A curated collection of the latest and most interesting podcast episodes about the author life.

Hello. Valerie Ihsan here today.

I had fun listening to these podcasts this week. I’ve brought you a little bit of business, a little bit of craft, a little bit of inspiration, and a little bit of soul.

What I like about podcasting (both listening to the episodes and recording them myself) is the smidgeon of coaching and masterminding that happens each time. It really is all about community for me. That and helping writers.

And I dig that about our industry, too. There aren’t too many others that help each other out and support one another like writers do. It’s a pretty rad tribe vibe. 😉

Have a great week!

Top 3 Must-Listen Episodes

Writer Craft Podcast // Ep73: Editing Passes and A.I. Software

Once you’ve finished writing your book, you should CELEBRATE. Seriously. You are a rock star, and you did a fantastic awesome thing. AND, it’s not over yet. Erick and I talk about our editing processes and how many editing passes we do ourselves, how many editing passes our hired professionals do, and what editing software we use (and when we use it).

Plus, the beginning of the episode is always about the books we are reading. And we always laugh. It’s good fun.

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Author Like a Boss // An Author’s Guide to Building Multiple Streams of Income and Creating an Empire with Willow Winters

Willow Winters is a super savvy businesswoman and the author of over 50 books. She runs a non-profit and a publishing house.

She talks about re-using her I.P. by putting different covers on her books and turning them into omnibuses for different markets. Some have luxurious covers with gold edging. She uses Kickstarter and TikTok to fund some of her publishing costs and to stay connected to her readers.

One of my favorite quotes from this podcast episode was, “It’s much harder [today to sell a lot of books and break into the market, than it was even a couple of years ago] but I imagine it’s much easier now than it will be in years. If anybody is thinking about doing it, do it because it’s only going to get more difficult.”
A lot of writers bemoan that it’s harder to make a living as a writer these days. That the Golden Age of Amazon is over. But this quote reminds us to stay in the game, stay the course. Sure, it’s harder now. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go for it.

Another brilliant quote from Willow regarding marketing: “…there’s a psychology in saying like, “You don’t have to buy it,” and putting a negative tone on it. It’s more like, “I know you’re going to love it. Here it is for when you want it.” That’s exactly the way I think about it.”

And for when things are hard? “Low lows happen. Everybody experiences them. It is cyclical, which means you’re always going to have those high highs again so keep going.”

And lastly, a cool idea for Patreon creators, she uses the first three tiers on her Patreon page for Readers, and the fourth one for Writers. I like how she directs her audience right where she wants them.

For more ideas about passion, authenticity, KU, and connecting to your audience, listen to this episode.

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Unstoppable Authors // 149: Writing Fictionalised Memoir with Jeff Elkins

It’s always a pleasure to listen to an interview when I know the author. Jeff and I trained together in the same editing cohort with J Thorn and we touch base regularly in The Author Life Community. His new book, Inside Outside, is a fictionalized memoir. As a writer (and reader) of memoir, I had to listen and hear his take on this new-ish genre.

He talks about how to write about sensitive topics when people you know and respect may read it and few uncomfortable. (Make it about the character’s experience. No bashing. Instead, a subtle pushing on a topic that was once immovable.)

His approach to sensitivity readers is respectful and… well, sensitive. (Ask them how they’d feel about you writing the Thing, write it, then re-write it again and again until the sensitive reader says you’ve got it right.)

He also touches on how to Be around family while writing the tough stuff—a subject I particularly resonated with.

Jeff’s way of processing intense emotions in his writing is one we may all aspire to. I certainly do.

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The Latest from The Author Life Podcast


This week authors J. Thorn and Crys Cain discuss when it is beneficial for authors to host a podcast and the differences between a fiction and non-fiction audience.

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Smart Passive Income // Ep587: Keenya Kelly Update on TikTok for Business

As someone who’d never entertained the idea of using TikTok socially or entrepreneurially, let me tell you that this episode got me thinking.

Keenya Kelly, CEO of You Brand It, started using TikTok in the pandemic and grew her audience by hundreds of thousands.

She teaches how to start using TikTok based on which of three levels you are at: Brand New Just Getting Started, Ramping Up and Showing Up, All-In/Let’s Do It, Baby (I just made up those titles)–including how many videos you should post and how often, and that the videos that go viral aren’t the ones you spend a lot of production time and money on. It’s usually the quick ones that show something unexpected.

I think I might just give this episode a second listen.

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