I have to confess: I am actually quite a slow reader. So while I enjoy the immersive experience of slowly reading a good book, I often listen to podcasts (at 1.5x speed) to get quick insights and tips. Especially about the publishing ecosphere. Here are a few that stood out to me recently as particularly useful and evergreen—useful for both me and my clients.
(Where possible, I’ve provided direct links to the podcast publisher’s site. Most are also available on iTunes, Google Play, SoundCloud, YouTube, etc.)
- Elizabeth Ruge offers a great look inside the traditional publishing world of literary fiction, especially the work of publishers as the source of publicity. She also argues why editorial should be in house, vs. freelance—a sound argument if you understand her point that authors are most connected to their editor, regardless of which house they work for. This is an insightful discussion on Nigel Beal’s Biblio File podcast (8/27/22)
- Print Run hosts Laura Zats and Erik Hane give a convincing argument in episode 152 (8/12/22) that the antitrust trial against Penguin Random House’s acquisition of Simon & Schuster has been an exposé of the inner workings of large publishing houses.
- “The goal of book marketing is to stop needing to do it.” Author Rob Fitzpatrick’s approach to writing useful books that readers want to recommend. Rob Fitzpatrick on Self Publishing School with Chandler Bolt, episode 171 (8/17/22) and his book Write Useful Books.
- Tips from Stephanie Chandler, founder of the Nonfiction Authors’ Association talking with James Blatch on The Self Publishing Show podcast episode 343 (8/12/22) [Hint: skip ahead to about 9:00 into the episode to get to the actual interview.] Key marketing questions: Who is your audience? What do you want your book to do?
- Optimizing your book for Amazon and Amazon Ads: keywords, author central, and more. Greenleaf Book Group’s Marketing Manager Chelsea Richards offers a quick tour of insights for authors and author/publishers on IBPA’s Independent Publishing, episode 78 (6/29/22) on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts.
Design & Production
Of course book design is a favorite topic of mine. While I rarely agree with everything my colleagues will say in an interview, these are a few of the more interesting and useful podcasts I’ve listened to recently regarding the basics of book design.
- Lanette Pottle’s She Gets Published podcast talks with her designer, Ashley Hinson Dhakal reveals a number of the standard things we, as designers, are looking for and thinking about as we design covers. Episode 17 (12/9/21) Lanette and Ashley talk formatting and design; and in Episode 28 (3/11/22) Ashley talks about a number of aesthetic considerations, including the critical issue of “readability.”
- Greenleaf Book Group’s Artistic Director Neil Gonzalez on elements of a good cover design, episode 6 (6/6/2017)
- In How Books Are Made, episode 3 (9/6/2020) host Arthur Attwell and his colleague Klara Skinner take a whirlwind tour of the book production process in their modern small digital-first publishing house. They offer insights to all the things that a new publisher will, one way or another, have to take into account on their path to production. Arthur kindly included a bookmark-worthy graphic of their view of the process.