As an aspiring or beginning indie author, the business side of things might be overwhelming. Where do you even start? And what do you do once you hit publish? Why aren’t my books selling? There are people who are very willing to explain it in detail for a hefty price. But not every aspiring or beginning writer has the budget for a book doctor or marketing manager. But they do have time. Well, sometimes.
Today, I’m sharing a few of my favourite free resources about the business of being an author or authorpreneurship. Not all of the talk about the craft or the writing process, but every single one of these has something you can learn from. Follow all of them and look through the topics they discuss. Learn more about their author journeys and how the writers got to where they are today. Learn from their mistakes. And make your own, and then ask them a question about it. It doesn’t have to be a one-way direction of communication either.
I probably don’t have to explain what a ‘podcast’ is since it’s been around for a long time. The ones that I’ve selected are mostly podcasts with multiple people, a host and guest, or multiple hosts. But all of these are about the business of writing. Sometimes they also talk about craft-related topics but most of it is related to everything besides the actual manuscript.
Six Figure Authors
The Six Figure Authors podcast is hosted by three writers, Jo Lallo, Lindsay Buroker, and Andrea Pearson. All of them have earned more than six figures a year and have a backlog that goes well beyond thirty books. They’ve been around since the early days and have seen the self-publishing industry change. They’re also not afraid to try out new things. They regularly have guests on their show to talk about their expertise.
One of the big pros is the presence of three hosts. All of them have their own journeys and they share their experiences in their shows. There is always something new you can learn or pick up on because of their different perspectives.
Joanna Penn is a big name in the self-publishing industry and her podcast has been around for a long time. She’s talked to so many authors over the years and covered just about every topic in the business. One thing that sets Joanna Penn apart from most others is her success as a wide author. It takes time and patience to get to that point. If you plan to go wide, listen and learn.
The Self-Publishing Show
The Self-publishing Show is a joint project from Mark Dawson and James Blatch. Mark Dawson is known in the self-publishing world as ‘that guy with the amazing ads course’. James Blatch isn’t that well-known (yet?!) but he’s an amazing interviewer. He knows exactly what questions to ask to dive deeper into the topic at hand and to unearth the most valuable knowledge a guest has.
20booksto50k – Craig Martelle & Michael Anderle
I’m putting Craig Martelle & Michael Anderle last because they might not be for everyone. Michael Anderle’s philosophy of earning $50k with 20 books is spreading throughout the self-publishing community, with their Facebook group recently welcoming their 50.000th member. Both of them have published dozens of books and have published other authors with their publishing houses. Pre-pandemic times, they could be found at writing conferences and even multiple 20booksto50k conferences per year around the globe. These men are great friends and their podcast reflects that. They use a lot of specific humour that not everyone gets or appreciates. I personally like their dynamic and I’ve learned a lot about author mindset from them.
Authortube is newer in name, but the concept already existed for a long time: authors sharing their experience and knowledge with others. Only now they can do it on the Youtube platform, combining their knowledge with visual aids. The biggest difference between the podcasts listed above and the authortubes listed below is mostly that, the visual. All of the writers below expect you to be able to see what’s on the screen too. They put a lot of time and effort into showing how to do things, including additional information on the screen, and making it visually pleasing.
This is the third time I’m mentioning Sarra Cannon in a few months time but that’s because she’s been such a big part of my life for the past months. She talks a lot about her writing business, but also likes planners, stationery, and productivity. I want to get better at planning things out and she’s been a great help. She understands what chronic pain is and talks about how to deal with unexpected sick days. This is something I haven’t seen or read much about in the authorpreneur business.
Bethany Atazadeh is at the mid-stage of her author career with ten books published. She still remembers the struggles of being a beginning author and how to climb up from there. She’s transparent about her earnings and the costs of self-publishing. It can be very refreshing for an aspiring indie author to see these numbers, even if it’s just for clarity.
Also, Penny is the most adorable puppy on Youtube. Just sayin’. Would you like some corgi writer merch, maybe?
Mandy Lynn is an author and book cover designer. She built her business so she wouldn’t have to rely on income from books alone, and she’s a trained graphics designer. Her book launch planner and sticker subscription box are also part of her business. Having a side hustle or multiple income streams is not something to be ashamed of, and should even be celebrated. No need to give up one part of yourself or your dream to do the other.
I haven’t watched Kate Cavanaugh a lot but she’s not someone I can’t have on the list. She’s very active on Youtube and has the craziest writing experiments. From trying out other writer’s writing routines to doing sprints based on a dice roll. Definitely check her out if you want to find something new to try in your process.
Alexa Donne is a traditionally published author (and the only one on this list who has not done any self-publishing) and she talks about her experiences. If you’re looking to get your books published the traditional way, she’s the one to watch. Alexa also talks a lot more about craft than the others.
You’ll gain a lot of knowledge for free on all kinds of topics related to being an author and owning a business in publishing. Who says you need a $x00 course to publish a book? Just watch Youtube all day. It’s not procrastinating when you’re learning something, right? …right?