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NPR's Podcast Start Up Guide

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From NPR comes the definitive guide to podcasting—featuring step-by-step advice on how to find a ... Read More

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From NPR comes the definitive guide to podcasting—featuring step-by-step advice on how to find a unique topic, tell the best stories, and engage the most listeners, as well as the secrets that will take your pod to the next level.

Whoever you are, whatever you love, there’s a podcast audience waiting for you, and in today’s booming audio storytelling landscape, it’s never been easier to share your voice with the world. But while the barrier to entry for podcast production is relatively low (just the cost of a mic and a laptop), the learning curve is steep—and quality matters. That’s where NPR comes in. 
In NPR’s Podcast Start Up Guide, Glen Weldon draws on NPR’s extensive educational materials and army of talent—from recognizable hosts, such as Guy Raz (How I Built This), Gene Demby (Code Switch), Linda Holmes (Pop Culture Happy Hour), and Yowei Shaw (Invisibilia), to indispensable behind-the-scenes players, such as producers, engineers, and editors—to guide aspiring podcasters through the conception, creation, and launch of a podcast.
Part master class, part candid informational interview with the best in the business, this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to make their dream of starting a podcast a reality. “This guide answers the questions of any would-be podcaster while keeping the tone fresh, funny, and accessible. Weldon also supplies interactive exercises to give every new show the best chance of success, including marketing, distribution and metadata suggestions. Each beloved podcast starts somewhere, and this book is ideal for those looking to be the next big hit.”—Shelf Awareness

“Written in a friendly tone full of jokey sidenotes, this book guides the nascent podcaster through . . . everything from concept to the right type of microphone to whether or not to monetize. [T]his user-friendly, comprehensive guide is a must for potential podcasters.”BooklistGlen Weldon is an editor at the NPR Arts Desk as well as a film, television, and book critic. For the last decade he's been a panelist on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, a roundtable discussion podcast about the latest television, movies, books, and comics. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he has received fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation and the Amtrak Writers' Residency Fellowship, among others. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, and The Atlantic. He lives in Washington, D.C.Podcasting with a Plan

Whoever you are, whatever you love, there’s a podcast for you. More every day. Sports fan, knitting obsessive, culture vulture, armchair psychologist, political junkie, science nerd, foodie, left-handed Bolivian dental hygienist—you name it, there’s a podcast about it.

Podcasting’s growth has been nuts, and it’s continuing. In 2019, the New York Times counted more than seven hundred thousand podcasts in existence, with two to three thousand new shows appearing every dang month. That same year, podcasting reached a major milestone when an Infinite Dial Study by Edison Research and Triton Digital found that more than 50 percent of Americans ages twelve and over said they had ever listened to a podcast.

Podcasts are booming because they speak to our collective obsession with wanting to know stuff (the faster the better; we’re busy!) and to enjoy stuff (being busy can be stressful; we need downtime!). Podcasts make these leaps in knowledge and pleasure available in the time it takes to tuck in earbuds—while freeing our eyeballs and hands to do other things. We listen while we commute, work out, walk the dog, cook, or drift to sleep.

But there’s another growth curve. Hundreds of thousands of us are transforming our love of listening to podcasts into creating them.

Maybe you picked up this book because you’ve got an idea or a message that’s important to you. Maybe friends or family have said, “You should do a podcast!” Maybe you want to explore audio storytelling. Or maybe you heard that podcasts can help your business.

Most of us who love podcasts haven’t thought too much about what goes into making them. They’re just there for us. We wake up, open our phone, and our favorite podcasts are downloaded and waiting. But a lot of steps happen between the seed of an idea and that polished, finished product.

With so many people getting into podcasting, quality varies hugely. Too hugely. Sure, the barrier to entry in podcasting is low—like, very low. So low it’s making a divot in the carpet: If you’ve got a mic and a laptop, you can create a successful podcast, right?

Wrong. Execution matters. Poor sound quality, sloppy or non-existent editing, undercooked storytelling, and a host of other issues render many—okay, most—podcasts unsustainable and unlistenable.

The barrier to entry may be low, but the learning curve is steep.

Sit down with any podcaster and you’ll hear stories from the trenches, from forgetting to hit the Record button to learning—with slow-dawning horror—that the one interview subject they’ve built an episode around dried up somewhere between the juicy preinterview and the guarded, dull-as-dishwater recording session. While any project worth undertaking has challenges, many of the most common stumbling blocks, blind alleys, rabbit holes, and curve balls are avoidable, if you know the questions to ask yourself first.

That’s what this book’s about. Setting your sights on quality is crucial in a crowded marketplace where audiences will move on if they aren’t instantly hooked by a story. And every podcast out there is jostling for attention—for listeners clicking, downloading, and sharing—in the merciless algorithmic mosh pit called the internet.

Consider this: Typically, 20 to 35 percent of a podcast episode’s audience drops out in the first five minutes. Getting and keeping audience attention is serious business. You have to give this podcasting thing your best shot to avoid the dreaded, all-too-common petering-out phenomenon that some have labeled “podfade.”

I’m here to help. I want to share what we at NPR know about keeping people listening.

This book is the definitive, go-to guide on how to podcast, powered by NPR’s decades of experience, expertise, and acclaim in the audio space. I’ll share proven strategies, from nurturing the glimmerings of an idea to getting your audience to hit Play. You’ll learn how to figure out the best structure and format for your podcast; storytelling techniques that hook listeners; important fundamentals on scheduling, budgeting, and legalities; the dos and don’ts for recording and editing; and the nuts and bolts for the launch and distribution of the final product.

Some of this book’s information has been adapted from materials developed by the NPR Training team—which includes our wide-ranging catalog of tips and tricks for audio journalism and storytelling. But you’ll get much more than that. How do the pros open a story in a compelling way that makes listeners stick around? What advice do they have for aspiring podcasters? You’ll find insights from some of the most respected names in the NPR and podcasting universe, plus wisdom from our producers, writers, editors, sound technicians, and project managers, who know what it takes to get a podcast done and done.

To be clear: The goal isn’t for you to sound like NPR. It’s to outfit you with the questions to ask yourself—based on the hard-won lessons we’ve learned over the years—that will make you sound like you.

Because that, at the end of the (very long!) day, is what your podcast must and should be: your voice, your passion.

Your story.

Product Details

Title: NPR's Podcast Start Up Guide
Author: Glen Weldon
SKU: BK0453839
EAN: 9780593139080
Language: English

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