Too bad I can't be there - I know about a handful of people who will be
attending the conference, so look for people wearing AMP t-shirts. If the
session is recorded please let us know the link.
--- Charles Hodgson <charles@...
> Tomorrow begins the 2007 edition of Podcasters Across Borders in
> Kinston Ontario. One of the organizers Mark Blevis asked me early on
> in his planning process if I'd do a presentation. There was some
> mixup in communications because he thought I said "no" and I thought I
> said "yes." In any case, Mark was good enough to fit me into the
> schedule, but because I'm presenting almost dead last I thought I'd
> share some of my pearls of wisdom (if you can call them that) here, in
> case people need to run home before I hit the stage.
> For those of you within travelling distance PAB2007 has room for a
> very small number more attendees, the cap is 160 and people are coming
> from as far away as Britain and Argentina.
> My presentation breaks down into 3 parts: why I started podcasting
> (and why I keep at it); my experiences; and finally where it's going
> for me.
> We all know podcasting isn't a way to get rich quick and I extend this
> to becoming an author as well. I'm in Canada and the average Canadian
> author makes something like $12k a year from their writings. My
> personal experience has seen a book contract with a major publisher
> for an already complete manuscript take 29 months to get to bookstore
> shelves. So for both podcasting and book writing you better love it
> or it isn't going to last.
> I'll explain how the wise author thinks about publicity because with
> hundreds of thousands of books published every year, if you don't make
> noise there is every likelihood your book will sink like a stone.
> Which is why I started podcasting, why in part I'm going to PAB2007,
> and why in part I'm posting this.
> I'll then explain how wonderful my book about the words we use for our
> bodies is, but I'll spare you that here except to say that it is
> indeed wonderful with endorsement blurbs from such famous names as
> Lynne Truss author of Eats, Shoots and Leaves; Richard Lederer former
> co-host of the NPR podcast A Way With Words; Erin McKean the Editor in
> Chief of The New Oxford American Dictionary; and others I admire and
> respect. (The book comes out in August, for more info
> I'll talk about why I've been doing a podcast episode five times a
> week for more than two years. The answer I started out with was that
> it was a vehicle to help my book sell, but that's not the whole story
> as I realize today (more later).
> I dreamed at the beginning that I'd have 100,000 people listening to
> me but it's much more modest than that, although I have managed 2.7
> million downloads.
> I'll review how my audience built up, first with support from other
> podcasters particularly The Word Nerds, then with exposure via Yahoo!;
> NPR; newspapers, magazines and blogs including USA Today, Slate and
> Jane Magazine. I'll reflect that all these things must help, but they
> usually don't stand out as individual drivers of listeners. It's hard
> to convert from one medium to another. USA Today has an circulation
> somewhere in the 1.2 or 1.4 million range but my front page exposure
> on the Living section only brought about 200 listeners that stuck and
> 1000 website visits or so.
> iTunes on the other hand holds all the cards. I got top banner
> exposure in Feb '06 and it jumped my listenership 50%. Last Christmas
> so many people got iPods as gifts that when the plugged them in, my
> listenership went up by 200. Even more impressive, when I got repeat
> iTunes exposure in March of this year it was really obscure, not the
> top banner, but 3 pages deep on a list of other staff picks or
> something. That had five times the power to bring me listeners as did
> the prime banner exposure of 14 months earlier. iTunes is big and
> getting bigger fast.
> I reflect that this wonderful vehicle really means that there is no
> central web resource for podcasts like YouTube is for video. Because
> millions or hundreds of millions of people don't have iPods and won't
> install iTunes, they face a much higher barrier to find your podcast.
> So I'll talk about what I did to try to become a web property outside
> iTunes. You can see it at www.podictionary.com but it boils down to
> making sure there is a per episode player, that the website is
> attractive to Google and that users can easily subscribe by methods
> other than iTunes.
> My podcast is "evergreen" meaning that the episodes remain interesting
> to listeners even years after I post them. I talk about this as a
> strategy for building a web property. I'll talk about expanding the
> suite of things you offer. For me the first two will be the podcast
> and the book, but at PAB2007 I'll also mention a third leg to my
> little stool. That's the "where I see it going" part. Because I hope
> a contract is pending I won't say more about that here.
> The thing about staying motivated 5 times a week for years when you're
> not getting paid started out as being a vehicle for book sales, but in
> retrospect I realize that the opportunities it has opened up for me go
> beyond this. I spent last week at a meeting of the Dictionary Society
> of North America (you have to understand that my podcast is about the
> surprising histories of words you thought you already knew) and met
> some of the leading lights in the field of lexicography. They
> welcomed me with open arms. This was probably more because they are
> really nice people than because I have any authority in the world of
> dictionaries (I don't). But the point is that my career as an author
> has been significantly buoyed by the podcast. I write better than I
> used to, I've met people who count and been the beneficiary of their
> Yahoo! Groups Links
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