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The Indy Author Podcast
39 minutes | 10 hours ago
Episode 078 - Living Your Best Creative Life with Zibby Owens
In this week's episode of The Indy Author Podcast, Zibby Owens talks about how creatives can adjust to accommodate a changing environment, as illustrated by Zibby’s publication at the height of the COVID pandemic of the anthology Moms Don’t Have Time To. She talks about how the anthology was a natural outgrowth of other professional and personal pursuits, how her work did and didn’t change during the quarantine, and how her creative pursuits provided emotional support in a time of personal tragedy. Zibby Owens is the creator and host of the award-winning podcast Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books. Zibby, named “NYC’s Most Powerful Book-fluencer” by New York Magazine’s Vulture, conducts warm, inquisitive conversations with authors, making her show a top literary podcast as selected by Oprah.com in 2019 and 2020. She also created the Moms Don’t Have Time to Lose Weight community and hosts the accompanying podcast. Zibby is the Editor-in-Chief of Moms Don’t Have Time to Write, a Medium.com publication.
29 minutes | 7 days ago
Episode 077 - Behind the Scenes of My Book Launch with Matty Dalrymple
In this week’s episode of The Indy Author Podcast, I share a behind-the-scenes look at the recent launch of my fourth Ann Kinnear Suspense Novel, A FURNACE FOR YOUR FOE. I talk about what I did and didn't do (and what I didn't do because I didn't think it would be useful versus what I didn't do because I didn't know how), what worked and didn't work, and what I'd do differently for future launches. Matty Dalrymple podcasts, writes, speaks, and consults on the writing craft and the publishing voyage as The Indy Author. She is the host of THE INDY AUTHOR PODCAST and the author of THE INDY AUTHOR’S GUIDE TO PODCASTING FOR AUTHORS. She is also the co-author, along with Mark Leslie Lefebvre, of TAKING THE SHORT TACK: CREATING INCOME AND CONNECTING WITH READERS USING SHORT FICTION. Matty is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors. Matty is also the author of the Ann Kinnear Suspense Novels and Suspense Shorts and the Lizzy Ballard Thrillers, and is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Brandywine Valley Writers Group.
61 minutes | 14 days ago
Episode 076 - BookFunnel with Damon Courtney
Damon Courtney of BookFunnel shares information on how authors can use customized landing pages, opportunities offered by email integration, the power of giveaways to attract readers and strengthen ties to fans, the financial benefits of selling direct, and the rise of wide audio. Damon Courtney is the creator and CEO of BookFunnel, an ebook delivery service for authors and publishers. Though he would like to be a highly successful indie author, he can only lay claim to publishing a single Fantasy trilogy that he does really like, despite its lack of sales. But self-publishing three novels did lead to the creation of BookFunnel, so he’s got that going for him. As a lifelong software engineer, Damon is an expert in just about everything technical and can offer unique insight on publishing as it relates to software and technology.
48 minutes | 21 days ago
Episode 075 - Key Book Publishing Paths with Jane Friedman
Jane Friedman reviews Key Book Publishing Paths, and describes considerations for fitting the path to your desired destination. We talk about how publishing isn’t indy or traditional—it’s a spectrum—and how hybrid authors aren’t necessarily authors who are using hybrid publishers. We talk about lessons one model can learn from another, and red flags to watch out for when you are assessing companies to do business with. Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in business strategy for authors and publishers. She’s the editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential industry newsletter for authors, and has previously worked for F+W Media and the Virginia Quarterly Review. In 2019, Jane was awarded Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World; her newsletter was awarded Media Outlet of the Year in 2020.
35 minutes | a month ago
Episode 074 - Perspectives on Personal Branding
This episode of The Indy Author Podcast is a bit of a departure. Most of the episodes focus on one person's perspective on a variety of topics, but this episode is going to focus on many people's perspective on one topic, and that topic is PERSONAL BRANDING. I solicited perspectives on personal branding from previous guests of the podcast, and I'd like to thank the following for answering the call: Tiffany Yates Martin, Dale L. Roberts, Michael La Ronn, Joanna Penn, Robert Blake Whitehill, Lee Savino, Pauline Wiles, and Wade Walton.
54 minutes | a month ago
Episode 073 - Author Websites with Pauline Wiles
Website designer Pauline Wiles discusses AUTHOR WEBSITES, including easy fixes for common website problems; design guidelines that create a site that is both engaging and easy to maintain; various alternatives depending on your technology tolerance; and some free tools that can help you make your site look like a pro designed it. Pauline Wiles is a website designer who builds simple, stylish sites for authors and writers. As an author herself, of the Saffron Sweeting romantic comedies, she noticed others were often overwhelmed by this task. Now, she’s helping to dispel some of the myths around how difficult – and costly – a web project should be. British by birth, Pauline is now a contented resident of California, although she admits to an occasional yearning for afternoon tea and historic homes.
41 minutes | a month ago
Episode 072 - Mentoring and Collaborating with Interns with Robert Blake Whitehill
Robert Blake Whitehill discusses MENTORING AND COLLABORATING WITH INTERNS, including the logistics and requirements of an author establishing an internship with a college or university, how he determines what work he asks his interns to do, and how he got past the idea that “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” He also discusses the considerable responsibilities he has as a sponsor, and shares what he receives in return for his investment of time and effort. Robert Blake Whitehill trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City. An early focus on feature screenwriting earned Whitehill film festival wins at the Hudson Valley Film Festival and the Hamptons International Film Festival. He has written episodes of Discovery/Times Channel’s THE NEW DETECTIVES, DARING CAPERS, and THE BUREAU. Robert served as the Vice President of Independent Film Acquisitions for Centerseat.com. He is author of the Ben Blackshaw thriller series, which Robert’s company Calaveras Media is developing into a feature film franchise. His biopic inspired by the live of Robert Smalls is in development with Legion M. Whitehill lives in New Jersey with his wife and son. For a number of years, he has worked with the Montclair Ambulance Unit as an emergency medical technician.
59 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 071 - The Provider Side of Author Services with MK Williams
M.K. Williams talks about what she has learned from her author services business, including the importance of establishing a network within the community you want to serve, the advice to approach people with an offer rather than an ask, the value of her project management background, and the importance of knowing what your time is worth. M.K. Williams writes suspenseful literary fiction for the contemporary reader. Her fiction work includes NAILBITERS, an apocalyptic science-fiction thriller, ENEMIES OF PEACE, a cautionary tale of the American Dream gone awry, and THE INFINITE-INFINITE, the first in a series of sci-fi adventure books. Her non-fiction work includes writing and self-publishing guides, a budgeting and planning workbook, and THE FIOLOGY WORKBOOK: YOUR GUIDE TO FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE. She helps bloggers and podcasters bring their message to print.
39 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 070 - Copyright for Authors with Orna Ross
Orna Ross of the Alliance of Independent Authors talks about COPYRIGHT FOR AUTHORS. We discuss why it’s so vitally important for authors, and especially indy authors, to understand the basics of copyright, at what point in the creative process copyright is established, the various parameters by which rights can be defined, and when legislation that focuses too heavily on authors’ rights can harm more authors and readers than it helps. Orna Ross is the founder and head of the Alliance of Independent Authors, a non-profit professional business membership organization for self-publishing authors. ALLi provides trusted advice, supportive guidance, and a range of resources, within a welcoming community of authors and advisors.
41 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 069 - Writing Memoir with Beth Kephart
Beth Kephart talks about WRITING MEMOIR, including various motivations for embarking on a memoir, and which might be considered unproductive or unhealthy (for example, for revenge). She discusses how writers can approach topics or episodes that involve actual people, both from a writing perspective and in terms of preparing those people for the experience of reading about themselves. And she talks about the market for memoir, and her experience across the full spectrum of publishing options—from the most well-established traditional houses to her own imprint. Beth Kephart is an award-winning teacher at the University of Pennsylvania. She was the 2013 Master Writing Teacher for National YoungArts, is a co-founder of Juncture Workshops, has delivered keynote addresses on the art of teaching, has led teach-the-teacher sessions, and has taught writers of all ages in a variety of settings. She has published two books on the teaching of memoir—HANDLING THE TRUTH and TELL THE TRUTH. MAKE IT MATTER.—and writes a monthly educational newsletter, Juncture Notes.
39 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 068 - Handling Difficult Topics in YA Fiction with Emma G. Rose
YA author Emma G. Rose talks about the event that led her to write about suicide in her YA novels, how her goals for her book changed over time, how she approached her family about the topic of the book and how she interacts with her readers, and how she uses guidelines from her journalism background to avoid glamorizing the topic. Emma G. Rose is a Maine author of contemporary fantasy, including NOTHING'S EVER LOST and NEAR-LIFE EXPERIENCE. She intended to become a kick-ass girl reporter like Nellie Bly. Then she spent a Christmas Eve standing on a riverbank waiting for rescue divers to pull a body from the water. That's when she stopped waiting and wandered off to explore the world instead.
45 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 067 - Mistakes Writers Make about the FBI and How to Avoid Them with Jerri Williams
Former FBI agent Jerri Williams talks about MISTAKES WRITERS MAKE ABOUT THE FBI AND HOW TO AVOID THEM. We discuss common myths and misconceptions about the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, including the portrayal of jurisdictional issues and roles and responsibilities. Jerri shares tips for the best way to approach subject matter experts for information to inform your own work. And we discuss how you can stay true to the facts while still making the story interesting. Jerri Williams served for 26 years as a special agent in the FBI, working major economic fraud investigations. She uses her prior professional experiences with scams and schemers to write crime fiction about greed. Her novels PAY TO PLAY and GREEDY GIVERS – both inspired by actual FBI cases – feature a female FBI agent assigned to a Public Corruption and Fraud Squad in Philadelphia. She is the producer and host of the true crime podcast FBI RETIRED CASE FILES REVIEW, where she interviews retired FBI agents about their high-profile cases and careers.
41 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 066 - From Indy to Traditional with Jason Kasper
Thriller author Jason Kasper discusses what drove his move from indy publishing to a small traditional publisher, the control he’s maintained over his two primary reader outreach mechanisms (email and a private Facebook group), and how he has maintained another indy author practice: rapid creation of content. Jason Kasper served in the US Army as a Ranger and deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq before attending West Point. Jason then served as an Airborne Infantry and Special Forces officer, deploying multiple times to Afghanistan and Africa. During his off-duty time he began running marathons and ultramarathons, skydiving, BASE jumping, and writing fiction. His last Army assignment was as a Green Beret team commander. Upon returning from his final deployment in 2016, Jason began his second career as an author with the publication of his debut novel, GREATEST ENEMY. Jason lives with his wife and daughter in North Carolina. A portion of all his sales benefits the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
48 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 065 - X-raying Your Plot with Tiffany Yates Martin
Tiffany Yates Martin talks about X-RAYING YOUR PLOT, including the benefit of the x-ray—getting an overarching view of your story—how it differs from an outline, the importance of the “but / therefore” test, and some steps you can take if your x-ray reveals breaks in your story. Tiffany Yates Martin has spent nearly thirty years as an editor in the publishing industry, working with major publishers and New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling, award-winning authors as well as indie and newer writers. She is the author of the Amazon bestseller INTUITIVE EDITING: A CREATIVE AND PRACTICAL GUIDE TO REVISING YOUR WRITING. She's led workshops and seminars for conferences and writers' groups across the country and is a frequent contributor to writers' sites and publications. Under the pen name Phoebe Fox, she's the author of the Breakup Doctor series and her most recent release, A LITTLE BIT OF GRACE.
48 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 064 - Writing and Publishing Children's Books with Keith Wheeler
Keith Wheeler talks about writing and publishing children’s books, including the importance of writing for the parents as well as the child, how to find and work with an illustrator (including advice to never work with friends or family), and the production process and options for books with illustrations. Keith Wheeler is a multi-award-winning author. His first work was published while he was a freshman in high school and since then, Keith has self-published over 250 books in numerous genres, and has helped others achieve their goals of becoming published authors. His philosophy is simple: “EVERYONE from 7 to 107 has a book inside them waiting to come out and I love to help them on that journey.”
48 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 063 - Wide for the Win with Mark Leslie Lefebvre
Mark Leslie Lefebvre talks about going wide for the win—the importance of distributing to and understanding all the retail platforms, not just Amazon. He gets pretty impassioned as he talks about the dangers of a lemming mentality, and he reminds us that there are bookselling professionals behind those other platforms, and that our own professional reputation benefits from us keeping that in mind. And he questions whether an author distributing only to Amazon really deserves to be called an independent author. Mark Leslie Lefebvre is an author, professional speaker, and bookseller with more than a quarter century of experience in writing, publishing, and bookselling. Mark started writing when he was thirteen years old, was drawn to bookselling and has remained in the industry since 1992, wearing many different hats. Among other things, he was the founder of the Kobo Writing Life author platform and is currently the Director of Business Development for Draft2Digital. He is a prolific author of both fiction and non-fiction, and is the host of the Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing podcast.
45 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 062 - Mastering Point of View with Jon McGoran
Jon McGoran discusses point of view, the pros and cons of first-, second-, and third-person point of view, and reader expectations based on considerations such as genre. He discusses the importance of narrative economy and triangulation--how one character's observations of another character can give the reader a lot of information about both the observed character and the observer. And he shares a formatting tip for helping to keep track of POV characters, and to see where POV shift occur throughout your manuscript. Jon McGoran is the author of ten novels for adults and young adults, including the award-winning YA science fiction thrillers SPLICED, SPLINTERED and SPIKED, and the acclaimed thrillers DRIFT, DEADOUT, and DUST UP. He cohosts THE LIARS CLUB ODDCAST, a podcast about writing and creativity. He is a freelance writer, developmental editor, and writing coach.
52 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 061 - Google Play with Brian Rathbone
Brian Rathbone discusses the opportunities offered by Google Play, including the ability to reach global markets that are underserved by other platforms, the ability to link content together—for example, linking an ebook box set with the component works and benefiting from earned metadata, or ratings and reviews, of the component works. He also discusses his premium pricing approach, and how that plays out on the Google Play platform. Brian Rathbone is a horse trainer turned author and creator of The World of Godsland fantasy series, the most recent of which is THE SEVENTH MAGIC. He is also the author of the Sam Flock novels, a paranormal adventure series that begins with LURE.
43 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 060 - Mastering Action Sequences with Joshua Essoe
Editor Joshua Essoe discusses tips for drafting and editing your action sequences to ensure that the reader isn’t pulled out of the story – tips that apply even if your scene doesn’t involve battle plans or broadswords. He talks about the importance of strong, engaging characters, because if your reader doesn’t care about the people involved, no amount of exciting action is going to draw them in. And he discusses how you can save your editor time – and yourself money – by paying attention to the logistics of the scene: don’t have a character holding a knife in one hand and a shield in another hand their magic amulet in the … well, the other other hand. Joshua Essoe is a full-time freelance editor who has edited for New York Times and USA Today bestsellers, and many top-notch independents and award-winners. He was lead editor at Urban Fantasy Magazine from 2014-2015. You can find Joshua teaching about editing, pitches, and back-cover copy every year at the Superstars Writing Seminar in Colorado. And he just completed his Kickstarter release for the first in a five-book series, each covering two subjects of the most-common issues he sees in fiction writing.
38 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 059 - Author Newsletter Swaps and Story Origin with Evan Gow
Evan Gow discusses the role newsletter swaps can play in author promotions, the etiquette of swaps, and some gotchas authors should watch out for, as well as advice for authors with small or inactive email lists. Evan also talks about the many other services that StoryOrigin provides, and why the fact that he’s both the development team and the support team for StoryOrigin means that its current beta (i.e., free) status still means high quality. Evan Gow is the indie developer of StoryOrigin, a marketing tool and community of authors that work together to build their mailing lists, increase sales, find reviewers, and stay on top of deadlines.
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