Publisher Raincoast Books and At Large Media have launched a literary podcast series for some of the company’s leading print titles. The launch of the podcast series makes the Vancouver-based company one of the first publishers in Canada to experiment with podcasting.

A podcast is an Internet-delivered audio show that can be listened to by any portable media player or computer. Apple’s June upgrade to iTunes included built in podcast functionality, making podcasts easy to download and play. Raincoast is breaking new ground by experimenting with the use of this cutting-edge technology.

Raincoast’s inaugural podcast features Jim Lynch’s novel The Highest Tide (published by Bloomsbury USA and distributed in Canada by Raincoast). The podcast includes original interviews and readings by author Jim Lynch, recorded when he attended the 2005 Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival.

Jamie Broadhurst, Marketing Director for Raincoast Books, said “a podcast is a perfect opportunity for us to offer readers access to authors beyond the festival or author tour experience. Librarians, booksellers and media can get a better sense of the authors through the audio readings and interviews than through a printed kit of materials, and fans can get further access to the authors they admire. Raincoast wants to be at the forefront of technology trends. With podcasts, readers can access content when they want and how they want, and they can listen to their favourite authors whenever and wherever they may be.”

Internet Marketing Manager Monique Trottier adds that “Jim Lynch’s podcast is a great way to highlight a very special book. The Highest Tide stood out as an extraordinary story that demanded extraordinary treatment–something that would resonate with fans and leave them clamouring to know more about the novel and Jim himself … we wanted to find a way to let readers experience Jim’s excitement beyond the words on the page.”

The recordings for Raincoast’s inaugural podcast were captured by Robert Ouimet of At Large Media, Ltd., who produced the podcast for Raincoast Books. Future podcasts–Raincoast plans to release 10-15 in 2006–will include interviews with bestselling authors and new talents, excerpts from Raincoast published and distributed titles, and other special features.