From Idea to Air: Get Paid for Your Writing on Public Radio

$15.00 $0.00

This e-book is perfect for freelance writers who want to expand their business into an entirely new (and lucrative!) market – writing for public radio. This 80-page book will guide you through everything you need to know to structure, write, produce, and pitch your writing to public radio –- and get paid for it.

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You’ll get an instantly downloadable PDF file, formatted just like a real book, that you can read or print out to take with you. All you need to read it is the free Adobe Acrobat reader. There is no copy protection or digital rights management. It’s a simple, regular PDF file. (There is a password required to open the document; you’ll receive that upon purchasing.)

Section 1
The Story: Finding and Telling a Winning Radio Story

  • Where Do Great Stories Come From?
  • The Seven Keys to a Compelling Story
  • The Secret of Community Newspapers and Cultural Wallpaper
  • How to Avoid Being Predictable
  • How to Avoid Being Earnest
  • Finding Your Focus
  • Characteristics of a Good Focus Statement
  • Creating “Audio Onramps”
  • Finding the Universal Truth
  • The Classical Three-Act Structure
  • Alternating Emotional Charges
“Concise, breezy, and interactive. Perfect for the beginner, and valuable for the more experienced producer who wants to hone their storytelling skills.”
– Adam Schwartz

Section 2
The Pitch: Getting Past the Door and Winning Your Story

  • The Basics of Pitching
  • How Should I Pitch
  • The Other Side: What Your Producer Experiences
  • About Repurposing Existing Material
  • Stage 1: The Secret of the Billboard Pitch
  • Stage 2: The Expanded Outline format
  • How Long Should I Wait To Hear?
  • About Contracting and Payment
  • Three Surefire Ways to Mess Up Your Pitch
“Highly readable and accessible, entertaining even, and answered every question I had about preparing freelance documentaries.” – Sheryl Spencer

Section 3
The Audio: Interviewing, Voicetracking, Field Audio, and More

  • The Art of the Radio Interview:
    – Preparation
    – Calming Your Subject Down / Beside Manner
    – Tod’s Eight Commandments of Interviewing
    – Avoiding Mic Noise
    – About Phone Interviews
    – The Secret of the Double-Ender
    – Doing Streeters: Tips from the Pros
    – Recording on Private Property
    – The Art of the Ten Hour Interview
    – Using Hidden Microphones
    – Repurposing Audio from Videotape
  • Collecting Field Audio
    – The Importance of Roomtone
    – Capturing the Extra Sounds
    – What’s That Buzz?
  • Recording Your Voicetrack:
    – Do I Have a Good Enough Voice?
    – Using Your Natural Voice
    – How to Record Your Voicetrack
    – Making Your Own Pop Filter
  • Minidiscs Demystified
    – Which Minidisc Recorder Should I Buy?
    – Can I Borrow One From the Station?
    – Problems to Avoid: The End-Search Bug and the Flimsy Mic Jack
    – Line Out vs. Headphones
    – The “Automatic Levels” Trap
    – Tod’s Two Best Minidisc Tips: Trackmarking and Packratting
    – Minidisc Alternatives: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
  • Microphones
    – Behold the 635A!
    – Using Lapel Microphones
    – All About Patterns
    – Working With Two Microphones
“Your summary of the mechanics of putting sound on tape is masterful and you’ve covered all the bases. Your clear descriptions of recording and scripting have definitely introduced on-air writing to my list of potential creations.” — Stephen Moyse

Section 4
The Words: Logging, Scripting, Recording, and Filing

  • Logging Your Tape
  • Scripting Your Piece
    – How to Start the Piece
    – Leave Some for the Host: Writing the Bills and Intro
    – Getting to the Point
    – Writing for the Ear
    – Selecting and Integrating Your Clips
    – About Profanity
    – Naming Your Subjects
  • Documentary Script Format explained
  • Scripting Music and Sound
    – Background (scoring) Music
    – The Problem with Lyrics
    – Abusing Irony
    – Clearing Music
    – “Needledrop” Production Music
    – Using Sound Effects Properly
    – Directing Sound in Your Script
    – Reading It Out Loud
    – Timing Your Script
    – Submitting It for a Vet
  • Package. Lather. Repeat.
    – Writing the Host Script
    – About Talk-Tapes
    – Delivery Formats
    – Getting Paid / Contracts
    – Airchecking
“Even better than I expected! I’m already learning new things, and I’ve only had time to read the first four or five pages.”  – Connor Holenski


Section 5
The Mix: Desktop Audio: Putting the Pieces Together

“Engaging, enlightening and empowering — a compelling read. Excellent!” — Al Czarnecki

Free Bonuses Limited-Time Offer

  • Free Bonus Chapter: How to Be a Dream Contributor
  • Free Bonus Chapter: A Quick Guide to Public Radio Slang
“Thanks Tod.  Finally got to reading chapter 3.  It was excellent!  I got a ton of useful pointers and reminders from that one.” – Heather Kitching



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