If you’re anything like us, if you’re awake, you’re probably either writing, marketing, or listening to podcasts that will help you do one or both of those things better. Or maybe that’s just us … As you can probably tell, we aren’t wildly popular at parties.
There are a lot of podcasts out there about the craft and business of writing. You probably can’t get to all of them, but don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. The podcasts on this list will teach you everything you need to know about writing, publishing, and marketing your work. It’s like taking a Masterclass from some of the best in the industry, completely free.
These are our top 10 favorite podcasts for indie authors (plus three bonus suggestions at the end, because we’re darn good content creators here, too!).
#1: The Creative Penn
Joanna Penn’s podcast The Creative Penn has been around since before podcasting was cool. She’s been an author, marketer, and entrepreneur in the indie author world for many years and is eerily prescient when it comes to anticipating changes in the industry.
If you’re looking for a one-stop source of interviews, industry info, and updates from an indie author who practices what she preaches in real time, check out The Creative Penn. Recent episodes tackle topics like world-building and researching your book as thoroughly as a librarian.
Great for: Weekly real-time updates from a working author, author interviews, and industry insight
#2: Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
Even grammar know-it-alls will find a lot to love in the Grammar Girl podcast. Whether you’re looking for a chance to geek out on em-dashes or debate the merits of the Oxford comma, Mignon Fogarty’s got you covered.
Episodes are quick and to the point—usually 15 minutes or less—and cover a lot of ground. Recent episodes include tips on using present tense in stories about the past, and the top 10 grammatical errors writers make. Mignon covers the nuts and bolts of good grammar, of course, but also the basics of good storytelling.
Great for: Getting a grasp on English grammar, for both native and non-native speakers
#3: Story Grid
Story Grid is all about helping authors write books that people will read. It’s one of our favorite podcasts on craft because the approach is so tactical. (In other words, you don’t have to be seized by an elusive creative muse to put these tools into practice.) They even put their own work under the spotlight for critique. Recent episodes focus on switching between writer brain and editor brain, and how introverts can write great dialogue.
Creators Shawn Coyne and Tim Grahl also produce a spinoff podcast called The Writers’ Room, which applies the Story Grid method to books you’ve probably read to help with practical application of the approach they teach.
Great for: A step-by-step approach to craft for beginners or experienced authors looking to up their storytelling game
#4: Bestseller: A Self-Publishing Podcast by Reedsy
Our friends at Reedsy created a fine resource for self-published authors in their enticingly named podcast Besteller. They’re no longer producing new episodes, making this podcast a great fit for the “finishers” who like to binge-listen and move on.
Bestseller is organized into “seasons” that work through a sort of Indie Author 101-style education. Their goal is to “demystify the process of writing a book, one chapter at a time,” from the basics of the writing process through taking a book to market.
Great for: Listeners who want an Indie Author 101 course with a definite beginning and end
#5: Writing Excuses
They should be writing, but instead, they’re creating Writing Excuses, a funny and self-deprecating podcast hosted by a group of writers who share quick tips for writing techniques.
Each season has a theme, making it easy to jump around based on what’s top of mind for you at any given time. The current season (16) is all about Theory and Technique. Past seasons have included topics like Character, Career, and Where Do You Get Your Ideas? The tagline for this short podcast is, “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.”
Great for: Authors who want quick-hit advice with a spark of humor.
If NaNoWriMo is a bit too daunting for you this November, check out the StoryADay podcast for a more manageable challenge. The podcast exists “to help you learn how much you’re capable of writing in a month.”
Host Julie Duffy keeps the episodes short, just 10-15 minutes each, and doles out creativity challenges, writing prompts, and other bite-sized portions of writing inspiration. Recent episodes discuss battling burnout and busting common revision myths.
Great for: Writers looking for a daily dose of inspiration.
#7: The Career Author and Writers, Ink
Co-hosts Zach Bohannon and J. Thorn started The Career Author under the (entirely accurate) assumption that their conversations about indie author strategies and industry insights might help other writers succeed.
They both recently hopped over to the Writers, Ink podcast, where J.D. Barker joins them to talk all about the business of writing. Tune in for interviews with bestselling authors like Nicholas Sparks and Joyce Carol Oates.
Great for: Authors who want to learn about the business of writing directly from the people who are doing it better than anyone else.
#8: Helping Writers Become Authors
Author K.M. Weiland’s podcast Helping Writers Become Authors focuses less on business and more on craft. She dives deep into topics like overcoming writer’s block and creative ways to outline that even pantsers will love.
If reading about storytelling craft isn’t your thing, but you still want to learn, check out her blog series on storytelling lessons from Marvel. It’s a fun read with something for nearly everyone, and great takeaway lessons to boot.
Great for: Anyone looking to improve their craft and write better stories.
#9: I Should Be Writing
If you keep getting that nagging feeling that you’re meant to be doing something different with your life—like, say, writing books—I Should Be Writing is the podcast for you. Author Mur Lafferty has been producing the podcast since 2005, wayyy back in the early days of the medium.
She uses the show to chronicle the bumps writers encounter throughout their careers by sharing facts from her own life. She also interviews other professional writers for their take. Her focus is on the emotional roadblocks that keep writers stuck—so if you need that push to get writing, this is the podcast for you. It’s clean, safe for work and kids, and contains the kind of inspiring success stories that budding authors need to hear. For more on the business end of things, check out her spin-off podcast, Ditch Diggers.
Great for: Aspiring authors who need that extra push
#10: The Sell More Books Show
Bryan Cohen and H. Claire Taylor are the self-publishing authors and entrepreneurs behind the Sell More Books Show, which delivers on its title by teaching authors how to market their books with the latest tools and strategies.
Recent episodes cover topics like TikTok (should you be on it?) and Kickstarter for authors. We like how topical the conversations are, and the fact that they go deep—episodes run about an hour long.
Great for: Detailed advice on how (and how not) to get the word out
Bonus: Nepotism Corner
We know that tooting our own horn is poor form, but the crew at Draft2Digital creates some killer audio content that we just had to share. If you’re not already listening, check us out! All three podcasts feature interviews with your favorite indie authors and keen insights from all angles of the self-publishing industry.
- Self-Publishing Insiders from Draft2Digital
- Wordslinger from Kevin Tumlinson
- Stark Reflections from Mark Leslie Lefebvre
Did we miss your favorite indie author podcast? If so, tell us what we should be listening to by commenting below!