What is the Blue Marble Storytellers podcast about?
It is a podcast showcasing new and upcoming authors who read their favorite short stories. However, we are happy to arrange a guest narrator if preferred.
How do you select the stories?
We select stories we think are great, which isn’t hard because we love lots of different genres.
How do I have my story included on Blue Marble Storytellers?
If you have written a great story and would like to promote it in audio form on Blue Marble Storytellers, send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your story (if posted somewhere – e.g. Reedsy Prompts) or to your recording. We will take a listen and get back to you.
We are keen to support as many writers as possible.
Do I have to pay to submit my work?
No. It is entirely free.
Do you pay for stories?
Not at this stage.
We are keen to establish Blue Marble Storytellers as a place where authors can showcase their best work in audio form. We would like to provide the opportunity for as many writers as possible to be heard. Consequently, we are not in a position to pay for stories just yet.
What is your position on copyright?
You retain all rights to your work, including your recorded voice. By agreeing to be on our podcast, you grant us a non-exclusive, perpetual, world-wide, royalty-free license to store, publish, and otherwise use your work on our platform.
However, you may rescind these rights at any time. At your request, we will remove your content.
We also grant you the rights to use our content in relation to your story, (i.e., the produced audio file, including our introduction and narration if applicable).
Attribution or links to Blue Marble Storytellers is not required, but it is appreciated.
I do not have any quality recording equipment. Is that a problem?
Do your best with what you have. Ideally a quality microphone will capture your beautiful voice better than something cheap and cheerful, but we understand. With some care, even the use of a mobile phone can achieve OK results.
What audio format should I use?
We can process most audio formats; however, we would recommend you record using a relatively high-quality settings and save in an uncompressed format (e.g., .WAV)
Do you recommend any recording software?
You can use the default audio recording software on your computer or other audio-recording software you have. Alternately, you can use Audacity. You can download Audacity for free, and is available on most platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux).
Given you mentioned editing software, do I need to edit the audio?
No. All you need to do is record your story, and we will take it from there.
You can of course edit out mistakes if you want but we would prefer to have a relatively clean voice recording, with no additional processing, sound effect or music added.
Do you have any other hints to making a good recording?
Here are a few tips that we have learned the hard way.
Tip 1. Try to record in one session.
If you make a mistake, pause, go back to the start of the sentence, and re-read, but continue with the read-through.
It is easier to cut out the mistake, with software like Audacity, and still have the same vibe than to try and insert a re-recorded section into a previous session. This inserted “fix” often sounds slightly different and is not as smooth.
You can, of course, re-read the whole thing again; however, you may find a completely word-perfect read of the story is harder than it looks.
Tip 2. Try to find as quiet a place as possible.
Before you start recording, listen carefully for background noises (e.g., air-conditioners, fans, background TV’s, birds chirping). If possible, remove them as best you can.
While they might not sound loud to you, your microphone WILL hear them, and the fewer of those sounds in the recording the better. Whilst we can process some of those noises out, it is better if they are not in there in the first place.
We fully understand you might not be able to do much about some noises, but a little care goes a long way in helping the quality of the final production and potentially saves us lots of work audio-processing later.
Tip 3: Relax and be yourself.
Inject passion for your story into its reading!
Tip 4: Speak slowly and clearly.
We suggest you read slightly slower than you would normally. Speak as clearly as possible, whilst being true to your natural voice and style.
Tip 5: Smile and frown to add emotion
You might be surprised how much emotion can come though on an audio recording by simply pulling various faces, reflecting the emotions you wish to convey. For example, smile when you want to sound happy, frown when you want to sound sad.
As a simple exercise, try recording an angry voice whilst holding a broad smile, and then listen to how inauthentic it sounds!
Tip 6: Leave longer break at scene boundary
To create an audio scene boundary, simply leave a longer break between the sentences.
If this doesn’t work, we can always insert a audio signal (e.g. bell chime) in the post-production, however this is rarely, if ever, needed.