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Policies & Practices > podcast series

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message 1: by Urte (new)

Urte Laukaityte (laukas) | 26 comments Why do long-form podcast series keep getting deleted? I'm talking about S-town, Serial I and Serial II.

From the guidelines: 'Periodicals such as newspapers, magazines, and comics are not books. However a volume of comics or articles or a graphic novel is considered a book.'

To me, a podcast isn't a book. However, a 'volume' of podcasts if you like can very well be considered a book. S-town is more literary than many of the books that are on here.

Please consider adding them back. It's been the 3rd time somebody deletes them now.


message 2: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 45422 comments Mod
Goodreads does not consider podcasts to be published books, and they will continue to be deleted when librarians notice them.


message 3: by Scott (new)

Scott | 24909 comments Aren't podcasts just people talking about stuff? I don't see how that would be a book.


message 4: by Urte (new)

Urte Laukaityte (laukas) | 26 comments Serial is serious long-form investigative journalism. It's the same with S-town. This kind of thing didn't exist before but it's the same with comics, etc. It didn't use to be a thing. It's time to adapt to changing literary forms and at least first research what it is, then make judgements.


message 5: by lethe (new)

lethe | 14832 comments Urte wrote: "Serial is serious long-form investigative journalism. It's the same with S-town. This kind of thing didn't exist before but it's the same with comics, etc. It didn't use to be a thing. It's time to..."

Would you consider TV (or film) documentaries that are investigative journalism to be books?

Podcasts are not books, whatever their subject.


message 6: by Urte (new)

Urte Laukaityte (laukas) | 26 comments No, because there's visuals involved. Serious podcast series are essentially audiobooks.


message 7: by Urte (new)

Urte Laukaityte (laukas) | 26 comments Has anyone had a look at them to see what I mean?

https://serialpodcast.org/

https://stownpodcast.org/


message 8: by lethe (new)

lethe | 14832 comments The only audiobooks allowed are audio versions of print books.

These podcasts sound more like listen-on-demand radio programmes.


message 9: by Urte (new)

Urte Laukaityte (laukas) | 26 comments So a volume of comics is more of a book than this? How come? I find that very strange.


message 10: by lethe (new)

lethe | 14832 comments Because a volume of comics is a (print) book.


message 11: by Urte (new)

Urte Laukaityte (laukas) | 26 comments Again, I'm confused.

There is an increasing number of books that are audio-only and it's recognised as a new literary form in the publishing world: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/01/bu...

There have been many articles on this but I'm linking just one for illustration.

Is the intention to exclude those as well?


message 12: by lethe (new)

lethe | 14832 comments Your link is broken.

(I am not going to answer, since I am not staff.)


message 13: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 6 comments Though I don't know what article Urte meant to post, this is another good one:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/02/bo...
Podcasts are probably going to be a discussion for upper level Goodreads folks at some point, but it's more likely to be audio originals in major established book series from big-name authors that really get the conversation going. Just wait until JK Rowling releases a podcast of original Harry Potter stories!

Urte, I think the distinction right now is that podcasts like Serial and S-Town (both excellent!) were designed specifically for the podcast format *and* do not have a parallel print edition in the way that some original films have novelizations. It's why you can review the media tie-in version of Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire on Goodreads but not the film itself, or why you can review Shakespeare's plays but not individual performances. Podcasts and plays can have real literary merit, but Goodreads (for now) is focused on the printed word and its direct adaptations (in the case of audiobooks).


message 14: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Jun 28, 2018 11:49AM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7146 comments Urte wrote: "There is an increasing number of books that are audio-only and it's recognised as a new literary form in the publishing world"

Why do you think these are books? Goodreads is a site for books.


message 15: by Urte (new)

Urte Laukaityte (laukas) | 26 comments Sorry I took a few days, I was away.

I think I meant to post this: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/01/bu...
Although there are a number of others along the same lines.

Do let me know what you think. That should also answer why I think podcast series of the kind I mentioned straddle the divide. It seems to me it's worth being more rather than less liberal when it comes to the future forms literature might take. I suspect if goodreads had been a thing some decades ago, they could have had a similar conversation regarding comics 'books'. Or visual books where there's no text like this one: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9...

The concept 'book' itself is going to be something like a Wittgensteinian 'family-resemblance' assemblage, I think. I'm perfectly happy to have stuff like Arrival or purely visual comics books. The similarity dimension in those cases is something like 'there's a narrative' and 'they're printed', maybe 'there are characters' or whatever you like. However, there are no words, which seems to be pretty key to something being a book otherwise.

I don't think the printed aspect is the main condition though, there are many printed documents like catalogues and whatnot that would not and should not be on here. But if we include works that don't meet the condition 'books have words', why exclude works purely because they don't meet the condition 'books are printed'. It's not entirely clear to be how the latter is more central to the nature of a book than the former is.

But if you're planning on excluding the forthcoming audio-only publications, at least that would be consistent. Arbitrary but consistent. And fair enough then.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 7146 comments You didn't answer the question yourself, but only referred me to the NYT, which has a limited number of articles one can read in a month without a subscription. You can read the relevant section in the GR manual.

https://www.goodreads.com/help/show/1...

You can choose to agree or not agree as your conscience directs, but this is what we'll work with. Podcasts are not books and will not be added to the catalogue.


message 17: by Urte (new)

Urte Laukaityte (laukas) | 26 comments Excuse me but how did I not answer your question?

I stated that I thought there were no necessary and sufficient conditions for something being a book but a family resemblance grouping.

I gave the example of visuals-only books (i.e. no words) that are listed on goodreads and I pointed to the fact that traditional book publishers are increasingly interested in exploring audio-only formats.

I suggested that the current settings were arbitrary in that sense, since I can't see how a story having no words is a lesser 'fault' if you like than a story not being printed.


message 18: by lethe (last edited Jul 02, 2018 11:56PM) (new)

lethe | 14832 comments Urte wrote: "I don't think the printed aspect is the main condition though, there are many printed documents like catalogues and whatnot that would not and should not be on here. But if we include works that don't meet the condition 'books have words', why exclude works purely because they don't meet the condition 'books are printed'."

Picture books are books and have always been considered as such, not only by Goodreads.

There are catalogues in the database*, and AFAIK the GR policy does not exclude them.

*One example: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...


message 19: by Urte (new)

Urte Laukaityte (laukas) | 26 comments I feel like nobody is addressing my points, other than to simply reiterate the current policy but I'm losing hope by now anyway. Thanks.


message 20: by Drew (new)

Drew | 3 comments rivka wrote: "Goodreads does not consider podcasts to be published books, and they will continue to be deleted when librarians notice them."

This policy seems somewhat inconsistent with the recently revised policy on recorded lectures (see https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...) -- while some podcasts are less booklike than some lectures, I feel there are many cases of the reverse, especially regarding the form, producer/consumer relationship and publication methods involved. I think it's pointed out earlier in this thread that "literary intent" isn't a necessary or sufficient condition, and there may be some disagreement about whether it's an important one (or even whether it matters at all), though something like "publication intent" seems to be similarly important but difficult to define (along with or in place of an even more elusive "bookworthiness" that demands constant update of anyone in charge of defining what's allowed to be included). It's not clear to me whether an ISBN or ASIN is currently a necessary condition for listing, but per the librarian guidelines it's not sufficient.

I see @rivka says (very practically) in that thread that there are no plans to reevaluate other media following that decision, but I expect that at some point Goodreads will want to reconsider this one too as podcasts are becoming a more mature delivery medium for published words and increasingly stepping over into very "bookworthy" territory in form and role. Any thoughts on when that will be appropriate?


message 21: by Drew (last edited Jul 03, 2018 12:58PM) (new)

Drew | 3 comments FWIW, some audio-only stories are also considered books by goodreads, e.g. The Starling Project (mentioned in one of the linked articles in this discussion)


message 22: by lethe (new)

lethe | 14832 comments Drew wrote: "FWIW, some audio-only stories are also considered books by goodreads, e.g. The Starling Project (mentioned in one of the linked articles in this discussion)"

That is because they are Audible Audio. Just like Kindle editions, they are always accepted because they are Amazon formats.


message 23: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 45422 comments Mod
They are also formally published in a way most podcasts are not.


message 24: by Betsy (new)

Betsy | 594 comments Quarter Share, and the rest of the books in that series started out years earlier as podcast series. They have subsequently been published in kindle, and sometimes in paperback, but word for word there is very little difference between them. They both tell the story. I can understand news-type podcasts not being included. We also don't include magazine articles. But some podcasts are very much in the storytelling form.


message 25: by Emy (new)

Emy (emypt) | 5038 comments Just an additional point which may help. Many (most?) podcasts are inherently incomplete, with an intention to be continuous. I accept that not all are so. Goodreads also does not accept incomplete serialised fiction, unless formally published in a volume (i.e. Volume 1 of nn ongoing series).


message 26: by Drew (new)

Drew | 3 comments Emy, yes I think that's the distinction Urte is making in the original post (that she thinks each of the volumes in a long-form story podcast should be counted as a book, e.g. Serial Season 1, Serial Season 2).


message 27: by Emy (new)

Emy (emypt) | 5038 comments Drew wrote: "Emy, yes I think that's the distinction Urte is making in the original post (that she thinks each of the volumes in a long-form story podcast should be counted as a book, e.g. Serial Season 1, Seri..."

Those fail on the formal publication rule as currently listed. If you (or anyone else) which to dispute Goodreads definitions of Book vs Not a Book, then the best place for that is probably the Feedback forum, not this one.


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