Simon Whistler, creator of the Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast

So I’ve been burning through these podcasts at a furious rate (sitting in traffic every morning/evening), and I’m constantly amazed at the professionalism of the host and the quality of the guests.  I’ve yet to run into any “dead air” or uncomfortable pauses or moments where I felt someone was padding the time. It’s as if Simon, the interviewer, has taken the elements of good storytelling and incorporated them into his podcasts, packing every episode with great information and entertainment. I actually look forward to sitting in traffic now.

I’m a chatty guy, I like to communicate with folks, so I sent him a note asking him how he manages to get such great guests, does he pre-screen them, etc.

He wrote me back:

  • I do a lot of research. The topics that I do for each interview are chosen beforehand, and they are well within each author’s area of knowledge. I do pre-screen, but that is in selection of a topic. I’m always thinking, “What does this author know that others don’t?” or “What have they learned that others should hear about?” It’s very hard to know how good someone is ‘on the mic’ ahead of time. On the call, I guide the guest down a path, exploring things they are familiar with, and asking the questions within that framework. Going outside that leads to problems:
    • the guest gets uncomfortable talking about something they don’t know about (pauses, lack of confidence, closing up)
    • it’s not valuable for the audience.
  • There is a certain amount of post processing. The show is edited. I remove some dead air to keep things punchy. Really obvious “umm” and “errrs” are taken out. This is time consuming but it gives it a more professional feel and I’m quite into delivering a professional product. I see podcasting as indie radio, and I want my podcast to sound as good as a radio interview on a big network.

What a great response, huh? I worried he’d write back something like, “Scram, ya bum.”  Yes, I kid, but I suppose on some level we always expect to be rebuffed when we reach out to strangers.

For anyone interested in learning more about He Who Is Called “Simon Whistler,” there have been two interviews with him:

  1. (Self-Publishing Podcast #89, with Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, Dave W. Wright)
  2. (Podcast 451: #32)
Next week sometime, he’ll also be interviewed on “The Zone Show”, and in about a month or two, he’ll be on Joanna Penn’s podcast.


Filed under Indie Publishing, Just Cool

8 responses to “Simon Whistler, creator of the Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast

  1. Love it! A real John L Monk blog vs a reblog (you’d think I’d notice every single time, wouldn’t you, the blog’s original author). Sitting in traffic listening to podcasts — excellent use of your drive time. HOW do you listen – via a smart phone? My old cassette tapes are dead. CDs too. Now it’s ear buds and a little connector/cord. I’ve got to start listening. All day I toil over weed pulling, dishes and laundry, lost in my own thoughts. Time to fill my head with the wisdom, insights and humor of others. Thanks for this, John.

  2. At the bottom of my iphone there is a little port for headphones. This will also plug directly into your car’s “aux” port (auxiliary, for haters of brevity). Once you plug something into that port, you can then tune your stereo to the aux “station”. Then you can use your car’s speakers to enjoy the podcast, or anything else on your device. Obviously you need an aux port and a stereo connected to it. A lot of stereos these days also have USB ports, and perhaps you could do something with that?

  3. The podcast I listened to the other day (about optimising categories and keywords) was great! I took notes. No, I was not driving at the time. Looking forward to checking out the rest… Thanks for the heads-up, John.

  4. I’m new to podcasts, and I’ve tried sitting and watching/listening. That doesn’t work for me. But now I’ve been listening, paying bills, even writing this comment. Fun background for sitting. Be careful in traffic. 🙂

  5. I heard the Harry Dewulf interview and the pair of them were excellent. Very informative and very professional

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