Being into self-publishing, the highs (control) and the lows (selling), the pros (digital), and the cons (pirates!) I thought it was time I immersed myself fully in the topic. Now I don't mean drinking a cup of coffee on a Sunday evening and watching two episodes of "Murder She Wrote" immersed, I mean fully immersing myself like Houdini in those tanks of water he somehow always managed to free himself from.
Before you think that I might be able to set the bar a bit low here, I do read books on the topic on a very regular basis, self-publishing gurus like David Gaughran, Mike Koenigs and Brendon Burchard all grace a sacred spot in my Kindle's digital shelves. What I want is more like having posters of successful self-published authors around my bed (Amanda Hocking, that means you!) I want to know about every dusty nook and cranny in the large and unexplored house that is self-publishing.
With this noble quest (and my trusty cup of coffee) in hand I spent my idle time wondering what the next step in satisfying my craving to learn more of the industry was. Should I send harassing emails to industry-experts in the hope that they would take me under their wings(pens?), teaching me Amazon kung-fu whilst we meditated over a red-cappuccino? I am not sure how you normally carry out your unique brand of brainstorming and exactly what feedback it might normally yield however, my experience is that the answer to my questions never jump out the mist like a car-guard in Hilton (for non-South African readers you might need a local to explain this) However I always seem to walk away with an idea of the direction I should be looking in.
So whilst reading my latest eBook" Write. Publish. Repeat, a great self-publishing how-to written by Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and David Wright, I realised that I had not yet braved into educating myself via a dose of concentrated audio known as a Podcast.
A Podcast for those who might also be new to the term is defined as the following; (thanks Google!)
"A digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically."
Now for those who are still shaking theirs heads in befuddlement, let me translate:
"Download iTunes and install to your PC, then subscribe to almost any podcast for free."
The three authors of the eBook I was reading also happened to have one of the original and top-rated podcasts covering the self-publishing industry. I opened iTunes, searching for Self-Publishing Podcast and in a few clicks I was subscribed. Being brave, I decided to start the very first episode (April 2012) of the podcast (currently they are on the 151st release) The information I have received from listening to hours of the three authors has been amazing. (I am on episode 14 so far).
I am not going to lie to you here, much of each episode are the authors just dicking around however, I often catch myself pausing the episode to enter some service or topic into Google that the authors have just discussed. The latest example of a nugget of audio-gold was from the discussion of a program for writers called Scrivener, which they assure listeners is "a way better tool for writers than Word". (Let me know if they are right?)
Listening daily to the audio broadcast of three brave self-published authors and their publishing adventures does bring a sense of comradeship, that as authors we are not struggling alone. The information gleaned from each episode I download using iTunes will always be valuable, even it only becomes valuable when sharing it with a struggling fellow author. I hope that listening to these podcast or the others available freely will help you as much as it has me.
Here is that link again: Self-Publishing Podcast (just search for the title in the iTunes store)