The Business of Podcasting and Book Design

Posted on Oct 5, 2015

Are you familiar with podcasting?

Merriam Webster defines podcast as a program (as of music or talk) made available in digital format for automatic download over the Internet.

This program content can be accessed one time through an audio player, if made available on a web page. But to truly fit the definition, the content has to be part of a series and made available to your listening audience by subscribing to a blog or RSS feed. It’s an effective and engaging way for business or organizations to communicate their brand stories, provide educational or training materials, and to inform employees, clients, donors or investors about your products and services.

An early pioneer in Canadian podcasting is my friend and colleague, Donna Papacosta of Trafalgar Communications. Since 2005, she has produced countless podcast episodes for her own business and for clients, and has taught many people how to use audio, multimedia and social media effectively.

I recently had the pleasure of working with Donna and her co-writer, Steve Lubetkin of Lubetkin Media Companies to produce a cover design for their book entitled The Business of Podcasting. What makes this book unique is its focus on the business aspects of podcasting as opposed to the purely technical or production side. The book is highly recommended by those who know better than me, so whether a communications professional or aspiring podcast hobbyist, be sure to check it out!

Book Design Creative Process

As with any project, the first step was to speak with Donna and Steve to get a feel for their expectations. Overall they wanted something simple, clean and professional looking. We also agreed that the concept should connect to the subtitle of the book “How to Take Your Podcasting Passion from the Personal to the Professional.” Each of the three designs I came up with would use similar layout and typography to create the overall look they wanted, but would feature a slightly different approach allowing them to concentrate on the one concept we felt worked best.

The first concept was designed to attract attention with a bold image of an audio wave and strong contrasting colours of orange and black. While successful on a basic level, it was a bit too generic and did not directly address the business aspect of the book.

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The second concept was an illustration of a VU meter, a device used to monitor broadcast audio signals. The idea here was to use a reflection to make the signal blocks appear as a city skyline denoting “big business.” While in keeping with the podcast theme, this concept was considered too subtle for viewers to pick up on.

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The third concept was inspired directly from the subtitle. A series of icons arranged in the form of an equation simply and perfectly illustrates the winning formula for business podcasting success. This concept was the clear winner and was incorporated into a wraparound cover design for the printed version. A digital version of the cover was also supplied for the Amazon online store.

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If you are a subject matter expert looking for a cost–effective and impactful way of marketing your professional communications services, self-publishing your own book is worth considering. Just be sure to work with a designer that has experience in designing print and digital book covers and interiors. This allows you to focus on what you know best and ensure your book gets the attention it deserves. Contact me today and I’d be happy to discuss looking after all the creative aspects of publishing your book.

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