time, but then I tried listening to
some book podcasts, and I realized that they just don’t work for
me. The problem isn’t with them (I made sure I got good quality
books, and they sounded very professional – I had no issue at all
with the quality). The problem lies in the fact that my mind wanders
while listening to someone read me a story. Even if it’s very
dramatic voice acting (for that experience, listen to Scott Sigler.
Seriously. It’s pretty amazing), I have a hard time focusing only
on audio for fiction. It’s an odd thing, because I find non-fiction
podcasts very easy to listen to and stay focused on. I also don’t
mind short stories or pieces, depending on the narrator (check out
The Word Count podcast for some really great shorts, and Alain Miles’AudioBoo project), but anything longer than a few minutes will find
my mind drifting off into other thoughts. Interestingly, quality
doesn’t matter so much to me for these sorts of podcasts – the
AudioBoo sound is up and down sometimes, but I simply adjust the

Needless to say, this doesn’t bode
well for me reading my own work. The reading part would be fine – I
tend to read aloud while editing anyways. But the audio editing,
where I’d have to listen to my own stories and make sure the
reading was smooth and error free might well be more than I want to
sign up for. I don’t even like to read my own books after they’ve
been pronounced “done” and published. I think it might well be a special kind of torture to revisit them by recording/editing the audio

So it stands to reason that a
non-fiction podcast is more my style. Something that can be more
casual. I considered renaming my Wednesday “Writing
Notes” feature to “Author’s Notes”, and then creating a
weekly podcast from that (with highlights posted to the blog, of
course). But naturally, someone’s already using that name, and I
need something unique that ties into my online brand, as it were
(Yes, Writer’s Notes is taken as well).

Here’s what I’m considering

– Character motivation analysis (both
for my own books, and occasionally others)

– Character introductions

– Notes on my writing process (ie,
here’s what I was working on, what is challenging, how I get this
solved, etc).

– Idea formation and brainstorming (ie,
today I saw a photo of [whatever], and it made me think of this,
which made me wonder…etc)

– Short excerpts on occasion

Basically, all the stuff I include with
the writing notes posts. I’m hoping it will appeal to both readers
who might be interested and writers as well.

I think I’ll probably try this for a
couple of weeks, and just see how it goes (the recording/editing part
– I don’t expect any endeavor like this to gain a following in
two weeks, obviously). If it’s too much or isn’t working for me,
that will be the end of the experiment. If it seems to go okay, I’ll
continue on for awhile.

In the meantime – I still need a good
title for it. Something that conveys what it’s about, but isn’t
too vague (like, say Variety Audio, or something similar). Any ideas?

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3 comments on “The Podcasting Question: To Speak or Not to Speak?

  1. Carol

    It always sounds so romantic, to have someone read to you. But I’m like you, after a while my attention will start to wander, no matter how good the book is. 🙂

    The first thing that popped into my head when you requested titles was Oral Offerings, which I think might attract a different sort of audience than you’d like. LOL

    What about something like, Writing Out Loud, or Just Sayin’?

    Hmm. I’ll keep my thinking cap on. 🙂

  2. Brooklyn Ann

    Wow, you are brave! I don’t know if I could ever do a podcast. My recorded voice sounds like a chipmunk on meth, lol. Good luck with the podcasts!

  3. Jamie DeBree

    Thanks Carol…but yeah, I don’t think “Oral Offerings” is going to work for this. LOL

    LOL Brooklyn – I bet you sound just fine. 😉 Every podcaster I’ve read advice from says that *everyone* hates the sound of their recorded voice, and to just get over it because it’s how other people already hear you. We’re just used to hearing ourselves from inside our head. LOL So I’m going with that…in hopes of reaching yet a different audience. 😉

    So far, potential names that don’t seem to be taken are “Story Notes” and “SuperScript” (which is a vague reference, but still applicable, I think…).