The Hidden Gems Author Podcast is officially live!
The self-publishing landscape is constantly evolving, and the most successful authors understand that no matter what level they’re at in their career, there is always more to learn. This blog has (and will continue to be) a great forum for helping us share information on new ways to improve your writing or book marketing, but these days a lot of people prefer content that they can consume on the go, or while doing other things – which explains the growing popularity of the audiobook and podcast formats.
That’s why Roland (Ginger) and I have launched the new Hidden Gems Author Podcast. Every Thursday, you’ll be able to listen to us discuss new topics with greater depth than is possible in the blog, and often with guests that are either experts in the subject, or have been affected by whatever issue it is we’re discussing. There is so much to learn from the experiences of others, and we’re grateful to have access to such a wide variety of authors willing to tell their stories and share their knowledge with the rest of the self-publishing community.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: One of the best parts about running Hidden Gems is that it keeps me immersed in the author community, and continues to provide me with the opportunity to meet and work with so many wonderful and talented writers.
In the past, I’ve attributed much of the success that I had as an author myself (back when I was writing romance, under a wide variety of pen names) to the author community that I was part of when I first got started. It was back when self-publishing was new, and we were all figuring things out together, sharing what we learned, and growing together as a result.
That’s what I’ve always tried to emulate with Hidden Gems. While it’s not a message board and doesn’t have any sort of open forum discussion functionality, the author blog (and occasionally my weekly author newsletter) is my attempt to continue to provide that free flow of information to all authors. Not just from me, because I certainly don’t know everything, but through guest posts and other regular contributors like Roland (or Ginger, as he’s often referred to on this site).
The information we share comes from a variety of sources – our own experimentation, traditional type research, or most valuable of all, the community of authors that we work with on a regular basis. We’re always learning from you, and we try to return the favor by sharing that info back so that we all improve together. After all, readers don’t just read books from a single author – they read lots of books, from lots of authors, and are constantly discovering new favorites. Unlike many industries, authors aren’t really in competition with each other. We don’t need to step on the backs of our fellow writers in order to pull ourselves up higher.
In fact, an author that writes a great book and succeeds in marketing it well enough to have it discovered by a new audience can benefit us all, because that book may serve to spark the imagination of new readers, leading them to discover the joy of books and turning them into a potential customer of many more of us over their lifetime.
That’s why I’m so proud to announce the expansion of that ideal with our new podcast. This blog will continue as it always has, but there are a lot of advantages to adding a podcast as well.
Why start another author podcast?
I do realize that there are other author focused podcasts out there already, which may lead some to wonder why bother starting another one? Well, my response to that would be to ask why have more than one of anything? Why do you need Pizza Hut if you have Dominos? And then why would you need Little Caesars, too? Why have Wendy’s and Burger King in a world where McDonald’s exists?
Or, if you aren’t currently as hungry as I obviously am, why should bookstores stock more than one fantasy novel about dragons, or many different romance novels featuring billionaires?
There are lots of listeners out there, some of whom have the time and interest to listen to more than one podcast that may help them improve their careers. Others may only have time for one, but might not always care for the topic of a particular podcast, which means multiple options give them more variety. Or maybe they prefer some podcasters over others.
There are plenty of reasons why the market can support another author podcast in general, but here are a few of the particular reasons why Roland and I decided to start a Hidden Gems version.
Double the content
By adding a weekly podcast on top of our weekly blog, we effectively double the amount of free (and hopefully helpful) content we’re bringing to authors. It’s actually more than double because of…
Greater topic depth
A podcast allows us to go into greater depth on the topics that need it. While the goal is to keep each episode to around 45 mins or so, that still provides far more content than the typical blog article of 1000-2000 words (or even the really long ones that I tend to write, which are closer to 4000).
For the curious, the average speaking speed is about 150 words per minute, which means a 45 min podcast contains close to 7000 words.
Auditory vs visual learning
Some people are more auditory learners than visual, and thus find it easier to absorb information by listening to it rather than reading it.
More time efficient
Some people find that listening to content is more efficient, as it allows them to consume that content while doing other things, such as commuting to work or working out. Podcasts and audiobooks let people multitask.
More guests and experts
A podcast allows us to talk with other authors or industry experts, making the discussions far more valuable as they can provide us with insight and alternate viewpoints than what we may have considered.
They also allow us to dig into case study type examples, by speaking with authors willing to go into details about something they’ve done or experienced that we want to know more about. These are actually some of my favorite types of discussions, because the stories are often a great example of someone just like us that found great success, sometimes suddenly and almost unexpectedly. Not undeservedly, they did it through work and experimentation and their success was a reflection of that, but often that success came after a lot of failure, which was why having something finally work can make it seem unexpected and sudden. There is so much to learn from these stories, not the least of which is the lesson that we should never give up.
Okay, now that I’ve explained why we’re starting this and hopefully given you reason enough to at least give us a try, let’s go over how to find the new podcast.
From this website, there’s a new podcast link at the top right that will take you to the Hidden Gems Author Podcast page. From there you’ll see all the current episodes. There are 3 so far, with new episodes published each Thursday morning. From that page, you can drill into any episode, and you’ll find the links to the podcast on all of the available popular sites, as well as the option to just watch or listen to them directly from that page via the embedded players.
(Note that I say “watch” because we actually record each episode as video and post it to YouTube for anyone interested in actually seeing us chat with each other and our guests vs just listening to us through the more traditional audio only format.)
- Thursdays – 8am EST
Thanks everyone, I hope you give us a listen and enjoy the podcast. If so, please consider subscribing on your platform of choice, liking the episodes, giving us 5 star ratings, etc – all of those things help immensely. And if you have any ideas for future topics you’d like us to cover, guest suggestions (someone you want to hear us talk to, even if it’s yourself), or anything else, please feel free to let us know either via email or the comment section below.