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Podcasting across the Universe

Well, okay, the world. But, hey, it's a start.

I spent last Friday reviewing questions to be asked of me by the fab Rob Matheny and Phil Overby for the Grim Tidings Podcast. On top of that daunting occasion, I'd also said yes to recording a different podcast with Stephen Gordon for his Real World Happy the following day.

As ever, I could do with thinking before I leap. I've only done one podcast before and it was short and, perhaps mercifully, never saw the light of day. But thinking before jumping in isn't my way and so, a few months earlier, having been a member of Rob's Grimdark readers facebook group (the nicest facebook group ever, those grim ones really need to up the ante a bit) I asked if he'd consider me for a guest. He said yes, we had a chat over Skype, and there I was, sandwiched between the likes of Michael J Sullivan, Kameron Hurley and Joe Abercrombie.

So, I kicked the kids out (on an icy day, down to get ice creams. But, hey, an on-the-house-icecream bribe still works). I settled down with my ipad and the podcast started.

Now, here's the thing. What I need to do on a podcast is talk.

I can talk. I can really, really talk. More than anyone I know. Hell, I talk for a living (some of the time.)

The hour flew by, the guys were great craic, they learned some Norn Irish for those times in life when only the word wee will suffice, I swooned over Phil's Southern drawl, and I survived. Intact.

In fact, by the time Sunday and Stephen's came round, I was looking forward to it (and I rarely look forward to promo that requires me to do anything more than type.) We chatted for well over the hour, he got the odd question in, and next thing I knew it was over.

So, podcasting as a promo, I hear you cry. Any tips? Here goes.

1. Do read over your questions and take a few notes. I didn't stick to them, but it was nice to know what might be coming next.

2. Try to come up with different anecdotes. This isn't the easiest thing in the world, but not repeating the same ground is a courtesy to those hosting you. In my case, I was lucky - talking about writing dark themes and about being happy have a somewhat different focus (although writing my dark little books makes me happy. Hmm. Perhaps it was better we kept them separate...)

3. Don't sweat the technology. I did both mine over a wifi connection on the ipad. For one we used Skype, for the other Ringr. There was a slight hiccup on uploading, but all went well on a reboot. For me, it was easy - what happens at the other end, I know nothing about.

4. Relax. You're in your own home. It's pre-recorded. If something goes wrong, it can be changed or edited. If the phone rings, or you need to answer the door, it can be sorted. This is promo the easy, easy way.

5. Keep to the topic. I ramble. When I lecture I go off topic, and down alleyways, and into interesting places. But there is only an hour on these podcasts and people are listening for the subject advertised. Keep to the point, keep it lively and moving on (see point 4 - relaxed = lively). Note to self - I perhaps didn't excel at the not rambling. Hey ho.

As ever, the golden tip for promotion - if it makes you quiver with dread, if you know you can't stand this sort of thing, don't do it. It'll shine through. But if you can talk and you're looking for some promo outside the norm, look up a few podcasts, see if any fit what you're doing, and ask.

Here then is my Real World Happy podcast:

And this is the Grim Tidings, which I'll be up on in a couple of weeks:

Jo Zebedee writes sci fi and fantasy. She's based in Belfast, can be understood by Americans and likes to talk. More about her and links to her books can be found here


Mark said…
Jo, your accent! It totally rocks. You could be an ET author for all we pumy humans know ;-)
Get yourself on the Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast.
Joanne Zebedee said…
Ha! I'm just glad people can understand me. I had a look at Adventures but they're invite only for the podcasts (I need to develop a legion of fans to beg them to feature me. There's nothing else for it.)

I've submitted for a book review though and I'll see where that goes, so thank you,
Joanne Zebedee said…
Ha! I'm just glad people can understand me. I had a look at Adventures but they're invite only for the podcasts (I need to develop a legion of fans to beg them to feature me. There's nothing else for it.)

I've submitted for a book review though and I'll see where that goes, so thank you,

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