A couple of months ago, I broke my nose playing rugby. I mean smashed it all over my face. Took the surgeon two tries to get it mostly straight, which meant I was icing my face for about three solid weeks (as each time he fixed it, he broke it all over again).
I couldn’t type. I couldn’t watch Buffy, or Stargate Atlantis. I couldn’t read. Not through the icepacks on my face.
I. Was. Bored.
I bummed around, and discovered what most net-savvy people discovered circa 2001: podcasts.
It wasn’t long before I hit on what is now my newest obsession: sci-fi and fantasy short story podcasts via EscapePod and PodCastle. Every week or so, these lovely folks podcast a new story in doses varying from 5 minutes to an hour. Some of the stories are fantastic, some are all right, some just aren’t my style.
The thing is, though, that these are stories I probably never would have come across without a ton of subscriptions or pestering my local library beyond their abilities (I’m in the boonies. I’m lucky to have a library). I load them up on my cell phone (which has an MP3 player – in some ways, I really am in the 21st century, I swear), and I listen to them as I drive out to ride horses.
Upon hearing about my love with the podcasts, a friend turned me on to PodioBooks.com. Authors podcast their novels chapter by chapter, all for free (or hopefully, a donation, most of which goes directly to the author, unlike most publication payments).
How much do I love this idea? A lot. I love the free market quality of these podcasts, where the best-loved novels rise to the top of the list. I love that the authors get paid based on how much the reader-listeners love the story, not on how well the book was marketed. I love that so many writers get the opportunity to share their work without the dreaded query letter/rejection flogging.
I am desperate to have a story read on PodCastle, to possibly start churning out chapters of my book, little by little. Sure, I want the prestige that comes with a published book. Sure, I want to be able to drop the words “my agent” into as many conversations as possible. And I still know that’s going to happen.
The podcasts and internet availability are just one more realm for authors to explore, like the new book trailers. One more way to share our stories, which is what it’s all about.
So if you haven’t caught on to this trend, click over to the podcast sites and see what’s out there. There are so many stories to take in, so many tales to enjoy. Miss as few as possible.