Some of my friends are dedicated podcast followers, though with interests very different to mine. I enjoy chatting with them about their favorites, but I never thought to seek out shows that might align with my own interests, because I couldn’t think of a natural place in my routine to listen to them.
The obvious time would be during a regular journey such as a school run or commute, but I don’t have either of those. My commute is from my bed to the sofa, with a detour to the kitchen for coffee 🙂 . I have my groceries delivered and though I have a car, I rarely drive it more than once or twice per month. I’m not a gym bunny either. If the weather is nice I like to walk around my neighborhood or to the local shops, but I use that time to listen to my playlist and think about my WIP.
I don’t follow a rigorous schedule like Nancy (click here to see how our most super-organized Lady manages her time), but if I don’t have other commitments, my days follow a pattern. I write first, because mornings are when I’m at my most creative and energized. I keep going until I run out of time or diminishing returns start to set in, which usually happens early to mid-afternoon. Then I have something to eat, maybe take a walk, and work on emails or social media or projects related to the publishing side of writing until it’s time for dinner.
That often leaves me with an hour in the evening, maybe two or three, when my hands don’t want to do any more typing and my brain doesn’t want to be given specific tasks but is quite receptive to thinking more generally about writing. I don’t mind watching a screen, but most of all I want somebody to talk to me, for words to roll over me and sink in, for me to digest and think about later.
Sometimes I’m in the mood to stay close to my WIP, to think about the characters, or plan the rest of the series. Other times I might want to think about something contemporary and commercial, to nibble away at the gazillion things I need to know (and don’t) about the business of publishing and marketing fiction.
If I’m in a story frame of mind, I’ll most likely check out one of Ruth Goodman’s experimental history DVDs. It’s fabulously helpful for world building to watch present-day historians and archaeologists living like ordinary people from a past era and offering a running commentary on their findings (click here to find out more). So far I’ve watched Goodman’s Tudor Monastery Farm and Secrets of the Castle series, both great fun and highly recommended. My next treat is Tales from The Green Valley—more farming, but this time as life would have been 400 years ago, during the life of King James I.
Lately, though, I’ve been in more of a business frame of mind. My watchword for this year is PUBLISH! and I want to arm myself with information about the business of publishing—covers, blurbs, copyright, titles, launch strategies, keywords, ads, algorithms and the rest. I don’t need it just yet, which is good because there’s so much to learn. I’ve been choosing a subject or two per evening, and after investing half an hour or an hour each night I’m already feeling better informed and more confident.
I’ve been picking and mixing between three free podcasts offered by successful indie authors:
- Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula (click here for iTunes preview)
More than seventy podcasts to choose from, including interviews with romance writing superstars Marie Force, Bella Andre and Barbara Freethy, an excellent overview of what makes a great book cover, how to deal with criticism from editors and readers, and the next one on my list: working with your spouse (I have plans for mine) 😉 .
- Joanna Penn’s The Creative Penn (iTunes preview here)
More than 40 interesting and informative interviews on all aspects of writing and publishing. I particularly appreciate that Ms Penn is willing to share her own annual goals and to break down her earnings.
- Lindsay Buroker’s Science Fiction & Fantasy Marketing (iTunes preview here)
Ninety-nine episodes and counting, from three multi-published SF&F authors. The style is informal and chatty, very laid-back and with fun, interesting guests. They offer lots of practical and up-to-date information about how to “establish your author brand, increase the size of your audience, and sell more books!”
I’d strongly recommend any or all of the above to anyone wanting to know more about the business side of writing and selling books. I’m planning to branch out and listen to other author and publishing-related podcasts too, but I’m also wondering whether I should mix up these useful presentations with some more generally interesting and/or thought provoking offerings.
Are there any other podcast enthusiasts out there? I’d love to broaden my choices. Do you have any recommendations?