Blogs and Podcasts I Read and Listen to Every Week

We all have our secret list of favorite blogs and podcasts we prefer. I base my preferences on whether or not I learn anything new and, especially in the case of podcasts, whether there’s an entertainment value.

Don’t get me wrong; solid information is what keeps me coming back week after week. But when it comes to podcasts, the audio has to be clear, the guests interesting, and the topics need to resonate with my struggles or interest. I listen to podcasts while I’m on the treadmill so if an episode doesn’t hold my interest sufficiently, the exercise can become unbearable.

I thought you might want to find out which bloggers and podcasters I pay close attention to. Well, here they are.

Bloggers I Read

Anne R. Allen

I adore Anne’s blog. Aside from being one smart lady, her mix of sass and education is priceless.

Buffer Blog

The folks at Buffer write in-depth posts that always teach me a new skill. I rely on this blog to keep my social media skills sharp.

BookWorks

I’m proud to be a blogger at BookWorks, but that’s not why the blog is on this list. I enjoy the other bloggers, including Penny Sansevieri, Carla King, Helen Sedwick, and Joel Friedlander, who write sharp posts. I always learn something when I read a new post, which is why I read blogs in the first place.

TheBookDesigner.com by Joel Friedlander

Blogger, author, and entrepreneur, Joel Friedlander is a masterful blogger and businessman who blogs on Mondays and has guest bloggers appear on Wednesdays. I always look forward to seeing what’s new on his site. Be sure to read his monthly reviews of book covers. You’ll learn a lot.

Jane Friedman

Jane is an author, former publisher of Writer’s Digest, and astute marketing maven. I always enjoy seeing what she has to say or one of her guest bloggers.

Digital Pubbing

Sabrina is a writer, ebook developer, and blogger at DigitalPubbing.com. I enjoy her interviews, posts, and compilation of top posts on specific topics. I wouldn’t miss an issue.

Podcasts I Follow

Serial

The reporters from This American Life are the hosts of this show. They dissect a story to its core, using their investigative reporter skills. If you can learn something from this podcast, it’s how to tell a story in an engaging, entertaining manner. But these stories are real so while they are entertaining, they can also be quite sad. I love this series. I’ve listened to the first two seasons and am eagerly awaiting season three.

Self-Publishing Formula Podcast

Mark Dawson and James Blatch co-host this podcast. Mark Dawson is a thriller author who hosts trainings on online advertising for indie authors. James Blatch is a former BBC News journalist who is currently writing his first novel. Together they form a formidable team.

Smarty Pants Book Marketing

Chris and Becca Syme, a mother-daughter team. Chris is a marketer and Becca is a hybrid author. Together they interview guests and share marketing strategies.

The Author Biz by Stephen Campbell

Stephen Campbell loves to analyze figures, so his guests often arrive at the show with spreadsheets noting how much they’ve spent, how much they’ve earned, and how many books they’ve sold. It’s always fun to hear about another indie author’s success.

The Creative Penn

This is my favorite podcast. I adore Joanna Penn’s personal ramblings at the beginning of the show, and she can make even the seemingly most boring topic fascinating. She’s bubbly, positive, and informative – a winning combination.

Frances CaballoThe author of this blog: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several social media books including the 2nd edition of Social Media Just for WritersThe Author’s Guide to Goodreads, and Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

Avoid Social Media Time SuckGet a free copy of Avoid Social Media Time Suck from Smashwords!

Indie Author Weekly Update – February 24, 2017

Indie Author Update

Here’s another edition of the Indie Author Update. This week’s topics include book marketing, Facebook advertising, and blogging tips.

Kevin TumlinsonI hope you join me for the next  Conversations with Frances when I interview Draft2Digital marketing director and blockbuster author Kevin Tumlinson. Kevin is considered a prolific author, and was named one of Shelf Media Group’s 100 Notable Indies in 2016. I hope you’ll join us on March 1st at 1 pm PST as he shares his marketing tips.


Indie Author Updates

10 Tips To Up Your Book Marketing Skills Right Now by Rachel Thompson: “The basic premise of book marketing is this: write great books that people want to read, then effectively market them. If you’re self-published, use professional editors, designers, and formatters so your book looks amazing. I self-pub’d my first three books and invested in those services through scrimping and saving. Now you can crowdfund. It’s doable.”

Write great books and then effectively market them. Click To Tweet

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Indie Author Weekly Update – February 10, 2017

Indie Author Update

This week’s Indie Author Update covers a gamut of topics, from marketing plans to blogging to Twitter.

I normally schedule one Conversations with Frances each month but in March and April I’m breaking the patter and featuring four guests instead of two. I hope you check out the lineup and sign up for these free webinars.

Indie Author Updates

How I Became a Bestseller with a Coordinated Marketing Plan from BookBub Partners: “When my first novel, The Fairy Tale Bride, was traditionally published in October of 2000, I had all the usual hopes and dreams of new writers — letters from readers, great reviews, and, of course, becoming a bestselling author.”

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Indie Authors: Follow These 40 on Twitter in 2017

Indie Authors: 40 Twitter Users to FollowAs you probably already know, Twitter is where I spend most of my time online. My day starts with Twitter and ends with Facebook, but as a Twitter fan woman, Twitter is my darling amongst the social media I use.

To help you start the year right, I decided to create this list of my top contacts and purveyors of information in 140 characters or fewer. I hope  these individuals, experts, and entities soon become your favorites too.

Note: The list is organized alphabetically, not by ranking.

Authors and Experts to Follow on Twitter in 2017

Alliance of Independent Authors

Founded by author and poet Orna Ross, @IndieAuthor ALLI is a membership organization of indie authors and advisors.

Andrea Vahl

Andrea has been writing about social media for years. Although she caters to the business world, her words are genuine pearls of wisdom and she’s well worth following and keeping track of.

Anne R. Allen

I adore Anne’s blog and enjoy following her on Twitter too. She is one smart lady!

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15 Best Blogs for Indie Authors to Follow

Blogs Just for Indie Authors

Blogging can be so important to an indie author’s brand.

Should you blog? That depends. Many fiction authors do well even though they don’t blog. Instead of blogging, though, they have an active presence on Facebook and perhaps two other sites where they engage with their readers.

But if you write nonfiction, well, you just can’t get around the need to blog regularly. How else would you expose your writing, thoughts, education, and expertise to potential clients as well as readers?

I read a lot of blogs, and from the ones I read regularly, I’ve selected my list of the top 15 blogs for indie authors. If any are new to you, expand your world and check them out.

Here’s the list:

TheBookDesigner.com

TheBookDesigner is Joel Friedlander’s blog. He started this blog out of thin air several years ago and has grown it into a mainstay in the independent publishing arena. If you’re self-published, you have to read this blog.

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Indie Author Weekly Update December 9, 2016

Indie Author Update

I hope you enjoy this week’s edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update. Be sure to read Joel Friedlander’s series on how he got his start in blogging and soared to success. It’s a fascinating story.

So why the dogs in the image above? Why not? Those who know me well, know that I love dogs. I have an English Lab and fostered dogs for the Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue. Why the snow in the above picture? It doesn’t snow where I live, but it is brisk and feels like it might snow.

I hope you enjoy this week’s selection below and that you have a lovely weekend. Keep warm!


Indie Author Updates

Video Will Be Huge in 2017…Get Ready! from BookWorks: “Video is incredibly popular. Experts estimate that in 2017 and beyond, video will make up 69% of consumer internet traffic. Back in 2015, consumers spent an average of five-and-a-half hours a day watching video content. That number continues to rise. On Facebook alone, some 500 million users view 8 billion videos on a daily basis. Video, because people watch so much of it, is useful in book marketing. At the same time, it’s important to keep your videos to approximately 90 seconds. Five percent of viewers will stop watching a video after 1 minute and 60% by 2 minutes.”

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Indie Author Weekly Update November 11, 2016

Indie Author Weekly UpdatesIt’s Friday and that means it’s time for the Indie Author Weekly Update. I always enjoy bringing the best of the internet to you in hopes you’ll find nuggets of information to fuel your social media and book marketing efforts.

On a more personal note, I’ve been relishing the fall weather here in Northern California. We’ve been having 70-degree weather with warm days and cool nights. It couldn’t be better for the hiking and cycling I enjoy doing. I hope that you’re getting outdoors too.


Indie Author Updates

We’ll start with the posts I wrote for BookWorks and TheBookDesigner.com this week:

15 Tips to Boost Facebook Engagement for Indie Authors from BookWorks: “When you’re ready to approach book marketing, and you’re setting up your social media presence, the last thing you want to do is waste any of your time on platforms that your readers don’t use. For example, if you write crime noir that’s popular among the 40+ demographic, you wouldn’t want to waste your time on Snapchat or Tumblr. But, similar to Mark Dawson, a thriller author, you would want to spend time on Facebook.”

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Indie Author Weekly Roundup October 14, 2016

Indie Author Weekly Roundup by Frances Caballo

This week’s Indie Author Weekly Roundup is longer than most but that’s because it is completely  chock-full with information you need at your disposal. I hope you enjoy this week’s selection!

And don’t forget that …

Jane FriedmanThe next episode of Conversations with Frances features Jane Friedman. Jane is a columnist with Publishers Weekly, a professor with The Great Courses, and she’s been a keynote speaker at several writers’ conferences. She speaks regularly at industry events such as BookExpo America and Digital Book World, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. On November 1 at 11 am Jane will share her thoughts on book launches. She’ll also be available to answer your questions. Join us on November 1st.

Indie Author Weekly Roundup

Time Management Tips for Busy Authorpreneurs from BookWorks: “You know what  you’re supposed to do—write your book, start a blog and website, and turn to social media to help you market everything you’ve created. But where do you start? Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram? And how can you write your next book if you now need to spend time writing blog posts, posting social media updates, and chasing after Likes and followers?”

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Indie Author Weekly Roundup September 9, 2016

Indie Author Weekly Updates by Frances CaballoI hope you enjoy this edition of the Indie Author Weekly Roundup.

Fall is around the corner but the daytime temperatures still reach into the 80s where I live. And whereas parts of the East Coast have been battered by rain, the hills are brown and drive in California, even Northern California. Let’s hope that changes this winter. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s enjoy the final days of summer, shall we?

Indie Author Weekly Roundup

5 Rookie Mistakes to Avoid When Publishing Your First Book from BookWorks and by Frances Caballo: “We all make mistakes, right? And we learn from them – well most of the time. Joel Friedlander of TheBookDesigner.com frequently tells me that when he talks to new authors about what they should do once they publish a book, he usually tells them something to the effect of, “You should have prepared for your first book two years ago.” Ouch. But he’s right, of course.”

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Indie Author Weekly Roundup July 29, 2016

indie author

As an indie author, how do you succeed in today’s publishing landscape? I hope today’s roundup will help to provide some of the answers you need. You’ll find posts by Elizabeth S. Spann, Carla King, Jane Friedman, and a post I wrote for Joel Friedlander. When you’re not writing and working on your marketing, I hope you take time to enjoy the sounds and beauty of a beach near you.


Indie Author Roundup

Distributing Free Books  by Elizabeth S. Craig: “It used to annoy me when I’d read about how important it was to offer a free book to readers for newsletter signups or as rewards for newsletter subscribers. The advice was all well and good, but it rarely got into the nitty-gritty of it.  How exactly were we supposed to give away these freebies?  Surely I wasn’t expected to monitor signups and send out individual emails to subscribers?”

Do you give away free books to entice email signups? Click To Tweet

Note: I use BookFunnel to distribute free copies of my books but in this post Elizabeth discusses syncing Instafreebie with MailChimp. If you distribute ebook advance review copies to readers, this is a post you need to read.

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