sophinisba: Hunith and Merlin at a campfire (hunith merlin by slightlytookish)
Sophinisba Solis ([personal profile] sophinisba) wrote2012-03-29 09:29 am

A note to authors who are not podfic fans, from me, sophinisba

So, like I mentioned the other day, I'm going to help out a bit with [community profile] welovepodfic because I think feedback for podfic is a great thing.

But hey, not everybody loves podfic! Are you an author whose work has been podficced, and are you feeling awkward about how to tell the person who's put so much work into creating an audio version of your story that you're not interested in listening? Or maybe you've tried to listen and for one reason or another you just can't get through it. If so, I have good news for you!



It's totally fine!!


Listen, authors, we love you! We're grateful to you for writing these awesome fics that are so much fun to read aloud and that other people enjoy listening to!

We also get that not everybody likes hearing stories read aloud. And even some people who like some kinds of audio stories don't like hearing their own stories read aloud.

If you are not a podfic fan, then (no offense, but) ...
the podfic is not <em>for</em> you!


We make them for ourselves and for people who like to listen to them, not for people who don't! It's true that you have a unique perspective on your story, but that doesn't mean you're under any obligation to listen, to pretend that you listened, or pretend that you liked it. I can't speak for all podficcers, but for myself I can say the idea of someone trying to force themselves to listen to my voice out of a sense of obligation makes me pretty uncomfortable.

If you want to listen, that's great! Some people never get around to listening to podfic until someone records their own work, and when they finally do listen they discover that they like it a lot and want to get involved in podfic themselves. Some people listen and discover it's not for them, and some people already know that about themselves.

If you don't want to listen but you do want to acknowledge and support people who make podfic, here are some ways you can do so!

- Give blanket permission or post some other kind of podfic/transformative works policy! If you want, you can include a sentence like, "Podfic is not something I'm personally into, but I know it's important to a lot of fans and so I'm posting this permission statement to make things easier for them."

- If a podficcer approaches you about reading one of your stories, you might say something like, "Sure, go right ahead! I'm not a podfic listener myself, but I'm so flattered that you'd want to work on this fic." That's an easy way of heading off the awkwardness of "Am I supposed to listen to it/Are they gonna listen to it (and what if they hate it)" at the start.

- When a reader finishes a podfic, they will usually drop a link on your fic post or send you a message, or if you know them already you might see the post on your flist. Here are some ways you can reply if you want to make them feel good:
-Thank you! I know how much time and energy goes into making a podfic and I'm so happy that you decided to do this with my story.

-(on a long one) Congratulations! I know you've worked really hard on this and it must be exciting to finally have it posted.

-I hope you had fun and were able to make something you're happy with. Thanks again for choosing my fic.

-I'm glad it spoke to you. That story is special to me because [of reasons]. (An author said something like this to me a while back and it made me feel all fancy.)

-Thanks for the link! I'll add it to the fic entry so readers will know where to find your podfic.

That last one is great because your readers are among the people most likely to want to listen to that podfic! Another really nice thing you can do is to make an announcement on your journal to direct potential listeners to the new podfic. [ETA: If you do this, please link to a journal post or another page where listeners can view all the information and comment, rather than giving a direct file download link.]

You can also sometimes find something to comment on in the reader's notes of a post, or in any other way bring your comment back to what you and the podfic reader have in common: you are two creative people who care about this story.

All of these, or even a simple "thanks", are nice not only for their content but because they take care of the uncertainty that the podficcer might feel when they send you that link. If you don't say anything, or if you say something like "I hope I can find time to listen to this soon" when it's not actually likely you're going to listen to it, you draw out that uncertainty. (Of course, it's totally cool to say "I hope I can find time to listen to this soon" if you really do want to listen! I get that people are busy lol.) The podficcer might keep wondering whether you're going to listen, might be waiting for you to comment, might be wondering if you're not commenting because you hated it, etc. If you say "Thank you for doing this" without promising to listen, we all have a better idea of where we stand and can breathe a little easier.

Note: Thanks to [personal profile] anatsuno and [livejournal.com profile] flammablehat for looking this post over for me. Just my thoughts, not Officially Endorsed by the Podfic Community, author and podficcer mileage may vary.

ETA: Entry updated Jan. 4, 2018 to replace sparkly text that had expired. The old version looked nicer. I'll also add that I no longer expect any kind of comment from authors, though comments of the type I talked about here are a nice surprise.
paraka: A baby wearing headphones and holding a mic (Default)

[personal profile] paraka 2012-03-29 01:54 pm (UTC)(link)
+1 all over this post :D

-Thanks for the link! I'll add it to the fic entry so readers will know where to find your podfic.
Especially this suggestion. It makes such a difference if authors link back to the podfic.
(although, I'd also specify [on your implication] that authors link back to your podfic post rather than just to your podfic. I've had that happen and it means that it's harder for possible podfic feedbackers to find the podficcer)
torachan: (Default)

[personal profile] torachan 2012-03-29 03:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I am thrilled when someone podfics my stuff, but I don't listen, both because I'm not that into listening to stuff in general and because hearing someone else read my fic weirds me out.

But I never felt like there was an obligation to listen. I just said thank you...

[personal profile] meri 2012-03-29 03:37 pm (UTC)(link)
The sparkly text is what really makes this message complete. :)

(ETA: to change icon to more match the awesomeness of sparkly text.)
Edited 2012-03-29 15:38 (UTC)
helens78: A man in a leather jacket, seated on the ground, looks up hopefully. (Default)

[personal profile] helens78 2012-03-29 05:54 pm (UTC)(link)
+1 the hell out of this! :D
croissantkatie: (podfic love)

[personal profile] croissantkatie 2012-03-29 06:01 pm (UTC)(link)
+1 (particularly to the sparkles)

I had an author say they weren't going to listen but thanked me for podficcing it and enjoying the story so much to want to do that. It was really lovely.
leish: [stock] someone holding up a badge saying 'free hugs' (Default)

[personal profile] leish 2012-03-29 06:23 pm (UTC)(link)
I love it when authors link to podfic, especially in the original post of the fic, because if a podfic version exists of a story I am so there. It's really nice when an author does it for me, but just generally I love being informed that there's podfic of fic I'd like to read.

Also:

You can also sometimes find something to comment on in the reader's notes of a post, or in any other way bring your comment back to what you and the podfic reader have in common: you are two creative people who care about this story.

this so hard. Basically agreeing with the entire post, but this made me want to high-five you through the screen. So, um. *awkward high five*
leish: [stock] someone holding up a badge saying 'free hugs' (Default)

[personal profile] leish 2012-03-29 10:32 pm (UTC)(link)
You could always preface it with something like, if you're into podfic you can listen to this fic here, or something, cos then you're not assuming anything either way? I'm pretty sure I've seen people comment with links to fic inspired by the original post in comments; it should be the same for all fanworks.

OMG FANDOM, WE GET THAT NOT EVERYBODY LIKES IT!! But some of us do! So the links are very helpful.
Exactly! And for someone who's never come across podfic before, being pointed in the direction of a podfic of a fic they're already interested in reading is a pretty good way to get them interested. It's not like a OH HEY I AM FORCING THIS ON YOU BECAUSE IT IS AWESOME AND YOU WILL LIKE IT thing, it's a oh, hey, there's this thing which is pretty cool and I think you might like it and if you do then great, no problem if you don't.

\o/ I am also a huge fan of the podfic available tag. Though I get really sad when a fic's tagged like that but there's no link to the podfic, but I can just search for it anyway so it's fine.

I agree

[personal profile] listener_sheogorath 2013-02-16 01:13 am (UTC)(link)
Leisha said: "I am also a huge fan of the podfic available tag. Though I get really sad when a fic's tagged like that but there's no link to the podfic, but I can just search for it anyway so it's fine."
I've asked people who create works based on my fanfics to send me a link to what they've made. This way, if any of my stuff ever gets podficced, I immediately have the link to post under the adapted story.
torachan: (Default)

[personal profile] torachan 2012-03-30 01:20 am (UTC)(link)
I link to the podfics on my own website version of the fics, but I hadn't thought to do it on AO3. I'm going to do that now!
toft: graphic design for the moon europa (Default)

[personal profile] toft 2012-03-29 07:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Great post!
malnpudl: (Default)

[personal profile] malnpudl 2012-03-29 10:13 pm (UTC)(link)
I have ALL THE LOVE for this post. <3
anatsuno: a white woman presses earphones to ber breasts (podfic!)

[personal profile] anatsuno 2012-03-29 10:53 pm (UTC)(link)
+LOTS :D

[personal profile] desfinado 2012-04-08 10:38 pm (UTC)(link)
A+, I appreciate this post!