I’ll admit it—for someone who loved to have bedtime stories read to her as a child, it took me a long time to get into podcasts. But I’m here now and I love them, not least because they maximise my ‘reading’ time.
Whether you’re new to the publishing world (and podcasts) or just want to keep up to date with all the latest news and views in the industry, this is a great, convenient way to get stuck in. Here are a few favourites to get you started.
1. On Publishing
On Publishing is a podcast by The Bindery, a literary agency that guides authors through the entire—sometimes daunting—publishing process. For the most part, they represent authors across commercial fiction, spirituality, biography and memoir, pop culture, business and leadership, self-help, sci-fi, fantasy, and the like.
Listeners get to hear from someone from the publishing world every episode, with interviewees ranging from writers and editors to publishers, designers, marketers, PR pros, and sales executives.
This is a fantastic way to get a more comprehensive view of the full publishing spectrum and learn valuable lessons about the industry from those who’ve seen and done it all before. This one is perfect for bibliophiles, budding writers, and anyone looking for a career in publishing.
2. The Vintage Podcast
It would be remiss of me to talk about bookish podcasts without including this giant! The Vintage Podcast by publisher Vintage releases every other Sunday and covers everything from sit-down chats with your favourite authors to topical discussions around the industry today and current trends.
You’ll find a wealth of author interviews, book news, and literary discussions on subjects ranging from classics to graphic novels, cookery to biography and so much more. But don’t take my word for it—subscribe to see episodes featuring the likes of Ottessa Moshfegh, Rachel Kushner, Malorie Blackman, and more.
3. The Business of Content
The Business of Content is a cracking podcast about the digital side of things, specifically how publishers go about creating, sharing, and monetising content online. This podcast is hosted by Simon Owens, an accomplished tech and media journalist and regular contributor for What’s New In Publishing.
Guests on The Business of Content include folks from The Financial Times, Slate, Quartz, and some of biggest names online today, so do tune in.
4. The History of Literature
This one is particularly handy if you ever feel like you might have missed out by not doing an English degree at uni. Take a whistle-stop tour through some of the greatest moments in literary history with your guide and host, author and literature pro Jacke Wilson.
Get to know more about authors who played a monumental part in the way we read and write today, from William Shakespeare and Giovanni Boccaccio to T.S. Eliot, Philip Larkin, Beatrix Potter, Alice Munro, George Eliot, Toni Morrison, Ezra Pound, Charles Dickens, George Sand, and even Plato. The History of Literature is the perfect podcast for anyone keen to know more about where it all started.
5. The Guardian Books Podcast
The Guardian Books podcast is a fascinating weekly foray into the realm of writing. Listeners can expect to hear from some of the world’s best authors from across the globe, with in-depth interviews discussing wider industry trends, round-ups, prizes, and a modern take on classic works of literature.
6. The Editing Podcast
This one is, you guessed it, more about the editorial side of the industry. The Editing Podcast is run by Louise Harnby and Denise Cowle, a fiction editor and non-fiction editor respectively.
The duo are on a mission to ‘make your writing and editing life easier’, together providing loads of practical tips and insider advice to writers and editors alike. Episodes are organised by topic so you can enjoy an entire playlist tailored to your interests:
- The fundamentals of editing
- Different types of editing
- Editorial business tips
- Understanding punctuation
- Tools for writers and editors
- Language, grammar, and style
- The indie author collection
- Genre and subject editing
This engaging podcast covers every editorial nook and cranny from writing and proofreading to actually working with an editor if you’re an author, and setting up shop as a freelance editor if that’s more your bag. Louise’s website is also packed with free and paid-for resources for authors and editors, just in case you’d like to dig a little deeper after each episode.
7. So Many Damn Books
Introducing So Many Damn Books, where Christopher Hermelin and Drew Broussard sit down with some of the best-loved authors in the industry to talk about literature, reading, and publishing, and how to get through that to-be-read pile that’s been gathering dust on your bedside table for the last six months.
As a gal who likes a happy hour or two, I appreciate that each episode involves a themed cocktail. The devil is in the detail and all that. I also love the fun, upbeat tone of this podcast, and the two hosts really do bounce off each other in a way that makes the minutes WHOOSH by.
8. The Penguin Podcast
This multi-award-winning podcast is a great way to stay up to date on some of the hottest new authors and latest publications out there today.
Zadie Smith, Bill Bryson, Yea Gyasi, Barack Obama, Marcus Rashford, Noam Chomsky and Ali Smith are just some of the authors you’ll find here, so it’s definitely worth hitting subscribe to keep your finger firmly on the publishing pulse.
The Penguin Podcast gets up close and personal with authors, with probing questions into the how and why behind their work, and where they get their inspiration and ideas from. One great quirk here is that each guest is asked to bring five objects into the studio that have inspired their work in some way. And we are a nosy bunch, aren’t we?
9. Oxford Brookes Publishing Podcast
Brought to you by the clever folks at Oxford Brookes University’s International Centre for Publishing, this podcast generally features a mix of recorded sessions from university visits by key figures in the industry, like Eric Huang, Michael Bhaskar, and Joanna Prior, and academic talks on anything from advice for publishing students and using social media to promote books to the impact digital developments on storytelling and beyond.
10. Writing Excuses
Writing Excuses is perfect if you’re short on time or are just dipping your toe into the podcast pool – each episode is just 15 minutes long. But don’t let the bite-sized episode fool you; this is still a pretty comprehensive podcast.
Hosts Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Dan Wells, and Howard Tayler share loads of great advice about traditional and self-publishing, career advice from authors, and bits about writing too.
Got a bookish podcast you can’t stop listening to? I want to hear about it! Share your favourites in the comments and we might just see this list grow.
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