Starting a podcast takes time, devotion and, yes, sometimes a few tears. if you’re going to start a podcast, it helps to begin with a subject you love, AND with people you really like.
One More Page is a podcast for lovers of kids’ books, featuring children’s authors Liz Ledden, Kate Simpson and Nat Amoore. That’s them on the left in their cute t-shirts (note to self: get some merch!).
So when Liz Ledden reached out to write a guest post about all that is good about podcasting (and some tips on how to start your own podcast), I jumped at the chance.
Liz Ledden tells: 6 Things I’ve Learnt About Podcasting
Since co-hosting kids’ book podcast One More Page for nearly three years alongside fellow authors Kate Simpson and Nat Amoore, I’ve learnt a thing or two about this whole podcasting biz. Here are six standouts:
1/ It’s like your own personal masterclass … that you share with the world
Having a podcast about the children’s book world (One More Page) means you’re constantly asking people about things you’re curious about. And that presumably (and hopefully) listeners are, too. Obsessed with a certain author? Drill them for their creativity tips! Dream of working with a particular publisher? Ask them what they look for in a manuscript, or an author. There’s so much wisdom to be gained from podcasts, and the hosts have as much to learn as their listenership.
2/ It’s hard to listen to your own voice (like, really hard)
One of the most confronting things about podcasting, especially when starting out, is discovering what your voice ‘really’ sounds like. Which may then lead you down a rabbit hole of – why do I laugh like that? Why didn’t I say something different there? Can we just re-release that entire episode already?! But eventually, you do get used to it. (Except for that sentence, and that one too … Oh god, I hope no one heard that bit!).
3/ It’s kind of like a workplace
Being part of a podcast team is just like a workplace, minus the boss and regular pay packet. There’s the ‘watercooler’ (a WhatsApp chat mostly filled with ridiculous gifs) and to-do lists to tick off (yes, our very own KPIs). There’s also break-time banter (the pre and post-pod chat), dodgy office politics (It’s MY review copy! No, MINE!), and people behaving (or singing) badly at the Christmas party – except ours is recorded for anyone to hear. At least we can all declare ourselves ‘Employee of the Year’ – hooray!
4/ It’s also a bit like being a publisher
‘Sorry, it’s not right for our list’. Sound familiar, writerly people?! Yes, that age-old publishing rejection spiel is sometimes just as applicable to the podcast world. I’ve discovered how similar being a podcaster is to a publisher, in terms of people getting in touch:
– We have an endless stream of people emailing with requests (the ‘slush pile’).
– We sometimes need to take a raincheck on wonderful content (a fully booked publishing schedule).
– There’s the occasional mega-star we try to squeeze in no matter what (like when a celebrity kids’ book author comes knocking at a publishing house – hello, mega sales!).
– And just like publishers, we have a few odd bods offering content not really suited to One More Page (like writers who don’t follow submission guidelines or research a publisher first).
Sorry to say … it’s not right for our list.
5/ If something goes wrong, it’ll be at the worst possible time
Inevitably, any internet-dependant venture will face a tech fail or two. These, of course, are exclusively reserved for those high-profile guests you’ve waited your whole life to speak to. But that time you interview your pal from your writers’ group? It will go off without the slightest of hitches. Internet gods, why do you do this?! (Sidenote: It’s actually been a while since this has happened … knock on wood!)
6/ Grateful guests warm the heart
Some seasoned authors, illustrators and other bookish figures regularly do the publicity rounds. An interview here, a livestream there, maybe even a coveted TV spot. They’re glad to add One More Page to their repertoire, but it mightn’t necessarily be a life highlight.
However, every now and then, someone is stratospherically excited and grateful for some podcasterly airtime, whether we interview them, review their book or shout out to their latest venture.
And when someone tells us how much it means to them, it makes all the effort worthwhile.
Like the idea of podcasting?
Perhaps you have your own idea for a podcast (or don’t even mind the sound of your own voice!).
Here are a few things to consider if embarking down the podcasting path:
Why are you podcasting?
You don’t necessarily need a product or service to spruik, it might be to build your brand or further your career.
As authors, we’re able to mention our own books, so think about how you could tie in your existing ventures with your podcast. Of course, you may simply want to connect with likeminded people, but who knows what opportunities that could lead to?
What is your podcast about, and who is it aimed at?
If you have several audiences in mind (e.g. across age groups), how will your content cater to them? At One More Page, we imagine some kids might listen as well as adults who love kids’ books, like teacher librarians or writers. That’s why we keep our content G-rated, and also feature kids themselves on the show.
What will you call your podcast?
This sets the tone for your show, and requires a bit of research to avoid doubling up. But once you have a name you can set up everything from a website, to an email address, to social media accounts.
What about all the techie bits?
From establishing your format, writing your content and contacting potential guests, there’s a whole lot of behind the scenes work in putting a podcast together.
You’ll not only need a website host but an account with a podcast hosting site, which will upload your episodes to all the main podcast apps. Plus some quality headphones with a mic, a quiet place to record and recording software, too.
There’s a world of information a quick google search away to help you work it all out.
If the above sounds daunting, it’s mostly related to getting started. Once you’re up and running you can concentrate on producing your content, let the laughs roll and share your fun (and in our case, fandom) with the world!
Liz Ledden is a Sydney-based children’s book author and co-host of kids’ book podcast, One More Page. Connect with Liz on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Her picture book Tulip and Brutus about friendship, differences and bugs is out now.
Her second picture book, Walking Your Human, is for dog-lovers everywhere and due out in February 2021.
Find out more about One More Page podcast here.
Love this podcast because of its sincerity, fun, information and the wonderful presenters.