Episode Summary

The podcasting scene for indie authors is alive and well, so if you’re looking for advice, look no further than Matty Dalrymple, author of The Indy Author’s Guide to Podcasting for Authors.

Episode Notes

Matty Dalrymple podcasts, writes, speaks, and consults on the writing craft and the publishing voyage as The Indy Author. She is the author of The Indy Author’s Guide to Podcasting for Authors. If you’re interested in building community with readers through podcasting, this is the episode for you.

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Mark Lefebvre, Matty Dalrymple

Mark Lefebvre 00:03

Welcome to Self-Publishing Insiders with Draft2Digital. My name is Mark Leslie Lefebvre. And I am delighted to have Matty in the virtual studio with me. Welcome, Matty.

Matty Dalrymple 00:14

Hi Mark, how are you doing?

Mark Lefebvre 00:17

I’m doing great. We go way back you and I, but listeners may not remember from your last appearance on Self-Publishing Insiders with Draft2Digital. Can you just share a little bit about your background? And I’m particularly curious as to how you got into writing in the first place.

Matty Dalrymple 00:39

Okay, sure. Well, I am the author of the Anne Kinnear suspense novels and suspense shorts and the Lizzie Ballard thrillers and I’m excited that the sixth Annie Kinnear suspense novel, Be With the Dead, which I have my little KDP not for resale banner on it, is coming out at the end of the month, January 2023. And the first Lizzie Ballard book came out, I’m sorry, the first Annie Kinnear book came out in 2013. So I’ve been writing and publishing since 2013. And went full time in 2019, when I left my corporate job. And writing was always something I wanted to do because my father was a writer, my father published short fiction, you and I have a special love of short fiction. He published short fiction back in the 50s in Colliers and Cosmopolitan and some pretty big names like that, under the name William Kingsfield, which is where I took the name of my imprint, William Kingsfield publishers. And so writing was always something that I thought of it as being a goal, and something that I know my dad would be proud of. But I never really had a story that I thought was worth telling until 2011, when I started the first Anne Kinnear book, and all my books have a theme of what happens when an extraordinary ability transforms an ordinary life. For Anne Kinnear, that special ability is that she can sense and communicate with dead people. And Lizzie Ballard similarly has a special ability that I won’t tell because it would be a spoiler. But yeah, from the fiction point of view, that always fascinated me. And then I finally found a story about that, that I wanted to tell.

Mark Lefebvre 02:17

Awesome. Now you mentioned the brand, the imprint that you created for your publishing journey, based on your father’s name that he published under. And I was curious about the nautical theme that you also applied because I know the little colophone, which is what you call the icon on the spine of your books, is … Yeah, there you go. I learned that from Toby actually, our chief technical officer here. But yeah, so you have the nautical theme. And did that come from your father as well?

Matty Dalrymple 02:52

No, I can’t remember where I started using that. But I just found, probably in my conversations with guests on the podcast, that any topic that came up had a great analogy in the nautical world. I was lucky enough to spend a period of my life where I was sailing quite a bit, there was another period of my life when I was doing ocean based powerboating for a while. I enjoy kayaking. So I had, you know, some sort of novice experience in the nautical world. And there was just anything you could talk about. I mean, I think you and I have talked about the idea of literary citizenship and a rising tide raises all boats, right? I realize more and more that my writing technique is much less like, let’s wait for the muse to show up, and much more sort of a craftsman like, I’m going into the shop. And now I have this to do today. I wrote an article for Writer’s Digest about framing a story based on the metaphor of framing a boat, you know, you construct the keel, you build the ribs before you paint the name on the transom. And sometimes we as writers get fascinated with painting our names on the transom, and then realize that you know we have a transom for a rowboat. And we really need a sailboat. And so yeah, I just started using more and more the nautical metaphors because I just found that they always spoke so perfectly to writing and publishing, as we found with Taking the Short Tack.

Mark Lefebvre 04:31

Of course. And I was gonna say, one of the earlier Anne Kinnear stories was set on a cruise ship, is that correct?

Matty Dalrymple 04:39

There was a short story called Sea of Troubles that I wrote. My husband and I went on a cruise around the Hawaiian Islands and then from Hawaii to Vancouver in 2019. And I wrote a short story based on that called A Sea of Troubles.

Mark Lefebvre 04:55

And I remember you explaining to me when we were co-authoring the book under your imprint, Taking the Short Tack, like, is that the sticky things that you put on the wall like pins? What is this? Can you explain what that means in the nautical world?

Matty Dalrymple 05:12

Yeah, well, when we were working on the book about short fiction, I got in touch with a friend of mine who’s a sailor and I said, I need some nautical phrase with the word short in it, or that implies short that I can use as the title for this book. And so he suggested short tack. And so short tack is, I’m trying to think of all the ways that we tied it in with the story. One of the ways that you can use a short tack is basically if you’re in a constricted waterway, and you need to be making progress in the constricted waterway, a long tack will take you aground but a short tack can take you back and forth in the constricted waterway. And so the whole metaphor of you’re operating in the constricted, you can think of it as both like the intentionally self-imposed instructions of a short form, but also some of the constrictions that are imposed upon you by the publishing world. That short fiction can enable you to short tack, short tacking is also something that you can apply if your engine dies. If your engine dies, if your creative engine dies, then you can short tack to get back home to your Marina. And in the same way, we talked about the fact that you can use short fiction to sort of restart the engine of your creative impetus, if you’ve stalled out on another work, you can switch over to short fiction to refresh your energies. So lots and lots of ways that short tack worked really nicely for the short fiction book.

Mark Lefebvre 06:39

Awesome, thank you. I have to pop up this comment from Carolyn, who says, “Oh boy, now I have to ask my father-in-law to explain sailing terms to me.”

Matty Dalrymple 06:49

Maybe I can get in touch with Carolyn’s father-in-law because, at some point, my sailing friend is going to get tired of me sending an email saying, now I need a voting term related to this.

Mark Lefebvre 06:59

Excellent idea. And Carolyn also reminded me, because I was just having so much fun chatting with you, that we are here to talk about podcasting for writers. So this is just sort of my long segue to get into that. And I’ll get back to your brand of the indie author, because that is a unique thing that you’ve built as well. But let’s talk a little bit about podcasting for authors. And I’m going to want to get into some of the very specifics. So for you yourself, in terms of podcasting, you did start the indie author podcast. What’s it about? Who’s it for? Let’s talk a little bit about why you decided to create that podcast.

Matty Dalrymple 07:39

Yeah, well, I created the podcast back in 2016, when I was early in my writing and publishing career, and I belonged to a local writers group called the Brandywine Valley writers group. And basically, I started the podcast because I wanted an excuse to talk to other people in the writers group about areas that they were expert in. So there was one member who was an expert in writing and getting published, getting short fiction published in traditional markets. So I wanted to talk to him about that. There was another person who had formed kind of a publishing co-op with some other authors and was publishing his works under that I wanted to talk with him about that. Somebody else who had a lot of experience in the local media and wanted to talk about that. And so I interviewed them for the podcast, and then almost as a, you know, so it was a selfish sort of learning goal that was driving me in those early days. And then almost as a thank you to them for having spent the time with me, I would publish releases podcast episodes, figuring that mainly my audience was going to be other members of this local writers group, who also wanted to hear these people that they knew to be experts talking about these topics. And so it was that for quite a while, and the episodes were pretty sporadic, I might publish, you know, a couple over a couple of weeks, and then I might go months without publishing any. And then, as I became more serious about my writing and publishing, having a goal of having it be a full time career, I started being more regular about putting out the episodes and became more professional in how I was producing them. And then in 2019, when I left my corporate job, and made a go at writing and publishing and podcasting full time, I put it on a very regular schedule, I think it was in 2019 or 2020, I went weekly. And so it sort of evolved from that original selfish learning goal, plus the paying it forward goal, to wanting to share that information with a wider and wider group of people. And then I also added monetization and earning to my goals because, you know, now it was my business. And so that was kind of the evolution of how I got to where I am today with the indie author podcast.

Mark Lefebvre 09:51

Okay, so because you probably have people ask this kind of thing all the time and it’s probably something that you talk about in the book is, should writers consider having a podcast? And what are the benefits for, and we may have to split this into two categories. What’s the benefit as a nonfiction author and what’s the benefit as a fiction author? Are they different?

Matty Dalrymple 10:17

Well, I think that as a fiction author, when I started the podcast, I didn’t have any nonfiction books, I only had fiction books. And so for me, the benefit was wanting to talk to people about whatever I was struggling with at the moment. And so I always joke on the podcast that you can pretty much tell whatever is my current hot topic based on who the guest is, because if I have a question about email newsletters, I go out and find somebody who I can talk about email newsletters with. And so it was helping me as a fiction author, both from a craft point of view, because I did talk with people about the writing craft, boats/craft and the publishing voyage, those are the two topics. And so I was able to do the same thing, if I was struggling with a craft topic, I would find somebody I could speak to about that. So I was getting sort of personal professional development benefits from doing the podcast. And then because I could appeal to other fellow fiction writers, and I would say that I’m targeting my episodes, not at the very beginner beginner writer, but people who are getting ready to publish. However, whatever route they’re taking, or getting ready to publish or are already published. I was, you know, being able to share the information that I was learning with my fellow fiction writers. So there are those benefits if you’re a fiction writer. If you’re a nonfiction writer, then you can take a whole different spin on it, because you can be using a podcast to communicate the things that you’re a nonfiction writer about. So I currently have two nonfiction books that we’ve talked about, Taking the Short Tack, which is creating income and connecting with readers using short fiction, and Podcasting for Authors. So I could conceivably do a podcast that would be all about short fiction or all about podcasting for authors. So it could be very niched down to help establish me as an expert in that topic. You know, content marketing to lead listeners or viewers to other pieces of content or other businesses or other services I might offer. So I think the benefits that fiction and nonfiction authors can get are a little bit different. But there’s also a lot of overlap there too. Because if you’re a nonfiction writer, and you want to talk with somebody about a particular topic, having a podcast is a great way to do that.

Mark Lefebvre 12:38

I love that. Carolyn comments that the great thing about hosting is you get you get to learn from your guests. And obviously, in a way that also shares with the broader community. So you’re doing the learning. But you’re also like, doubling down. You’re getting two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Matty Dalrymple 12:57

Yeah. And I also feel like I’m in a position where I can ask the questions, you know, I’m never too proud to be that student. And I can ask the questions that maybe other people are wondering about, but they’re hesitant to … they’re either hesitant to ask or they’re not sure what venue is available to them to ask those questions.

Mark Lefebvre 13:16

Right? Yeah, of course. So I guess the question is, you know, a lot of advice writers have is, write your next book and work on the next thing and, and build your author brand and figure out like, all these different things you have to do in the author newsletter and all that stuff. In terms of the prioritization, because I’m familiar with this myself is, I mean, doing a podcast isn’t something that you just kind of like, it’s like five minutes here, five minutes there. How much time a week do you spend on the indie author podcast?

Matty Dalrymple 13:46

Well, I would say now, I probably allocate a day a week to it. And I remember early on, when we were working on things together, we had a conversation about how many hours we were spending on a podcast. It’s like per finished hour, you know, kind of like an audiobook for a 45-minute episode.

Mark Lefebvre 14:08

You mean we were in the hole in terms of per finished hour.

Matty Dalrymple 14:11

Yeah. Yeah. And at the time, I think I spent early on, I was spending eight hours per hour of finished podcast content, which was unsustainable. And so over time, I’m always tweaking that, because I’m always trying to find the perfect balance between the time I’m spending and the value that I and my listeners are getting from it against the fact that I really want to be writing fiction. Not that I only want to be writing fiction, but it’s another component of my business that I don’t want to neglect. And so one of the things that I did recently, don’t tell, this is just a secret between us …

Mark Lefebvre 14:47

Yeah, just you and I, nobody else is listening.

Matty Dalrymple 14:50

So one of the pieces of advice I give to people who are thinking of starting a podcast, once they’ve gotten past all the strategic questions about ‘are you sure you really want to do this” is start simple. And work up. And the way that played out in a bad way for me, where I didn’t follow that advice myself is that pretty early on, I started publishing transcripts. I use Descript to edit my audio and video, and Descript creates an automated transcription, which is quite good, but not perfect. And so a lot of that eight hours when we were talking about it earlier was me editing the transcript to make it publishable as like an article. And so over time, the transcription service got better. So there was less editing needed. And I got faster with the editing. At one point, I hired somebody to do the editing for me, because they didn’t want to be spending that time on what was not really evaluated, I wasn’t adding any value that somebody else could do better. And, but it was still costing me quite a bit to get that transcript put together. And I kept doing it because I knew there were a couple of people, at least a couple of people who had gotten in touch with me and said, I’m not really a podcast listener, but I read the transcripts, and I didn’t want to disappoint them. But toward the end of last year, 2022, I thought I just have to make a decision about this. And I had put together this whole idea for a solo show where I was going to explain the economics, the money and time economics of how I was making these choices, I was going to discontinue the transcript. And then just as I was about to put that episode together, I thought, no, you know what, I’m just gonna stop doing it and see if anybody notices. And so on the webpage, there’s still a web page for each podcast episode. And on the web page, where in the past, I would have put the transcript, I put a note saying sort of a short version of what I just explained. I just can’t afford to keep doing the transcript for now. And there are also services that are coming along like YouTube closed captioning and things like that, that can help fill the gap. But if you’re here looking for the transcript, I’d love to know, please just drop me a note at this email to let me know that you were looking for the transcript and were disappointed it wasn’t there. So I’ve gotten one email from that. Not complaining, you know, just somebody who said I went to your website, saw it wasn’t there. I’m complying with your request to let you know that I was looking for it. So that’s something that I ended up discontinuing the transcript because I really couldn’t continue justifying it and you know, it was costing me more in time and money to create an episode than I was getting back and patronage. And, you know, those other kinds of things that weigh out the investment. So yeah, and it’s just something that I’m always looking at. What’s the 80% of the benefit that I and my listeners are getting? And making sure that I’m focusing my attention on that, not the 20% that might be causing … 20% of it might be causing 80% of the cost, as was the case for the transcript. So always weighing those kinds of benefits. I’m curious for you, like, how do you weigh that kind of stuff?

Mark Lefebvre 18:03

It’s difficult to measure. I did have at least one or two listeners who requested transcripts. And I didn’t have the time. And I wasn’t willing, I wasn’t making enough money to afford to hire someone to do it. I did try for a little while, it didn’t work out. And the time invested in finding the right person is almost more costly. But that leads to, I want to scale this back for anyone who’s listening who’s thinking, yeah, I’d love to start a podcast, how much does it cost? Like, what’s sort of a minimum? Like, obviously transcriptions at one level higher, because you’re providing that extra service. But without that, what’s the sort of core minimum of what you would need to do a relatively decent podcast? Like equipment and stuff like that?

Matty Dalrymple 18:55

So I have a MacBook Air, I record on my MacBook Air using Zoom. So I have a yearly Zoom subscription, whatever that is, that I would probably have anyway, for other business reasons. I use Libsyn, which is I always like, this is the perfect group to use this analogy, it’s like the Draft2Digital of podcasts. So as with Draft2Digital, you load it there once and it shows up on all the retailers. Similarly, with Libsyn, you load your podcast episode to Lipson once, it shows up on Apple podcasts and Google, I mean, Amazon, Google Play and Amazon Music and all those kinds of things. So Libsyn is $15 a month. Descript is, I think the plan I have is $30 a month. I don’t think somebody who’s beginning would need that. I think there’s a less expensive version that you could get away with. And Descript is a great tool for like … Draft2Digital of blank is high praise. Yeah. Especially with this group, right. I’m preaching to the choir here. So Descript has been really invaluable for me because I had no audio or video editing background when I started. And Descript is a tool that creates a transcript. As I said, and even if you don’t use a transcript, you get the textual presentation of what it is. And then by editing the text, you edit the underlying audio and video. So it’s a super nice way for someone who doesn’t have that background to do the editing. It’s also quite fun. Like I’ve gotten quite proficient with it. And I enjoy using it. So I’m spending, that’s like about $30 a month, but I could probably get away with a less expensive one.

Mark Lefebvre 20:44

So I mean, that’s over $3,000 a year right there, right? $3,000 and change a year. No way. I’m not doing that right. I can’t do math. I gotta take my shoes and socks off.

Matty Dalrymple 20:57

Yeah, so I would say in terms of spending, let’s say $50 a month in the subscriptions I need. So Libsyn, Descript, stuff like that. I think those are really the only two things that I have heard that are subscription based. So what is that, $600 a year, less than $600 a year. And I’m not counting my computer because I need that anyway. And I have the cheapo earbuds so that the audio doesn’t feed back into the recording. And I actually just got a Blue Yeti Nano. So I think that was less than $100. So I think that’s it. And I would say, don’t run out and get like a super expensive mic, don’t run out and get a super expensive anything when you’re just starting out. And the technology is such that even if you didn’t get like a podcasting mic, even if you just got like a lavalier mic, anything other than the built in mic on your computer is good. And you can start out. I mean, you could start out with your phone, if you wanted to. You could probably podcast from your phone, depending on the kind of presentation you wanted.

Mark Lefebvre 22:17

I mean, I know when I started podcasting, I think 2005 or 2006, one of the first iterations that then died. It pod faded as they say. I was using, I think it was a headset, a $50 headset with like, it’s amazing that now that I know more and I’ve learned about audio, you can hear. But it still satisfied people back then. So I’m just gonna pop this up from Elyssa, because she suggested for anyone listening that otter.ai has a free tier for getting AI transcripts. And she says if I remember right, they’re really clean. And Lexi says Otter is a quality program for sure. So just for anyone listening, that may be an option. Because I mean, I have a Descript account. I haven’t trained myself how to use it. I use Audacity, which is free for a PC or you got GarageBand on a Mac, right? I mean, you can go with Adobe Audition, if you want to get really fancy and spend a lot more money per month, right?

Matty Dalrymple 23:20

Yeah, there are tons of tools out there. I know I used Otter for personal transcription a while ago, but these things are changing so fast that if you used something six months ago, you really can’t assume it’s the same experience because they’re all just growing by leaps and bounds, which is another reason that I didn’t feel that bad about not doing the transcript, because I feel like we’re so close to it just being available. The idea that it’s something that the producer has to do and edit and provide will soon become like an outdated concept. And so I feel like we’re very close to just having that taken care of anyway.

Mark Lefebvre 23:55

Yeah, I mean, Lexi comments, as AI continues to improve and develop, the barrier for entry is likely going to be lower, like you can probably just get it on the fly as a listener, so Matty can go back to writing or fiction. Spend a few less hours per week on the podcast, right? Okay, sorry. I got sidetracked there. So you’re looking at a few hundred bucks, roughly, to get started. Now let’s talk about the time. You said it was like it was a full day. So like, say about eight hours, six, eight hours a week, which could have been time you could have been marketing your books or spending time on writing your books or any of the other things that you needed to do for yourself. But instead, you did this thing for other people. I mean, it was for yourself, I get it, you were doing research, but you were doing something for other people. Is that sort of part of the business exploration of … I mean, in particular, because you have the indie author brand. Is that just part of the expenses?

Matty Dalrymple 24:57

I think it’s sort of a package deal. I will also clarify that the day I’m spending now is different than the eight hours that I was saying I spent on doing the transcript. So that includes, like getting the guests, scheduling the guests, prepping for the conversation, conducting the interview. You know, that’s everything. So I’ve gotten much more efficient. And what I found is that putting good information out there is always a help to your fellow creators. But the other way that it has helped me from a business point of view, from a financial point of view, just to be crass, is that I’m sure that I’ve gotten other opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten if it hadn’t been for the podcast. So I’m not going to publish a book called Podcasting for Authors if I don’t have a podcast. And I’ve done talks, I did a talk this summer at the Writer’s Digest conference on podcasting for authors, which I wouldn’t have done if it hadn’t been for that. I’m now offering a consulting service to people, to other authors who want to start a podcast. And that wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t have a podcast. So it’s both multiple streams of income, but they’re all interconnected streams of income. And that idea of the podcast being the content marketing for those other things that you have to offer people.

Mark Lefebvre 26:24

Okay, thank you for that. So, that kind of leads to the next question, because I wanted people to think about the costs and the time and the out of pocket expenditures. So are there ways that podcasts can earn revenue for an author apart from potentially getting paid to go speak at a conference?

Matty Dalrymple 26:44

Yeah, well, I think the most common ways that it can be an income earner, and these are the ones that I apply in my own case. We’ve already talked about some of those indirect income opportunities, the direct income opportunities for me have been sponsor patronage. I’ll start with that. So I think this is true for you as well. We have Patreon accounts and people can sign up to support us for a small contribution each month, less than a quarter per episode, as I like to say, because I have several levels of patronage support. And so I have some patrons through Patreon. I also solicit donations through Buy Me a Coffee. So although I think both of these platforms offer the other alternative, I very intentionally position Patreon is if you wanted to sign up for a monthly donation and Buy Me a Coffee as, you know, if a certain episode or resource provide a particular value to you, you know, here’s Buy Me a Coffee, you can find me a virtual coffee,

Mark Lefebvre 27:54

It’s kind of like a tip, right? It’s kind of like your theme for this where someone else goes, I’ll give you a little bit every month.

Matty Dalrymple 27:59

Exactly. And Buy Me a Coffee actually now has something called a wish list. So I wanted to read Save the Cat Writes a Novel. And this Buy Me a Coffee wish list thing had just come out. So I decided to experiment, so I put that on my Buy Me a Coffee page. And pretty soon one of my supporters bought me a copy.

Mark Lefebvre 28:28

Wait, they buy it through Buy Me a Coffee?

Matty Dalrymple 28:31

No, you actually just say what the cost is. So it was, the book was $15 bucks or whatever. So I said, I’m looking for 15 bucks to so that I can purchase Save the Cat Writes a Novel with the expectation that I’m probably going to ask the author, I think it’s Jessica Brody, to the podcast to talk about that. And so people can contribute whatever they want, three bucks here, three bucks toward the book. This person kindly bought the whole book. But also as I mentioned, I have a Blue Yeti Nano, my old trusty nano finally stopped being, I mean, my old trusty Blue Yeti kind of finally stopped being so trusty. So I needed to get a new microphone. So I put that up on Buy Me a Coffee. So in some cases, you’re getting money. But in some cases, you’re helping to defray the costs of the podcast. I was thinking of doing the same thing and just put something up saying, like, one month of Libsyn 15 bucks, do you want to help defray the costs that I’m paying for Libsyn and kind of see how that goes.

Mark Lefebvre 29:34

So if I’m wanting to give $5 towards that, do I pigeonhole it and say, hey, Matty, here’s five bucks for your Libsyn or for your Yeti or whatever?

Matty Dalrymple 29:42

Yeah, you just go in, if people want to look at it, they can go to buymeacoffee/theindyauthor, and then there’s the wish list button and it shows the items on the wish list. I think the microphone is the only thing on there right now.

Mark Lefebvre 29:54

And they can find that from theindyauthor.com as well, right? There’s links in your podcast episodes, I think.

Matty Dalrymple 30:00

Yep, that’s a footer at the bottom of every page at theindyauthor.com. You’re such a good lead in there. You can find a link to buy me a coffee.

Mark Lefebvre 30:09

That way people can check it out and see what it’s all about and how it works, because I think, you shared that with me quite a while ago. And then I just went and added it into, now I haven’t done anything active like the wish list, which I think is amazing. I just have it there for people who maybe want to support but don’t want to commit, right? Like, this is a long-term thing, Mark. I don’t know, like, maybe let’s just go for a coffee. Right?

Matty Dalrymple 30:32

Well, I think that Buy Me a Coffee is something a lot of people could take advantage of. And an example of where I recommended it to someone is there’s a photographer who I follow on Facebook named Jocelyn Anderson, she takes beautiful bird pictures, beautiful. Everybody should go look up Jocelyn Anderson Photography on Facebook. And there was a picture that I wanted to use as my wallpaper for my computer. And so I sent her a note and I went to her website, and I looked around and I didn’t see anything. And I said, do you have something like, well, first of all, would you be okay if I used it as my wallpaper? I’d be happy to pay you. And if you have something like Buy Me a Coffee, I’d be happy to send you five bucks or whatever to use your photograph. And she wrote back and she said, oh, you know, that’s a good idea. No, I don’t have that. But you’re welcome to use it as your wallpaper. But I thought, man, I think she’s really leaving some opportunity on the table. Because if she just had a button that said, if you want to use one of my pictures, feel free, you know, and if you’d like to pay me something for it, then use Buy Me a Coffee, I think it would be a great opportunity for that kind of scenario.

Mark Lefebvre 31:35

Oh, I love that idea. So I know it’s, Kevin MacLeod is a musician who puts a lot of his music up for free. He just asks for attribution. But he also has a way you can send him money. And I loved some of his music. I’ve actually purchased quite a bit of his music over the years, because he’s a great musician. He has oodles and oodles of content, you know, probably thousands of songs. And he’s done soundtracks for movies and stuff like that. And for my podcasts, like all I had to do is attribution. So at the end, saying, hey, this song is from Kevin MacLeod it’s gonna go on his website. But I also felt like you, oh, it’s an artist like me, someone who’s creating stuff. So I just went and said, yeah, I’m giving you attribution. But I also want to pay you, so I don’t, I guess you can pay to not have to do attribution, just use the music. But I do both. Because I feel like why not share this with the world? Right? Like the beautiful pictures that you were talking about, and why not support the artists if you can, because we know not everyone’s going to. And that’s fine. But those who feel maybe, I don’t know, it just feels good to buy someone a coffee to say thank you. I appreciate that.

Matty Dalrymple 32:51

Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with making it easy for people to do that, who are of a mind to do it.

Mark Lefebvre 32:57

And I think the key thing here I want to just sort of focus on is, if you didn’t ask, you definitely wouldn’t get. I mean, you went out of your way to contact this photographer, and ask her how she you could give her money. I mean, people aren’t gonna go out of their way to go, hi, Matty. I’ve been listening your podcast, and it’s great. It’s been up for years. And there’s no way for me to just say thank you. Is there some sort of buy me a coffee? Right? You made it easy for them to just click a button, right?

Matty Dalrymple 33:29

Yeah, I think that I discovered Buy Me a Coffee because I was having a problem with Scrivener. And somehow I found Gwen Hernandez, and Gwen does consulting engagements. And I had done a consulting engagement with her, you know, paid for like an hour. And then later on, I had a question and I sent it to her and she sent me an answer with no charge, but when I was on her website, I saw that there was the Buy Me a Coffee option. I was like, that was so nice of her just to hop on. And I sent her like, I don’t know, five bucks. It’s not like it’s not a lot, but you get enough people who each send you $1 or $5 or $3 or whatever, it can add up in a nice way.

Mark Lefebvre 34:08

That’s exactly what I said when I look at Draft2Digital and I think about all the channels, Draft2Digital publishers too, there are some channels, some of the library channels, some of the other retailers outside of the big English language markets where the money that’s coming in isn’t huge. But every little bit helps. I get a little bit from here, a little bit from there. And it’s the same thing with Buy Me a Coffee. It’s the same thing because that helps offset that monthly fee for the podcast hosting, right? It helps offset the, you’re gonna wear out equipment, like if this is your second mic. I have a permanent mic I leave here and I used to take it and detach it from my arm, put it in my luggage, and if I had to interview someone on the road I’d have it with me. I just bought one of those little ones, the Nano ones for travel because it’s smaller. It’s always in its box. And I don’t have to, I can leave this one here, this larger one. So that’s a cost right, to find money to pay for that.

Matty Dalrymple 35:06

Yeah, yeah. And at some point, you want to be able to do this labor of love, but it’s not practical. Which leads me actually to the other two ways I think people can monetize podcasts, which is affiliates. So I have, I’m an affiliate for many of the tools that I use. You know, Draft2Digital and Scrivener and Vellum and Descript and on and on. And so, oftentimes, I’ll have a recommended resource at the beginning of the podcast, and I’ll say, here’s an issue I had that was solved by ScribeCount or Vellum or any of those other things. And here’s how it solved a problem for me. And if you’d like to check it out, go to theindyauthor.com/affiliates for my affiliate link. And so you get, the nice thing about the affiliate approach is you get some affiliate income, but also you can nicely tie that recommended resource to the topic of the podcast. So if I was doing something about book formatting, then I can have Vellum be the recommended resource. And that’s a nice tie in. I’ve also done a couple of experiments with sponsorships, and sponsorships are not only difficult to get, because I’m going for the big names. Mark, put in a good word for me next time Draft2Digital starts considering sponsorships. But also you’re kind of tied into it, and I don’t have that flexibility of matching the recommended resource to the topic. So. And the other reason that I think affiliates are a little bit awkward is there was a service that I was using periodically. And I was conversing with a person at the service. And I don’t think in this case, they had an affiliate program. But instead they said, if you’re willing to recommend our service, we’ll give you a free subscription to it. So I got the free subscription, I started playing around with it, I was using it to a certain extent, but it wasn’t really grabbing me. And so if I had an affiliate relationship, I would have had to call them up and say, I really don’t want to recommend your service. I actually ended up doing that, like I got in touch with them and I said, I’m just not using it enough that I feel like I can really recommend it. You know, feel free to take me off the complimentary plan, I’ll pay for it when I need it. And they wrote back and said very nicely, no no, if you ever are moved to recommend it, please go ahead. But you know, go ahead and keep the complimentary thing. So I had that flexibility because it wasn’t an affiliate relationship. So I would just say if people are pursuing affiliate relationships, then make sure it’s with companies, first of all that you really use and really like, and are pretty sure you’re gonna continue using and liking into the future.

Mark Lefebvre 37:57

No, I agree with you 100%. I could not take money from a sponsor that was not someone I used, someone I trusted, a resource I found valuable, and one that’s operating with integrity too, because I have been offered money from nefarious outfits that are just all trying to take money from authors and trick them into things. And it’s like, the money’s good, but I don’t play that game. I want to do services. So the other thing I think that we forget about. So your episodes where you, you know, referenced and talked about how you use this service, so it’s trusted and valued. Even if you’re not continuing to talk about them in the future, those backlist episodes, and you know this by going to Libsyn, they’re still getting downloaded. So it’s not like a newspaper ad that has most likely been recycled or burnt up or put in someone’s archive somewhere. And it’s never going to be seen again. There are new people every week from episodes from years ago that are gonna listen to it, right?

Matty Dalrymple 39:00

Yeah. And that actually reminds me of another, this isn’t just a money-making thing. And it doesn’t apply just to just to podcasters. But I have made a lot of use of Writer Beware and the Alliance of Independent Authors watchdog desk. Because sometimes I’ll be pitched, not necessarily by someone who wants to become a sponsor or affiliate. But usually somebody wants to be a guest. And if I haven’t heard of them, if I don’t know them myself, I’ll often send the name to those two groups, Writer Beware and ALLi. I think for ALLi, you might need to be a member to get this service. But Writer Beware you do not, you can just send them the name and say, you know, the Acme Company approached me. What do you know about the Acme Company?

Mark Lefebvre 39:46

Do you know what they did to Wiley Coyote?

Matty Dalrymple 39:47

Yeah, exactly. And they know they’re watching out for Wiley Coyote. And so that has saved me from some potentially embarrassing situations of having guests on that I’m glad I didn’t. Similarly, if somebody approached me about a sponsorship opportunity, I would check it with them. But I just, I use any opportunity I can to mention those resources to authors, because unfortunately, there’s so many people who are trying to take advantage of people’s desire to get their books out into the world and find readers for it that you should just always, always check with those resources or, or the lists they have online of the good and bad actors to make sure that you’re partnering with the good ones.

Mark Lefebvre 40:31

Oh, 100%. And I’m just going to share this from the comments, writerbeware.blog, Elyssa shared is very important. It’s a very valuable community service. Victoria Strauss. I mean, she’s been at it since as long as I’ve been in the business of writing. So she’s been working at this for a long, I mean, before the internet. It was just part of a newsletter, but yeah, wow. Amazing. All right. So we’re getting close to the end. What are some final thoughts in terms of, to podcast or not to podcast? Let me get my skull. To podcast, or not to podcast? That is the question. What do you recommend for fiction, nonfiction? Anything like that?

Matty Dalrymple 41:12

Yeah, one of the things I would recommend is that in the book Podcasting for Authors, at the end of every chapter, there’s a list of questions. And they start out with the questions that you should be asking yourself to find out if podcasting is right for you. Because we don’t want to be, the number that I kept hearing is that 70% of podcasts pod fade before they get out more than seven episodes. And I was never able to find out the true number behind that. But it just feels right to me. And it feels right to other people I’ve asked about that. So you don’t want to be one of those people. You don’t want to have invested all that time and not have it be something you want to go forward with. But if you go to theindyauthor.com, and you click on podcasting for authors, there’s a downloadable sheet there that’s the questions, freely downloadable sheet that’s the questions from the end of the book, and starting through that can help you say, is this something that that is really going to serve me creatively or professionally or financially or whatever? Like, what am I really looking to get out of that this? And is it something that’s realistic, and it can just help you think through those, and then of course, if you want help talking through those considerations, I do offer a podcasting for authors consulting service, but you can get a lot just from that, just from thinking through that downloadable worksheet.

Mark Lefebvre 42:29

Awesome. I love that. And then I guess there was the other thing, and I lost track of it. You’d said something that I wanted to dig a little bit deeper into that, but maybe it’ll come back, maybe it won’t.

Matty Dalrymple 42:45

Well, I think that I’ll just, the one thing I’ll add is that, as with anything, as with publishing, the trick is to make sure that, the steps you take are in alignment with your goals. So just as you don’t want to put out one book and never do any promotion or marketing and expect that it’s going to become a best seller, you want to make sure that if you launch into the podcast, the steps you’re taking are in alignment with and realistic to reach the goal you’re looking for, a certain amount of time investment, a certain amount of money investment, and the ability to share that information with other people.

Mark Lefebvre 43:21

I love that. I love that. Thank you so much for that. I guess the other, the sort of last thing I wanted to remind you of is, you can see your download stats, you probably know different episodes, and you’re probably just like the reviews that our authors get on online sites is, for every 100 reads maybe there’s one review, or something like that. Is it the same thing with podcasting? Does it feel like you’re standing there talking into the mic? And you’re by yourself? Like, how often do you get engagement? And I think there’s some people that need that more than others, right, to keep going?

Matty Dalrymple 43:58

Yeah, I actually am not aware of a place that aggregates reviews. And I have to tell you the truth, I’ve never gone on to the individual podcast platforms to read reviews. But I do …

Mark Lefebvre 44:15

Just like as an author, you don’t do that because you just focus on writing, right?

Matty Dalrymple 44:19

Well, unfortunately, they’re sort of aggregated in Amazon. I mean, Amazon is still. actually this is not true anymore. But until very recently, it was consistent. I’m just getting so that Amazon is less than half of my book sales, which has been very exciting. You can go to Amazon and you can see, you know, in essence, an aggregated list of reviews, and I do that periodically. But I interact more with the listeners of the podcast on social media, on Facebook and Twitter, with The Indy Author and so I’m getting more of my feedback, my interactions there than I am on the actual podcast reviews. So I can use that as a gauge of, what were people really excited about, what were they meh about? What do they want more of? What do they want less of?

Mark Lefebvre 45:07

Awesome. Well, I’m glad we had more of you. I’m glad you came back to the Self-Publishing Insiders to talk about Podcasting for Authors, people can check out more about you over at theindyauthor.com as well as check out your book on all the different sites and different formats. So it’s available in print and ebook, right?

Matty Dalrymple 45:25

Yes, and AI generated audio on Google Play and on my PayHip store, which is payhip.com/MattyDalrymple.

Mark Lefebvre 45:37

Awesome. Matty, thanks so much. Can people find out about your fiction by going from theindyauthor.com?

Matty Dalrymple 45:43

Well, it’s better to go to MattyDalrymple.com for my fiction platform.

Mark Lefebvre 45:47

Okay, awesome. Matty, thank you so much. And thanks everyone for the wonderful comments. And just wanted to remind people, if you’re looking for a way to learn a little bit more about self-publishing, go over to draft2digital.com to see all the great tools and free resources we have available. If you do not want to miss awesome guests like Matty Dalrymple, be sure to bookmark D2Dlive.com. Every Thursday at 1pm Eastern, because that’s my time zone, Eastern, we are interviewing an awesome person, like Matty, and there’s so many other great things you can do. Just check us out. We’ve got all kinds of things going on. You can follow us on Facebook. You can follow us and subscribe on YouTube. But that’s it for this episode. And Matty, thank you again so much for hanging out with me today.

Matty Dalrymple 46:38

Thank you Mark. This was so fun.