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The Podcast Planner Paperback – December 22, 2016
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The product details says this is a 208 page book. That would only be true if you include the Title page, table of contents, a few pages of ads, 2 blank pages at the back and <B pages 149 to 202 which are just Note pages! B> So 25% of the book is note pages!. I have been to week long technical conferences and never took 50+ pages of notes. They are ruled one one side and the other side has dotted lines on it. These might be good for wire forming or doodling or drawing schematics. But I have plenty of ruled and not-ruled and dotted papers that I can use for that in multiple colors if I wanted.
The first 10 pages, she actually has some content. It is not bad but really elementary. You will get more out of listening to "The School of Podcasting" or "The Audacity to Podcast" and looking back at their getting started topics and shows. She gives a single page with 12 blank boxes on it for an undated yearly calendar labeled Jan-Dec. And 6 pages with an undated daily calendar for a month. Why 6 pages for a month. Maybe she figured if you followed what she was trying to come up with you would have either pod faded or moved on in 6 months. And she needed that 50+ pages for notes to fill out the book.
Her basic concept is that your show will fit into a few categories. As an Episode, an Interview, Storytelling, or a Total mix of types. She adds another 5 pages of content, mostly repetitive, on these topics. So it is up to about 15 pages of actual content. Not too bad for a 208 page book for some, since she had 5 5-star reviews with a couple from verified purchasers.
She has a "Content Spinner" which is a wheel with 8 types of Topics on it. So if you just have no idea what to do or talk about you can twirl a spinner (not included but a pencil works just fine) and come up with this weeks show which may be a Rant or a Story, etc. If you have to resort to this you probably should not be podcasting.
The rest of the "content" is a series of 4 pages (repeated many times for each topic) which she calls a Pulse Check (space for 4 paragraphs on what the episode will be about), an Episode (or Interview or Story etc) Composer which is a more detailed outline of the episode. I must note that she has included good, motivational quotes on each of the composer pages. (That is the primary difference from one to another). Then an Episode checklist ( with things like more notes, Tracking, Post Production, Marketing and Published & Live and space for Other items you can and and then an Episode Review page with space for 5 paragraphs of how it went. So these same 4 pages are repeated over and over numerous times. A few places there is a work change that says Interview or Storytelling but 2 of the pages are identical throughout (except for the quotes I mentioned) and the other 2 just have a couple of minor word changes.
Now I do not know anybody who would take the time to just write out the info for their podcast, especially multiple episodes, by hand. I think everyone doing a podcast probably has a computer and can use Word or Excel or Access or some free version of that type of program. Having these forms is a usable format would be worthwhile. She would be better off making a 25 page guide book and providing a downloadable file with the forms in it. It is obvious the author spent some time and effort putting this together. Came to the realization that for most of us we work on a schedule. Monday we publish, Tue + Wed we do Interviews, writing, topic refinement, etc, and Thur + Fri we edit and polish for Monday release. Of course your schedule may vary but that is kind of how it goes.
Of course I could just return the book to Amazon for a refund, and I have done that with many products that were not quite what they implied. Amazon is the best at that. But in this case it is so bad that I just wanted to keep it as an example of what not to do with a book. It will make for a lot of laughs at this years' Florida Writers Association conference.
For beginning information and then some, and about half the p[rice, I recommend the new Oct 2017 edition of "Podcasting for Dummies" from Amazon. And the books from David Powers are also excellent.
It is very practical and gives you helpful layouts but still leaves room for your own ideas and inputs to make it a more personalized planner.
Once mine is completely filled out, I would definitely get a another one!