On 9/14, in my first blog at this website (Publishing vs. Technology), I mentioned that Holtzbrinck Publishers (owners of Tor and St. Martin's Press) had launched a podcast as a PR tool. Anyone with an Mp3 player or iPod (or computer with DAP--digital audio player capacity) can now subscribe to an audio download of interviews with Holtzbrinck's authors as well as excerpts from their books.
Now, Simon & Schuster is following suit with their new podcast. Starting on Wednesday of this week (9/28), the new SimonSays Podcast was introduced with an interview by best-selling chick lit author Jennifer Weiner on her new book, GOODNIGHT NOBODY.
And, not to be outdone, Time Warner's Little Brown has also started a podcast featuring their best-selling author Michael Connelly.
Hello: Are you spotting a pattern here? Three of the top seven publishing houses have initiated podcast programs in less than a month. I predict we'll be hearing soon from Bertelsmann AG (Random House, Doubleday, Bantam Dell), Penguin Group, HarperCollins and Harcourt.
Writers need to begin paying special attention to the clauses relating to audio rights in their contracts. Even if you've never considered the possibility that your book could be marketed in an audio version, think again. USA Today reports that, in less than a month, the new Holtzbrinck podcast has drawn 40,000 hits to its site. That's not chicken feed.
Twice this week, I've talked about the concern publishers have expressed regarding the growing used book market (remember: when you buy a used book, neither the author nor the publisher gets any royalties).
When the trend toward used books hit the textbook market, the textbook publishers responded by raising prices (I know, it makes no sense to me either). Perhaps the non-textbook publishers will think outside of the box in their search for new solutions.
Just musing . . .