It took me a while to discover the awesomeness of podcasts. I don’t commute, and always prefer reading information to hearing it or, worse, watching it. Just a personal preference. However, I’ve been lucky enough to learn that podcasts are a great way to deliver information that would be downright tedious (and time consuming) to read. Now, I haul my giant red earphones to the gym and learn while I work out.
If you’re a new indie author or, like me, have a few books under your belt but are still building your backlist and trying to find new readers, you’re probably filled with questions. How do I get the word out about my books? How do I sell more? How do I find my target audience? Do I go exclusive on Amazon or go wide with all the book sellers? How do I market cross-genre books?
Findings answers can be a challenge. You can get some of them from the books I recommended in this article. However, as I mentioned, a book can only tell you so much. On the other hand, a weekly hour-long podcast can deliver an absurd amount of information that’s up-to-date and that tackles more topics. Even better, the podcasts are run by authors who, in most cases, are a few steps ahead of you in their careers. They’ve been there, and they like sharing their knowledge to help out the writing community while they promote themselves and their own books.
Below, I list 3 podcasts that have really educated me about running a self-publishing business and selling books. Much like my list of recommended books, these are podcasts that I’ve tried and found really helpful. There may also be others I haven’t come across.
The Self-Publishing Podcast. This show is hosted by the guys who wrote my favorite book marketing tome, Write. Publish. Repeat. It’s the first podcast I tried and the one that convinced me that podcasts are worthwhile. Johnny, Sean, and Dave are prolific writers of spec fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, horror, you name it… part of their brand is that they write cross-genre). They offer good advice on all aspects of self-publishing and book marketing based on tons of experience, including a willingness to take lots of risks and make lots of mistakes (something many authors aren’t good at). The podcast is funny, irreverent, and very informal — however, if you hate the occasional f-bomb or go nuts when the hosts veer off on long tangents, SPP may not be for you.
The Creative Penn Podcast. Joanna Penn is half thriller author, half self-publishing guru. I discovered her blog years ago and she’s been my go-to person for advice ever since. She’s very organized and is one of those high achievers at whom you marvel because she seems to get more done than any human should. Her gift is the vast breadth of her knowledge — she stays updated on the latest Amazon changes, the new technologies and platforms for reading, and the global market for books. She stays ahead of the curve and is interested in where the book industry is heading. She also has a lovely British accent :). Penn isn’t a sci-fi/fantasy author, but she does write genre fiction and her advice caters to anyone.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast. Hosted by three sci-fi/fantasy authors, this podcast covers every topic you can think of when it comes to marketing books, from choosing Amazon categories to advertising on book sites like BookBub to obeying your genre’s beloved tropes. A great benefit is that the show caters to those who write sci-fi and fantasy, which is my genre. Lindsay Buroker, Joseph Lallo, and Jeffrey Poole write in this genre, as do all the guests they interview. This podcast has become my favorite and I have learned a TON after only a handful of trips to the gym. It’s a nuts and bolts podcast that emphasizes teaching over entertaining, perfect for me and for those still in the early stages of their careers or those further along and looking to bolster theirs. If marketing is a challenge for you (it certainly is for me), this is a must-hear show.
What podcasts have you found useful in your career as an author? Educate me and others by listing your favorites, and why you like them, in the comment section.