I have sent this information so frequently in e-mails lately that I decided I should have it more easily available. I am perpetually hungry for podcast guests! Here are some frequently asked questions.
Who are you looking for to be on the podcast?
Most guests are people who read - all ages, all genres. I would like a wide variety, and sometimes because of my circles I end up with more science fiction and fantasy readers than otherwise. So if you read outside of those genres, I want you even more, until I find the magical balance that I believe must exist. (But everyone knows this is not me being dismissive of those genres. I know readers within them because of my love for them!)
I also look for people who are in interesting or unique book clubs. For this kind of episode, it is best to have more than one person.
I'm an author/publisher/editor and want to pimp my latest project. Are you interested?
I have had authors from time to time, but usually I am asking them because I think they have an interesting perspective or I already know I enjoy their work and want them to talk more about it. I also try to stick to the concept of authors-who-read. I might be convinced of it but that is just not the primary purpose of the podcast.
Since we're on the topic, will you review my book?
You can ask, but I only take review copies for books that interest me. I already have several avenues to acquire review copies and still want time to read non-review books. I also do not talk about every book I read on the podcast, because I read over 200 books a year.
How can I get on the schedule?
Contact me, readingenvy [at] gee-mail, you know the one. We will discuss the particulars. Since I post an episode every two weeks, I try to record every two weeks. I have Thursday nights blocked out for recording but am completely flexible - otherwise I would not be able to have podcast guests from overseas!
Can I bring a friend?
Yes! I think the magical number is three people at once, including me. If you have another reading friend who wants to be on the podcast at the same time, that would be great. I have at times paired strangers together.
How are the episodes recorded?
Right now I record through Skype into a program called Audio Hijack. If I record in person, I record directly in Audacity.
What are the technical requirements?
It works best if each person has at least a headset mic and is plugged into an internet connection (not just wireless). That said we have successfully recorded podcasts using internal mics, cellphones, etc. If we are new to each other, we might decide to test Skype ahead of time.
If you live within an hour radius I will probably try to record in person, because the sound quality is better without the internet involved.
How can I prepare for the episode?
This depends on how many people are on the episode. If it is just two of us, each of us will bring three books to talk about. These should be books you liked and read recently enough that you can discuss them. Please don't feel like you have to pick the THREE GREATEST BOOKS OF ALL TIME because that really isn't the point. If there are three of us, each person only needs to bring two books. Be able to summarize the book and find an excerpt to read if possible (some books are not as conducive to excerpting, and if you have an advanced reader copy of a book, we can't include excerpts.)
I also ask guests who are new to the podcast about what they like to read in general, and let guests plug any online presence or project they want to, as long as that isn't their sole reason to appear.
I've never done anything like this before and I'm hesitant/nervous
Don't worry! I remember my nerves the first time I was on the SFF Audio podcast. Sometimes things go wrong - Siri will start talking, a dog will bark, a phone will ring. I can edit that kind of thing out. I also edit out awkward pauses and people that go on too long. Ha. I'm not just posting raw audio to the internet. I don't record on separate tracks so if one person's noise covers up another person's comments, that can be more difficult. We will try hard to overcome all obstacles, but I'm a big fan of the "good enough" philosophy. You love to read? We'll make it work.
Some people have used the strategy of a nickname, and that is always fine. Nobody has to know it is you.
Another suggestion I make is to listen to a few episodes. If you are a book club, try episodes 013, 015, or 023. If you are the rare author/editor/publisher I have asked to be a guest, try episodes 021 or 029. Any of the other episodes will give a sense of the more standard episodes, but some personal favorites include episodes 004, 025, and 033.