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/)


HBO Adds A New, Expensive Streaming Service Called HBO Max. 

In addition to a whole laundry list of shows including the prequel to Game of Thrones, HBO Max, at $15 per month, will have podcasts. To begin, these podcasts will probably be talk shows about the programs on the service, but it doesn’t take a genius to conclude that, sooner or later, HBO will add original fictional podcasts to try out new properties.


iHeart Media, which already has podcast agreements with Blumhouse Entertainment, Shonda Rhimes, yes that Shonda Rhimes, and Will Farrell, has placed an order for a new scripted science fiction podcast called, The Second Oil Age, created by Robert Lamb, host of iHeart’s non-fiction podcast, Stuff to Blow Your Mind. United Talent Agency has already begun discussions with TV producers to make the transition from podcast to TV series. iHeart’s head of podcasting, Conal Byrne, said, “Podcasting is an incredibly good medium to test intellectual property for TV and film because you can move quickly and cost-effectively.”



This post from the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard has some fascinating articles about podcasting in general and fiction podcasts in particular. The two most interesting articles are one about Kaitlin Prest, Canadian podcaster and founder of podcast production company, Mermaid Palace, who has some out-of-the-box ideas about how to make a profit. The other details how British comedy podcast, Wooden Overcoats, goes about spending the proceeds from their crowdfunding efforts. Some good information on budgeting a successful podcast.



From Nieman Labs, again. Independent podcast producers need to be careful when approached by potential partners, we should all be so lucky, and avoid bad contracts which are rampant within the podcast revolution. This article points out some of the things to look for.



Some Unusual Clauses From Podcast Host Terms And Conditions.

In the same vein, this article from Podnews goes into more specific language from some hosting companies that you need to be aware of.



October 2019 Audio Drama/Fiction Podcast Debut Releases.

Every month The Cambridge Geek compiles a list of audio fiction podcasts that have released an Episode 1 during the previous month. This month there are over 60 new fiction podcasts listed, and these are just the ones he found. It’s a good site to bookmark.



We’re Alive: Goldrush Passes 4 Million Downloads.

The We’re Alive franchise helmed by audio drama’s 800-pound gorilla, Kc Wayland, occupies a spot near the top of my favorite podcasts. The entire franchise has racked up over 140 million downloads. If you want to create top-quality audio fiction, this series is one of the gold standards. Even better, they recently released a behind-the-mic episode for Goldrush titled We’re Alive: Behind the Mic, that lets you in on the process.


That’s it for now. Until next week, same Pod-time, same Pod-channel, keep listening and keep creating!

How to Mentor Yourself

Because finding a reliable and genuinely helpful mentor is, for all practical purposes, as valuable and as difficult to find as the Holy Grail. Especially in showbiz.



by Nick Douglas

If you’re ever stuck for ideas or advice, and you feel like you can’t find a mentor, here’s how to become your own mentor: Look at everyone else who’s doing a similar thing. Some successful ones, and some failing ones. Find everything they could be doing better. And then don’t tell them. Tell yourself.

Do it positively: Think of every cool idea you want to suggest to these people, everything you’d pitch them if they let you contribute. Blue-sky thinking, upgrades to their current routines, every way they could grow and evolve and mature and really shine.

Do it negatively: Notice every stupid mistake, every misstep, every false assumption, every time that ego or novelty or razzle-dazzle distracts them from doing their best.

Make a written list. Keep adding things until you’ve got sub-lists, corollaries, multiple examples of every flaw or every opportunity. Don’t get obsessed, but pay attention and write things down. You don’t have to memorize the list.

You can write down the successes and good ideas too, that’s great, you should always be doing that. But you need to track all these missed opportunities. You are, of course, writing this list not for them but for yourself.

Have you ever seen a project launch with a manifesto? It happens a lot in media. Some new site launches and talks a lot about what it will and won’t do. Lifehacker did it with our parenting section, Offspring. When you’re making this list, you’re building your own manifesto. Don’t publish it, but consult it. It’s a list of pieces of advice you’ve given yourself….

Read it all at lifehacker.com

Fun, Immersive Marketing of an Audio Fiction Show

This article on an audio series called Civilized is more of a “here’s a cool thing some smart creatives are doing” than a “how to,” but guess what? It gave those of us at TVWriter™ who read it a hell of a lot of “how-to” to think about, and we believe it will do the same for you.

by Sean

Fans of the dark comedy sci-fi show Civilized can now become a part of the story as the crew makes “first contact” during their fateful voyage.

So what is it? It’s a series of mini-episodes that are delivered via email. How the story unfolds is entirely dependant on the choices that the listener makes.

To play the game, listeners need to be a member of our newsletter. And so it is an incentive for subscribing. For existing fans, it’s also a super fun way to spend more time with the characters and story that they love.

Screenshot of one of the initial storylines

We had the good fortune to be able to work with Chris Vasquez from Aweber. They led the development and helped us to combine audio, graphic design and written media to bring our storytelling to a whole new level. The result is an immersive and fun prequel for the show with almost 90 minutes of finished audio and eight unique endings.

Marketing is a nine letter word

This project was an attempt to create a fun, immersive experience for our existing fans that would also act as a “lead magnet” for growing our audience and driving signups for our newsletter.

And yes, we are marketing our shows. Here at Fable and Folly we don’t believe marketing is evil. Nor do we entertain the ridiculous idea that “good shows don’t have to market themselves.”

We market our shows because we see so much potential for podcasters to reach new audiences. We don’t subscribe to the rampant belief that audio fiction is tiny or that it’s near impossible to convert people from talking head shows….

Read it all at fableandfolly.productions

Herbie J Pilato on Creating His Talk Show, ‘Then Again…’

TVWriter™ Contributing Editor Emeritus (because he’s so busy with other great things these days) Herbie J Pilato tells us how he got his new hit talk show, Then Again, off the lunching pad and streaming on Amazon Prime (and Shout Factory TV too).

More tips from top writers courtesy of Author Learning Center are HERE

More about Herbie J Pilato is HERE

Do Any of Us Really Write Alone?

This article on the effect of fandom on the Good Omens miniseries brings out the quantum theorist in this TVWriter™ minion. As in – Do the acts of reading and commenting on a creative work actually change the work itself?

At the very least, it would see that they can’t keep from having an effect on the writers/ What do you think?

by Samantha Edmonds

I’m just going to say it: I liked the Good Omens miniseries more than the novel. It’s sacrilege among Book Folks, my people, to admit this, but sometimes recasting an old story into a new medium improves the experience. (Remember Legally Blonde, the Amanda Brown novel? Of course you don’t.) There are several reasons why I preferred the show, but mostly it’s because the novel didn’t have Aziraphale and Crowley’s queer-as-hell relationship — unarguably the best part — as the main focus.

So when I say Good Omens the show is “better” than Good Omens the book, what I mean is, it’s gayer.

Good Omens isn’t unique in its having fans who read queerness into the text. Fandoms have been doing this for years: Supernatural immediately comes to mind, as does The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. What does make Good Omens unique is that this fan-created queer love story — a fairy tale for the end of the world — pretty much came true when the story was adapted from the page to the screen.

Consider the standard one-sentence summary of the miniseries, which goes like this: In the final days leading up to the final battle between Heaven and Hell, the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley work together to thwart the apocalypse. Reviews may continue from there to praise the show’s casting, humor, or Emmy-nominated music — but then, inevitably, every article says something like “at its heart, this is a love story,” in reference to the obvious Crowley-and-Aziraphale-Making-Heart-Eyes-At-Each-Other moments throughout.

Here’s the thing, though: I don’t think it actually is a love story. Or rather, I don’t think the book was.

A more accurate novel summary is this: Shortly after his 11th birthday, Adam Young starts displaying mysterious powers. As various supernatural forces gather around him, he and his friends (the Them) decide if their world is worth saving….

Read it all at syfy.com