As much as we might want to, we can’t write all the time. Our bodies and minds need time to recharge in order to do our best work. And no, jotting down ideas for your next book or updating your accounting doesn’t count as recharging!
Still, there are ways to feel productive and creative even when you’re not writing. Podcasts are a great way to expand your horizons and to get new tips, tricks, and ideas while doing other things (like cooking dinner, commuting, or tidying up).
Plus, writing can feel a little lonely sometimes, since we spend so much of our time inside our own heads or typing intently. Podcasts are ideal for helping you feel like you’re part of a community—for getting a sense that other people have gone on journeys similar to yours and learning how they succeeded.
If you haven’t started listening to podcasts yet, what are you waiting for? It’s easy to get started—you can use iTunes on your iPhone or Google Play on your Android device and just search for the podcast that catches your eye. Most podcasts also let you listen and/or subscribe right from their website, or you can use a free app like Stitcher to find and listen to great new broadcasts.
Here are 15 of our favorite podcasts for writers, spanning from shows that cover the business of publishing to ones that help with writing inspiration and motivation.
Marketing Podcasts for Authors
Publishing Profits Podcast
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the weekly Publishing Profits Podcast, the brainchild of TCK’s own Tom Corson-Knowles! Each week, Tom interviews special guests, including the publishing industry’s bestsellers, publishers, editors, literary agents, marketers, and attorneys, who share their insights into the wild world of modern publishing. All types of publishing experiences are represented, from self-publishing to small press and indie publishing to traditional publishing.
If you want to sell more books and take your author career to the next level, Publishing Profits is the podcast for you!
Sean McCabe didn’t start as an author; he started as a writer in the purest sense of the term—he’s a master hand letterer!
Every Wednesday, Sean unleashes the power of his creativity to tackle building a creative business and discusses how to build a sustainable living from creative work, including writing, without burning yourself out.
From building an audience to finding time to write amidst family obligations to taking time for creative refreshes, Sean covers every aspect of creative business life and offers actionable tips on how to improve your processes and sales.
Although we might not want to admit it, a lot of us hate marketing. We know we’re supposed to do it, but it’s kind of like taking medicine—it’s good for you and your career, but it’s not exactly fun.
That’s where Novel Marketing comes in! This show is all about identifying why marketing feels so awful to some writers and getting around that pain to help you promote your book better.
It also offers some great tips for meeting your writing and career goals.
The Sell More Books Show
We all want to sell more books, and that’s what this show is all about! Every week, the hosts go over interesting, actionable tips that you can use to help turbocharge your book sales.
Plus, they discuss current publishing industry news and trends in an accessible, approachable way. If you want to learn more about the ins and outs of the publishing industry and recent developments in, say, Kindle software updates or new eBook distributors, you’re going to love this podcast.
Clients from Hell
Although it’s not focused on book authors, you can still learn a lot from Clients from Hell. This hilarious yet intensely useful podcast offers tips, tricks, and insights primarily aimed at web and graphic designers, but it’s handy for anyone who’s making a living from creative work.
If you work with clients, perhaps as a content writer, this is a must-listen show. If you just want to figure out how to set prices for your work, pitch your ideas, organize your writing life, and make the most of your writing business, then you should still be tuning in!
Listen on iTunes
Tips, Tricks, and Inspiration
The Narrative Breakdown
No matter what you’re writing, you need to be able to engage your audience through compelling storytelling. The Narrative Breakdown focuses on examining how popular novels, movies, TV shows, and more engage their audiences and how you can use those secrets to amp up your own writing.
The tips span a huge range—unlike some podcasts or writing websites that focus on a single genre, The Narrative Breakdown talks about horror plots one episode and writing for children the next. It even digs deep into writing characters of genders other than yours, how to create suspense, and even how to plot out a video game or graphic novel.
Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
Grammar Girl is one of the most popular resources for all the crazy minutae of English grammar and writing. Need to figure out when to use “who” and when you should be using “whom”? Can’t decide whether “they” and “their” are ever allowed to be singular? Struggling with spelling?
Grammar Girl has your back!
These quick, entertaining episodes will take your grammar and technical writing skills to the next level without making you feel like you’re trapped in high school English class.
Writing every day is hard, especially given how much else we all have to do in our lives. In her weekly podcast, Sarah Werner tackles this challenge, offering tips about how to find a balance between creativity and obligation, goals and duties, writing and, well, the rest of life.
Each episode offers a healthy dose of inspiration, motivation, and tips to help you be your best self as a writer.
Helping Writers Become Authors
Not every writer is an author. In fact, very few writers are published authors, no matter what mode of publishing we’re talking about!
So what’s the difference between a hobby writer and a professional author? Well, there are a lot of things that can help turn you into a pro, but a lot of it involves how you approach your writing.
This podcast will help you develop your writing chops by thinking more critically about how you approach plot, character development, and more. Plus, it offers tips about how to edit, revise, rewrite, and market your writing, taking it from hobby to income source.
I Should Be Writing
Mur Lafferty is an incredibly prolific science fiction writer, and she’s figured out how to navigate hybrid publishing to amazing success. On I Should Be Writing, she interviews other authors about what works for them, but more importantly, she shares the tips and tricks that have helped her write so much and so well.
Recent episodes have talked about building good writing habits, what to do with adverbs (do we really have to axe them all?), how the editing process works, and more.
Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach
Many of us have dreamed of having a personal writing coach, but it’s usually not in the cards.
Well, how about having a writing coach in your pocket?
Ann Kroeker offers up her professional insights on this super-short podcast. With an average length of 5 to 10 minutes each week, you’ll get a bunch of amazing inspiration, grammatical tips, writing ideas, author resources, and more.
There’s no excuse for not moving your writing practice forward every week with all this help at hand!
A quartet of bestselling fiction authors tackles writing technique in short, snackable 15-minute sessions in this podcast.
Not only do the episodes dig surprisingly deep into matters of technique, like controlling pacing or how poets paint vivid scenery with words, they also offer a “homework assignment” every week that asks you to go challenge yourself to think differently about your writing or to do a writing exercise that will stretch your boundaries.
There’s no better way to broaden your writing horizons in only 15 minutes a week!
10-Minute Writer’s Workshop
Instead of spending weeks or months on a writers’ workshop or years slaving away for an MBA, tune in to this quick, useful podcast from New Hampshire Public Radio! Each week, working authors discuss their best writing tips, creative routines, process, and more.
It’s a great look into how other authors structure their lives and work and might give you some inspiration for your own!
The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt
Having an arsenal of resources and tools to call on when you’re a creative writer is essential. When writer’s block strikes or you back yourself into a corner with the plot, you can call on that toolkit to get you back on track.
But how do you develop that kind of knowledge?
With the help of The Creative Writer’s Toolbelt! Aimed at giving you a Batman-like arsenal of ways to advance your writing, this podcast offers a ton of suggestions for staying on target, writing better, and boosting your career.
Do you have a favorite writing or marketing podcast?
Audiobooks are another area of Audible publishing worth exploring. Check out these articles:
- Audiobooks Are Booming: Why Digital Audio is Way Beyond Just “Books on Tape”
- How to Write an Audiobook Script Like a Pro
- How to Create an Audiobook PDF Companion Document for ACX, iBooks, and More
Kate Sullivan is an editor with experience in every aspect of the publishing industry, from editorial to marketing to cover and interior design.
In her career, Kate has edited millions of words and helped dozens of bestselling, award-winning authors grow their careers and do what they love!