How The Self-Publishing Podcast Was Born (Plus Our 10 Best Episodes!)


I’ve already told you about how Sean and I met, and how I got my fire to write fiction re-lit when I interviewed Sean for my old blog. (If you missed that story, it’s here.)

What I didn’t tell you (but which you may have figured out, you genius you) was that I didn’t just get inspired. I didn’t just want to write. No. The idea of making a living by writing fiction like Sean and Dave did WOULDN’T GO AWAY.

I had to find a way to get in with those guys, but I couldn’t quite figure out a way … until I happened to hear Pat Flynn talking about the success he’d had with his podcast shortly afterward.

The pieces fell together. I sent Sean an email, pointing back to the awesomeness of our blog interview (which I’d listened to about 20 times already, getting more fired up each time).

“We should do a podcast!”

“Yeah, Dave and I are already going to do that,” Sean told me.

Because I didn’t know Sean and Dave’s usual M.O., this was disheartening news. I didn’t know there was ZERO CHANCE that podcast would ever get launched and that it’d be another “squirrel!” idea of Sean’s that Dave ultimately found annoying. So I pushed. I tried to jam my way in.

Sean said that he and Dave might be down for a podcast if I could “make it so all they had to do was show up and talk.”

I’ll be honest; I found that suggestion obnoxious. What, I was supposed to be the grunt? I was supposed to do all the work so “The Kings of the Serial” could just show up? Maybe I could get them velvet pillows to sit on, too.

But hey, it was fair at the time. I had NOTHING to offer these guys. They published a book a week and I’d managed one after 12 years. I pitched myself as the everyman. On the first show, I positioned myself that way: I would be the everyman. Sean and Dave could be the outliers, and I — who couldn’t write and produce that fast, who couldn’t work as a collaborative team — would be the representatives of “everyone else out there.”

So we started. Every other week. Just the three of us, on Skype, recording audio but keeping a video line open so we could read each other’s visual cues. I didn’t know Dave, and Dave thought I was an infomarketer who wanted to rip them off and publish a “Kindle secrets!!!” book a year later.

But surprisingly, we clicked extremely well. The first shows were a bit stilted, but we found our rhythm very fast. We became friends. We began to joke, and then to laugh — a lot. And we began to learn, and grow.

Once every other week wasn’t enough. So we moved to weekly within just a few episodes.

Dave decided I was okay, and I did the same.

Then we started dumping our shows onto YouTube, simply because it was easy to add another mode of consumption that way. For some reason, people joined us live. This was annoying, because it meant we couldn’t be flexible with our times. But those die-hards kept coming back, and what was once annoying soon became awesome.

We went on line that for a while, growing exponentially. I learned faster than I could have imagined and absorbed the trick of fast production. I wrote several Fat Vampire books, then decided maybe I could collaborate with someone else and wrote the first Unicorn Western with Sean.

That ruined me. I didn’t want to write alone after a while, and soon I was aboard the Sean train, being dragged along at breakneck speed. And what did it do? It made me want to go faster, to do more, to be better.

If you look at the show today, a lot has changed. But like that first interview I did with Sean for my old blog, the important things haven’t changed at all. We still value each other, quality, integrity, and loyalty above all else. We’re still long-term thinkers. Sean and I are still excitable, and Dave is still our grumbler. I’m no longer everyman, though, and neither are many of the listeners we’ve heard from over the years — people who say that after listening to us for a while, they finally uncorked their own blocks and truly began to write.

Aside from my family, almost nothing in my life would be the way it is if we hadn’t formed the Self-Publishing Podcast. No hyperbole. Truth. SPP — for me as for those listeners — made everything possible.

Now, after we started our second podcast, Better Off Undead, much less became possible and so many things became worse in ways that were absolutely hilarious.

But that’s a story for next time.

Not sure where to start with the Self Publishing Podcast? Check out this list of our ten favorite episodes.

NOTE: We’ve chosen topics that haven’t changed a whole lot since we recorded the episode, but keep in mind that things are always changing in self-publishing, and that what was once true won’t be true forever.

SPP 012 – Rule-Breaking, Voice, and Style for the Self-Published Author
SPP 032 – How to Sell a Metric Crap-Ton of Books, with CJ Lyons
SPP 033 – Marketing Funnels for Writers, part 1 (there’s also a part 2 in episode 34!)
SPP 061 – How to Increase Your Book’s Visibility with David Gaughran
SPP 062 – Research, Comparisonitis, and Being Patient with Joanna Penn
SPP 065 – The One Where We Argue About Indie Pricing
SPP 075 – Launch Strategies with Ed Robertson
SPP 116 – What We’d Do If We Were Just Starting Out
SPP 119 – Direct Sales and the Subscription Model
SPP 130 – The Pre-Production Process

Click here to subscribe to the Self-Publishing Podcast in Apple Podcasts. 

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7 Replies to “How The Self-Publishing Podcast Was Born (Plus Our 10 Best Episodes!)”

  1. Gregory Lynn

    Am I the only one that thinks the pricing episode is one of the most ridiculous things ever?
    Price things the way you want. You’ll either sell or not sell, and it’s none of anyone’s business what the hell you do.

    • Sean Platt

      It’s shocking how many people have a (strong) opinion about that. That episode was surprising to me because I couldn’t imagine anyone caring so passionately about the why in what we were doing.

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