I love to read, but when it comes to how-to, news, or other non-fiction information, podcasts are my jam. You can listen to them on the way to work, while you’re eating breakfast, while you’re washing the dishes, cooking–I could go on. It’s just about the most convenient way for me to absorb current, interesting, helpful information in a way that fits better into my schedule. I could do a whole blog post about how much I love to listen to podcasts and which ones I think you should check out, and because my interests are so diverse, most of them wouldn’t be related to writing or publishing at all.
But this one is.
In fact, the podcast I want to tell you about today is probably the single greatest influence on my journey to self-publishing.
The Author Hangout is put out by BookMarketingTools.com, which in itself seems to have a lot of helpful stuff, but The Author Hangout is by far one of the most helpful and encouraging tools I’ve found.
The format of the weekly show is simple. Shawn Manaher, the host of the podcast, interviews authors of various experience, genres, and levels of success for their marketing advice and stories of their own publishing journeys. Some of the guests write nonfiction, some have been picked up by traditional publishers, some write part-time, while many have been successful enough to quit their day jobs and pursue their passion full-time.
First, Shawn will usually ask the guest to tell listeners how he or she published their first book, or how they got started writing in general. Then Shawn will ask the guest three main questions:
1) How did you overcome one of your greatest struggles in writing/publishing?
2) What is one marketing tactic that is working well for you, and how can our listeners apply it?
3) Knowing what you know today, if you were just starting out, what would you do differently?
Every episode goes a little differently, but the above format is basically how he models each interview. His target audience is the self-published fiction author, but any writer can benefit greatly from listening to this podcast.
One of the main takeaways I’ve gotten from listening to The Author Hangout is that I need a mailing list. No kidding, almost every single author Shawn interviews these days tells him, “Make sure you have a mailing list.” It’s gotten to the point now where Shawn will often preface question #2 with “Besides building a mailing list…” So, let me spend this time plugging my own mailing list–sign up today! You’ll be the first to get news on my book’s progress, plus you’ll be in the prime position for receiving some free bonus downloads–all from the comfort of your own email inbox!
What I find most encouraging in listening to this podcast is that most of the writers Shawn interviews are real people who are still finding success via the self-publishing route, not superstars (but even the “superstars” he talks to are down-to-earth and very helpful, normal, encouraging people). These interviews have really helped me believe that if others can do it, then I can do it too, if I work hard enough and learn from their techniques.
So check it out today! You can view the episodes individually at http://theauthorhangout.com/, or you can click here to subscribe on iTunes. Alternatively, if you like to add podcasts into your reader manually, here is the xml feed: http://bookmarketingtools.com/blog/feed/podcast (note: clicking that link will only take you to a bunch of xml tree mumbo-jumbo that I don’t understand–you have to copy the URL and paste it into your podcast reader’s Subscribe to Feed box, or however your reader of preference works).
You can also follow along on twitter: @bkmkting, @ShawnManaher–and hey, while you’re at it, hit me up on twitter, too! (@tghuguenin)
If you’re at all interested in learning how to market a book, or you just want to learn more about other authors out there, subscribe to The Author Hangout. You won’t be disappointed.
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