5 Essential Podcasts for Authors

Everyone at this point has heard of podcasts, but really, have you really heard of podcasts? I used to be like, whatever, I can read faster than I listen. Who has time to listen to podcasts? But then I discovered they’re like radio shows hyper focused on whatever particular topic you want to find out about. You can listen to them anytime you want to. As a busy mom, I listen to them while I do other things, such as wash dishes, pack lunches, do the laundry, etc. (and if you have Alexa, it’s supposed to be even easier.)

There’s pretty much a podcast for any interest you can think of.

Here are 5 awesome podcasts to get a real education in what is going on publishing (mostly self-publishing). Seriously if you listen to all of their shows or even half of the shows listed for a month, you will get a pretty good idea of what you need to be doing (and if you listen to for more than a month and apply what you learn, then you’ll be way ahead of many others).

Even if you are not an indie author, many of the podcasts here have episodes that traditionally published authors can take lessons from.

1 Writing Excuses

Their tagline is “15 minutes long because you’re in a hurry… And we are not that smart.” Started by fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson, webcomic creator Howard Taylor, SF writer Dan Wells, and fantasy writer Mary Robinette Kowal, they’ve since added SF writer Wesley Chu, romantic suspense writer Piper J. Drake, and fiction professor Mary Anne Mohanraj to the line up. I’m starting with this one because it’s very short and the roundtable discussions are usually very focused. Granted they don’t really talk too much about business or marketing and the authors are all traditionally published, but there is always something to be taken away from their craft discussions, whether you are a newbie author just starting out or you are someone who has been published and writing for years.


Sell More Books Show

2 Sell More Books Show

Hosted by Brian Cohen and Jim Kukral , this podcast is more like a weekly publishing news roundup. It’s a great way to keep up to date on trends and news in the industry. They pull out pertinent pieces of information from articles or blog posts recently published and talk about them on the show with a focus on consequences for authors. Recent shows have pulled from the news that Amazon is expanding their physical bookstores, a blog post from David Gaughran (Let’s Get Visible) about fake books, and a survey of six-figure authors.

3 Smarty Pants Book Marketing

This is a book marketing focused podcast by  Chris Syme, head of a strategic book marketing and communications agency, and her daughter, Rebecca Syme a USA Today Bestselling author. I really like their approach to marketing, which is all about marketing smartly and paying attention to the right things for you (which may be different than someone else). Listening to their podcast is also a good way to decide Chris Syme’s books on marketing are right for you. Although the podcast covers a lot of things some more advanced indie authors might already know, it’s still a valuable podcast to check up on.

If I haven’t convinced you of the awesomeness of podcasts yet, here are two podcasts that offer transcripts.

4 The Self-Publishing Formula

This is a podcast by indie best-selling author Mark Dawson paired with newbie writer James Blatch. This interview-based podcast is like eavesdropping on a super informative conversation guys at a bar during a con, only you’re not eavesdropping.I found the show about Mark Dawson’s use of his mailing list to launch his book to be one of those master class podcasts, that is so valuable he should be charging for it. One thing that is nice about their podcasts is that if you go to their website and give them your email address they can send you a PDF with transcripts for all of their past podcasts.

5 Joanna Penn’s Creative Penn Podcast 

So I confess, before I started listening to podcasts, I would still go to Joanne Penn’s website to read transcripts of her podcasts. Her interviews are always very fascinating and informative. Her story and interview style is very inspirational and friendly, like having a chat with a girlfriend over coffee. Each individual podcast has its own page with a transcript that you can just read without giving up your email address.

Are there any other podcasts you enjoy listening to that you think should be on this list? Leave a comment and let me know!

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