Episode #21: Giving the Fiction Away for Free


And finally, we sit behind the mics and fire up the wayback machine and the cart software for a new episode of The Shared Desk. We’re staying topical with talking about the change of heart podcasters are experiencing — reassessing the model of free. Once upon a time, we were all about making our fiction free in this new, daring audio medium that was podcasting. Here were are, eight years later, and oh how the times, they are a-changing….

00:00 — Introduction

  • Look at us! We’re back!
  • Oh Key & Peele — how we <3 you!
  • Possibly the shortest introduction section ever!
  • We’re looking back in this episode….

1:30 — Giving the Fiction Away for Free

  • What happens when you decide “I don’t want to give it away.” when you have been doing fiction for free?
  • The big question: Why did you give it away?
  • Tee looks back to 2004 and 2005 when Tee made the call to podcast MOREVI
  • Looking back eight years, and now considering podcasting in 2013
    • The playing field in 2005.
    • Since our friend and podcasting juggernaut Scott Sigler, we have not seen a new “breakout” artist.
    • It’s no longer a “community” but a “market” and few of the OP’s (Original Podcasters) are featured or even listed prominently.
    • An honest assessment of the path of podcasting
  • Why did Pip make the big jump into the podiosphere?
  • Tee and Pip podcast because we love it, not because we’re planning to overthrow “traditional media” with this platform.
  • Quick shout-out to The League of STEAM!
  • Pip asks Tee the tough question: Is Tee disappointed in the evolution of podcasting fiction?
  • The ROI of Podcasting
  • Not only is the playing field changed, so has the audience.
  • Giving your work away for free is not a contract with your audience. It’s a giveaway.
  • The Market of Giving the Fiction Away for Free still works, if you approach it properly.
  • Yes, it has worked for Scott, for Cory Doctorow, for John Scalzi…but…….
  • Would I advise a new author if they want to give it away for free? (Tee might surprise you…)

29:05 — Seriously?! Seriously.

38:29 — The Wrap-Up

  • Still getting back into the swing of things…
  • …and Tee needs to remember what drop in’s he has on call.
  • Looking forward to the next show
  • Dawn’s Early Light — it’s coming in 2013! In December! November!
  • What happened recently? Tee’s a free agent again…so take a look at what he offers at Imagine That! Studios.
  • And we are writing, writing, writing…and Darkwater is now out in the wild, along with Pip’s new proposal!
  • Foreword Literary — our new agency!
  • The Diamond Conspiracy (Book Four of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences) is also underway…
  • Next event in May — Up in the Æther
  • Ending with a belated holiday wish….from Lauren “Scribe” Harris and Crazy Uncle Charlie.
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.


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5 Responses to Episode #21: Giving the Fiction Away for Free

  1. Sarah From Charleston

    Super excited! *waves* hi! welcome back!

  2. Sarah From Charleston

    I have to mention, now that I’ve listened, what a lovely retrospective this was for me. I don’t know if you remember me, but I was THE #1 fangirl (seriously, I was… check the records) back in 2005-ish in the Wild West days of podcasting. I had to step away for a while, some life explosion, but I really have missed those days. But you can’t go back on your own timeline, so I’ve been waiting for the next train to pass so I can hop on.

    This was some really great info, and this kind of thing is what keeps the embers of that once upon a time community alive. Seriously, you guise, you crushed it, and I’m excited to get back in the game! And you better keep podcasting!

    • admin

      Thanks Sarah! It was a trip down memory lane for us to. The space is constantly evolving…but we still do love podcasting!

  3. Just listened to this episode. I’m with you on a lot of this stuff. Fans often feel more entitled to things than they should. Some expect the artists who gave their stuff away to make a name for themselves (or to just get their work out there) to continue to do so when they have “made it” and it doesn’t work that way. Big guys deal with this stuff too, like George R R Martin who has fans yell at him for not writing fast enough, how dare he watch football when he should be writing, ask him what they are supposed to do when he dies (because clearly they have a right to talk about his health, no matter how healthy he is), an best yet, half of these people are downloading his back catalogue and not paying a few dollars for the damn book.

    I love that you two have made it in your own way. I love that you are able to continue to give us some fiction, and to podcast, but I have no problem buying your books when I want more. Would I like MoPo podcasted? Sure, but mostly because I want to hear the story acted by you two. Yes there is an audiobook out there, but it’s not you. I’d rather read the book and hear your voices in my head. If you recorded an audiobook, I’d buy it hands down.

    Fans need to realize that content creators are allowed to abandon a franchise, they are allowed to write other things. I’m a huge Billi fan, but I get that it’s not selling. So move on and make something that your agent wants to sell, it will be good too. (That being said, ever thought about throwing out a short story for billi? if you ever need a writing exercise, kidding, kidding).

    Fans feel invested, but they often need to realize that the content creators are far more invested than they are, and they have thought about all of these things.

  4. Pingback: Episode 56: Your Friends & Family Are Not Your Fans (Nor Should You Plan for That) | The Shared Desk