Podcast Plus: 2017 #Thankful4Audiobooks Extravaganza

The 2017 #Thankful4Audiobooks Extravaganza episode of Talking Audiobooks is available here.

You may have noticed that I did not do a podcast plus for last week’s episode. The reason for that is simple. I woke up to the news last Friday that my very good friend Melissa had passed away. The news was not entirely unexpected because I knew a couple of days previous that the end was near. I will have more to say about that at a later time, however.

While I did and still do grieve for the loss of my friend, there was something that helped to keep me from falling too far into dispair. We had been getting entries at a regular clip in the 2017 #Thankful4Audiobooks giveaway that we were doing for the show. I had to read each one, multiple times in fact. Reading all of those entries was so uplifting at a time when I really needed a boost in my spirits.
It is hard to fall too far down in the dumps when you’re constantly having to read about thankfulness and joy. That went a long way towards keeping me sane during this time of loss. I obviously could not have foreseen that things would work out this way but am incredibly grateful myself for everyone who sent in an entry.

I can honestly say that recording this episode of the podcast was the toughest one I have done so far. It was harder on producer Ken who was the one tasked with reading all of these emails out loud. It was made even more difficult by the fact that he was doing it essentially cold.
I was personally exhausted when we were done with the episode. It had taken me quite a bit of time to make sure this went off without a hitch. I had to read each entry, I sent each individual an email confirming receipt of their entry including a personal comment about what they had written. I then had to assemble an order in which to read these emails which makes this the first episode of Talking Audiobooks to have a written out format sheet.

Choosing excerpts was not especially hard. It was easier in this case than it usually is for me. I went to Audible and typed Thanksgiving into the search field. That produced a number of results and I narrowed it down from there. The last three excerpts were chosen by me to illustrate some sort of point that I could also tie into the Holiday.

When I first started as host of the Talking Audiobooks podcast, I really didn’t know what kind of show we had. We would do an interview one week, a theme show the next week and then follow that up with a show where I go over the news and review some recent listens. I thought about it then as the jack-of-all-trades Audiobooks podcast as opposed to a show that focused on one aspect of the industry.
Putting this episode together helped me to come to understand the type of show we have. The Talking Audiobooks podcast above anything else is a celebration of the format. This does not mean I can’t or won’t be critical when I think it is necessary. But the fact that we are celebrating the format means we can celebrate it in any number of different ways from interviews to theme shows and so on.

As I said, this episode was a hard one. It took a lot of time to prepare, it took a lot longer to record than the 2 hour running time of the episode and for Ken the editing process was not easy. In fact, he told me that this one kicked his ass. But even for all of that, I can honestly say that this one is my favorite so far. It combines my love of Audiobooks with my love for Thanksgiving. It was also nice to record along side Ken again, that hadn’t happened for a few months. When I am interviewing someone and playing off of them it is very easy. But doing solo shows, where I’m talking by myself and trying to be entertaining, informative or ideally both is quite the challenge.

As difficult a show as it was to prepare, record and edit I don’t think any of those things was the most difficult of all. I would say that for me the most difficult was determining who would be the winners of the contest. In the end it was a cross between selecting our favorite responses and a random drawing that helped us with our top three but there were so many entries that we thought were deserving. Many people put a lot of thought in their responses and it shows. That made for one hell of an episode when it was all said and done.

Now that this episode is over we actually have a chance to catch our breath for a week or so. I’ll be recording some shows next week for airing in December but once I have recorded those I will have a week or more before I have to do anything podcast related. I’m very much looking forward to that. When we return from our break, we’ll have just a few episodes left before our end of the year break. Then in January, it is back for season 3.