by Bob Tinsley

Why should you as a visitor to TVWriter™ be interested in making audio fiction? Why should you be interested in making podcasts? Discoverability, that’s why.

The meaning of the word podcast is evolving to include any episodic, audio-only production whether nonfiction or fiction. Agents and major studios have started trawling through podcasts and their creators for new content and talent. 

So here’s the latest news to help you and your podcast get discovered: 

Music from https://filmmusic.io
“The Builder” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Manhattan Beach Animation Director Turns ‘spaghetti Western’ Animated Tale Into ‘audio Drama’.

Manhattan Beach‘s David Schaub and Surf’s Up animator, Roger Vizard,  created Spirits of the Western Wild, as an audio drama that is part spaghetti western, part The Twilight Zone. They didn’t feel they could raise the money to make an animated film, so they decided on an audio fiction show.

According to Schaub and Vizard, the idea was busy producers could listen to the story on their commutes instead of the “dread” of reading a script. Were you paying attention, there? I hope so. The audio is available on Audible and as an illustrated Kindle book.



What is Apple Building Next in Podcasting?

Apple is making new, more user-centric podcast software, says Mark Asquith, the CEO and co-founder of Rebel Base Media, and looking to work with even more creators to, in turn, drive the user base up. From there, there’s an opportunity for Apple to create a suite of tools and platforms at relatively low cost to them that will help to drive the industry through the next decade. Apple might be the only brand in the world that can heavily invest in podcasting without needing to see a return immediately. It’s a long read but essential to understand the behemoth of the podcasting space.



Podcast Marketing Strategy: The Podcast Discoverability Triangle.

Mark Asquith is back with another long, but necessary, read about discoverability, otherwise known as marketing. As I said, it’s a long read, but at the bottom of the article is an entertaining 6-½ minute video summarizing the whole thing.

Bottom line: “Whilst technology in podcasting is always evolving and bringing us new toys to play with when it comes to our marketing, none of these will work effectively over the long-term without a solid and sound understanding of base marketing strategy and running these multi-layered marketing campaigns for your show will help you to win the long game. Because that’s what podcasting is.”



Audience Growth Isn’t An Accident: Your Podcast Needs A Web Strategy.

Radio Public has produced a twelve-part video series on how to create an audience growth strategy using websites, email newsletters, and social media to gain and retain listeners. Having a web strategy is integral to growing your audience. One more brick on the road. The videos will help you grasp the concept and start implementing it right away.



Advertising A Podcast, Part 3.

Another must-read article from the tireless and unselfish Sean Howard. “In this installment, I share the results of experiments designed to gain listeners via cross promotion. This is about leveraging our shared reach as podcasts for mutual benefit. We are going to cover three types of cross-promotion: promo ad swaps, episode drops and crossovers.” A data geek’s delight, Sean gives us some solid, actionable strategies.




A high-fantasy fiction podcast about three friends trying to fix a hole in the weave that creates magic and find out who caused it. Written by Kessi Riliniki the series shows the attention to detail, in both writing and production, that also makes her a wonderful graphic artist. She’s done cover art for a lot of podcasts out there and is available to do yours!


Until next week, same Pod-time, same Pod-channel, keep listening and keep creating.

Herbie J Pilato On TV’s Wonder Couple, Lynda Carter and Lyle Waggoner

by Herbie J Pilato

From 1975 (in ABC’s World War II setting) to 1979 (for the CBS then-contemporary version), Lynda Carter and Lyle Waggoner utilized grace and humor in portraying lead characters Diana Prince and Steve Trevor in the same, but different — if twin — television adaptations of Woman Woman.

Today, the seemingly-immortal Carter remains active in nearly every aspect of the entertainment industry. But sadly, Waggoner succumbed to cancer at 84-years-old on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2020.

Before Wonder Woman, Waggoner was best-known as the announcer-turned-performer on The Carol Burnett Show from 1967 to 1974. While the Burnett program continued until 1978 without him, Waggoner found new fame as the father and son editions of Steve Trevor opposite Carter, then a fresh-faced newcomer (and former Miss World USA), in the 1975 TV-movie and backdoor pilot, The All-New, Original Wonder Woman.

TV watchers tuned in by the groves, and that film turned into a series of ABC one-hour specials, followed by two more regular seasons on CBS.

Many viewers were charmed by Carter and Waggoner’s very human and approachable TV interpretations of their comic book roles. “That’s exactly what I tried to do,” Carter in particular once recalled. “Wonder Woman possessed superpowers, but her special abilities did not solely define who she was. With Wonder Woman, people had a chance to see something that they hadn’t seen before on TV -a physically able, emotionally and psychologically stable, independent woman with a fantasy element….”

Read it all at Medium.Com

Writer/producer Herbie J Pilato is the host of the TV talk show THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, now streaming on Amazon Prime and the author of several pop-culture/media tie-in books. He has been part of TVWriter™ for over 20 years and is Contributing Editor Emeritus. Learn more about Herbie J HERE

Bri Castellini on Directing Her First Drama – @brisownworld

Bri: “A journey of storyboards and directing my first dramatic film”

by Bri Castellini

Despite my being an incredibly dramatic person, drama tends to not be my artistic style. I’m a comedy person.

But then I met Colin Hinckley, who loves drama and, specifically, horror. And we decided to write a horror film together called Buy In, a tense character study about capitalism and power and desperation, so when it came time for me, the director, to make decisions about the look of this project, I was more than a little nervous. And then I had a few ideas and then we shot the film and now we’re preparing to release it into the world at the end of a crowdfunding campaign (more on that later, but spoiler alert- we’re 62% funded!).

…I wanted to share some of my directing choices, because I think it was a great educational opportunity for me, a person who prefers fast talking comedies, to learn how to slow things down and use the camera more strategically than normally.


A big theme in this film is the power different people wield, and no one is more powerful than Marc, the salesman, played by Marshall Taylor Thurman.

Marshall is 6′ 5″, which is an inhuman and absurd height, but also worked in our favor. Colin, who plays Roger, is naturally shorter and less broad shouldered, and we wanted to emphasize that as much as we could. To begin with, we tried to shoot Marshall from really low angles to emphasize his height and size. I wanted the audience to feel him towering over Roger and, as a result, us.

Even when he’s sitting, I wanted him to feel big. To take up more space. To get uncomfortably close the the camera as he rattled off his sales pitch….

Read it all, complete with more very cool and informative pictures, at medium.com

Bri Castellini is TVWriter™’s favorite indie web series maker in the world, period. She also does a lot of other things, or as Bri puts it, she’s a “Writer, filmmaker, adjunct prof, and human bulldozer from NYC.” Learn more at www.BriCastellini.com


by Bob Tinsley

Why should you as a visitor to TVWriter™ be interested in making audio fiction? Why should you be interested in making podcasts? Discoverability, that’s why.

The meaning of the word podcast is evolving to include any episodic, audio-only production whether nonfiction or fiction. Agents and major studios have started trawling through podcasts and their creators for new content and talent. 

So here’s the latest news to help you and your podcast get discovered: 

Music from https://filmmusic.io
“The Builder” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com)
License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


Spotify & HBO Max In Final Talks To Adapt Family Podcast Series The Two Princes Into Animated Special.

Anthony D’Alessandro writes in a Deadline Exclusive article about a deal being negotiated between Spotify and HBO Max to adapt the family-oriented podcast, The Two Princes, into a 60-minute animated special. Noah Galvin, Samira Wiley, Cynthia Erivo, Christine Baranski, and Ari’el Stachel star in the podcast, but no announcement has been made about the cast of the adaptation. Kevin Christopher Snipes, writer of the podcast series, will be involved in the special. From D’Alessandro: “there is increasing trans-media demand for original podcasts as IP fuel for film and TV.”



German Distributor SquareOne Launches Podcast & Digital Unit.

German movie distributor SquareOne Entertainment is getting into podcasting. SquareOne CEO, Al Munteanu, said, “SquareOne Unlimited . . . is our digital business largely in the space of podcasts. The idea is to increase ownership of IP and be as much a creator as a distributor.” He also said that “the end goal is to generate audio content which can be adapted for the screen.”



Podcasting Is Getting Its Own Oscars. Will It Work?

This article in Vulture by Nicholas Quah examines the reactions to the recent announcement of the formation of the Podcasting Academy. Reaction has been — mixed. On one side you have several members of Big Podcasting saying “we need this to promote the form.” On the other side you have lots of indies saying, “you’re going to shut us out.”

Quah says, “The newly formed Podcast Academy must also contend with an even bigger challenge: It has to effectively develop some sense of legitimacy as a body that speaks for so-called industry professionals as well as independent podcasters. Who ‘legitimately’ gets to represent podcasting isn’t always clear.” It’s a long read, but worth the time.



The Most Crowded Categories In Apple Podcasts (February 2020 Edition).

In this article, Dan Misener, Head of Audience Development at Pacific Content analysed 764,379 shows in Apple Podcasts. His advice on starting a podcast, choose the less-crowded category. That’s good news for us fiction podcasters. Of the 764,379 podcasts he examined, only 2,114 of them were fiction podcasts. Compare that to the Religion and Spirituality category that had 99,390! So, take heart fiction podcasters. You’ve got room to grow!




Y2K is a tale of love, identity and long-distance friendship set in two timelines and on opposite sides of the world. The story revolves around two friends in the year 2000, and the modern-day student who turns their voice mails into a podcast.  It was released on January 3, 2020, with 52 weekly episodes throughout 2020, and an epilogue in January 2021. Y2K is created, written and produced by Karin Heimdahl. Great production values, writing and acting.


Until next week, same Pod-time, same Pod-channel, keep listening and keep creating.

Bob Tinsley on Fiction Podcasting and Patreon


http://Yes, this is a Patreon logo. Who’d a’thunk?

by Bob Tinsley

BLUF*: Patreon. It’s not so scary. Mostly.

*BLUF — Bottom Line Up Front

If you want to make a fiction podcast, setting up a Patreon page is almost de rigueur. Most of the time, especially if you have a small audience, you can make more money with a Patreon account than you can with advertising. Plus you don’t have those obnoxious ads cluttering up your audio masterpiece. You’re not going to get rich, but you might at least be able to pay your cast and crew.

During the month of February I built and launched both a website and a Patreon page for my fiction podcast. Of the two, the Patreon page was the least difficult by an order of magnitude in spite of being just as complex.

Why? Probably because Patreon WANTS you to make money. So they can make money. They have detailed guide documents for both launching a podcast and for running a promotion to increase the number of your patrons. 

I followed the promotion guide explicitly, and I had my calendar filled out with things to do for the first 25 days of March! Something EVERY DAY. I even (shock! surprise!) got most of those things set up, ready to go before launch day. 

It’s called marketing, folks, and Patreon seems to have a pretty good handle on it.

The hardest thing about this? The icky feeling I get asking other folks, mostly strangers, for money. I’m starting to overcome that, a little, by looking at it this way: I spent most of my life working on the front end and getting paid on the back end; with Patreon I’m (maybe) getting paid on the front end and working on the back end. 

And, when I think about it, that’s the way most artists make their money. When I do a commission for my carving, I always ask for 50% up front.That gives me a cushion for tools and materials and time (yes, time costs money) that I need to do the work. 

My patrons will pay me money every month, up front, and that will allow me to actually HIRE actors, composers, artists, etc., to produce a piece of work that will entertain the people that give me money.

So if you’re thinking about Patreon, download (and read!) the guides they have. They’ll increase your confidence about trying something new.

Once the campaign has run its course I’ll be back to give you an update.

Bob Tinsley is an artist, writer, boataholic and new audio/podcast fiction writer-producer. A mighty fine one too, as his  2nd and 4th place People’s Pilot 2019 finishes demonstrate.