My Favorite Indie Publishing Podcasts

I’ve turned into a bit of a podcast junkie. I never really thought audio was a medium that I was good at consuming content in, but it turns out I just needed a bit of practice. And it was fun practice — including Welcome to Night Vale and Thrilling Adventure Hour.

The podcast I really got started with is Galactic Suburbia. That’s an Australian feminist sf/f chat show. Not strictly related to the topic, but it deserves mention as my gateway podcast. And it’s still the one I look forward to most every fortnight.

Here’s the indie publishing ones, in no particular order:

Author Strong Podcast

Mat Morris and Nancy Elliott have two unique things going on in this podcast. Nancy is new to indie publishing, and Mat is a more experienced hand. So they have a mentor relationship that plays out in the different episodes to a greater or larger extent. Sometimes Nancy is asking questions that you, the listener, want to know the answer to. The other thing they do differently is there’s a new ~20 minute episode posted every day. You can get a daily dose, or you can save them up to binge-listen. They do interviews, live shows, and one-on-one episodes where they discuss their goals.

My favorite episodes were the ones with editor Alida Winternheimer. Here’s Part 1 and here’s the first episode of her live coaching session with Nancy. I’m pretty sure those episodes have made lots of writers more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with an editor.

The Self-Publishing Podcast

Probably the first publishing podcast I listened to, but to be honest, I haven’t listened to them in awhile. I’m probably missing out on some great content. This podcast is a trio of Sean Platt, David Wright, and Johnny B. Truant. Between the three of them, they have published a LOT in many different genres. They also really know about collaboration. They’re well worth a listen to. They also do interviews. They do use colorful language. This is not a podcast to listen to while you’re driving the kids to daycare.

Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast

Simon Whistler is a solo act (on air at least) and a great interviewer. I discovered him through The SPP and discovered Author Strong through him, so it’s all a giant web. He posts every week, though occasionally he’ll rerun an episode. If the thought of 4 people talking on a podcast at the same time is overwhelming to you, then I recommend this one.

I know there are other podcasts out there, some I’ve sampled and some I haven’t. What podcasts would you recommend?

I’ve Added a Store – Great Ebook Resources

You may have noticed I just added an Amazon Store (astore) to the site. It was mostly as a test, to figure out how that sort of thing worked. But it was also to give you an easy list of books I recommend. These are books about the indie publishing business. How to write your book, how to write it faster, how to edit it, how to spiffy up the packaging, and things like that. To be honest, most of the books I put up there are books I only read because I listened to their authors on a podcast. I’ll do a podcast post soon.

I plan to add a few other things to the store, such as a non-book section. I want to share my favorite writing implements, and put up things like book display materials.

For now, check it out. One interesting quirk I’ve already noticed is that some of them added as the print version, so you can add them to the shopping cart. Others only added as the Kindle version, and you can’t put those in the shopping cart. So, use the cart or not, doesn’t matter. You can just follow the links and add them to your wishlist, to eReaderIQ or whatever.

Do you have any indie publishing books you recommend? What about favorite pens? Let me know in the comments. Once I have enough suggestions, I’ll add another page to the store of blog reader recommendations.

Thanks for reading!

Oh yes, here’s a link to the store!

Why There’s a Spike in Ebook Sales in January – And How You Can Cash In On It

This has been true for years now, so I expect it will continue to be true in the near future. Every January sees a surge in ebook sales and it’s down to one thing. Presents!

People get new devices for Hanukkah and Christmas, or just because there are good deals and they want to treat themselves. And by “devices”, I mean all sorts of things. They might be Kindles, they might be other ereaders, but they also might be tablets, from Kindle Fire to Galaxy to iPads. They can even be phones. Someone getting a smartphone for the first time might want to check out this whole “reading ebooks on a phone” thing.

Librarians know this, because there’s always a flood of new people trying out Overdrive or other ebook lending platforms. More books get checked out; hold queues get longer; and there are more phone calls to the library asking how to use this whole ereader/ebook thing.

But how can you, an ebook author, cash in on this spike?

Be poised and ready!

That doesn’t mean slapping a book together in December. Because, if you’re anything like me, December’s already full of shopping and traveling and wrapping and baking and family and who knows what. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ll get anything much accomplished in December. Unless you already have a proven track record of being able to pull it off.

Get that book ready to go by November. Use Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) as an excuse and a motivation if you like.

Then, when it’s finished, don’t hesitate to put it up for sale. To be best poised for those January sales, you’ll ideally have:

* Lots of 4 and 5 star ratings.
* A print version for sale.

Neither of these things can happen very quickly. Fortunately the reviews and ratings ARE something you can work on in December. Set a free promotion in December and publicize the heck out of it. Offer review copies to reviewers. Nag your family and friends. These things take time in aggregate, but it’s something you can do in the spare moments between trips to the store for more Scotch tape and eggnog.

In short: Plan ahead. No one at all can buy your book in January if you never managed to get it up for sale by January.

3 Ways to Make an Amazon Short URL Link

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You’ve just published your first book on Amazon. You can see it there in the store when you search for your title. It’s a book that people can buy, right now, if only they knew how to get there!

You could tell them:

“Go to Amazon, search for ‘mighty woodchucks in space’ and it’ll come right up!”

Or you could share with them the URL that’s sitting in your address bar. You know, something like this:

Or you could share something short and sweet:

Or you could give them a catchy short link like this:

2 Ways to the Slightly Cryptic Short Link (

Way #1

On every product page on Amazon, there will be a little share widget. I have seen this appear in a couple of different locations, but look for it somewhere above the customer reviews. It may be in the sidebar on the right under the various ‘buy it now!’ buttons. It will say ‘Share’ with 4 different icons – Email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest.


2 Great Writers’ Resources I Need to Share With You

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I signed up for the Absolute Write forums – I had been a longtime lurker under another user name, but this time I dove right in. It’s really a great resource for finding current information about writing, publishing, marketing and all of that. If someone there doesn’t have the answer to your question, they’ll at least have some strong opinions about it. They have subforums for all genres and one specifically for self-publishing and another for promotion, so I definitely encourage you to check it out. I had to be manually approved to start posting and to edit my profile, but I was approved in less than a day.

And the reason I bring up these forums now is that the postings in there led me directly to the Goodreads Making Connections group. Before, I was sort of vaguely aware you could offer your book to reviewers on LibraryThing and Goodreads, but I hadn’t really looked into the logistics. Turns out the Making Connections group is actually a pretty easy […]

The Post That Wasn’t

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I had a post all ready to go about a certain program, but if I read the legal language correctly, I’m not allowed to post something like that. Am I even allowed to quote the part of the agreement that says I’m not supposed to post about the agreement? I don’t think so..

I am allowed, and required, to post this: “ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to”

So expect that to appear somewhere (else) on the website as soon as I decide where I want to put it.

How to Add a Custom 404 Page in WordPress Using Atahualpa

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What is a 404 Page and Why Do I Want a Custom One?

A 404 page is the page that’s displayed when someone tries to access a page on your site that doesn’t exist. Maybe it once did and doesn’t now. Maybe it moved. Maybe it never existed. Whatever the case, the visitor to your site is lost and needs a helping hand.

The default page that shows is pretty boring. It’s not entirely unhelpful, because it still shows your header and sidebar(s), but it’s not as helpful as it could be.

One excellent use for a 404 page is to direct users to little-trafficked content that you still think is very, very good. Maybe you want more love for that post you wrote about your fluffy bunny (so fluffy!). You can add a link to it on your 404 page.

Now, if Atahualpa was as user-friendly as it usually is, there would be a spot in the theme options to edit the 404 page. But. There isn’t.

In fact, […]