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So, if you listen to podcasts, chances are you’re heard about this already. If you haven’t, here’s the deal:

This weekend, podcast publishing gets its first true test. Novel-podcaster Matthew Wayne Selznick has had his “podiobook” book (titled Brave Men Run) picked up by Swarm Press. According to the publisher, and the author himself, this will be is “the first novel with an initial simultaneous publication in paperback, five formats of e-book free of digital rights management restrictions, and free podcast audiobook (podiobook) editions.”

Even if that isn’t true, This will be the first podiobook to published novel conversion that has the whole community behind it. Selznick has been running ads all over the podcast universe. He also has a stable of high-level, well-known and respected podiobook and podcasting writers on his side. He has had authors J.C. Hutchins (The “7th Son” trilogy), Mur Lafferty (”Playing For Keeps”), Nathan Lowell (The “Golden Age of the Solar Clipper” novels), Matt Wallace (”The Next Fix”), J.R. Blackwell (Voices of Tomorrow), P.G. Holyfield (”Murder at Avedon Hill”), and Jared Axelrod (The Voice of Free Planet X) write short stories in his universe to help publicize the release.

Selznick will also come online at 10 a.m. EST tomorrow (Sunday) to stream video readings of the short stories, progress reports on his books sales and “show solidarity for everyone who buys the book from on that day.”

Selznick’s goal is to launch ‘the Podiobook that could’ to the top of Amazon’s charts this Sunday. No small task.

This isn’t just a clever marketing ploy (though it is that). Many writers continue to labor in relative obscurity when it comes to podiobooks, some of them quite good. If Selznick succeeds, this could push publishers to look towards podcasted books, and other novels of the new media, for future publication.

In other words, this is not just a test of the content of the podiobook, but of the community’s strength. This is an opportunity for podcasters and podcast listeners to show that they matter to the mainstream media. Not only that, it is an opportunity to really subvert the old media for the the cause of the new.

It’ll be interesting to see how this turns out. If Selznick succeeds it could mean a whole new way of looking at publicizing and publishing books. It would also mean that a free release of a product can drive sales.

I’ll be on the bus back to Virginia for part of the day, but I’ll be watching. If you are looking to support Selznick, make your purchace on Sunday.

  1. Matthew Wayne Selznick on Saturday 12, 2008

    Hello! Thanks for the plug for “Brave Men Run — A Novel of the Sovereign Era!”

    A small correction — when “Brave Men Run” is released in paperback on Sunday, July 13, 2008, that won’t be the simultaneous release you wrote about. That happened back in November of 2005, when I self-published “Brave Men Run” in print-on-demand paperback, e-book in five different DRM-free formats, and free podcast editions on the same day. That was a first. Swarm Press is publishing a brand new paperback edition on 07-13, but the book has been around in other, DIY formats for years.

    You couldn’t be more right when you say this is a test of the podcasting, new media, and open media community. I have faith in all of us to really send a message! See you then!