We discuss in this book the pros and cons of editing and the importance of preparation, and you can learn more about the nitty-gritty details on how to beef up your production values in other fine podcasting books. We are also proponents of the opinion that if you're just starting out, you shouldn't dump a big bag of money into equipment, because if you find you don't like podcasting, it could be a waste.
But when it comes to podiobooks and other written work, the listener has some expectations above normal podcasts. If the podcast is more conversational, then the listener is usually all right with the normal issues that plague podcasters: poor sound quality, pauses, background noise, and so on. But because people are used to audiobooks having a certain professional quality, they don't want people reading fiction to them that has an amateur quality.
If you're just starting out, this can put you at a paradox: You don't want to spend too much money on your podcast at first because you want to see how you like it and how much of a splash you make on the podosphere, but it's difficult to make that splash when you're making subpar recordings.
The good news is that most people are forgiving to new podcasters. They will see how your first few are before passing judgment, because we all need a little time to get our feet under us when starting a new podcast. But if you have a novel or other large piece of written work in front of you, you might want to test out your sound quality before beginning, because although most podcasts grow in quality, you'll want the first chapter of your book to sound like your last.
Poetry, essays, and short stories live in a more forgiving world, because they are standalone pieces and can afford to increase in quality as you realize you like the medium enough to sink some money into better equipment. But unless you want to rerecord your early chapters after you establish a better sounding recording, you will want to start out with the best possible sound quality you can.
Think beyond the current life of your podcast. Yes, people are going to download now, but if the book or other collection of writing remains available, people will download it in the future. You want your first effort to sound as good as your last. Some undoubtedly excellent writing has simply not been listened to due to bad audio quality. You're podcasting to be heard, so don't cause your listeners pain when they hear it.