Every March my alma mater, Columbia College Chicago, holds a Story Week Festival. It's one of the Windy City's premier literary events of the year.
I wasn't able to make it this year, which is why I love podcasts like this one, featuring my former mentor Mort Castle as host, plus former mentor Phyllis Eisenstein and former classmate C.S.E. Cooney on the panel along with other luminaries like Jay Bonansinga (The Walking Dead) and Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife).
Below you'll find five of the writing and self-publishing podcasts I never miss.
Not that these are just a couple personal favorites! You'll find these and ten more in my recent chapbook on the subject.
And there are even a couple really high-ranking ones I didn't mention here! (Again, these are just the ones for me personally - there are other awesome podcasts out there more suited to different kinds of writers.
If you're a podcast-aholic like me, you can find out more about the whole BEST PODCASTS series here! Everything from motivational to storytelling to women's podcasts.
I drive a lot - not as much as, say, a trucker, but between teaching gigs and one and a half other jobs, I figure I spend at least eight hours a week on the road. I get bored with radio, so I listen to a lot of audiobooks and podcasts.
And, since I’m in the business of selling books - mainly my own self-published books and audiobooks - I listen to a lot of podcasts on writing and self-publishing.
In case you’re new to self-publishing - or new to self-publishing podcasts at least - I thought I’d share my five favorites. Note that there are many, many more out there, some good, some not so much. Please add your favorites in the comments! But these are the ones I never miss!
1. The Sell More Books Show - This one has recently supplanted #2 as my favorite, or at least my most essential listen, as it focuses on self-publishing news as much as marketing tips. Jim Kukral of Author Marketing Club and author/entrepreneur Bryan Cohen keep you abreast of the past week’s important events, blogs and happenings in the self-publishing world, all in a fast-paced format. It’s the only one of these podcasts I often pause to write down notes on.
2. The Self-Publishing Podcast - Johnny, Sean and Dave offer a fun mix of writing aptitude, business practicality and, well, BS. They’re often off-topic. You’ll probably laugh every two minutes or so. And you’ll almost always walk away with inspiration or something new. Their book Write, Publish, Repeat is pretty much essential reading for all self-publishers.
3. The Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast - Simon Whistler’s a great interviewer, and I love the way he affably draws great commentary and ideas out of his guests. Simon also makes an effort to include nonfiction writers and marketers as guests, and I enjoy the fact that not every person he interviews is a “rock star” - he’s as likely to interview an obscure author who’s achieved or written something unique or interesting as someone who’s eating up the Amazon charts.
4. The Creative Penn Podcast - Joanna Penn is the brilliant, effervescent and energetic “authorpreneur” behind what I believe is the longest-running self-publishing podcast out there. Great guests. Smart conversation. Fun to listen to. Great tips.
5. The Novel Marketing Podcast - I like this one because it tends to be a little shorter than the others. Most of the above average an hour (if you listen at normal speed), but this one’s good for a trip across town rather than a trip to another town. The hosts are Author Media CEO Thomas Umstattd Jr. and best-selling author and marketing guru James L Rubart, who offer concise, yet insightful and intelligent, easily digestible discussions on topics it seems the other long-format shows might miss or gloss over.
Honorable Mention: The Save the Cat Podcast - Another short, sharp, insightful one. Screenwriters Guy Thompson and Jose Silerio talk in terms of popular movies, but the advice applies to all fiction, implementing the story beat methods of Blake Snyder’s bestselling Save The Cat! series of scriptwriting books. (Full disclosure: Guy and I have known each other for more than a decade and might be working together on a secret Green River project…)
Again, I know there are lots of other writing and self-publishing podcasts out there. These are just my go-to shows. Please post your favorites in the comments!
David Bain - Writer.