One of my favorite parts of being a writer is doing research.
I have friends who roll their eyes and moan when their novels demand that they know the type of underwear men wore in 1918 or how brown fat differs from white fat in the human body. I guess I'm just weird--I love looking up data and learning something new.
I'm writing an article for my RWA chapter on trends in publishing and I've come to "podcasting." You know, the downloading of audio content to a DAP (digital audio player) like an iPod. I'm not talking about downloading tunes; I'm talking about downloading radio programs like NPR's "Morning Edition" or "All Things Considered."
Last week's Publishers' Lunch included an item about Holtzbrinck--one of the seven large New York publishing houses--launching holtzbrinckpodcasts.com. The publisher--owner of such imprints as St. Martin's Press and Tor--will provide author readings, interviews and excerpts from their company's titles.
While they are starting out using the technology as a PR device, it's not a far reach to imagine audiobooks available by subscription on your iPod. Just imagine: audiobooks that are TRULY portable. You could listen to a mystery while jogging or standing on line in the grocery store.
AND, take it one step further, what if a group of authors got together and started their own podcasting company? With access to the appropriate audio equipment and the ability to market via the Internet, would they even need a publisher?
Just musing . . .