Podcasters continue to push beyond the audio format, most commonly on television screens, but also in books where publishing deals allow creators more control over their content. Two new projects are being released from iHeartMedia’s Stuff You Should Know series and the progressive podcast studio Crooked Media.
Chuck Bryant and Josh Clark, hosts of iHeart’s Stuff You Should Know, are no strangers to leveraging the content they dig up in their 16-year-old series. But writing a book is a natural step for Bryant and Clark, who met as co-writers for the website How Stuff Works before a podcast was even part of their plan. Their latest book is “Stuff Kids Should Know,” which the pair leaned on their 2020 book targeted adults as a starting off point when writing. That meant some edis however, such as taking out content on things like income tax and mezcal and bringing more fun to other topics to appeal to kids.
“Both of us always wanted to write books, and writing by way of creating a podcast is amusing but gratifying too,” Clark tells Publishers Weekly. Similar to the podcast, he says the books fits their dabble-and-learn approach. “I don’t even think it occurred to us to do a book on just one topic,” Clark tells the book trade.
But not all print projects have direct line to a podcast. Crooked Media has teamed up with the publisher Zando to release titles that fit into its left-leaning view of the world. The first to hit store shelves is called “Mobility.” Set for release next week, the novel written by Lyndia Kiesling, hits on the theme of America’s dependence on oil.
Crooked Media CEO Lucinda Treat tells the Los Angeles Times that while they had seen the book venture as a way to release nonfiction titles, “Mobility” touches on themes that hit close to home for the company. “We’re focused on trying to figure out how to get the political and the personal connected into action,” Treat says. “‘Mobility,’ in that context, makes a lot of sense, even though it’s a fiction narrative.”
Podcasting is not entirely out of the equation for “Mobility,” however. Crooked will record an interview with Kiesling hosted by Pod Save America co-host Tommy Vietor on Thursday (July 27) in Los Angeles. Other podcast interviews are planned, and Crooked is promoting the book on its podcasts and newsletters.
Zando CEO Molly Stern told the L.A. Times that working with Crooked Media has helped promote the book, since it allows the publisher a way to explain to readers the “deeper layers and intentions” of the novel. “What makes it an easy sell is because Crooked’s hunger and clarity around exactly the issues she takes up as a novelist is the red meat of their business,” Stern told the paper.