Books on Podcast

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Publishing giant Simon and Schuster has launched the SimonSays Podcast. The podcast will offer subscribers author interviews, clips from upcoming Simon and Schuster books, and other original programming.

This announcement comes almost three weeks after Holtzbrink Publishers announced their entry into podcasting. Holtzbrink’s imprints include St. Martin’s Press, Henry Holt, and Tor/Forge. They are offering similar original programming.

Podcasting is the new, untapped market of the decade. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, more than 6 million American adults have listened to podcasts. Over 22 million Americans have iPods. There is a huge market for content. The problem is making it worth the expense.

Podcasting is, by nature, an inexpensive medium. And those who listen to podcasts listen because they are interested in the subject. By offering original audio to subscribers, these publishing houses are essentially giving people an extended advertisement for their upcoming books. The return will come in book sales — not in advertising dollars or any of the more traditional business models that podcasters use.

Look for more of these publishers to start offering podcasts. Author interviews, chapter readings, and much more will soon be available for download — for free. This looks like a win-win situation for all concerned.

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