Sunday, August 13, 2006

Book Writing - it's not the writing that takes the time

Right now I am in the middle of writing a book about podcasting. This is the first book I have written and it is interesting where the time gets sunk.

You might think, for example, that the writing takes time, and it does, but once I get into the flow of that I can actually get a lot done in a fairly short time.

No - with writing, what I find takes the time is double-checking what you are writing about. I want everything to be accurate and I certainly don't want to make any stupid mistakes, so I tend to actually do the exercises I am writing about while I am writing - so when I write up how to do a particular operation in Audacity for a podcast, I have Audacity open and running, and I try everything out. Much of the time I will take a few screen shots as well to put in the book - another thing that takes a surprising amount of time to get right (editing down the shots, making sure that the right things have focus, etc.).

The latest chapter I am working on is about setting up the podcast feed and submitting it to various directories, including the super-critical Apple iTunes podcast directory.

The problem now is that I want to get some screenshots of this, and run through the process, but in order to do that I need a feed that hasn't been submitted yet. Unfortunately (and here I think is a real limitation with the iTunes podcast directory), I cannot go back and edit the settings in my current podcast feed - it is very hard to change details or even inspect them once you have created the directory entry in the first place.

So - in the end I settled on making this blog into a fake podcast feed in iTunes, using the mp3 from the latest installment of the Java Posse (an interview with Steve Northover - the SWT guy - as it happens). I will link it up from here and hopefully that will enable me to run through the process and get some screen shots along the way. The chances are that I will pull the mp3 from here pretty soon after the exercise is complete, but if you do want more of the Java Posse content, you can of course go to the Java Posse site directly or subscribe to the feed in iTunes.

Oh, and here is the link to the latest podcast episode.

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