Friday, August 12, 2011

Release A Free Podcast Novel With

Ever hear of a "podcast novel"? It's basically an audiobook and podcast combined. Also known as a "Podiobook," it's usually read and recorded by the author and then released to the public as serialized audio downloads (each "episode" represents a certain number of chapters). The concept is about 6 years old, I believe. Evo Terra, Chris Miller, and Tee Morris -- co-founders of -- created a Web site where (mainly science fiction) authors can share free podiobooks with the site's 81,000+ members.

Back in 2009, TIME even published an article entitled "Podcasting Your Novel: Publishing's Next Wave?" in which they mentioned and some of the site's hugely successful authors, including Scott Sigler and J.C. Hutchins. Sigler is now a NY Times bestselling author with Crown Publishing. Hutchins is with St. Martin's Griffin. Both authors attribute much of their success to their free Podiobooks and the thousands of fans who downloaded them. Building a fan base is one of the toughest parts of being an indie author, but makes is pretty easy to grow an author brand. I even released a free Podiobook version of Unconventional. It's a Christian novel, so the audience on was limited (compared to the science fiction titles), but the Podiobook still attracted thousands of downloads (and appeared on the charts), helping me create a fan base. Unconventional has been the #1 Inspirational Book in the Kindle Store (it peaked at #102 overall in the Kindle Store) numerous times and the paperback has landed on several bestseller lists as well. I owe a great deal of this success to for helping me form a fan base early on. Mark Jeffrey's Max Quick: The Pocket and the Pendant first reached an audience as a free Podiobook which was downloaded over 2.4 million times. HarperCollins noticed the success and decided to sign Jeffrey. Max Quick is now available in bookstores nationwide, thanks to the deal with HC.

So why not consider releasing a free Podiobook version of your book? I know the word "free" scares some authors, but the concept works. Just ask any of the authors mentioned above.

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