C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

See all my books at AllThatChazz.com.

Have you, by chance, checked out my podcast?

Image representing Stitcher as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

The new pod is up at AllThatChazz.com. Witness the struggle of the sad author/wedding crasher, hear the story of the cannibal in the bad chinese restaurant, mull odd and ends about honesty and spam. I get serious about feeding starving people, starving Sally Struthers and putting the military-industrial complex on a diet. I also wrestle the Pope (not naked).

Enjoy if you can and if you like it, please review it on iTunes or hit the thumbs-up button on Stitcher. Thanks for listening!

~ Chazz

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , ,

Get heard: Podcast Your Book

Twenty-three episodes ago, I started a podcast to help market my short story collection, Self-help for Stoners. The Self-help for Stoners weekly podcast evolved in directions that surprised me. At first I thought I would just talk a little and read a lot of my fiction. I did that, but then I ended up doing a lot more. I found that podcasting was as creative an outlet as writing is, and in many ways it’s a similar process. Since last November, I’ve talked ancient personal history, TV shows, odds, ends, trivia, movies and ranted  about all the ills of the world. I appeared on seven other podcasts, played around with a few skits and scenario (writing some out at first and later, improv). Often I delivered a word spew in my accursed, stilted, Shatnerian delivery. I’ve gone on too long, repeated myself and sometimes I went too far and got boring, just like real public radio! I’ve done it all for free and for fun. It’s still fun. Before I started, I saw it in the cold terms of a marketing device. What I didn’t expect was to have so much fun doing it. I even got a bit better.

Now it’s time to change it up. What’s past is prelude.

I looked at my stats and, unlike stats you study in school, podcast stats are fascinating. You learn geography lessons looking at podcast stats because the breakdowns are so detailed. I could see where people downloaded my nonsense and conscience from around the world. California (especially San Francisco) loves me. My family back east aren’t too keen. I’m guessing 129 people in Beijing are using my podcast to help them learn English. (God help them.)

All podcasts drop off in terms of how long listeners can stand to listen. There’s a formula (no one knows what the formula is) that correlates how interesting your podcast is/listening time/length of commute and/or how long people can stay on a treadmill while listening to an angry man rant and ramble. I looked at my drop off and decided shorter, punchier podcasts with only the best, high energy stuff was the way to go. As fun as podcasting is, I can’t let it cut too much into writing and revising time, so shorter is better for me and for listeners. I’ll take the time to be more brief and more frequent.

What’s coming:

1. Shorter podcasts will arrive twice a week starting immediately (first new one’s Tuesday and, by the way, MITT ROMNEY IS GOING TO GET IT! GIRD YOUR LOINS WITH THAT SPECIAL UNDERWEAR AND COVER YOUR EARS, WOULD-BE PRESIDENT MITTENS! PREPARE FOR A STERN TALKING TO!) A note to people who are very easily offended: I don’t care for you. I’m not trying to piss anybody off, but weak opinions are boring just as opinions without facts are stupid. Some people think authors should never say anything controversial that might offend and avoid any discussion of religion or politics. On the other hand, those same people believe in paint-on hair for bald guys. I do not hold with being weak on opinions. You wind up making friends with people who’d hate you if they knew the truth instead of being honest and gathering friends you understand and who understand you. Readers and listeners want authenticity more than they want bland and stupid. People who want bland aren’t my readers, anyway, so they can move elsewhere. Via con dios.

2. I will podcast my new crime thriller (coming soon!) one chapter at a time, on Fridays.

3. The new book will be available free as a podcast, but for those who can’t take the rising tension and tearing suspense, they’ll be able to purchase it as a download from Audible.com, in paperback or, of course, as an ebook. The crime thriller will be a series.

4. Surprise! An instructional book is coming this summer.

5. I’m writing The Poeticule Bay series (suspense in rural Maine) and another, apocalyptic book, is on its way.

6. I’ll be going with Amazon’s KDP Select, at least at first.

7. I’m really excited about publishing with Audible. Had I not got into podcasting, the prospect would be intimidating. After experimenting with 23 podcast episodes, recording a book isn’t scary at all.

8. If you aren’t podcasting, choose a niche, get a friend and consider how you can make podcasting part of your book promotion. You might even find you enjoy it. As an indie author, you love creativity, so the mic might have allure you never suspected. 2011 was the year comedians took over podcasting. Maybe this is the year many more of us podcast our books into earbuds worldwide.

Here’s what I announced on my author website today:

Hi fellow babies, as Dr. Johnny Fever used to say. I’m going to be taking the Self-help for Stoners podcast in new directions soon. Hm. That sounds like corporate-speak uttered by a soulless robot in a suit at a vast corporation easily parodied on The Simpsons, so let’s put it this way: I’m changing the format for the Self-help for Stoners podcast starting this week.

I was shooting the wild crapola on the Skype serengeti with my buddy Dave Jackson from The School of Podcasting the other night and he mentioned he likes the variety I present here weekly. Another way of putting it is that I’m all over the road, ranting one minute and doing a skit the next and reading short stories from my collections here and there. I podcast like a chimp with ADD.

So here’s my nefarious plan for world domination: I’m going to podcast twice weekly, but with shorter episodes. I will podcast my new crime thriller, one chapter at a time, once a week, as soon as it’s ready. That’s just a few weeks away as I finish revisions etc.,…. The full version of the book will be available as an ebook, paperback and with Audible.com so if you can’t wait to get your suspense doled out a week at a time, you can go get the whole thing in one fell swoop (or one foul swoop if you don’t care for my peculiar brand of whimsy.)

In the meantime, expect a couple of episodes of ranty fun each week as I go off on my lefty liberal rants, confusing an Ought with an Is and suffering from I Wish I Were King of the Universe Syndrome. There are lots more goodies to come as I ramp up my book and podcast production, my web presence, my readership, my listenership and my army of ninja monkey clones. Stay tuned.

If you like the podcasts, please leave a happy review on iTunes or hit the thumbs-up button on Stitcher. It really helps with the ranking so more happy people can join in the fun, too. And your grudging approval keeps me from jumping off this high, thin ledge. Thanks for listening.

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , ,

One way to find new audiences for your books might be…

What do these things have in common?

1. Learning German from Hogan’s Heroes.

2. My first fight.

3. My other fights.

4. James Bond’s brand of lighter. 

Answer: I talk about these things on my podcast.

I had a surprise last night as I examined my podcast statistics. I’m being found. Listenership is trending up. Even better, I’m being found by people I wouldn’t encounter otherwise.

What is podcasting? It’s radio, on the Internet, usually for free. In a craven ploy to market my books, I named the podcast after one of my books, Self-help for Stoners. When I started the podcast a few months ago, I thought that if I ran out of material, I could always fall back on reading from my fiction. I’m amazed to find that each week I find new things to talk about for a weekly comedy/narrative/sometimes ranty podcast. It’s a lot of fun. It’s harder than blogging, but it’s different from a blog in good ways, too. When I podcast, I’m free to talk about whatever I want so it often ends up going in some weird directions. Surreal, even. Anything goes as long as it interests me and I think it’s fun or funny.

Must you have a voice (and face) for radio? I had a little experience with radio in university, but I don’t have the best radio voice. My delivery can sometimes devolve into such a spasmodic cadence that it’s positively Shatnerian. But it is still fun despite my vocal handicaps. I didn’t think the podcast was taking off and I vacillated between blaming my stammer and my material, among other bits of very personal self-loathing. When I saw the improvement in the stats, I decided I had been too harsh and impatient. (Thing is: I would podcast anyway. I enjoy it that much.)

Why podcast?  I’ve already mentioned it’s a fun creative outlet. Through podcasting I’ve met some really nice people and, more to the marketing point, more people are finding me and my books who otherwise would never have heard of me. What’s really cool is seeing all the places the people are listening from! People listen from all around the world: Madrid, New Jersey, Ireland. I have a pocket of love with 22 downloads in Belgium. A whack of people in Alberta listen to my podcast every week. Somewhere in the streets of Beijing, someone’s got my voice in their ears as they take a bus to work, presumably to learn english (I’m guessing.) By far, the podcast is most popular in the SanFrancisco/Oakland area. Does that play into a stoner stereotype? My podcast may suffer the same problem as my book of the same name: in an effort to get a hook, I might have screwed myself up in the early going with the Self-help for Stoners  title. People sometimes assume my stuff is only for stoners and that’s not at all true. All my books are mostly suspense. In the podcast, I talk about anything I like, tell stories (true and false), read excerpts sometimes, recommend other books and podcasts, and say some really stupid stuff for laughs. Sometimes I come up with something deep…usually by accident.

Is podcasting for you? I listen to podcasts somewhat obsessively. It’s how I get through non-writing tasks like bringing in the wood, doing the dishes  and folding laundry. Having my own show seemed like a natural extension of going indie with books. It’s not expensive to do, though the tech stuff was daunting at first. After some initial one-time expenses and some experimentation with the mic and editing program, the only ongoing cost is that I use a pocast host service (Libsyn) for $20 a month. (I don’t drink so that would have been beer money.) If you decide to go ahead with podcasting, I suggest you save yourself a lot of time and headaches and get Dave Jackson from The School of Podcasting to help you with the set up. I’m reasonably tech savvy, but there were so many little nuances, I eventually decided I’d only ever get it started if I brought in an expert.

How will people find your podcast? People can download my podcast from Stitcher Radio (which streams it to any device), straight from my author site or from iTunes. There are podcast directories and google searches, but mostly, people find my podcast through Twitter. Here on Chazz Writes, I speak mostly about book marketing to fellow indie writers (and that’s great! Thanks for being here. You’re who this blog is for!) AllThatChazz.com is the blog for readers interested in my fiction and who want to hear the podcast. What might have also helped my listenership was that I appeared on six other podcasts recently in some capacity (including reading one of my stories from Self-help on The Word Count Podcast in support of Indies Unite for Joshua. Donate if you can, please. It’s a great cause.)

Last night I published my sixteenth podcast. It’s taken me a while to find my stride. I still stammer, though I edit better than I used to. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be fun, and yes, some of the jokes are just for me.

If I could eliminate one word from the english language, what would it be?

War.

But a close second choice choice? My dumbass, simian vocalization as I try to find the next word:

“…Um….”

~ Robert Chazz Chute has a whack of short stories available on Smashwords and his novella (The Dangerous Kind) and dark collections of suspense (Self-help for Stoners and Sex, Death & Mind Control) are available just about everywhere. He’s such a sweet guy that when he writes about himself in the third person, like right now, he collapses even deeper into a well of self-loathing.

Filed under: All That Chazz, ebooks, My fiction, podcasts, Publicity & Promotion, publishing, self-publishing, What about Chazz?, What about you?, Writers, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

You can pick this ebook up for free today at this link: http://bit.ly/TheNightMan

For my author site and the Chazz network, click the blood spatter below.

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