After fan fiction and online writers’ circles, now it’s the podcast route to publishing success. Aficionados of the weird and wacky will need no introduction to the Welcome to Night Vale series of podcasts, best described as Lake Woebegon Days meets The X-Files. Now the UK book rights to the upcoming Welcome to Night Vale novelization have been picked up by Orbit UK in what the publisher itself describes as “a heated auction last month” from “Angharad Kowal at Writers House UK, on behalf of Jodi Reamer at Writers House US,” following the announcement in December 2013 that Harper Perennial had signed a book deal with the podcast’s creators, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, in the US.
The entire series of Night Vale podcasts to date is archived online for free listening, and anyone who hasn’t already sacrificed hours of time (and their grip on normality) to the show should head over here. However, Orbit has allayed any anxiety that the book will simply be a retread of the free audio material by stating that: “The Night Vale book will feature both new characters and beloved favourites from the show.”
Podcasts are clearly offering another alternative route for writers and creatives to reach out and garner audiences – and book deals. Although Welcome to Night Vale is exceptional in its popularity, hitting the Number One slot in the iTunes podcast category in mid-2013, the platform is obviously rich in creative potential for both standalone broadcasts and audio materials to support written work. Just be warned that the Welcome to Night Vale crew have already done the twisted-son-of-Stephen-King thing so well it’s hard to imagine anyone rivaling them on this turf.