I love studying. I’ve got no shame in donning my geek glasses and hoovering up knowledge like James Dyson on steroids.
For me, one of the quickest methods for learning, particularly in this fast-paced industry, is to listen to podcasts. Why? Because they’re current and they’re recorded weekly (usually). Which means they can report on changes instantly, giving you the most up to date industry and marketing news as it happens.
I’ve pulled together a list of my fave podcasts that have helped me grow a wealth of marketing and industry knowledge as well as craft skills.
If your favorite pod isn’t on the list, why not drop it in the comments.
If you’re not into podcasts or haven’t found time to listen, then you’re missing out.
Here are a few quick tricks I use to consume the knowledge:
- Listen at a faster speed. It takes a bit of getting used to, but you can train your brain. I listen to podcasts anywhere from 1.25x speed to 2x speed. It means you consume the info faster and it takes up less time.
- Listen in dead time. For example, when walking the kids to school, in the car, on the way to work, walking the dog, while cooking.
- Keep a notes file specifically for any tips you pick up via podcasts in your phone for easy access. If you’re listening on the go, it’s hard to action anything you hear at the same time.
Right, to the podcasts. The ones I’ve recommended are produced by authors actually in the thick of the crazy marketing world. They’re living and breathing publishing, which is why their podcasts are so good.
For those with smartphones – I’d recommend listening via your regular podcast app. But most of these podcasts have been running for years, so if you want to hit up the backlist, then go to their websites.
MARKETING AND PUBLISHING PODCASTS
Joanna Penn is an indie publishing legend. Her podcast is in an interview format (or a solo show) where she will interview guests on particular topics related to writing, marketing and publishing. She covers everything from craft all the way up to Mindset, mailing list management, advertising techniques and everything in between.
Co-hosted by Lindsay Buroker, Jo Lallo and Jeff Poole, the show has a science fiction and fantasy slant, but for the most part, the marketing tips, tricks and techniques are completely applicable to any genre. They really focus on the marketing and tactical side of gaining sales, and I absolutely love this show.
This podcast is hardcore frontline news, views and tips. Co-hosted by Bryan Cohen and Jim Krukal, the duo aims to bring you the latest in publishing news, their banter-filled views on it, and tips and tricks for selling as many books as possible. Another one of my faves. It’s also led to them running an annual conference in Chicago every year. For those of us not on that side of the pond – one for the bucket list.
The Alliance of Independent Authors is amazing. Akin to a union for indies, it’s done so much for me, enabling me to meet other authors, make connections and even a little something that’s in the works next year. But more on that another day. Their podcast is super. They split the shows by beginner or advanced sessions and even have guests like Joanna Penn on the advanced show. It’s chock full of insight and I always leave with actions and things to do.
Mark Dawson, aside for his thriller books, is renowned as the go-to guy for advertising courses. With his team, they’ve taught literally thousands of authors how to use the many and varied advertising steams. Me included. James (one of Mark’s teammates) along with Mark, run the Self Publishing Formula podcast. Like the others, it’s filled with interesting interviews on the latest marketing trends and tactics. They also do an interesting book clinic segment for Patreon supporters. They give one person’s book a total overhaul to help them sell more books. It’s fascinating.
Ella Barnard is one of the loveliest people ever. Her podcast is fun, friendly and full of cracking tips for marketing your book. Her guests include Angela Ackerman and Chris Fox… oh, and you can even hear from yours truly in the not too distant future too.
I’m new to this podcast, but Zach Bohannon and J. Thorn are fantastic presenters focusing on the nitty-gritty of making an author career happen. Topics range far and wide including money management, editing and social media.
WRITING CRAFT PODS
I was surprised to realize I don’t listen to that many writing craft podcasts, I guess much of that learning comes from reading craft books and deconstructing the novels I read. However, there are a couple!
This podcast is for anyone in a rush. Each episode is only 15 minutes long and they go deep into one small area of writing. Co-hosted by a team of authors including Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells and Mary Robinette Kowal to name a few. Their podcast is funny, gritty and genuinely helpful. I highly recommend it.
The Story Grid is co-hosted by Tim Grahl and Shawn Coyne, who happens to be the author of the Story Grid a meaty book all about story structure. Their podcasts have gone into a variety of topics, including Tim receiving detailed critiques on how to better his craft. Well worth a listen – oh and buy the book while you’re at it. AmazonUK, AmazonUSA.
Last but by no means least, is the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Hosted by Pat Flynn, this podcast is fascinating. It has a real business spin and focuses on how you can earn more money passively. Which as we all know is the goal. Let your books work for you, not the other way around. Any savvy author should be listening.
I’ve got to give a shout out to Adam Croft’s Partners in Crime podcast. If you’re interested in crime books, then this is the show for you. I’ve had the pleasure of proof-listening the pod for most of its life and it never fails to deliver fascinating insights into crime, crime writers and the world of publishing.
That’s it. The rundown of the best podcasts I’ve been listening to in 2018. Drop me a note in the comments and let me know what you’ve been listening to or what you’d recommend.
If you want awesome writing tips, you can grab a copy of my book 13 Steps To Evil – How to Craft Superbad Villains. Click this link and tap the logo of your reading device or regular bookshop and it will take you to the right page. You can also get a FREE villains cheatsheet by joining my mailing list just click here.