f you’re looking for advice on how to be an indie author, podcasts are an incredible resource. If you’re not already a podcast addict then you’re seriously missing out, so make sure you head over to iTunes, PocketCast or whatever your preferred podcast app happens to be and check out these suggestions.
Podcasts are uniquely useful as learning aids because they slot easily into your current lifestyle. Writing advice books, websites, courses and videos all require active participation, whereas you can stick a podcast on while doing the washing up, cooking or commuting to the day job. Every journey and mundane activity transforms into a time for upskilling your author brain.
Here are four podcasts that are well worth your time:
The Bestseller Experiment
I came to this one rather late but that hasn’t diminished its value. Mark Stay and Mark Desvaux host the weekly show which began life as a 52-week experiment to write and publish a ‘bestseller’ novel. They chronicled the experiment in each episode of the pod, while also interviewing more established writers, editors and publishers. Their website and the concept of the podcast can on first glance appear to be heading down a Get Rich Quick angle but don’t let that put you off – it’s a legit show with fabulous insight from the likes of Joe Abercrombie, Michael Connelly, Joanne Harris and many more. Spoiler: they released their book and it did quite well.
The Creative Penn
When I first started looking into self-publishing a couple of years ago, Joanna Penn was one of the first name to pop up on my radar. A self-described author entrepreneur, Joanna’s website and podcast covers the entire writer process, from conception to writing to editing, publishing and marketing. She has her finger on the indie scene’s pulse and it’s the podcast to listen to if you want to know about the latest indie trends and techniques. One of the challenges of getting started with self-publishing is figuring out who is trying to rip you off and take advantage of your passion and who is offering genuine advice. Joanna is in the latter category and went a long way to convincing me that self-publishing was worth investigating.
You can find all her stuff at The Creative Penn website.Yes, she’s a writer with a writing implement pun built into her name.
Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula
I am immediately suspicious of anybody claiming to have a formula for success, especially in an area as fuzzy and creative as novel writing. Mark Dawson has a bunch of high-priced courses for writers which I haven’t checked out yet, but as incentives he also has some free materials and a regular podcast. You don’t need to sign up to any of the premium courses to benefit from the free stuff. The podcast is wide-ranging and focuses around interviews with other creative types, while I especially recommend his List Building for Authors Facebook marketing free course.
Take a look at Mark’s website – like I say, don’t be put off by the hard sell and instead dive into the free stuff.
Death of 1000 Cuts
This is a more recent discovery and I’ve not had time to listen to the core content of the podcast yet, but Tim Clare has just completed a Couch to 80k Writing Boot Camp which is too irresistible to not mention. Aside from being an amusing take on the millions of Couch to 5k running podcasts, Tim’s approach also solves a problem which links back to my blog post It’s OK if you don’t write every day.
The USP is that his daily, 20-minute podcast episodes will get you into a regular writing habit by incorporating both exercises and the time needed to complete them into the running time. if you’re struggling to dedicate the time to study a more formal course, or are looking for some inspiration, it’s the perfect kickstarter. If you can dedicate the time to listen to a 20-minute episode, you can be confident that you also have time to do the exercise..
A lot of writers command people to Write Every Day, without offering practical advice on how to manage that into an already busy life. I suspect Tim has cracked that with his podcast structure. You can get at the entire course here.
These four are but the tip of an enormous frozen, metaphorical chunk of water. If you’ve got other recommendations please do let me know!