I’d never heard of Podcasting, and YouTube was something I watched, but didn’t really understand. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m no techie. I say it all the time, and it’s true. My hubby is my go-to guy for all things technical, from the computer, television, to the family car. Needless to say, when I was contacted by Adam Scull, the host of the Eat, Sleep, Write, a podcast dedicated to writers and readers, I had to ask the question, “What’s a podcast?”. Adam went on to explain that a podcast is essentially similar to a radio broadcast, except the podcast is done via Skype and sent over the internet. Once live, it can be downloaded directly from his website, iTunes, or a host of other sites ESW is featured on. I was intrigued and excited to participate, but nervous too.
That initial contact resulted in me once again stepping outside my comfort zone. I’ve talked about this before, and as the old adage warns, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. So, I was ready to veture forth yet again and try out this podcasting thing.
To prepare, I listened to about three or four different podcasts with other writers, I wrote down some of the questions I heard Adam ask others, and in addition to the few questions he asked me to provide him, compiled a few answers. Yep, I’m a planner and researcher. I don’t like going into things blind, so I prepare as much as possible. When it came time to record the podcast, I’d already had a brief testing with Adam via Skype, which went a long way to easing my anxieties about putting myself, and my voice, out there. We chatted about how the interview would go, and generally got to know each other a little better.
The morning of the taping, I took Adam’s suggestion and “dressed for radio”, which means dressing for business, even though I knew no one other than Adam would actually see me. I already knew that being in the right state of mind often includes looking the part, smiling into the phone, or in this case, the microphone and computer screen, and relaxing. It went remarkably easy and I found the whole experience fun and exciting. It took Adam about a week to edit the podcast and download it to go live. I gotta tell you, when he emailed me to say our session was now live on the website and iTunes, I was nervous as heck. I’ve heard my voice on family video recordings, and never like the sound of it – it doesn’t sound like I hear it in my own head, but I hear that’s normal.
We happened to be visiting my son and his girlfriend, so they listened to the podcast with me and my husband. At the end, my son looked at me and said, “Wow mom, you sounded pretty good!” I was relieved, giddy, and excited, although I still didn’t like the sound of my own voice. I honestly don’t think I really took in much of anything, other than listening to make sure I didn’t sound completely ridiculous. In the end, I was pleased with the finished product, and was proud of myself for having taken another step outside that comfort zone.
When Adam asked me to facilitate a second podcast that would be a roundtable discussion with two other writers in the paranormal mystery genre of my choosing, I was thrilled. This would be even more fun, since I’d get a chance to introduce a couple of other writers I’d been followng on social media for several months. I felt both women would be great additions to the discussion, and chose to reach out to Karen Perkins of LionheART Galleries in the UK, and Tonya Kappes in the US. My thinking was to introduce a “global village” aspect, with writers from three separate countries who are all writing in the same genre, but with vastly different takes on what that means.
Last Thursday, August 8th we “met” on Skype for the first time for the podcast taping with Adam. Once again he made everyone feel relaxed and at ease with the questions he lobbed at us, encouraging us to interact. It was fun, informative, and another great experience for us all. Of course this podcasting thing is also a fantastic marketing and promo vehicle for each of us, and I believe helps in our individual branding. There is talk that that last podcast may be done as a YouTube video as well, depending on how the finished product looks, but even as an audio podcast, I’d be more than happy. Of course if he uses the video, there’s the personal anxiety of how I look, not just sound, to the general public, but I felt it was a great success and so did Karen and Tonya. Apparently Adam thought so too, since he invited us all back for a second roundtable discussion on a date tbd in October, 2013, with new topics. It certainly didn’t take any cajoling to convince the three of us to agree to participate.
To me, the podcasting/iTunes/YouTube thing I embarked on wasn’t just about marketing and promotion, although of course that’s a large component. It’s also about connecting with readers on a different level, branding, and also about reaching out to other writers and inviting them in to participate. It’s about sharing the experiences and learning from one another. That’s one of those bonuses we so seldom get to see, but can create, if we choose. It’s also about extending yourself and accepting new challenges. From these two recent experiences I’ve learned that I enjoy public speaking, that others who’ve listened to the first taping enjoy it, and that I have a lot to learn from others, like Karen, Tonya and Adam, who are walking the same road I am. I like that.
If you get a chance, please do pop over to www.eatsleepwrite.net and/or iTunes to check out the podcasts and other great information Adam is sharing there, then take a few more moments and leave comments and share the information with your own circles of people who might be interested in these podcasts. For my own direct podcast, go to my website at www.damcclure.com and click on the “Author Podcast Interview” link.