These days, I’m listening to as many writing/creativity podcasts as I can find. So many, in fact, I’m having a hard time keeping track of the shows and the episodes that have stood out to me. In general, the quantity and variety of podcasts continue to grow as the months go by. NPR even has a podcast about the best new podcasts out there (The Big Listen).
There are voices and personalities I’m committed to, week after week, or month after month. Some of the podcasts I’ve grown attached to are perhaps a bit too long, but they are engaging, and I’ll hang out with them regardless of episode length. Some shows contain a helpful comment or two buried in the midst of long-winded, off-the-cuff banter that desperately needs editing. Some shows are just not for me: hour-and-a-half conversations between a clutch of egos that strike me as so vapid and verbose—stating the same sentiments over and over—I end up running away fast. But I don’t want to linger on the unhelpful shows. There are too many good ones to talk about.
I’d like to start keeping better track of the specific podcast episodes that have been the most challenging, encouraging or informative to me each week. Episodes that are worth revisiting. I’ll try posting my favorite discovery each week as a way to help other writers out there who are, like me, swimming in the sea of good and bad content about writing, publishing, creativity, pop culture, spirituality, and/or the arts.
Enough ado. Without further ado, here is a thing I heard this week that I found informative and energizing to me as a writer:
Podcast Episode of the Week
For the final week of January, 2017
DIY MFA, a podcast hosted by Gabriela Pereira that seeks to help writers grow in their writing and reading, and equip them with tools and connections to online communities. Episodes vary widely, containing interviews with writers, agents, and publishers, with topical discussions, and updates on the publishing industry.
I appreciated DIY MFA episode 131 that dropped this last week. It provided an overview of the recent Digital Book World 2017 conference. I’m not usually one to follow the all latest buzz, but I found the resurgence of print books and audiobooks to be very helpful and encouraging.
General takeaways from the conference thanks to DIY MFA:
- Most buzz was about Audiobooks and the rise of audio in the publishing industry
- Podcasts, interviews, audio readings…
- Print books are on the rise again.
- Sales of Indie Adult Literary books are doing well.
- African American Literary books – a sub-genre has been neglected previously, but that particular market is being developed more now.
- Digital sales are up in juvenile (YA) ebooks – one ebook market that is still hopping while others are not doing as well.
Notes on the integration of new technologies in marketing – Technical and social media platforms for writers:
- Wattpad – online publishing – aiming for a branded stories for a Wattpad audience – writing stories with product placements in them.
- Publishers are experimenting with interactive technologies. See Crave – phone, video, and interactive stuff while readers make their way through books.
- Many agents these days pre-sell audio rights – selling these audio rights even before the book itself is sold.
- Interviews – with podcasts. You might need to ask podcasters and magazines 3 to 6 months in advance of book release since these entities often book their content months in advance.
Challenges to writers who are marketing their content:
- Avoid the shotgun approach of working in all technical platforms or all social media outlets at the same time. Radio, TV, Podcast interviews. But rather be more like a focused sniper. Persist in one platform to establish relationships – Understand who you are reaching out to and be persistent.
- Consider working on marketing strategies with other writers and artists. See the author co-op group with Anne Garvin – a group of women authors that cross-promote their work. Collectively work on each other’s platforms. They call their group Tall Poppy Writers