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Getting Started with Audio
Podcasting for
Beginners
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
A little bit about our podcast…
• New episodes every month on
the latest trends and digital
advancements affecting the book
industry
• Usually 20-45 minutes long
• Hosted & produced by BookNet’s
very small marketing team
• Started our fifth season this
January
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
THE CASE FOR PODCASTING
The case for podcasting
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
Percentages of Canadians 18+
Source: canadianpodcastlistener.ca
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
Percentages of Canadians 18+
Source: canadianpodcastlistener.ca
The case for podcasting
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
Percentages of Canadian monthly podcast listeners 18+
Source: canadianpodcastlistener.ca
The case for podcasting
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
Source: canadianpodcastlistener.ca
The case for podcasting
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
The case for podcasting
% of adult, English-speaking Canadians, from BookNet Canada’s Canadian Leisure & Reading Survey 2020
5%
12%
14%
10%
9%
9%
41%
2%
2%
5%
3%
1%
6%
82%
More than once a day
Once a day
Once a week
Once a month
Less than once a month
A few times a year
Never
Readers Non-readers
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
The case for podcasting
% of adult, English-speaking Canadians, from BookNet Canada’s Canadian Leisure & Reading Survey 2020
0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45%
More than once a day
Once a day
Once a week
Once a month
Less than once a month
A few times a year
Never
Print readers Ebook readers Audiobook listeners
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
BEFORE YOU START
What are you hoping to achieve?
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
Questions to ask
What is the essential promise of your podcast?
Do you have access to the necessary resources
to make your podcast?
(Hint: You probably do.)
Structure — Long-form interviews? Recurring
segments? Seasonal topics?
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
Decisions to make
Frequency – Weekly? Monthly? Binge drop?
Assigning roles – Who will oversee production?
Who will host? Edit? Distribute and promote?
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
Great podcasts to copy inspire you
Approach #1 — Reviews, Readings, and Interviews: great for
leveraging existing resources and content
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
Great podcasts to copy inspire you
Approach #2 — The Sampler: reading samples or short stories
aloud to introduce listeners to new authors
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
Great podcasts to copy inspire you
Approach #3) The Author Turned Podcast Host: authors (of
non-fiction, generally) share related content in podcast form
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
Great podcasts to copy inspire you
Approach #4) About the Book Industry/Writing: for when you
want to reach the BIGGEST book nerds
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
THE BASIC PODCAST WORKFLOW
1. PLANNING 2. SCRIPTING 3. RECORDING 4. EDITING 5. DISTRIBUTION
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
1. Planning
Recording done by April 16  Edited & sent for transcription by April 23  Released April 30
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
2. Scripting
5 stages of scripts:
1. Table read script (to identify where the breaks
are, pacing, “bad sounds”)
2. Revised script
3. Script that has been line edited/fact-
checked/legal review
4. Tracking script (the one to be recorded)
5. Final/archival (after the editing has been done to
recording)
Source: Mia Lobel, Producer, Revisionist History
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
2. “Scripting”
For interviews:
• Share a list of prompts/questions with your guest
• Separately record your intro, outro, and any segues
Tips for gathering good tape*:
• Work backwards to develop your questions
• Use questions as a guide, not a script
• Ask dumb questions
*Source: Andrew Norton, Producer, Personal Best
Good example of how to prep a podcast guest:
www.thefullvoice.com/podcast-pre-interview
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
3. Recording: In-person mic setups
FREE $ $$
Use your smartphone mic,
a headset/headphones, or
a built-in computer mic
Invest in a microphone,
some sound insulation,
and/or a pop filter
Each person gets their
own mic and is recorded
on a separate track
Creating your own DIY recording booth: http://tiny.cc/uj7bkz
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
3. Recording: If your guest is elsewhere
MP3, WAV, M4A
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
3. Recording: Tips & tricks
• Do a sound test before you have a riveting hour-long conversation
• Little sounds can become big sounds if you’re not careful
• Be wary of: paper rustling, air conditioning fans, mics brushing up
against your collar, a glass of water on the table
• Made a mistake? Leave a pause so you can cut it more easily later
• When recording a conversation:
• Resist the urge to say ‘mmhmm’
• Pause and collect yourself if you need to
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
4. Editing
FREE $ $$
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
4. Editing
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
4. Editing: Best Practices
Editing:
• Keep your overall volume around -16 dB (+/- 1
tolerance), with peaks no more than -1 dB
Exporting:
• Export as AAC format (*.m4a)
• Mono is simpler and uses less bandwidth,
stereo is also fine to use
• Bitrate: 128 kbps
• Sample rate: 44100 kHZ
Source: Apple’s Authoring Best Practices,
help.apple.com/itc/podcastsbestpractices/
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
4b. Music
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
5. Distribution
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
5. Distribution
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
5b. Artwork
Your podcast cover art should be square (1:1 ratio), and iTunes says it must also be…
• Min: 1400 x 1400 pixels, Max: 3000 x 3000 (max is necessary if you want it featured!)
• 72 dpi;
• in JPEG or PNG format with appropriate file extensions (.jpg, .png), and;
• in the RGB colour space.
To optimize images for mobile devices, Apple recommends compressing image files.
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
5b. Metadata
Adding metadata to each episode can streamline your
upload process and make it easy to bulk upload your
library of episodes if you ever change platforms.
• Episode name
• Podcast name
• Keywords
• Cover art image
• Author
• Summary
• If it’s explicit or not
• Copyright
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
5b. Transcription
Add a transcript of your episode for
better accessibility and discoverability
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
5b. Transcription
Add a transcript of your episode for
better accessibility and discoverability
$1 per minute
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
5b. Promotion!
How do you share your podcast?
• You can create a landing page for it
• We embed our SoundCloud profile
at booknetcanada.ca/podcast
• “Subscribe wherever you listen to
podcasts”
• Pod.link generates a link for sharing all
the places your podcast is available 
• Use iTunes Link Maker:
linkmaker.itunes.apple.com
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
5b. Promotion!
Tips for getting listeners
• Create and share clips on social media
• We use Anchor to create transcribed
audio clips
• Cross-promote with other podcasts that
have a similar audience
• Make sure your guests are sharing their
episode with their followers
• Get a good rating on iTunes
• Teach your existing audience(s) to listen to
podcasts
https://buffer.com/library/promote-a-podcast
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
NOW WHAT?
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
Is anyone listening?!?
Your podcast host should provide some basic stats, e.g., number of listens per episode
iTunes Connect Podcast Analytics (Beta)  podcastsconnect.apple.com/analytics
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
Stay up-to-date
News sources:
• hotpodnews.com
• blog.pacific-content.com/tagged/podcasting
Workshops/Conferences:
• Hot Docs Podcast Festival Creators Forum
• Podcast Movement
• Camp Tech
Podcasts:
• Gimlet Academy (Spotify only)
• New Media Show
• Podcasters Roundtable
Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
If you’re still wondering if you can
start a podcast…
booknetcanada.ca/blog/2019/1/7/5-tips-for-
launching-a-successful-canadian-podcast
Thank you!

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Getting started with audio: Podcasting for beginners - Zalina Alvi (BookNet Canada) - Tech Forum 2020

  • 1. Getting Started with Audio Podcasting for Beginners Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
  • 2. A little bit about our podcast… • New episodes every month on the latest trends and digital advancements affecting the book industry • Usually 20-45 minutes long • Hosted & produced by BookNet’s very small marketing team • Started our fifth season this January Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast
  • 3. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast THE CASE FOR PODCASTING
  • 4. The case for podcasting Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast Percentages of Canadians 18+ Source: canadianpodcastlistener.ca
  • 5. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast Percentages of Canadians 18+ Source: canadianpodcastlistener.ca The case for podcasting
  • 6. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast Percentages of Canadian monthly podcast listeners 18+ Source: canadianpodcastlistener.ca The case for podcasting
  • 7. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast Source: canadianpodcastlistener.ca The case for podcasting
  • 8. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast The case for podcasting % of adult, English-speaking Canadians, from BookNet Canada’s Canadian Leisure & Reading Survey 2020 5% 12% 14% 10% 9% 9% 41% 2% 2% 5% 3% 1% 6% 82% More than once a day Once a day Once a week Once a month Less than once a month A few times a year Never Readers Non-readers
  • 9. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast The case for podcasting % of adult, English-speaking Canadians, from BookNet Canada’s Canadian Leisure & Reading Survey 2020 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% More than once a day Once a day Once a week Once a month Less than once a month A few times a year Never Print readers Ebook readers Audiobook listeners
  • 10. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast BEFORE YOU START
  • 11. What are you hoping to achieve? Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast Questions to ask What is the essential promise of your podcast? Do you have access to the necessary resources to make your podcast? (Hint: You probably do.)
  • 12. Structure — Long-form interviews? Recurring segments? Seasonal topics? Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast Decisions to make Frequency – Weekly? Monthly? Binge drop? Assigning roles – Who will oversee production? Who will host? Edit? Distribute and promote?
  • 13. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast Great podcasts to copy inspire you Approach #1 — Reviews, Readings, and Interviews: great for leveraging existing resources and content
  • 14. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast Great podcasts to copy inspire you Approach #2 — The Sampler: reading samples or short stories aloud to introduce listeners to new authors
  • 15. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast Great podcasts to copy inspire you Approach #3) The Author Turned Podcast Host: authors (of non-fiction, generally) share related content in podcast form
  • 16. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast Great podcasts to copy inspire you Approach #4) About the Book Industry/Writing: for when you want to reach the BIGGEST book nerds
  • 17. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast THE BASIC PODCAST WORKFLOW 1. PLANNING 2. SCRIPTING 3. RECORDING 4. EDITING 5. DISTRIBUTION
  • 18. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 1. Planning Recording done by April 16  Edited & sent for transcription by April 23  Released April 30
  • 19. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 2. Scripting 5 stages of scripts: 1. Table read script (to identify where the breaks are, pacing, “bad sounds”) 2. Revised script 3. Script that has been line edited/fact- checked/legal review 4. Tracking script (the one to be recorded) 5. Final/archival (after the editing has been done to recording) Source: Mia Lobel, Producer, Revisionist History
  • 20. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 2. “Scripting” For interviews: • Share a list of prompts/questions with your guest • Separately record your intro, outro, and any segues Tips for gathering good tape*: • Work backwards to develop your questions • Use questions as a guide, not a script • Ask dumb questions *Source: Andrew Norton, Producer, Personal Best Good example of how to prep a podcast guest: www.thefullvoice.com/podcast-pre-interview
  • 21. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 3. Recording: In-person mic setups FREE $ $$ Use your smartphone mic, a headset/headphones, or a built-in computer mic Invest in a microphone, some sound insulation, and/or a pop filter Each person gets their own mic and is recorded on a separate track Creating your own DIY recording booth: http://tiny.cc/uj7bkz
  • 22. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 3. Recording: If your guest is elsewhere MP3, WAV, M4A
  • 23. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 3. Recording: Tips & tricks • Do a sound test before you have a riveting hour-long conversation • Little sounds can become big sounds if you’re not careful • Be wary of: paper rustling, air conditioning fans, mics brushing up against your collar, a glass of water on the table • Made a mistake? Leave a pause so you can cut it more easily later • When recording a conversation: • Resist the urge to say ‘mmhmm’ • Pause and collect yourself if you need to
  • 24. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 4. Editing FREE $ $$
  • 25. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 4. Editing
  • 26. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 4. Editing: Best Practices Editing: • Keep your overall volume around -16 dB (+/- 1 tolerance), with peaks no more than -1 dB Exporting: • Export as AAC format (*.m4a) • Mono is simpler and uses less bandwidth, stereo is also fine to use • Bitrate: 128 kbps • Sample rate: 44100 kHZ Source: Apple’s Authoring Best Practices, help.apple.com/itc/podcastsbestpractices/
  • 27. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 4b. Music
  • 28. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 5. Distribution
  • 29. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 5. Distribution
  • 30. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 5b. Artwork Your podcast cover art should be square (1:1 ratio), and iTunes says it must also be… • Min: 1400 x 1400 pixels, Max: 3000 x 3000 (max is necessary if you want it featured!) • 72 dpi; • in JPEG or PNG format with appropriate file extensions (.jpg, .png), and; • in the RGB colour space. To optimize images for mobile devices, Apple recommends compressing image files.
  • 31. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 5b. Metadata Adding metadata to each episode can streamline your upload process and make it easy to bulk upload your library of episodes if you ever change platforms. • Episode name • Podcast name • Keywords • Cover art image • Author • Summary • If it’s explicit or not • Copyright
  • 32. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 5b. Transcription Add a transcript of your episode for better accessibility and discoverability
  • 33. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 5b. Transcription Add a transcript of your episode for better accessibility and discoverability $1 per minute
  • 34. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 5b. Promotion! How do you share your podcast? • You can create a landing page for it • We embed our SoundCloud profile at booknetcanada.ca/podcast • “Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts” • Pod.link generates a link for sharing all the places your podcast is available  • Use iTunes Link Maker: linkmaker.itunes.apple.com
  • 35. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast 5b. Promotion! Tips for getting listeners • Create and share clips on social media • We use Anchor to create transcribed audio clips • Cross-promote with other podcasts that have a similar audience • Make sure your guests are sharing their episode with their followers • Get a good rating on iTunes • Teach your existing audience(s) to listen to podcasts https://buffer.com/library/promote-a-podcast
  • 36. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast NOW WHAT?
  • 37. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast Is anyone listening?!? Your podcast host should provide some basic stats, e.g., number of listens per episode iTunes Connect Podcast Analytics (Beta)  podcastsconnect.apple.com/analytics
  • 38. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast Stay up-to-date News sources: • hotpodnews.com • blog.pacific-content.com/tagged/podcasting Workshops/Conferences: • Hot Docs Podcast Festival Creators Forum • Podcast Movement • Camp Tech Podcasts: • Gimlet Academy (Spotify only) • New Media Show • Podcasters Roundtable
  • 39. Tech Forum 2020 #TechForum @BookNet_Canada @zalina booknetcanada.ca/podcast If you’re still wondering if you can start a podcast… booknetcanada.ca/blog/2019/1/7/5-tips-for- launching-a-successful-canadian-podcast Thank you!

Editor's Notes

  1. Welcome to this beginner’s introduction to podcasting. This presentation is for anyone who has been thinking about starting a podcast, particularly in the context of marketing books, and could use a little practical guidance on how to make it happen. But first: who am I and what do I know about podcasting? I’m Zalina Alvi and I’m part of the marketing & communications team at BookNet Canada. I started our podcast a few years ago with three things at my disposal: 1) lots of ideas and content about the Canadian book industry that we were eager to repurpose in this exciting new medium; 2) a little bit of personal experience from creating other podcasts; and 3) what I determined to be just enough internal resources, like time and money, to get this thing off the ground.
  2. Since I’ll be referring to the BookNet Canada Podcast as a case study throughout this presentation, here’s a little more information to give you some context. It focuses on the latest trends and digital advancements affecting the book industry. The episodes are generally 25-45 minutes long, and they’re released monthly. It’s produced and hosted by our very small marketing team. And we started our fifth season this past January.
  3. Okay, before I get into the details of how to create a podcast, let’s take a step back for a moment, and consider why you might want to start one, which can be especially helpful if you’re trying to get buy in from other people at your organization.
  4. I will now shower you with statistics, mostly from a study called The Canadian Podcast Listener 2019. From 2017 to 2019, there has been an upward trend in overall listening and familiarity with podcasts across Canada. And in 2019, nearly 11 million Canadian adults said they’d listened to podcasts in the past year.
  5. In terms of regions across Canada, podcast listening is most popular in urban areas, with British Columbia having the highest concentration of monthly podcast listeners, followed by Ontario and Alberta.
  6. So, they’re listening. But if you’re considering launching a podcast as a marketing tool, you might be wondering if they make good customers. Well, that same study found that nearly 1 in 4 podcast listeners have contributed monetary support to the podcasts they listen to through crowdfunding, attending live events, or buying merchandise.
  7. In fact, podcasts are a great way to reach consumers of on-demand media, like streaming video services, paid music streaming, and audiobooks, which are otherwise inaccessible to advertisers. These hard-to-reach customers are big podcast listeners.
  8. Now, the next bit of data comes from BookNet Canada’s 2020 leisure & reading survey, which asks adult, English-speaking Canadians about their reading and other leisure habits. According to that study, Canadians who read are more likely to listen to podcasts than those who don’t. More than 80% of non-readers said they never listen to podcasts, compared to just over 40% of readers.
  9. And when we look at reading by format, audiobook listeners are, perhaps unsurprisingly, big podcast listeners. People who listen to audiobooks listen to podcasts with the most frequency, and are the least likely to never listen to podcasts.
  10. Okay, enough stats. Let’s move on to some basic questions you need to ask before you create your first episode.
  11. Do you want to convert podcast listeners into book buyers? Are you looking to promote your authors as personalities? Do you want to repurpose some of your existing content to reach new audiences? Do you want to sell ad space down the line? These questions will help you figure out how much effort you’re willing to invest, what kind of podcast to make, and how to measure your success. What are you offering listeners? Do you have a unique concept? A host with a compelling voice? Access to certain resources that no one else has, or is taking advantage of? There’s still lots of room for new podcasts, especially with more and more people discovering podcasts every year, but you still have to fight to stand out from the crowd not just once, but over and over again with every episode. Most of the podcasts on Apple Podcasts have fewer than 3 episodes. Don’t be that podcast that launches with a teaser and two amazing episodes two weeks in a row and then disappears because you weren’t prepared to keep it up every week. You don’t have to do it forever or even all that frequently. In fact, 40% of listening at any given time is not for the newest episode of a podcast. So having a solid backlist of episodes with a good shelf-life is very valuable. You don’t need to be a weekly podcast with a dedicated audience that listens on the same day every week. But if you promise a full season, you should deliver on that. So make a launch plan for your first season before doing anything else, so you have an idea of the resources you’re going to need, in terms of equipment, time, and people power, before you commit to anything.
  12. Now these decisions are a little more practical. First of all: Structure – If you listen to podcasts regularly (and I hope you do, if you’re thinking about starting one), you’ll know that they come in all shapes and sizes. Generally, though, episodes can be anywhere from 15 minutes long to an hour (and yes, I know there are five-minute and multi-hour podcasts, but they are outliers). Some are just one interviewer with a different guest every episode. Some have recurring segments, like news updates or the hosts answering reader questions. The Binge Mode podcast on Game of Thrones recapped every episode of the show, and for each one, they would do a segment that was a deep dive on a particular element of the world’s history. Some fictionalized podcasts feature 3 or 4 audio stories per episode. So, there are lots and lots of options. I will note that a short podcast isn’t necessarily easier to put together than a long one. A short episode with a lot of sound mixing and multiple speakers, or maybe even sound effects and music if it’s fictionalized, can take more time to put together than a single hour-long interview between two people. The frequency of your podcast should rely heavily on how often you think you can reliably deliver a new episode. Monthly is pretty safe for anyone starting out, especially if you’re adding it to an already full workload, but you can also record an entire season of episodes to drop all at once or close together. For podcasts that aren’t daily, weekly, or monthly, seasons are usually around 6-10 episodes, but it can be whatever you like. And that’s a nice, safe option, as long as the content doesn’t rely too heavily on being timely. A single person can make an entire podcast from start to finish, but it’s going to be…tiring. If you’ve got a team at your disposal, it’s helpful to break things up a bit. I’ve noted a few basic areas on this slide, including someone to produce and make sure the whole thing runs smoothly; at least one host; someone to do the audio editing; and someone to handle the distribution and promotion of the podcast. At BookNet, the usual structure of our episodes is one long interview or a few short ones with different guests on a related topic, hosted by someone from the BookNet team, who always does a quick intro and an outro in every episode. We alternate editing duties and we outsource our transcription work to a third-party service. So it’s manageable for us with a core team of two or three people with a very limited budget on top of a full-time workload. Once you determine these things, you’re ready to start creating a workflow.
  13. If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, I’ve identified a few different approaches taken by existing book-related podcasts that I know I enjoy. These aren’t necessarily examples of different structures, as you’ll see a mix of those in my examples; they’re just different ways to think about the opportunities of podcasting when you’re marketing and promoting books and authors. First up is a fairly standard approach structured around book reviews or interviews with authors, which can leverage your existing resources. If you’re already working with authors and hosting interviews or readings, capturing that audio can make for great podcast content. And if you’ve already got a team of book reviewers at your company, sit them around a mic, get them talking, and get that audio! For the first season of the BookNet Canada Podcast, we kind of tested the waters of podcasting by releasing the audio from talks at our annual Tech Forum conference as podcast episodes, and it was a great way to get the ball rolling. The examples I’ve got here are the CBC’s Writers & Company podcast, which features great interviews with authors, the semi-prose podcast from Penguin Random House Canada, which does a mix of book reviews and interviews, and Writers Off the Page, which is a collaboration between Toronto Public Library and the Toronto International Festival of Authors that leverages existing content from that event series.
  14. I call the second approach ‘The Sampler.’ These are podcasts that focus entirely on sharing short stories, read aloud by either a regular host, as in the case of Levar Burton Reads, the authors themselves like on the New Yorker’s The Writer’s Voice podcast, or a rotating cast of actors, like with Public Radio International’s Selected Shorts. These podcasts make for great listening in and of themselves, of course, but the added benefit is that it’s a great discovery tool for listeners to discover new writers and maybe seek out their other work.
  15. Approach number three works best for non-fiction authors. It’s where authors bring their expertise and specialties into the podcast space, and that can take a variety of forms. Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast is a great example, and it works because he’s such a great researcher and his writing has translated well into spoken word. There’s also But That’s Another Story, which is a Macmillan podcast where author Will Schwalbe invites notable guests to tell stories of the books — and the moments — that changed them. In those two cases, the podcasts are extensions of those authors’ brands, and you can be sure that their listeners are going to paying attention when they release new books. My third example is The F*ck It Diet Podcast, which is hosted by Caroline Dooner and is directly related to her book of the same name. Content from a great non-fiction book can easily be turned into a short podcast series to give potential readers a sampling of the content and insight into the author’s expertise.
  16. My fourth and final approach (though, I want to be clear that this is by no means a finite list of approaches you can take), is podcasts that talk about the book industry itself or the craft of writing. This is a great approach if you want to reach the biggest book nerds out there and if you want to leverage all the great expertise and experience of the authors you know and want to promote. Some notable examples of writing podcasts are the Kobo Writing Life Podcast and My Imaginary Friends with author L. Penelope. The Abebooks Podcast Behind the Bookshelves offers fascinating episodes on things like the early days of Penguin, Mark Twain's travels, bookbinding, and many other subjects. If you have an insider’s view into books or the book industry, you can be sure there are book nerds out there who want to hear about it.
  17. Let’s get into the nitty gritty details. The basic podcast workflow is pretty straightforward. We’ll go into each stage in detail, starting from Planning, and then onto Scripting, Recording, Editing, and finally Distribution.
  18. The planning stage is pretty self-explanatory. It’s managed just like any other project. You should be figuring out at least a few episodes ahead at a time what each episode is going to include, who’s going to be working on it, what needs to be recorded, and when you plan to release it. Our own planning includes: determining each month’s topic, the guests we’ll have, who’s hosting it (and hosting sometimes just means recording an intro and outro), who’s going to edit it, the status, and what the deadlines are.
  19. Stage two is scripting. There are two ways to script, and the first is a literal script, which is what you would probably use to record your intros and outros. It’s also how podcasts like Revisionist History are done, where Malcolm Gladwell writes and reads from a line by line script. Mia Lobel, the producer for Revisionist History, has shared the five stages of scripting that their podcast goes through. It starts with a table read, where they try to identify where the natural breaks are, how the pacing is, any ‘bad sounds’, stuff like that. They create a revised script from that, then there’s a script that’s fact-checked, line edited, and reviewed through a legal lens. Fourth is the tracking script, which is the one they’ll use to record the episode, and finally they maintain an archival script after the episode is edited, which could be used as the official transcript of the episode. Fun fact! Average speaking speed is 130 wpm, which can give you can idea of how many minutes of audio you’ll get from your script.
  20. The second type of scripting is really just talking or speaking points that you would use for an interviews, loose discussions, or if you just want a really natural feel for your podcast. In the case of an interview, you could share a list of questions or prompts with a guest ahead of time, to help them prepare and to guide the conversation. Some people do pre-interviews as a way to break the ice before you actually start recording, and to maybe get a few basic questions out of the way just for you own knowledge. Other people swear against doing that, because then you don’t get a natural or fresh conversation when you’re actually recording. Of course, you can always get around that by recording your pre-interview, but really it’s up to you and how you want the conversation to sound and how you work best. Andrew Norton, the producer for the podcast Personal Best, has shared his tips for gathering good tape, one of which is to work backwards to develop your questions based on the kind of answers you want to get. He also suggests using questions as a guide, not a script, with the flexibility to change direction and follow interesting tangents. And finally, don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions for the sake of your listeners. By the way, if you go with a loose list of talking point for an interview, you can always script out your intro, outro, and any segues. It doesn’t have to be entirely one way or another.
  21. Now for recording, which is where things starts to get more technical. So to start with, just recording into whatever mic you have around is fine. On your smartphone, the little mic that comes on a pair of headphones, or right into a laptop. If you’re recording on your smartphone, you can try the Shure Motiv App, which was developed specifically for podcast recording on your phone. There are settings that allow you to control the input right when you’re recording, rather than, say, making adjustments afterwards in your editing software, which is handy. It’s supposed to be for use with their specific line of mics, but I believe you can use any mic with it, by plugging it into your phone, or when just speaking into your phone’s built-in mic. To upgrade your game a bit, you can get a pop filter, which prevents a lot of those harsh popping noises from being picked up, some sound insulation, or buying a proper mic. If you’re going to be doing a lot of in-person recording with multiple people, you can get a multi-directional mic. Your choice of hardware should suit the format of your podcast, and how you’ll be expecting to record on a normal basis. For something with professional quality, you would want to mic each person separately and have them recorded on separate tracks so you can then edit and adjust each person’s recording according to their own individual needs. At BookNet, we use a variety of mic setups depending on who’s doing the recording and their preferences. Really, what matters more is the environment where you record. If you’re in a quiet, well insulated room, maybe with a thick blanket over your head, you’ll get good audio even if you’re just talking into your iPhone. There’s only so much you can do once you get to the editing stage if you end up with a bunch of background sounds or you realize you were rustling your pages really loudly next to the mic, so getting good tape to begin with is crucial, and I’ll get to those tips in a few minutes. You can also create your own DIY recording studio, a lot of which involves either soundproof foam or, again, thick blankets. I will also mention here that you might be able to find a place in your community where you can record. The Toronto Public Library has a recording studio in their Digital Innovation Hub that can be borrowed for up to two hours at a time, and I heard recently that some Staples locations in Boston were starting to have recording studios you can rent out for podcasting, and they even have a company that does audio editing, if you really want to source things out.
  22. Of course, if your guest isn’t in the same room as you, you’ll need to figure out a remote solution. Skype works well for this. We use join.me, which is our usual conference line that allows for audio recording. Really, your ultimate goal is to capture the audio in a file format you can use, typically an MP3, WAV, or M4A file.
  23. Before we move on, here are a few recording tips ‘n’ tricks. Always record a few seconds and listen to it as a test to make sure it sounds okay before jumping in. Be wary of speaking too close to the mic, little sounds like paper rustling, things like that. Another good tip when you’re recording something scripted and you mess up, just stop leave a good second or two pause, and then continue. The cleaner the pauses in between, the easier it is to cut it later. And when you’re recording a conversation with someone, resist the urge to go ‘mmhmm’ while they’re talking. It goes against all of our best instincts and I know you want to give that person verbal cues that you’re listening and interested, but it just makes for bad audio, so don’t do it. I think Eleanor Wachtel, the host of Writers and Company, does this perfectly. And finally don’t be afraid to pause and collect yourself.
  24. Once you’ve got all your audio recorded, you’ll need to put it all together and create your podcast. So let’s talk about editing software. For the free options, Garageband is of course an easy option; lots of people have an Apple device and so they have GarageBand. It’s perfectly fine, you can edit and make a podcast in there, but there aren’t a whole lot of controls. I know that a lot of professionals actually use Audacity, which is an open source audio editing program. If you later on find that you are being limited in some way with the free options, then I would suggest looking at some other paid software. Hindenburg is up there, which was developed specifically for spoken word productions, as well as Reaper, which a lot of people use. One of the things I believe you can get with a paid version of Hindenburg for example is multi-track recording, which allows two people on two mics to be recorded onto two separate tracks right on the same computer, which gives you more control when editing. And then there are the super fancy audio editing programs that I never hear anyone is actually using, but maybe NPR does, I’m not sure.
  25. When it comes to the actual editing, most programs are fairly intuitive, and really just takes some practice, and learning how your software works. For the most part, all you’re doing is dragging audio files into your workspace, and organizing the files into tracks. For a typical episode, I’ll have one track for all the things I record on my own, which are usually the intro, outro, and all the segues between segments. A second track will be for all the interviews with guests. And then maybe a third track just for a segment recorded by someone else in our office, like when we include insights from one of our research studies. And the final track at the bottom will be for the music, which I will fade in and out as needed, sometimes quietly playing behind the talking. Keeping them on separate tracks means you can adjust each track separately, by adjusting the volume or playing around with the compressor, stuff like that. And you’re really just arranging all your audio in the order you want it and cutting out any bits you don’t want, all the way from entire chunks you don’t want to use down to zooming in and removing every single ‘umm’ you said. You should also be making the volume as consistent as possible throughout the episode. That’s really all it takes to create a super basic podcast file. Just to show you how that looks, I’m going to do a quick demo.
  26. Here are a few best practices for editing a podcast, which are taken from Apple’s Authoring Best Practices.
  27. You’re probably going to need at least a little bit of music to make your podcast complete. If you don’t happen to know a composer who doesn’t cost a fortune, you can purchase some music from a stock music site. There are lots of them out there, some of which have free tracks. If you’re wiling to put down a bit of money, your options will really expand and it’s only a one-time purchase. Plus, you’ll be supporting the artist who created the track. We used Shutterstock to buy the music that we use in all our episodes.
  28. Basic distribution involves uploading an audio file to the podcast host of your choice, and then through the power of RSS feeds, it can be fed out to all the major platforms that people use to listen to podcasts. We use SoundCloud, which generates an RSS feed, but doesn’t magically send it out to every player. When we first set it up, we had to manually submit the RSS feed from SoundCloud to iTunes and a couple of other places, like Stitcher and TuneIn. Whatever host you go with will probably have instructions on how to get your feed out there, especially to get it listed with iTunes.
  29. These are just some of the places you can host your podcast. Some are free, others are reasonably priced. We do pay for our Soundcloud account in order to upload enough hours of podcasts, but it’s not very expensive. I’ve heard very good things about Libsyn in particular, if you’d like a recommendation. Once you sign up for one, it should have some dedicated instructions for adding your own podcast that you can follow. Also, not every hosting solution will make your podcast appear on Spotify, which is worth noting because podcast listening on Spotify has been growing recently. Spotify does not play well with Soundcloud last time I checked. There’s a manual process for getting your podcast listed there. Also, I’ve heard some talk lately about putting podcasts on YouTube. In that case, you’d have to turn your episode into a video file and upload them to your channel. A free but more labour intensive option is to upload every episode to a blog, and submit that RSS feed to each of these podcast platforms. Once you’ve set up those feeds, though, you don’t have to do it every time. The essential thing is that you’re generating that RSS feed.
  30. Of course, your podcast needs cover art. Apple has some basic specifications you should follow: And generally you want something eye catching and fairly simple so you it’s legible even when viewed as a little thumbnail on someone’s phone. You will need to upload your artwork wherever you end up hosting your podcast, and you should also add it to the metadata of each episode when you’re exporting it from your audio editing program. Speaking of metadata…
  31. Adding metadata to each episode’s audio file can streamline your upload process and make it easy to bulk upload your library of episodes if you ever change platforms. The things you should include are… We add this information to each episode in Hindenburg before we export them… That way the metadata is neatly packaged directly into the audio file.
  32. Now, technically your podcast episode is done and could be released as is. But if you want to go the extra mile, here are a few more things you can do to make sure your podcast can be easily found and enjoyed by everyone. A transcript of every episode is useful for making the content of your podcast accessible and to help search engines index your content. Obviously, the free way to generate a transcript is to literally write out everything that’s said. And if you’ve got a full script already written out that you recorded from, you’re done! But there are lots of transcription services that can generate one for you if necessary. Then we post our transcripts on our blog and link to them in the episode description that goes on SoundCloud.
  33. For transcription, we use Speechpad, which can generate a transcript in 4 days at a cost of $1 per minute, though you can get one in 48 hours for more money. Both an upside and a downside to transcription is that people who don’t want to listen to the podcast itself can just read, or browse, the transcript. So you expand your audience while also deterring potential listeners.
  34. And don’t forget about promoting your podcast! Why go to all the trouble if you don’t share with everyone? Some simple things you can do are to create a landing page, maybe on your website, to create a home for it and let people know how they can listen and subscribe. Or, you can just generate a link that can be shared from something like Pod.link or the iTunes Link Maker.
  35. Some other tips for promotion include…. Create and share clips on social media We use Anchor to create transcribed audio clips Cross-promote with other podcasts that have a similar audience Make sure your guests are sharing their episode with their followers Get a good rating on iTunes Teach your existing audience(s) to listen to podcasts It’s very likely that a portion of your current followers or audience may not necessarily listen to podcasts, or even know how. We’re still at a point where people need to be taught how to listen to them. So when you’re first launching your podcast, don’t shy away from explaining how to download a podcast app, or how subscribing works.
  36. All right, your podcast is out there! Now what?
  37. Find out if anyone is listening! Your podcast host should provide some basic stats, e.g., number of listens per episode Since we use SoundCloud, we check their analytics to find out how the episodes are doing, where people are listening, and more. iTunes does offer an analytics dashboard, but it’s still in beta, so you can check that out if you’d like.
  38. Last but not least, make sure to stay up to date with developments in the podcast space, which is still rapidly evolving. This is especially important if you want to make sure your podcast is readily available wherever people are listening to podcasts, and if you want to consider monetizing your podcast at some point. Two excellent news sources are Hot Pod News and Pacific Content. For in-person learning, you can check out…. And of course, there are podcasts about podcasting! Some suggestions are…