I recently read an article about going wide, and thought it was a great idea. In this article, on Kobo Writing Life, Tracy Cooper-Posey talks about her publishing success outside of Amazon and Kindle, and how that allowed her to quit her day job. The idea is to be in as many places as possible, and to directly distribute whenever possible.
It got me thinking about other ways going wide might apply. For example, Google can now tell you what ebooks are available in your local library, so maybe it makes sense to get in as many libraries as possible?
Then of course, there’s audiobooks, which are growing in popularity and have a variety of options. Google Play now offers audiobooks. Kobo has an audio book subscription plan and an audio bookstore. And Audible has a dedicated romance service, with more than 10,000 titles. And even Spotify has expanded its audio offerings, with Spotlight, a new multimedia format that “introduces visual layers to complement the listening experience for podcasts, audiobooks, news, and other audio content.”
Some publishers are even experimenting with audio-only productions. According to Chicago Tribune, “Harper sponsored a radio drama-writing contest with New York University Tisch School of the Arts last year. The winner, “Rebuttal” by Jyotsna Hariharan, became an audio-only production.”
A lot of these experiments are happening because of the rise in popularity of podcasts. The Creative Penn gives five reasons for podcasting your fiction, which include building a fanbase and getting feedback. One example of an audio drama is The Gray Area, an anthology series. Another example is The Bright Sessions, a science fiction podcast that is so popular it’s been sold as a book series and may be adapted for TV.
Podcast is gaining momentum, and there’s now even a National Podcast Post Month, where you publish a podcast episode every day during the month of November (so it lines up with NaNoWriMo). There are even podcast fiction awards, such as the Parsec Awards, which celebrate speculative fiction podcasts.
If you’re looking for podcasts to listen to, podcasts are big on iOS, but there is now an easy way to subscribe via Android. (And of course, if we’re talking about podcasts, I have to give a quick shoutout to my weekly dinosaur podcast, I Know Dino!)
What are some other examples of “going wide”? If you have ideas, please share in the comments!