In the beforetimes, I feel like nary a party would go by among a certain kind of nerdy friends without someone saying “we should start a podcast.” Even now, as we’ve lost as a semblance of human interactions, the only time we may enjoy the banter between friends and family is with the soothing buzz of a podcast in our ears, and one might think “I can do that!” And the McElroys, the first family of podcasting, want to show you that you can!
Brothers Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy’s new book Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You) is out today from Harper Perennial and it’s honestly a perfect how-to for anyone who wants to start a podcast. The McElroys are not audiophiles or fancy producers, they’re just a family that started out in podcast when the artform (we can call it an artform right?) was new and have made every mistake along the way so that you don’t have to. Seriously, they started out with Griffin recording on the mic from his RockBand game and now host a huge array of different shows, which include My Brother, My Brother and Me, The Adventure Zone, Sawbones, Shmanners, Wonderful! and more, so they have learned a lot.
Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You) is a fun and very accessible guide for how to make a podcast, from your first concept all the way through editing and distributing your podcast. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the McElroys talk about these topics before, at places like PodCon (RIP) and I used the advice that they gave then to start my own podcast. They bring the same humor and easiness to this book as they did to those panels and that’s become a signature of their podcasts.
The McElroy advice is good and makes starting a podcast very easy. Making a podcast, or at least a good one, is more than just hitting record and throwing up an audio file, it’s about finding your voice (and be able to quite literally clearly hear your voice), and the McElroys do an excellent job of helping along the way.
You may wonder how a book can have three authors, and that’s valid. The boys have divided the work up between them, with each taking on specific chapters or sections to address issues in their wheelhouse. But the others will pop in with asides, much like in a podcast, making the book more of a conversation. They even disagree sometimes! For instance, Griffin suggests using Audacity to edit and record audio, and Justin and Travis strongly disagree. (But Griffin is right because Audacity is great and it’s free!).
Also for the price of the three McElroys on the cover, you get several bonus McElroys, including father Clint and wives Rachel, Sydnee, and Teresa, who are all co-hosts on various podcasts with the guys, who pop in with very good advice. And I think even the McElroys would tell you that it’s a nice break from bonerheads. All of this keeps the book light and fun and gives you lots of different perspectives, which is important.
Podcasting is a really wonderful field because it’s so accessible to everyone. Unlike publishing or acting or music, there are no gatekeepers to tell you why that’s you can’t do it. If you want to podcast, you can. But if you want to do it well, you’ll need advice, and this book has literally everything you need to know to get you on your way to podcasting perfection.
(image: Portraits to the People, Courtesy Harper Perennial)
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