Plow, Sow, Reap

My regular monthly blog is up for Western Fictioneers. You may see it here or read it below:

I’m a writer, so it seemed time to drop the boring words.  Consider this heading chicory coffee and beignets drafted on my birthday while sitting in New Orleans.  Boring words and strong black coffee to resume sometime later in cold New England.

Plough: Creating a fallow field is the goal of a marketing plan.  Marketing Plan has some heavy and cumbersome connotations and I think we are better off if we just think of finding ways to turn over the earth – till our field – to make our efforts yield that much more.

Two clear examples presented themselves in the past month.  Ken Farmer blogged for us (2/19/15)   on “Expanding Markets.”  Punchy message:  you’ve got an e-book or a p-book, make it an a-book.  That’s tilling your field. (About how to do that, more below.)

A second is a theory I have – not yet proven – that our books hold more in their stories than the genre limitations forced upon them.  First limitation is “fiction” and then even more narrowly most of us get pigeonholed as “Western.”  (In a more querulous mood, reserved for days not my birthday, I might argue we bring a lot of that down on ourselves.  We are segregated by the separation we define.)  Yet the stories we tell hold the great and important themes that corporations are trying to project in their marketing and public relations. (Corporations defined as all organizations, religious, social, or commercial, that try to mobilize an external public to adopt –“buy” – their program.)

I have proposed to banks and money management firms to use Telluride Promise as a format for discussing how to choose advisors you trust and what banker to do business with.  Every Soul Is Free may be the format for discussing the conflict between calling (career) and family; how to transfer values across generations; and the quiet power of women in decision making.  No contracts yet, but I believe I am creating one hell of a fallow field.

To support my belief, look at the Wall Street Journal, 2/25/15, B1, “I Don’t Have a Job. I Have a Higher Calling.”  The article makes my point with its sub-head: “ …firms…step up talk about changing the world.”  In our stories, every one of them, there is a nugget that can be built into the discussion of a theme.

To induce you to believe it is a good bet, worth a try, I point to David Whyte.  A poet.   For God’s sake, there is only one harder choice for commercial success than being a western writer.  David is America’s corporate poet.  I commend you to his website to explode ideas in your own mind about how this works for you.  (Enjoy David’s poetry, but click down Speaking/Client List to see my point proved.)

Sow:   Ken Farmer decided to do his audio books, did them, and now he has already reaped the results.  I have long since planned to do an audio book, so I was impressed with Ken’s alacrity in going straight to product he could sell.  I wrote Ken, asking him to tell us how he did it.  Here is his slightly edited response:

“Sign in with your Amazon password and join ACX.  If you’re the author of your books listed on Amazon, that makes you the ‘Rights Holder’ (RH). You can create your audio version one of two ways. I recorded it myself and uploaded it chapter by chapter to ACX.  They Quality Control check the file and, if it’s acceptable, it will go live on Amazon, iTunes and Audible in about a week. Alternatively, if the author is not qualified to be the narrator he posts a request on ACX for narrators to audition.  The fee can be (1) a flat fee per finished hour (PFH), anywhere from $200 to $400 PFH, depending on the experience of the narrator…negotiable; (2) A revenue share (RS).  ACX pays 40% – if exclusive. They fix the price based on number of finished hours. My novels range from 7 to 9 hours and are priced at $19.95. If an outside narrator is selected, all the narrators I know record and edit the novel in their own in-house studio and send the files to the RH for approval and then to ACX.

“One thing is vital. The narrator must speak the writer’s words with total conviction…Storytelling. If the narrator doesn’t love your work, it will probably suck.

“I built my own digital audio workstation (DAW) at my house for less than $300. I have the advantage that I’ve been a professional actor and VO artist for over 40 years. Narrating a novel is Voice Acting (storytelling). I teach Voice Acting Workshops four or five times a year (next one March 7 in Gainesville, Texas) – a six hour intensive for authors and actors on how to break into the VO business and how to create Audio Books.

“I just wish I had started sooner.”

Despite Ken’s writing that he was going to finish eight more of his own (he’s already done four) before he branches out to do other folks, I asked him for a quote.  He gave me one, so I propose you assume he is open for business, if you are interested. Get more detail on Ken here and on the workshops here.

Ken’s $300 DAW is remarkably straight forward:

• Blue Yeti mic with articulating arm and pop filter.

• WavePad Master software.
• Sound deadening: two sheets of foam board 2′ x 3′ (from Walmart) plus a twin size  foam mattress pad. Cut the mattress pad to fit the boards and glue them together.  (You still need a fairly small room).
• Twelve inch notebook for text (Ken has used Kindle, but he finds the  bigger screen to be better.)
• Main PC monitor for the wave form

In February, I mentioned I had joined “Query Tracker.”  To date it has turned up no leads, but I did discover one agent whom I think it plausible to contact.  The ball is in my court.  Also I have secured a referral to a seriously interesting agent, not through QT, but I will use it to track my contact efforts.   Another service, “Writer’s Relief,” has interested me enough to pursue.  They have a submission process with writing sample.  They just notified me (on my birthday, I assume it is another present) of my acceptance. I’ll let you know more as I go through the process with them.

Reap:   This is always the most fun!  In last month’s blog I mentioned Pen-L Publishing’s Kindle Promotion.  To create a Valentine’s Day special, Pen-L dropped the Kindle price to 99 cents on all books in their catalogue and asked their authors to promote them down their channels.  Pen-L reports: “For the books included in the promotion, comparing Dec. 13 through Jan. 13 with Jan. 14 through Feb. 14, sales went up almost six-fold; income went down 20%.

We’re not comfortable releasing specific numbers but … this gives you a good idea. We did not include the two titles whose authors conducted paid promotions online during these periods. Christmas was also a confounding factor as the Dec-Jan. sales might have been boosted by the holiday.

“The more important data is still to come. The purpose of this promotion was not to boost income but to boost sales, which may lead to a longer-term lift in sales for those titles. It’s too soon to tell if this is the case. April 14 we’ll look at the post-promotion sales and be better able to conclude whether the intervention had the desired effect.”

My summary: effort works and lower price leads to lower income, the hope is every promotion fixes a cobblestone in the longer path.

On a personal note, my meager Facebook efforts have led to one small result: 16 wonderful friends wished me a happy birthday; one mentioned they had read Every Soul Is Free.

In last month’s “Results” I invited all of you to send me some tangible help you have received from Writer’s Digest in your career – and at what cost.  Zero.  That may be a measure of the power of this blog, but I actually believe it is a true measure of the degree to which Writer’s Digest actually helps writers.

 I mentioned that this blog will force me to work on my bio.  I have not yet made it past the starting point: Telluride Promise gained the quarterfinals in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. The League of Utah Writers awarded the Gold Quill, Grand Prize for best novel published in 2014, to Every Soul Is Free.  Edward’s third novel is finished and out to a publisher.  He is at work on his fourth.

Marketing, Implementation, Results

[Western Fictioneers has asked me to do a blog on the first Monday of every month.  Here is the entry published today on their website.]

In my January 5 blog, I promised this first Monday of the month 2015 blog will follow (1) a year of marketing efforts: Marketing Plan, Implementation, and Results; and, (2) your (to the extent you share them via e-mail or comment) and my marketing efforts over the year.

Results:   Right off the bat, I realize that while results are the product (we hope) of plan and implementation, they need to come first, now that we are up and running.  The reason is something I did not mention last month, but that came up immediately because my January blog resulted in 4 comments, 1 e-mail exchange, and 1 request for a blog-interview.

In that blog-interview, Tom Rizzo’s Story Teller 7, I answered, “In work, there is a  ‘Production Function.’  All it means is if you do something you get a result. For example, if you write 500 words a day, you get a novel.  So, just that one blog led to four comments, one exchange of e-mails, and this opportunity.”

Another result was the very substantial contribution by Charlie Steel to the implementation paragraph below.

In short, what we are all trying to do is increase our production function!

Marketing Plan: The question that continues to plague me, and I think other writers, is simply: How do you create a marketing plan that really works?  There are too many things to do and you cannot really know how any of them work for you until you do them — a state of affairs that leads inevitably to wasted time and frustration.  The alternative is to do nothing, a marketing plan that inevitably leads to … doing nothing.  So, one of the things we do is look for help.

I am going to indulge in a one-time-only bout of complaining.  This month I am going to complain about the rather large industry out there that is designed to make money off writers in the guise of pretending to help writers make money.   We are all mature, consenting adults, so we are responsible for our own protection.  In the end, I am suggesting nothing more than caution and prudence more for the use of your time than even for the waste of your money.  I have long since been suspicious that my subscription to Writer’s Digest was nothing more than an annual payment for the privilege of receiving solicitations.

So, For One Month Only, like one of their screaming solicitations that arrive daily in my e-mail inbox, I thought I would test my perception for purposes of talking about where to turn to help for marketing plans.  I have accumulated and segregated all the e-mails I have received from Writer’s Digest or one of its affiliates or partners since 1:00 am Central Standard Time, January 5, 2015.  I complete this analysis at 6 pm Sunday night, 2/1/15, and attest to you —what was that I said about arrive daily? Twenty-eight days, counting the day of publication, and 73 e-mails have arrived.  58 of them held as their subject a solicitation. 10 held useful content in the subject line and on the first page right up to a Read More that when clicked, you guessed it, offered to sell you something. 5 held out a proposed service that, once you clicked past the subject heading, became a solicitation.

In the spirit of soliciting real interaction with this blog, I invite all of you to send me some tangible help you have received from Writer’s Digest in your career – and at what cost.  For example the analysis mentioned above cost me 28 days of surveillance and two hours of analysis.  Good value for this blog, but only once!  You do not need to mention whether or not you paid cash for it, just note the kind of help they provided you.

I will start it off.  I bought one of their best sellers, Create Your Writer Platform, $16.99 plus shipping.  Rather than focus on my negative reaction to being talked down to, I will focus on my positive reaction to Duke Pennell’s enormously instructive and useful admonition:  “A writer needs fans.”  Aha! That’s what they mean by a platform.

Implementation:   I admit it I am looking for an agent.  While I am trying to figure out how to maximize the productivity of my search, I have joined Query Tracker.  I will report on how useful that turns out to be.

The most interesting how- to-get-things-done discussion this month comes from an exchange with Charlie Steel resulting from last month’s blog.  Charlie commented: “Edward, …My best books sales have always been a free presentation about the WEST, a slide show, a reading of a story, and finally a sing-along of Western songs with me playing guitar. (At a senior resort, housing, library, clubs, etc.)”

My response: “Charlie, One of the problems I am trying to identify is how to get the event set up. Would you send me an e-mail about how you cause ‘free presentations’ to occur.”

Charlie did just that in step-by-step detail that he also asked me to keep confidential as he considers it proprietary.  In my promise to do so, I asked him, however, if I could quote what I thought was the most significant – and not proprietary – insight.  He agreed:

“My experience.  Before speaking, very few in the audience would buy a book.  After being entertained and making a connection with the audience, well over 70% buy a book.

Booking an engagement is the MOST difficult part of doing a FREE speaking engagement.   (…)

Prepare a promotion letter, offering to make a free speech at the church, senior citizen housing, veteran group, library, etc., where you wish to speak.  And, mail them out.  Include email and telephone number.  Or, solicit speaking engagements with a cold phone call to the facility but make sure to have prepared statement.”

What I read in Charlie’s formula is simple:  Do the damn work!  I must admit I get depressed and exhausted, so these words are somewhat inspiring to me. 

An actual plan that got implemented during the month:  Pen-L Publishing’s Kindle Promotion. Pen-L dropped the Kindle price to 99 cents on all books in their catalogue and asked Pen-L authors to promote them down their channels.  They are willing to share with us that “seventeen days into our promotion, of the 40 titles included in the sale, 30 have attracted buyers who purchased 358 Kindles since January 14. The range per title is 1 to 30, with one outlier who did a paid promotion and simultaneously promoted at two sites (eReaderNewsToday and Kindle Books Today) and sold 153 copies.”  My personal result was 3.  I am still working down my channels.  I think sending your love for Valentine’s Day in a tangible way with a Kindle book is an idea that can’t be beaten.  Take a look at Pen-L’s page.  You’ll see a lot of old friends as well as maybe some new ones.  Kissing 10 girls for less than ten bucks is a great deal in my mind.  If you like it, you might want to try it with your own books.

It became my personal challenge finally to get something going on Facebook.  I still have Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and others to do.  I continue to resist them as a time sump, but it looks to me like it is working for someone.


Review (3) in ROUNDUP Magazine

ROUNDUP Magazine, published bi-monthly by Western Writers of America, has asked me to do a (third) review. Coming in 2015, you can read it here, now:

ETHAN J. WOLFE. The Regulator. Five Star. Hardcover. 232 pages, $25.95,

The subtitle says Soldier. Sniper. Lawman. That just about covers it all. Except Congressman!

President Garfield summons Murphy, no first name, from his Congressional seat to resume his service, (he was once in the Secret Service to Grant), now as a lawman. His charge: to find and apprehend a sniper who kills railroad track workers and whole families of settlers.

Over the course of a few weeks, he invents forensic science and kills the killer. Aside from both hunted and hunter being snipers, the reader learns Murphy’s painful past makes him one of a feather with the insane killer.

Along the way, man gets his quarry and girl gets him.
—Edward Massey

Publisher’s Valentine Day Promotion

Pen-L Publishing, publisher of Every Soul Is Free, is out to spread the love with a Valentine’s Day promotion on Kindle at 99 cents.  Connect with or with Amazon directly  for a truly low cost way to send a meaningful Valentine’s Day gift and, of course, tell all your friends and family about this special deal.  Duke Pennell tells me the special runs through February 14, so act now.

Interview on Tom Rizzo’s StoryTeller’s 7

One of the reasons I committed to Western Fictioneers to publish a blog the first Monday of every month was to find out how blogs generate traffic. The first one has already led to an interview, now published by a highly respected blogger, Tom Rizzo. I thought about importing it here, but I am so impressed by the work Tom does and his website that I want to send you to him. Please click here and see what a good job he did.

Review (2) in ROUNDUP Magazine

ROUNDUP Magazine, published bi-monthly by Western Writers of America, has asked me to do a (second) review. Coming in 2015, you can read it here, now:

BRETT COGBURN. Two-Dollar Pistol Five Star. Hardcover. 322 pages, $25.95,

19 year-old self-created orphan Myra befriends 17 year-old sheriff’s son Claude who shoots bad man Mike before Mike shoots him. Myra’s stealthy hands move on to seduction and the two take off on a Bonnie and Clyde life in depression era Oklahoma and Texas.

Myra’s instinct for crime comes from her rotten family and Claude’s ability to keep them alive comes from being half-Indian and displaying the best qualities of both his mom and dad despite his outlaw ways.

Two or three violent and comical hold-ups lead to a giant shoot-out. Bonnie and Clyde did not survive theirs and I’ll leave the reader to discover whether Claude’s Indian Mother and Sheriff Father pulled them out in time to continue their life of crime in some future sequel.

I’m not sure why Five Star lists it as historical fiction, but it is a good depression era read.
—Edward Massey

A Marketing Plan, a Marketer, a Brand

I was asked to provide a blog to Western Fictioneers the first Monday of every month during 2015.  Since I had never hit that regularity with my own blog and since I wanted to be a good WF member, I committed.  It took until last Tuesday — yes, after three-months notice, but six days to do the work — before I knew my topic.  Obviously, my biggest challenge should be my topic.  What I wrote is shown below.  The blog had some graphics from this website, so I do not repeat them here, but if you want to take a look here.

In preparation to take up the first Monday of every month blog, I read prior WF blogs.  I have read every December blog and I have set the year-long intention to read all 257 blogs from 2014 and the current ones.  December blogs averaged 879 words.  Two-years worth will amount to some 520,000 words, 5 or 6 Western Fictioneers’ novels!  A massive array of topics and approaches led to the question: what am I going to take up on my first Monday? To zip through the reasoning process, I am going to take up an Odyssey – my quest to market my books and build a brand.  I am not all that sure I want to become a marketeer, I already have as much as I can handle in trying to become a good writer of novels.  At the moment, between Scylla and Charybdis seems to be my only choice.

I count it lucky that the blog is the first Monday of every month.  One of the principles to establish for myself and this blog is to use the first Monday of very month to review what we will do this month and this year to market our work and promote our brand.  “Do” for our purposes means:  create the marketing plan, implement the marketing plan, and reap the results.  I invite you to watch over my shoulder, share your ideas and suggestions, and participate all along the way.  As Tom Rizzo said in one of his blogs, consider this a participatory blog. In the Comments section below, leave your questions, recommendations, stories, and tips.

Create the Marketing Plan.  It could be that a few may read this blog who have the same problem.  I have no idea how many writers, particularly Western Fictioneers writers, know how to market the work, sell the books, and write the next one, keeping all tasks miraculously in balance.  Probably many of you are out there.  I have met at least one of you – well, one pair of you:  Kat and L.J. Martin.

Anyway, a year has passed since I responded to Cheryl’s request for a Friday Five.  I had no idea, then, how much would happen in the year.  About that time, I had a manuscript out to two publishers – eerily similar to my current situation.  A month later, Pen-L Publishing committed to publish Every Soul Is Free.  Duke and Kimberly Pennell fulfilled their promise to get it published in time for my 50th Reunion last May.  I created an ambitious marketing plan that touched all the bases.

Caveat before we go any further:  It is more likely that I will be learning from you than vice versa.  Along the way, I will try hard to pass along information that I have found helpful (like James Altucher’s podcast with Hugh Howey).  My suspicion is that the most helpful information I will turn up will help authors who self-publish, publish with print-on-demand publishers or independent publishers.  Since I despair at the prospect, I doubt anything I turn up will help my readers crack the agented and New York publishing house market.

As Charlie Steel so adroitly observed of us as a group, I am one of  “us [who] are old.”  You might have guessed that with the 50th Reunion reference.  For the most part of my life, I did business things.  Now that I am in the business of writing I am not at all opposed to author effort.   In fact, I welcome it.  What I find impossible is coming up with the marketing ideas, channel pursuits, and implementation as well as writing and doing the author effort.  I realize that I have been given handbooks and suggestions that, somehow, did not take.

Implement the Marketing Plan: Seven post-publication months have, so far, rolled out from days measured by four hours of joyous writing, two hours of consulting work that pays the mortgage, and four hours of terror and torture that defines my afternoon and my efforts to market my book and build my brand.  Six days a week!  (Not on Tuesdays because of work to pay the mortgage and not on the weekend because Anne thinks the weekend should look different from the weekday, so only the morning hours of joyous writing go on Saturday and Sunday.)

After three months, I realized I could not do it myself.  So, I tried my hand at hiring somebody who would do all the tasks and set up the opportunities for me to come in and make the sale, read the book, give the talk, or sing and dance, whatever it took.  They couldn’t do it either.

Reap the results:  Website (; Social media (Facebook, twitter, linked-in accounts); Book store (Barnes and Noble, New Haven (1)); Marketing materials (Cards, postcards, bookmarks); Book club presentations (Connecticut (1)); Evening of reading and discussion (18 high school classmates in Utah (1)); Outreach (Proposals to County School Board re literature from local high school graduates); Award (League of Utah Writers’ Gold Quill for Best Novel Published in 2014; Talk (Providence Art Club: the “Nexus of History and Fiction”(1)); Interview (Emil Franzi on “Voices of the West”; Podcast (Entrepreneur on Fire.); Theme based marketing (Proposals to 3 organizations to promote their themes based on Every Soul Is Free); e-mails and Press Releases (3 blast-e-mails and signed up for PR Wire and BusWire); initiatives that led nowhere (innumerable characterized by no call back.)

This list is in this format because I could not manage the WF blog software, but it is here, at all, because it is the whole list of my marketing results.

That four hours of joyous writing did result in completing my third novel and I am very happy with it.  It is not a Western; it would not qualify under the Peacemaker or the Spur Award rules, but it is set in the west and it deals with what I think the west is all about – a man’s values and how he balances career with commitment to family and community.  A publisher has shown an interest.  The way he expressed his interest was to tell me to submit the full manuscript along with my marketing plan. So, this blog has some real-life meaning.

What Charlie Steel further pointed out is how prolific some WF authors are with 60 to 600 books and a few 35s and even some 10s and 20s thrown in.   I think the clear conclusion from Hugh Howey to Charlie Steel is that if you have to choose between marketing and writing. Write!  So, although the goal of this year’s blog will be to lay out the program and focus on how to make it happen, the fallback position will always be – end the torture and write!

One  learning I have already achieved (by reading all the WF blogs) is that the reason for doing a blog is to get to the end where you make a pitch for your books and your brand.  Every single one of them did it.  I am cheered.

One of the tasks this blog will force is work on my bio.  Here is the starting point:  Edward has published a novel, Telluride Promise, five short stories, and Every Soul Is Free. Telluride Promise gained the quarterfinals in the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. The League of Utah Writers named Every Soul Is Free the Grand Prize winner for best novel published in 2014, awarding Edward the Gold Quill.  His third novel is finished and he is at work on his fourth.

All social media accounts set up but not really working. Implementing them will be part of this blog.

Encourage Reading, Gift an Edward Massey book

Encourage reading, support bookstores, buy books. That’s my theme for 2015. What I am doing for my part in encouraging you to encourage reading is to send you a second book for one dollar:

Order a book from this website and I will sign it and inscribe any message you want. Enter the desired inscription in the field below. If you want the book(s) sent to a third party, enter that information when you get to the order summary page by clicking on “Add special instructions to the seller.”

  • Every Soul Is Free, $18.00, price includes mailing
  • Telluride Promise, $12.00, price includes mailing
  • Gift set, both books, $19.00, price includes mailing

Go to for twenty-one terrific reviews and, of course, if you prefer, buy both books on Kindle for even less than my one dollar special.

Happy, healthy reading in 2015.

Choose book(s)
Desired inscription

December Just Write Newsletter

As mentioned in October, The League of Utah Writers is organized into Chapters. The President of the At-Large Chapter, Ann Gordon, asked me to write about my adventures in marketing.
Just Write Newsletter December 2014

Member Article: Edward Massey – Adventures in Marketing

Ann asked me to write an article about “my adventures as a published author, getting noticed, getting references and reviews, blogging, and interviews – in 350 words.” Here goes:

My path to publishing Telluride Promise included “a read and a conference” with a New York publisher. The publisher told me, “Nobody wants to read about a good banker.” By his tone, I couldn’t tell which he disapproved of most: ‘good’ or ‘banker’. That day he taught me something: to make sure my synopsis sells the book I want to sell. I believe mine did; he just didn’t want to buy, or read, my book. So, I self-published with CreateSpace.

With my book Every Soul Is Free I sold short stories as a step in marketing the book to publishers. Fifty or so submissions led to five stories accepted by online and print collections. This process led to my finding Western Writers of America (WWA). At the first convention I attended I suffered horrible rejection. A well-known agent informed me that a story set in 1948 was not about the Old West and couldn’t be sold. Two newly minted good friends, prominent members of WWA, propped me up enough that I left Las Vegas with three invitations to submit. One of those, Pen-L Publishing, led to publication.

I am still a novice at marketing my books. If you look around my website you’ll find a TV interview, book reviews, radio interviews, a podcast, book club nights, art club discussions, and blog posts. So far I’ve made two observations:

  • First, something results from everything I do or try. It’s a production function: effort goes in the front end, book sales come out the back end. I’m still learning how to leverage and maximize my own production function.
  • Second (which I trust as a truism): Keep trying. I write every day and my daily two to four hours leave me blissful and joyous. I used to find writing time as torturous as I now find book marketing time. My goal is to work through this until I love the marketing part of publication.

Editor’s Note: Edward has written more about his path to writing and publication on his website.

Of interest, in Ann’s editing of what I submitted, she added the word truism. I commented:

You are terrific and I appreciate your editing.
Just one small comment. I doubt my second observation is a truism.
(From a reference source on logic): A truism is a proposition that states nothing beyond what is implied by any of its terms.
I suspect (and need to do more thinking and reading about this) anything that you trust is not a truism.
Certainly, trusting the notion to keep trying goes far beyond what it implies by any of its terms. Trusting requires going into the unknown. To keep trying, to be sure, also goes into the unknown, but more than that, it is at the very heart of discouragement.
When most discouraged, try the most. That may have been a better statement, and, certainly, it would not be a truism.

Entrepreneur on Fire Podcast

John Dumas published his podcast interview with Edward today, December 1. He has a terrific podcast. This worked very well.

Listen to the podcast here (28 minutes):

Also see John’s website, Entrepreneur on Fire. You will find a very professional and thorough website, a mirror image, by the way, to the preparation and process for his podcast interview. While we’re on the subject of entrepreneurs, John is a 34 year-old Mainer who has relocated to San Diego and ignited with this podcast. Talk about “On Fire,” the show achieved Best of iTunes in 2013 with 7.4 million downloads. Speaking of iTunes, this podcast is now permanently available here.