The 29th and final episode of the HERETIC podcast went live today and with it my great podcast experiment of 2006 has come to a close.
For those of you who have been following this thing over the last 11 months, I set out in February 2006 to podcast the complete text of my novel HERETIC, book one of the Templar Chronicles, with the intended aim of doing one episode per week for 31 weeks. It was a fun experiment and I think I learned a lot from it. For the benefits of my readers here, I thought I’d share some of the final results, both good and bad.
Schedule – I had hoped to do an episode per week. As it turned out, I was unable to stick to the schedule, ending up taking 52 weeks instead of 33. Deadlines on two different novels and a two month spell of really horrendous sleep deprivation got in the way, but all in all I’m happy with the time it took.
Listeners – At the start, I had hoped to introduce 10,000 new listeners to my work over the course of the podcast. As I post this final episode, I have had 37,130 unique listeners download at least one episode, so I tripled my initial goal. I am still getting new listeners every day – episode one was downloaded 315 times in the month of December.
Geography – I had hoped that the electronic format of the project would bring in listeners from geographic areas that I had been unable to reach with my books. The 37,130 above came from 79 different countries, from the US to Korea, Russia to El Salvador, China to Australia. The top five countries were mainly English speaking ones – the US, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, and the UK, but even little countries like Estonia showed up on the list several times.
Readers – My goal was to have some of these listeners turn into readers, the idea being that getting them involved in the story might make them go out and buy the book. I have no idea if this succeeded or not, as I haven’t been able to match up podcast numbers with actual sales. I do think timing was not in my favor here, as the podcast began six months after the book was released and it wasn’t on many shelves at that point; buyers would have had to ask for it to be ordered, which can often be a hassle. Then again, there is always Amazon…
So, did the experiment work? Yes, I think so. Though it will be long term before I can tell if it had any real impact on actual sales of my books.
I’m considering continuing with some of my other works, so we’ll see what happens from here.
And for all those who tuned in – thank you very much for participating!