Two weeks ago, I stumbled onto the Self-Publishing Podcast website while searching for a writing podcast to listen to while cleaning up my house. I feel like I found the jackpot at the end of a double rainbow for various reasons. The podcast features Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and David Wright – three guys who write in the most prolific manner. To understand why I both love and hate them at the same time, follow me down the (slightly dirty) rabbit hole.
The Podcast – I’m a latecomer to their podcast party. They’ve been producing the podcast since April 2012 (Happy 2-Year Anniversary, guys!). With episode titles such as “SPP 010 – Why Self-Published Authors NEED a Platform (and What It Should Look Like)“, “SPP 025 – Writing Processes That Will Make You a Better Writer“, and “SPP 087 – Best Self-Publishing Lessons of 2013“, I found myself lost in the myriad of information Johnny, Sean, and Dave offered. They also feature many prominent guests such as Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Hugh Howey, Kobo’s Mark Lefebvre, and others that of their (so far) 97 episodes, there will definitely be one or more that will give you excellent information on building a career as a writer and a self-publisher.
Fair Warning – There are a couple of things to consider when listening to the podcast. One, the guys use their own work as examples. If you binge listen as I did, you’re going to hear a lot about their different books. Some may call it narcissistic. I say that it’s a brilliant marketing tactic and one of the reasons I have the love-hate syndrome with them as I have now purchased Write. Publish. Repeat. (more on that in a minute), Fat Vampire, The Beam, Z2134 , Unicorn Western, and Yesterday’s Gone in audiobook form that features a full cast.
Two, the podcast is definitely NSFW, which is why I love them but could be a cautionary tale to those who get shocked easily. Personally, I find it more palatable to take my doses of business medicine with a little irreverence and swearing mixed in.
Write. Publish. Repeat. – At the end of 2013, they released a book that has gone to the top of my recommended books for those looking to write for a living and especially for those wanting to self-publish.
In the book, there are so many good tips and points. And even though you might think that what they say are “duh” statements, they really hit home with their mantra, that the only way to make a living at this writing thing is to Write. Publish. Repeat. For me, it finally kicked me in my butt out of my dreamy “I will write the perfect piece and everyone will flock to me because of my creative spirit” attitude and made me put on my business hat in a big way. It doesn’t diminish my creativity. Instead, the book helped funnel my creativity in a more productive manner.
Marketing Geniuses – So, like a good addict, I admitted to all of their writing that I purchased and either consumed in its entirety or am waiting to gorge myself on. That’s a testament to their prolific nature of producing multiple works of well-written material as well as using some master marketing skills.
Like true marketing ninjas, you might not even notice that you’ve fallen for a ploy until after the fact. I have signed up for three different email lists and am not spammed. I get notices about new episodes, news on the next book, an invite to vote on the cover for a different book, and offers for free pieces to read. They make it easy to find all three of them on various platforms, and they’re all pretty responsive to emails and tweets.
I’ve not only purchased their books because I listened to their genesis and evolution on the podcast (Fat Vampire, Unicorn Western), but also I’ve purchased based on their enthusiasm about things or the guests on the show. Perhaps that makes me their ultimate dupe, but I prefer to think of myself as the researcher observing the monkeys do what they do in order to glean the best stuff and use it for myself.
Beyond Fandom – So how have they helped me directly? If you go back through old blog posts, I’ve tried multiple times to finish and publish works. And yet, I haven’t published anything. Fear, perfectionism, and more fear tends to derail me, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. Desperate, I wanted to find that missing piece, that missing gun-to-my-head that could finally get me to the finish line of getting the awesome books out of my head and into the world. The Self-Publishing Podcast has been instrumental in changing my attitude. One of the guests they had on the show, Austin Kleon, wrote a book called Show Your Work. In it, Kleon talks about how creative people can help others by sharing what inspires them. The SPP is definitely one of the things that has inspired a major shift in what I’m doing.
Instead of one work, I’m working on three. Instead of writing 1,000 words a day, I’m increasing my word count by using a variation of the Pomodoro Technique that Dave talked about in one of the episodes. Instead of counting on finishing one thing this year, I’m hoping to make it 3-4 at least. I’m hoping to add an active email list option to the blog soon that will also offer you a free short story. And I’m hoping to increasingly show the journey of getting a book self-published from idea to reality.
So I’ll continue to share what’s working for me as well as other influences and inspirations in posts to come, like how Johnny, Sean, and Dave of the Self-Publishing Podcast have been instrumental in helping me change some bad habits. In the meantime, feel free to tell me what’s inspiring you!