Podcasts for writers are perfect for those who weave stories through words and offer a unique blend of community, inspiration, and education.
Whether you're an established author or an aspiring wordsmith in the self-publishing world, self-publishing podcasts (or podcasts for authors in general) are invaluable in your writing process.
- There’s a variety of podcasts catering to different needs of writers, ranging from literary discussions, book recommendations, and explorations of storytelling techniques to discussions on writing routines, grammar tips, and self-publishing insights. The diverse range ensures that writers can find podcasts that resonate with their specific interests and goals.
- Many podcasts, such as "Well-Read Black Girl," focus on creating a sense of community and inclusivity within the writing world. These podcasts engage in discussions with diverse authors, explore neglected topics, and provide a platform for sharing experiences, fostering a supportive community for writers.
- Google Podcasts is closing, but alternatives like Spotify, Hark, Antenna Pod, and Pocket Casts exist. The article provides insights into the features and benefits of these alternatives, emphasizing the importance of adapting to changes in podcast platforms to ensure continued access to valuable content for writers.
Best Podcasts For Writers
A. To spark reader interest
1. The Book Review
The New York Times' Book Review podcast embodies the timeless principle that good writing stems from good reading. It offers insightful interviews with authors of notable new releases and the critics reviewing them, as highlighted by this prestigious publication. Hosted by editors of The New York Times Book Review, this podcast is ideal for fans of the NYT best-seller list and aspiring authors aiming for recognition on its pages.
2. Well-Read Black Girl
Glory Edim's podcast, Well-Read Black Girl, evolved from the community she established in 2015, offering a must-listen literary experience.
In weekly episodes, Glory Edim engages in meaningful and intimate discussions with renowned authors such as Tarana Burke, Min Jin Lee, Anita Hill, Gabrielle Union, and Elizabeth Acevedo.
The podcast also features members of the WRBG Book Club, literacy advocates, and Black booksellers, diving into their current reads and exploring the significance of being well-read.
3. What Should I Read Next?
The perennial dilemma for every book lover nearing the end of a great read is figuring out what to pick up next. When personal recommendations or a book club aren't options, this engaging podcast offers a solution.
Hosted by author and blogger Anne Bogel, known as Modern Mrs. Darcy, the weekly show features a listener, often an author, in a conversation about their reading preferences and seeking suggestions for future books.
Bogel's personalized recommendations span across genres, providing listeners with fresh reading ideas and sparking discussions about the diverse reasons people cherish reading.
B. To promote a niche
4. Imaginary Worlds
Eric Molinsky's Imaginary Worlds, a podcast delving into fantasy and science-fiction storytelling across various mediums, offers a unique blend of imaginative escapism and real-world relevance.
As an audio fiction storyteller, Molinsky expertly navigates through beloved fictional universes, unearthing the real-world social issues they mirror, such as fascism and racism. His approach demonstrates that escapism is not about ignoring reality but rather about exploring it from an alternative vantage point, enabling us to gain deeper insights into our world, ourselves, and each other.
In the gripping podcast hosted by author Aaron Mankhe, a mood of eerie stillness is set through his solemn storytelling, accompanied by haunting piano melodies. Each episode weaves together a tapestry of tales that are both chillingly real and fantastical.
The unifying theme of these narratives delves into the depths of our collective psyche, reflecting on the quintessential aspects of the human experience and the age-old existential questions that continue to intrigue and unsettle us.
6. Let's Talk About Myths, Baby!
This podcast delves into the roots of modern Western storytelling, tracing its origins back to Greek mythology, a foundational element for writers.
Hosted by Liv Albert, an expert from Concordia University with a background in classical civilizations and English literature, the podcast makes ancient Greek tales both accessible and thrilling, maintaining their intricate details.
The approach is deeply informed yet engagingly informal, examining Greek myths through various contemporary perspectives, including feminism, queer theory, and neurodiversity.
7. Phoebe Reads a Mystery
Phoebe Judge, an award-winning journalist and podcaster known for her ASMR-esque voice, has captivated audiences with her ability to evoke calm, even while discussing violent crimes on her podcast Criminal.
Her latest project, Phoebe Reads a Mystery, offers a unique combination of mystery and relaxation. Initially focusing on Agatha Christie's The Murder on the Links, the podcast featured daily episodes of about 20 minutes each, enchanting listeners with her soothing narration. Although it has since expanded beyond just mystery novels, the consistent, calming quality of Phoebe's readings remains a standout feature.
8. Snap Judgment
Originating from a live storytelling show much like The Moth [below], Snap Judgment offers a unique twist under NPR's production and the charismatic hosting of Glynn Washington. The podcast enhances narratives with musical accompaniment, often resulting in an experience akin to slam poetry.
With its powerfully moving and emotive stories, listeners might find themselves shedding tears even in public. For writers seeking inspiration, Snap Judgment serves as an excellent resource, and for those attentive to the art of storytelling, it provides valuable lessons in creating immersive narratives.
9. The Moth
The Moth began as a New York City-based nonprofit in 1997, organizing live storytelling events and contests known as StorySLAMs with themes like "Saved," "Scars," and "Gratitude." Evolving into a podcast, it now features short, real-life stories told by a diverse range of people, from comedians to professional storytellers like Hari Kondabolu and Elna Baker, all performed before a live audience.
The beauty of The Moth lies in its simplicity: people sharing their personal experiences. The stories, ranging from heartfelt to humorous, offer listeners a rich tapestry of life experiences.
C. To kickstart a writing career
The journey of a creative writer often involves navigating a series of personal ego battles, typically faced in solitude. Unpublished, hosted by Amie McNee, author of The Rules Upheld by No One, and James Winestock, a research student at the University of Sydney working on three novels, offers a communal space for writers to take their art seriously.
The podcast provides insights from hosts and guests like social psychologist Dr. Devon Price, exploring various methods to overcome both emotional and practical obstacles in writing. It addresses stigmatized aspects of the writing process, such as misconceptions about laziness and coping with failure, through open, insightful discussions that shine a light on the less-discussed parts of a writer's journey.
11. The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt
For those seeking a blend of interview-style and instructional advice on story structure, writing techniques, genre specifics, creative processes, and industry insights, Andy Chamberlain's podcast is an ideal choice.
Chamberlain, the author of the science-fiction novel The Centauri Survivors, imparts valuable writing lessons in some episodes, while others feature a diverse array of successful writers from various mediums, including TV and comic books. The podcast hosts authors, journalists, playwrights, and poets, offering unique insights into mastering different writing crafts. Each episode, lasting between 30 to 45 minutes, fits conveniently into a writer's daily routine, making it a practical resource for improving writing skills.
D. To tackle technicalities
12. Grammar Girl - Quick and Dirty Tips
Exploring grammar might not always be the most exciting task, but Mignon Fogarty, host and author, transforms it into an engaging and enjoyable learning experience.
The podcast is an invaluable tool for writers of all kinds, delving deep into the rules of grammar, their exceptions, and the historical and cultural nuances behind them, making it a standout in educational resources.
13. Writer’s Routine
The fascination with the intricacies of writing routines and processes is a common trait among writers, keen on optimizing their own methods or learning from successful authors.
Dan Simpson, an author and poet-in-residence at Imperial College and St Albans Cathedral, delves into these details in his interview podcast. He engages with award-winning and best-selling authors, exploring various aspects of their creative routines, from daily schedules to the physical setup of their writing spaces and even their preferred fonts.
The diversity in their responses, revealing the often chaotic nature of even the most accomplished authors' routines, offers solace and reassurance to those uncertain about their own writing processes.
14. The Book Marketing Show
The Book Marketing Show is an exciting resource for authors. Each week, the host explores a proven book marketing and sales tactic, followed by an interview with an experienced guest who has successfully used that strategy in their book sales.
This podcast is tailored for authors looking for direct, in-depth insights. It focuses on practical, result-driven tactics, cutting through unnecessary fluff and diving straight into what works.
15. The Creative Penn
Since 2015, The Creative Penn podcast by Joanna Penn has been a rich source of both business-oriented and writing-focused content.
The show frequently features special guests who bring their specialized knowledge to the audience. It covers a range of topics, from trending subjects like adult coloring books to timeless advice on outlining for genre fiction. The podcast offers valuable insights for listeners. Notably, the host's interview with Joanna Penn delves into identifying and solving book sales problems, providing practical guidance for authors.
⭐ Self-publishing podcasts
16. Self-Publishing School
Hosted by Chandler Bolt, Self-publishing School is popular for its comprehensive coverage of writing, launching, and monetizing books.
The podcast features notable guests like Pat Flynn, Gary Vaynerchuk, Joanna Penn, Hal Elrod, and Jeff Walker, who share their insights on reaching prestigious bestseller lists like the NYT and WSJ, cultivating a dedicated fanbase, and leveraging books to scale various types of businesses.
17. The Self Publishing Show
Hosted by Mark Dawson, renowned for his Facebook Ads Course, and James Blatch, a former BBC journalist, The Self Publishing Show offers an insightful exploration of self-publishing.
The podcast delves into essential topics like book launches and strategies for testing book ideas before writing. The show has introduced bonus episodes that provide a transparent look at monthly income reports. These episodes reveal detailed financial insights, such as Mark's advertising expenditures and his generated revenue, offering valuable information for self-publishing authors.
Watch our Danica Favorite, PublishDrive community manager, discuss how PublishDrive assists authors in their journey, the year-long survey she is conducting, and AI in the creative space.
18. Self-Publishing with Dale
Dale Roberts is rapidly gaining popularity on YouTube. He extensively covers a variety of topics related to self-publishing, with a keen focus on assisting authors in selling more books and developing a robust author brand.
His content is tailored to offer practical advice and strategies for both budding and established self-published authors.
Listen to Dale’s conversation with PublishDrive's community manager, Danica Favorite.
And his episode, When PublishDrive Became Better than KDP.
Alternatives to Google Podcasts [as it closes]
With Google Podcasts closing down and transitioning its features into YouTube Music, users are now seeking alternatives to Google Podcasts. This move is part of Google's broader strategy to consolidate its apps, promising a seamless transfer of podcast subscriptions to YouTube Music, which won't require a paid subscription.
For users not interested in YouTube Music, Google will offer a way to download subscription data for use in other podcast apps. The shutdown is scheduled to happen later in 2024.
As users prepare for the end of Google Podcasts, several popular options for Android are emerging as viable alternatives. Pocket Casts and AntennaPod are currently standing out, with Spotify also offering competitive features. As the 2024 deadline approaches, it’s expected that more alternatives to Google Podcasts will become available.
While Google Podcasts doesn’t currently support the OPML format for exporting subscriptions, this functionality is expected to be introduced for those choosing not to migrate to YouTube Music.
Spotify is enhancing its podcast experience with new features like improved transcripts, chapter browsing for easier navigation, and enriched podcast pages. While these features depend on the podcast's coding, they add significant value to the platform.
Spotify’s Android app now prominently displays a "Podcasts & Shows" section with recommended podcasts and a search function. Each podcast page offers options to follow, add episodes to playlists, download, receive notifications, and customize settings like automatic downloads.
The user interface includes handy tools like skipping forward or back and speed adjustments, with cross-platform syncing available.
Spotify's free version allows podcast downloads, while the Premium plan, priced variably for individuals, students, and families, offers offline music listening, ad removal, and enhanced sound quality.
Hark, a relatively new entrant in the podcasting space, is distinguishing itself with innovative features tailored to enhance the listener's experience. It offers a curated selection of podcasts, allowing users to discover new content based on their interests.
The platform stands out with its unique approach to organizing podcasts into thematic playlists, making it easier for users to find shows that align with their specific preferences. Hark also focuses on providing high-quality audio content, ensuring a pleasant listening experience.
The app's interface is user-friendly, with intuitive navigation and a clean design.
3. Antenna Pod
AntennaPod is a versatile and open-source podcast app that caters to listeners who prefer a more personalized and ad-free experience.
Known for its user-friendly interface, AntennaPod offers a straightforward and customizable way to discover, subscribe to, and listen to a wide range of podcasts. It stands out for its commitment to privacy and lack of commercial influences, making it a favorite among podcast enthusiasts who value autonomy in their listening experience.
The app supports RSS feeds, allowing users to easily add any podcast, even those not listed in popular directories. AntennaPod's features include automatic downloads, episode streaming, sleep timer, and variable playback speed, enhancing the convenience of podcast consumption.
4. Pocket Casts
Pocket Casts is a highly acclaimed podcast app known for its robust features and user-centric design, making it a favorite among podcast enthusiasts. It offers a seamless and intuitive experience for discovering, subscribing to, and managing a wide array of podcasts. With its powerful search and recommendation engine, users can easily find podcasts that cater to their specific interests, and the app's curated lists provide a quick way to explore new and trending content.
One of the key strengths of Pocket Casts is its customization options. Users can tailor their listening experience with features like variable speed playback, a sleep timer, and a volume boost. Pocket Casts stands out for its cross-platform synchronization, allowing users to switch between devices without losing their place in a podcast.
The app's commitment to user privacy and ad-free experience makes it a trustworthy choice for those who want to enjoy podcasts without interruptions or concerns about data usage.
Why Podcasts on Writing Are [Still] a Thing
1. Learning and inspiration
Author podcasts often feature interviews with seasoned writers, offering creative insights and practical advice that can spark new ideas and energize your writing process.
2. Industry insights
Podcasts on writing keep authors informed about the latest trends, publishing news, and innovations in the literary world, ensuring they stay ahead in a competitive market.
3. Skill enhancement
Podcasts offer a wealth of knowledge on refining writing techniques, experimenting with new genres, and staying updated on marketing strategies, which is beneficial for authors at all stages of their careers.
4. Marketing and visibility
Podcasts for authors serve as a powerful marketing tool, helping established authors reach broader audiences and promote their latest works more effectively.
5. Diversifying Income
For seasoned authors, starting their own author podcast can be an additional source of income and a platform for personal brand development.
6. Networking opportunities
Authors can connect with industry professionals through podcasts, leading to potential collaborations and new opportunities in their writing careers.
7. Global Reach
Engaging in writers' podcasts allows authors to connect with a global audience, expanding their reach and influence beyond local markets.
8. Community connection
Writers' podcasts create a supportive community, providing a platform to share experiences and foster a sense of belonging among authors, which is particularly valuable given the often solitary nature of writing.
Time to Hit Play!
Author podcasts have become pivotal in providing insights and guidance with their tailored content and expert advice. For those navigating the complexities of indie publishing, self-publishing podcasts offer a treasure trove of information, demystifying the process and sharing success stories.
The best podcasts for writers not only address the craft of writing but also delve into the nuances of the publishing industry, marketing strategies, and personal branding. Whether you're looking for industry tips, creative inspiration, or practical advice, these author podcasts are essential listening. And we made sure to include the best apps to do so.