Attention author friends. If you can only listen to one podcast episode about self-publishing, this would be the episode.
*Update: forgot the link* –> http://rockingselfpublishing.com/
1) keywords — heavily, exhaustively (around the 50% mark in the podcast)
2) how he broke the cycle of sales bumps after promos (followed by declines).
3) mailing lists, how to deal with them smartly
4) permafree a little bit, but nothing he’s done relies on permafree
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:
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ohq1PM8Sr2s (Self-Publishing Podcast #89, with Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, Dave W. Wright)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGoP2ijvq-4 (Podcast 451: #32)
I went sailing over the weekend with some friends of mine. It was a 2 hour drive each way, and with time to burn I decided to listen to the Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast. I was completely blown away by the interview with Harry Dewulf. He really cares about his craft, and the lengths he goes for his writers are above and beyond what I thought was possible in an editor-for-hire.
I immediately sent the link to the podcast to various friends. I also emailed Harry. He’s a great guy, even offered to Skype with me about my current work in progress, for free. I had to decline, mostly out of shame that the project isn’t as far along as I wanted it to be. But I also told him I’m going to try to get him to edit it when it’s done.
Link: Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast with Harry Dewulf
Link: Harry’s Website…
Link: Harry’s Blog…