In a report titled,”The Infinite Dial 2013: Navigating Digital Platforms”, the Arbitron and Edison Research groups conducted a national telephone survey to gather estimates of emerging digital platforms and their impact on the media landscape. Their research found that an estimated 120 million Americans listened to online radio the month prior to the survey, a climb from 17% in 2003 to 45% in 2013. The highly detailed report also stated that when asked about the awareness of the term “podcasting”, the numbers jumped from 22% in 2006 to 46% in 2013.
So what do these numbers mean to the average writer just looking to get their story published? It could mean a lot. Reports like this show that the digital age for publication is not only limited to the Kindle and web based ezines, the audio market is growing… and growing markets are hungry!
Granted, the market of podcast fiction and online radio is not as well paying as some print markets. But it is a great platform to promote your work and there is the added benefit of the end product (your audio story) adding entertainment to your primarily text based social media sites.
Let’s face it; Podcasts and radio shows are entertaining. People want entertainment, and no matter how much you love your little darling of a story, at the end of the day people just want to be entertained. So why not submit your stories to a publisher that may pay little to nothing in money, but a lot in exposure?
I’ll use myself as an example… it’s my article; I can do that, so hush!
I’ve always been a fan of the audio book, and in March of 2013 I began to explore the idea of hearing one of my stories in audio form. A few internet searches later and I found myself submitting my short horror story “Swallow” to Chilling Tales for Dark Nights. They liked it, and on June 16th 2013 they published the audio version of my story.
Luckily for me, the narrator who chose to read and produce my story was a man by the Youtube moniker of Mr. Creepypasta. I say “luckily” for two reasons. First, Mr. Creepypasta did an amazing job with the story; second he has a large following on his channel.
Between Chilling Tales for Dark Nights and Mr. Creepypasta my story “Swallow” has been viewed (as of me writing this) 71,394 times! That’s a ton of exposure to my writing and it’s worth its weight in gold.
But free exposure wasn’t all that happened. In much the same way that I had been bitten by the writing bug several years ago, I had been bitten by the audio bug. I’ve never experienced the thrill of seeing a screenplay come to life on the screen (yet) but I imagine it’s similar to what I experienced. “Swallow” was no longer just a story, it had come to life.
That led me to submitting stories to other audio publishers like Pseudopod. I was sent a rejection letter of course, and I’m proud to say that Pseudopod has sent my favorite rejection so far:
Thank you for sending us “Dollop”. I’ve reviewed the story and decided not to purchase it. In complete truth, I just felt it was too long for its payoff, with no character depth and just inherently gross.
Thanks for submitting, and I hope my comments have been at least a tiny bit helpful.
It’s common to get cookie cutter rejections and rejections with helpful tips… but to be told that your story is inherently gross? Well, that’s just cool. Considering the basic point of the story was to tell the readers about a boy named Dollop who killed his parents, chopped them up and mixed the bits into spoiled sour cream (a dollop of sour cream… get it?), and then force fed the concoction to his class as payback for getting picked on… I’d say that I got the desired response. “Dollop” is inherently gross.
Shortly after the rejection letter I got the idea of making the pitch a little more appealing by contacting voice over artists and asking if they’d like to narrate my stories to add material to their portfolios. I’d then be able to submit not only the manuscript but an mp3 of the story ready to be edited. I would get exposure and so would the narrator. Win win.
Well, it worked. Narrator Lynne Darlington agreed to do the voice over for “The Cecil Hotel” and narrator Matt Grant agreed to do the voice over for “Character Within”. I took both mp3 files and sent them to the NoSleep Podcast and asked the show’s host, Dave Cummings, if he’d be interested in placing the stories on his show… he picked up both!
“Character Within” Season 3, Episode 22, Story #4 (Members Only, sorry)
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m no Stephen King or Harlan Ellison, and I don’t mean to repeatedly toot my own horn like some crazed road rage prone driver stuck on I-5 during rush hour… I still have a day job. But, I am a writer who loves to entertain his readers and listeners. I’m also an author who likes to help other writers whenever possible.
My point in this article is to encourage you to think outside the box when looking for places to submit your work. The audio market is growing and is the perfect place for writers. I hope that you’ve found this helpful and please feel free to visit my site MateoHellion.com, follow, send comments, or become my first stalker!
This Guest Post has been provided by: Mateo Hellion. Mateo is a published author in the horror genre as well as in children’s literature. When not writing, he is the father of two boys and work as part of the security team for Monroe High School in Monroe WA.
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