Saturday, January 17, 2009

Nobody reads anymore, so...Podcasting!

Addendum (1/19/09). We're now in iTunes. (Link will open the iTunes application.)

That's kind of a "made ya look" headline. I don't really believe that nobody reads anymore. It will take a while--even though we're in a midst of some cultural shifts--for things to change that drastically.

Certainly new things are happening all the time, though. New or newish delivery methods are becoming ubiquitous faster than the generations before us accepted radio or TV.

Podcasting's been around a while now, and I've enjoyed the true play-on-demand opportunities it has provided me. I can listen to NPR at the gym now, audiobooks on the treadmill, tech news in the a.m. and talk shows devoted to topics I'm interested in such as Doctor Who and Battlestar.

I've wanted to try something for a while. For some reason it hit me around Jan. 1 that rather than trying to tackle a discussion show, I could put together a podcast of short horror and suspense fiction. I have a few pieces of my own work that were recorded a while back for an audiobook collection, and I have access to those as potential installments.

There is also a tradition, I percieve, in the podcast community, of podcasters lending their voices to other 'casts, so I decided to dive into what I'm calling the beta version of Fear on Demand to see if I could pull it off at least for a respectable number of episodes and a respectable publishing schedule even when I'm back in school. The goal is for it not to be devoted just to my work but to present a true collection of works of many.

I think, think mind you, I can manage something monthly. I know I can for a few months anyway. After that we'll see.

I'm calling it the beta because it's hosted in the simplest way I can imagine right now, and I'm working on the little details like RSS feeds, getting it into iTunes and available for podcatchers and that sort of thing. As I write this it's pending iTunes approval.

I'm running into some of the usual headaches that I'm sure all novice podcasters have experienced at start up--puh sounds, normalizing, decent Flash players for the blog version. etc. I'm sure I'll have other headaches along the way, but it's an interesting process, and learning is always exciting.

So anyway, Episode 1 is ready for a listen at, or you can subscribe to the basic feed manually with iTunes or your favorite podcatcher or get the Feedburner feed plugged in to just about anything you like. The show will play in a Google Reader, for example.

Episode 1
Episode 1 features a tale from Charles Gramlich called "Thief of Eyes." It originally appeared in a collection edited by Del Stone, Jr. called The Parasitorium, and it's read by Glen Hallstrom, aka Smokestack Jones, who hasrecorded many Lovecraft stories at Glen's blog is Too Much Johnson, and he's available for voice work. Charles tells me the story grew out of an anthology that never breathed life that Thomas Fortenberry and I tried to put together a few years ago. That was sort of a shared-world horror anthology, and that reminded me that concept might also be ripe for a podcast. Who knows? Baby steps. I'm learning the ropes here.

For the moment, Fear on Demand is by invitation. I'm not quite ready to open the door to a flood of unsolicited submissions by listing on market news sites, though eventually I'd love to discover someone just starting out.

In the meantime, I'm guardedly moving along quietly. Certainly anyone in our little blog circle here is welcome to e-mail me. One thing I can kind of envision is maybe a Halloween celebration episode collecting some of the flash fiction people did in October.

Payment at the moment is the promotional or promo opportunity it provides only.

Authors retain all rights to the story except the podcast audio rights, and I'm including a Creative Commons, no-derivative works license tag on each episode and on the Fear on Demand blog. People can listen, pass an episode along but they can't, you know, make it into a movie, without striking a deal with the author.

If I can get the Paypal donate button working, apparently that's one of those common headaches, I'll be accepting donations to help with the domain mapping and hosting costs, and perhaps at some point it might become a paying market. Time will tell.

If there are any bands out there who want to play, I'm also open for some intro music or a tune to include.

And anyone with a mic who's interested in reading is welcome to check in.

In the meantime, drop by and have a listen of Charles' excellent story just past my stammering, Southern-accented intro, and listen after dark at your own risk.

WARNING: Fear on Demand contains explicit content such as mature themes, language and subject matter. If you feel you would be better entertained by more gentle stories, hey Google's ready when you are.


Miladysa said...

How exciting! Congratulations :D

I'm on my way over!

Charles Gramlich said...

Very cool! Gonna go give it another listen. Thanks.

Steve Malley said...

Wow, neat!

Sidney said...

Thanks guys. Thanks for the link, and the story, Charles.

Drizel said...

Wowi....this is really a fantastic initiative....hope you are well Sidney. Take care:)

Sidney said...

Thanks, etain!

Lana Gramlich said...

Thank you for including Charles' piece. That's very kind of you. :) Best of luck with the podcasting!

Erik Donald France said...

Very very cool. And though I can readily handle explicit words, thanks for the warning ;->

RK Sterling said...

Just listened to it - I'm so impressed with you and Charles. :)

Good work.

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