Thanks, Emerian, for sharing all your podcasting knowledge with us!
4. How long is each pod cast?
Depends. Usually people are listening to you on a commute, or through their entire work day. 25-35 minutes is good to shoot for, that way they can take as little or as much as they like. Most professional, quality assurance run podcast sites (like Podiobooks.com) insist that you stay within a set time. If you choose 25 minutes, then stick to that every cast. For the authors out there, this might mean combining chapters or splitting them up. Podcast listeners don’t care. They want content. They aren’t going to check your paperback against the audio. Also, don’t confuse listeners with… “Episode 3, Chapter 3 &4” nonsense. These people are usually in cars, walking, riding the subway, or doing their jobs. Throwing a whole bunch of numbers at them is going to confuse them the next time they listen to you. Did they already listen to 3 or was it 4? A simple “Chapter 3” or “Episode 3” is fine. You are the one that will have to keep track of which chapters are in which episodes. For those of you looking to do a free form podcast that is more like a radio show, you will be more free to explore the time limits and push the limits on what type of show you do. The book listening public may not be your audience then. That is ok. Just know your audience and go for it 100%, and you will get a fan base. Underwater basket weaving is a common joke, but if you make a cast for it… they will come. Listeners are hungry for new, exciting, non-traditional, entertainment that pushes the boundaries or fits what they are interested in. So choose something you obsess about, and make it a show.
5. How long on average does it take for you to create each podcast?
Forever. I’m joking, but I’m not. Sometimes for a podnovel, it will take 15- 20 hours from start to finish. A friend of mine estimates that is it 3 minutes for every 1 minute of recording time, but it can take much longer. If you are using voice changing software, sound effects, or have any other voices on the cast, plan to spend extra time. This is all if your software plays nice, your computer doesn’t freeze in the middle of editing, and if the power doesn’t happen to go out after three hours of careful editing. The best way to gauge how long it will take you, is to record something and then see how long it takes for you to clean it up. Most people wanting to podcast stop at this step. It is not rocket science, and anyone can do this, but it takes time, patience, and perseverance.
6. On average, what does it cost to get started in podcasting?
Next to nothing but time. Get a cheap mic and start doing it. Practice. Have a “tester” feed, just to get out there and see what it’s like to produce a show or podnovel on a schedule for awhile. Fans like to have a new episode every week, but you can have a bi-weekly or monthly cast if you like. You just need to start a consistent time so they know that you will be back and that you are committed to bringing them content on a regular basis. Only after you’ve perfected your technique and are sure this is something you want to do, should you upgrade.
Emerian Rich is an author, artist, and Horror Host. She has been podcasting since 2007, has made hundreds of guest appearances and hosts HorrorAddicts.net, which will begin its 7th Season in 2012. Her vampire series, Night’s Knights, has amassed a million downloads. Writing under Emmy Z. Madrigal, she also has Sweet Dreams Musical Romance Series, which was the first romance novel series to be podcasted. There are now three novels up for listening pleasure, with a fourth on the way. To find out more about Emerian, go to: emzbox.com