Podcasts have grown a lot since their inception in 2004. According to Edison Research, as of 2019, fifty-one percent of Americans over age 12 have ever listened to a podcast, with 32% having listened in the prior month and 22% in the prior week. I suspect a number of WITS readers are among those listeners!
With that in mind, let's talk about podcasts specifically for writers.
The Basics of Podcasts
Podcasts are digital audio files you can listen to through any internet-connected device with audio, but most often it's your phone. In fact, the word itself derives from iPod + broadcast, though there are now many podcast subscribers beyond Apple.
If you don't know where to go to find podcasts, here are just a few apps you can use to discover and play shows:
- Apple podcasts / iTunes
- Google Play
Choosing the Right Podcast
The right podcast(s) for you depends on your goals and desires. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
What information do you need or want? Are you looking for inspiration or camaraderie with other authors? Do you want writing craft advice? Are you focused on marketing know-how? Some podcasts cover a wide array of topics, while other niche down to give you their slice of the information pie.
How much time do you have? Podcast episodes vary in length, from a few minutes to over an hour. Choose podcasts that fit into your schedule. Also, most podcast apps include an option to speed up the audio and/or trim silence within the episode, which can save time.
How often do you want to listen? Podcasts also vary in how often they release. You might want episodes 2-3 times a week or only once a week or less. Some podcasts even have seasons, like TV shows, and take breaks in between.
What format do you prefer? Podcasts are simply downloadable audio shows and can include solo coaching, interviews, round-table discussions, or stories. What appeals to one listener won't appeal to another.
Whose "voice" do you like? We writers often talk about an author's voice, that style that distinguishes between reading a Stephen King horror novel and a Jill Shalvis contemporary romance. Likewise, podcast hosts have unique styles, and you should opt for the voices that engage you.
Some Podcasts to Try
This is by no means a cumulative or even sufficient list of podcasts for writers. I guarantee I've left out some amazing offerings, but we'll ask readers to add their recommendations in the comments section.
Here are some podcasts, though, to try out!
Gabriela Pereira interviews authors and industry experts about both the craft and business of writing. Now up to almost 300 episodes, so you can binge or hunt down the topic that appeals to you.
Author and writing coach K.M. Weiland gives writing craft advice, industry insight, and inspiration. With nearly 500 episodes available, you can definitely find a topic here that piques your interest.
Kirsten Oliphant shares specifically and authentically about her career and provides excellent takeaways for productivity, branding, marketing, and more.
Joanna Penn describes her podcast best as having "interviews, inspiration and information on writing and creativity, publishing options, book marketing and creative entrepreneurship."
NYT bestselling author William Bernhardt addresses industry news and interviews big-name authors and professionals on various topics.
USA Today Bestseller Mark Dawson and James Latch discuss how to successfully self-publish, with everything from creating content that sells to running Amazon ads.
Literary agents Bridget Smith and Jennifer Udden share behind-the-scenes industry knowledge and answer writers' questions.
Recently launched, hosts Jami Albright and Sara Rosett interview bestselling indie authors to reveal what works and what these pros learned from their missteps.
Hosted by Brooke Warner of She Writes and Grant Faulkner of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), each theme-focused episode of Write-minded features a pep talk, a green-light moment, and a writing action.
Hosted by authors Dan Wells, Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, and author and cartoonist Howard Tayler, these episodes cover a lot of ground in short snippets. "Fifteen minutes long, because you're in a hurry, and we're not that smart."
Hopefully, somewhere in there you can find something worth your listening time.
One final tip: You can listen to podcasts through Bluetooth speakers or from your desktop, but if you're using headphones, be sure to invest in a good set. They need to be comfortable enough in or around your ears that they won't distract you or prevent you from wanting to listen.
Okay, it's your turn...
What podcasts for writers do you recommend?
Julie Glover writes mysteries and young adult fiction. Her YA contemporary novel, SHARING HUNTER, finaled in the 2015 RWA® Golden Heart® and is now on sale! When not writing, she collects boots, practices rampant sarcasm, and advocates for good grammar and the addition of the interrobang as a much-needed punctuation mark.
About Cruising Writers
Cruising Writers brings writers together with bestselling authors, an agent, and a world-renowned writing craft instructor writing retreats around the world. Cruise this November with Angela Ackerman, fabulous writing coach and co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus, NYT bestselling author Darynda Jones, and agent Jennifer Udden of New Leaf Literary.
Source: Edison Research. “The Podcast Consumer 2019.”