by Austin Flynn
Here’s something I very recently learned: it is easy to submit a podcast.
Submit. Before you punch through your screen in agonized dissent, notice I said submit. Creating this podcast challenged me in ways I had never considered, even as a frequent listener and occasional contributor to other podcasts. I’ve learned so much during this time, and I have nothing but respect for those who pour so much time, energy, and creativity into making professional content they are willing to share with the world for free.
But iTunes just…takes it.
I submitted our RSS feed to iTunes at 5:45pm on a Sunday night and my Google-sleuthing revealed that, for the most part, it could take a while for iTunes to get around to reviewing and accepting the feed.
24 hours. 48 hours. “Give it a good week,” one person said.
Fair enough. I gave Apple some breathing room, and only started obsessively checking my email after a whole hour of patient waiting.
At 6:37pm on that same Sunday, they accepted the podcast, and I could view the iTunes page. There it was. Page: New Voices In Fiction. Look! That’s our logo. I made that.
By the time I clicked submit that evening, I had already obsessed over the details of the RSS feed. Title, art, ID3 info for the “Prologue” episode — I double-, triple- checked everything. As I scrutinized, I imagined a team of Apple’s finest gathered around a table — I think Steve Wozniak was there — pulling up the feed, scrutinizing the details, listening again and to the introduction. Judging. Taking notes. Hours of notes. 24. 48. A week, even.
Maybe this actually happens, and over time the team has become incredibly efficient. Maybe Woz is the real stickler, but by some miracle he had to pee and left the room just as Page rolled down the pipes.
What is more likely, though, is that it’s actually really easy to submit a podcast.
That leaves a different sort of anxiety nesting in the pit of your stomach. You have a podcast, yes, but do you have listeners? If there is no guarantee that your work has been Woz-approved, if you have no established platform or fanbase, how do you ensure your voice is heard?
The idea for Page came out of a conversation with my friend Josh about this exact idea. People I know write books. I know this because I read them. People I know make movies, which I watch and enjoy. I’ve participated multiple times in a friend’s RPG Actual Play podcast, so I know that people make podcasts. These talented friends have been clever and resourceful enough to build audiences and communities around their work. They reach people with their art.
This past summer, I wrote a novel. There, I said it, though it still sounds weird. I created something that I hope to share with a lot of people. Fortunately, there is no dearth of voices on the internet who will tell you about their experiences, trials, and best practices when it comes to traditional publishing.
Unfortunately, there are also plenty of people who will readily tell you just how fraught the publication process can be. They’ll tell you the chilling percentage of new authors that actually get a traditional publishing deal and follow that up with an even frostier percentage of authors whose work actually sells. This was the first major punch to the gut when I finished the novel and started to consider the editing and publication route. Creation is just the beginning, so it is hard to imagine that it could also be the end.
Like submitting a podcast, sending a query letter is really easy, and so a similar question arises. If submission is not success, if just doing something does not guarantee that anyone will see or enjoy it, then what remains to drive a person to create?
I told this to Josh in one great rush. He blinked, thought for a moment, and said, “Alright, let’s just make your novel an audiobook.”
What a strange idea: let’s just do it ourselves. Self-publish, but in an audio format. Build a community by creating quality content on a consistent basis.
So we are doing just that. Not with my novel (though it might happen), but the work of talented people who have created amazing works that haven’t yet taken off.
Producing Page has taught me something incredibly valuable that I needed to realize. Submission is success. If you’ve created something that is uniquely you, then that is really cool. That’s an accomplishment. Creation is a rare thing in a consumer culture, so never discount the work you’ve put in. Keep creating, keep sharing, and keep talking about what you love. Eventually, people will listen.
The guiding mission of Page is to celebrate creators and their work. To build a community around them that encourages creativity and support.
The creation is the thing. Everything else comes second.
Thank you for reading! Here’s a picture of Teddy.