5 Top Podcasts For Indie Publishers

mbIf you are wanting to find out about the latest new in indie publishing as well as hearing from those who have trodden the path before you, there is no better way to stay up to date than tuning into some podcasts.

I will be honest with you there are a lot of indie publishing podcasts out there.  Indie publishers are, by their nature a very entrepreneurial bunch and the chance of running amock with a mic and a great idea is hard to resist.

I have listened to many and the list below are the ones that I consistently come back to.  Mainly for their enthusiasm but also for the quality of the information and the interviews themselves.

The Creative Penn

cpp podcast


Joanna Penn is a non-fiction writer who has now very successfully entered into the Thriller Genre and is going great guns.  There is nothing but lovely things to say about Joanna.  She is onto it big time, works her backside off, and is unerringly generous in her sharing.  I love the diversity of her choice of guests and the fact that Joanna is plucky and perky but with a lovely insightful way of interviewing.  These are a pleasure to listen to.  Thanks Joanna.

Simon Whistler – Rocking Self Publishing

rsp podcast


Simon’s shows are awesome and genuine.  He is a real pro at delivery and his interviews are always a fun and informal journey with a diverse range of guests. I find this show to be one that I can listen to without feeling intimidated and there are some genuine takeaways without unneccessary self-promotion.  I think his show notes are also really thorough and definitely worth checking out.

The Self Publishing Roundtable

spr podcast


This show is part of the tornado that is Truant and Platt, though this is down to their rather taciturn third partner – Dave.  Again a good show with lots of great info and useful takeaways.  Very much part of the indie publishing company.

The Self Publishing Podcast

spc podcast


If Hugh Howie is the Dashing Duke of Indie Publishingville, and JA Konrath the Baron of Selfpubland, then Seam Platt and Johnny Truant are the loud and cavalier Knights of the realm.  They are cross genre writers who are willing to try anything and succeed.  Their enthusaisam is contagious and no subject will escape their gaze.  These guys area  real inspiration and their book ‘Write, Publish, Repeat’ should be essentail reading for anyone playing with the idea of doing it themselves in the publishing world.

Savvy Self Publishing

ssp podcast

Lindsay Buroker is a fantasy novelist who has broken the 3k per month mark and lives a lifestyle of writing and travel.  She started her indie career in 2010 and has learned the lessons through experience.  This show, and her blog, is a really good place to be inspired by what is possible with persistence and a sprinkling of luck.

Do you have a favourite indie publishing podcast?  Add it to the comments below.


Review of guides to formatting your ebook for kindle

scaredSo it has reached that point in my ebook self publishing journey where I have to face the inevitable.  I have resigned myself to the fact that this is the week where I must face down my demon and grapple with the dragon that is FORMATTING.  Yikes even typing the word fills me with dread.

Why?  Because I have read so many articles and posts which tell me that this is all going to be a bit of a nightmare.  Anyone who has been reading my blog will know that I am not what you might call tech savvy.  I have an amazing gift for making ‘ten minute’ tasks turn into three hour monsters.  It doesn’t come easy to me this stuff.  I prefer to think of myself as floating round in summer dresses, picking flowers and scribbling down beautiful words in moleskine journals.

However, the reality is that I spend my day hunkered down in my ugg boots and big cardie, punching out words on my laptop, drinking coffee (too much) and generally finding creative ways to procrastinate.  Everything I have learned about the whole self publishing thingie has come through sweat and many many tears(both of frustration and occasionally of joy!).  But I am afraid the time has come to format the manuscript of my book “Change Your Life From the Inside Out”.  Formatting Dragon, I can avoid you no more.  So, with respect, I have spent many hours “researching” how to format for kindle and here is the result of those lost hours:

A Review of Free Guides to formatting your ebook for kindle

Using Scrivener?

If you are using Scrivener to produce your ebook, you can find a really clear guide as to how to format your book using that software on The Book Designer website.  I should warn you that it says it only takes minutes so, if you are anything like me, that means “hours” but the instructions seem really clear and there are some screen shots which are always helpful.  As a newbie Scrivener user, I was seduced by the whole formatting promise so I will be using this guide with my fingers crossed and will let you know how it goes.  You can access that guide  here.

Not using Scrivener?

Then you will need to use Word and don’t worry there are plenty of great resources out there to help:

Catherine Ryan Howard

My GoTo woman on all things self publishing/printing is Catherine Ryan Howard.  I love her no-nonsense style and she is so clear on instructions. If you haven’t already got a copy, I wholeheartedly recommend her book “Self Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide To Self Publishing” available on Amazon which is a steal at $4.99 and so packed full of wisdom and cold hard facts that you will be praising the heavens that Catherine is on this earthly plane.   Alternatively Catherine has created a really clear post on this which you can see here.

There is also a really good and clear guide on Declan Conner’s blog here.  I know that this is for fiction specifically but I imagine that the rules are pretty similar for non fiction.

Struggling to create a table of contents? 

Dark Neon has a good guide to that right here.  Lots of pictures to help the visual learners and nice clear instructions for those of us in the remedial internet row.

Want your guide in a printable format?

The wow-womenonwriting.com site is great for this and their guide to formatting can be printed off which, if you are not quite proficient at juggling your windows (like me!) then can be super helpful.  You can get that guide here.

Using Open Office?

Open Office can be easily used to convert to kindle apparently.  I found this guide on maketecheasier.com (which I first thought was called makketty cheezier…) and it seems really thorough and relatively (!?) simple.  Get the guide here.

Want to go straight to the source?

Of course there is always Amazon‘s own guides which are really clear and straight from horse’s mouth.  They are available here.

So that is it.  My roundup of the wisdom that is out there and of course this can only mean one thing for me.  I need to format my book.  Today.  I have all the knowledge I need.  Time to put the pedal to the metal.  Although I must just have a little break and a coffee first.  I think I might have some ironing to do too…. or maybe I need to clean out the garden shed…..

my signature

How to combat writer isolation

I am declaring today to be National Worging Day in my household. For those of you who are not me, a worge is a word merge or a fusion word. Quite simply, you take two words and merge them into one, or worge them. Simple really: word merge become worge, brad and angelina becomes brangelina, writer and isolation becomes wrisolation. You get the idea!

How did I come up with such a genius idea? Another day of writing and grappling with “simple” internet things has sent me off the deep end. Not helped by the fact that I may well be suffering from the accursed S.I.D aka Statistically Induced Depression. Yep that accursed Stats button on my WP dashboard has led me to keep flicking into my Stats far too often, and emerging bruised and tearful as I realise what a pitifully poor reach my little ramblings are having. Forget the “Post a blog and then just watch the stats pile up” brigade. I have found that my Stats are numbingly disappointing and that, my friend, is depressing. That small act, repeated often enough, leads to the Black Dog of SID.

So to cheer myself up I have decided to have some fun with my language and worge my way through the day. After a breakfast of coffuesli and a quick gmeck, I decided that today I would set up a professional email for my website. Apparently using a @gmail.com address for my website reeks of small fry so I grabbed the bull by the horns and decided to set myself up with the more “Professional” address of juliette@juliettenolan.com.

Oh Juliette, why didn’t you heed the warning signs? It said in the book that it would take 15 minutes. Well you will know by now that any 15 minute task that is IT related and attempted by Yours Truly will evolve/mutate into a 3 hour beast. This proved no exception.

I followed the beautiful instructions from Catherine Ryan Howard’s marvellous book called Self Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self Publishing(second edition). Let me tell you that Catherine is a gem. I love her utterly and her book has become insomnia-inducing reading. She makes it all sound so utterly achievable. And she is right. It is doable. Just not quickly and not without some tearing of hair ( thairing) on the way. However I am pleased to report that I now have a professional email address and I still have 5 minutes before my clothes turn into rags and the coach turns into a pumpkin.

However my wrisolation is looming large. Writing is such a solitary activity. Writing for self publishing is an Act of Faith without doubt. No publisher to build in accountability. No happy Advance to smooth the wheels and feed the cat. Just me, my laptop and a bit of chutzpah. Sometimes the act of writing can feel like a trip to the land of self indulgence, can’t it? You know that you have a message that you want to share. The ideas are haunting you with their pleas of “Write me….Write me”. You have read the books that tell you that all you have to do is write a niche book, stick it out there and book yourself into the Hilton with room service on dial as the millions flock to you eager for your every missive.

If only it were that simple. Instead I hap (happily tap) away for hours with some self belief and a good supply of biscuits and pray to the God of Amazon that this all comes to something.

So here are 5 things I am doing to combat Wrisolation:

  • Writing a blog about wrisolation
  • Bombarding my friends with invites for coffee
  • Shopping for stationery
  • Spending too long on Facebook and Pinterest (worrying about my stats…)
  • Worging like a maman (mad woman)

How do you combat wrisolation?  Nudge nudge this is a call to action.  Post a comment, even if it is your own idea for a worge…  Prease….


Book me a trip to the Funny Farm. I’m coming home, folks!

My pumpkin awaits….