(Coming Soon) “Self-Publishing Questions” – The Podcast

SPQ Podcast LaunchAlmost a year ago, I started a series of blog posts called “Kindle Publishing Questions.”

The idea was to answer the questions I often get from readers.

Unfortunately, I gave up on this idea because it limited my writing time. I felt that every hour I spent on blog posts was an hour I didn’t have to write my Kindle books. (Honestly, I can only write a few hours each day without my mind turning into tapioca pudding.)

Things changed when I started doing podcast interviews on a weekly basis. Whenever a host asked me a self-publishing question, I could rattle off a detailed response. I didn’t have to think about “the right way” to answer the question (like I do when writing). Instead, I simply described what works for me.

From this experience, I’ve realized there is a market for a short-form podcast that answers the questions authors have a on a regular basis.

That’s why I’m launching a podcast called “Self-Publishing Questions.” (Clever name, right?)

Here’s a brief overview of what I’ll cover and how you can get involved.

The Format of “Self-Publishing Questions” (SPQ)

How will my podcast be different?

Currently, there are a lot of great podcasts about self-publishing. Most typically run for 30 to 60 minutes and focus on interviews with successful authors.

Mine will have a different format:

  • More episodes—probably an episode three to seven days each week.
  • Shorter length—five to 10 minutes in length.
  • Each episode will feature one question from a listener.
  • I’ll get knowledge experts (who know more than me about specific topics) to “guest record” an episode.
  • There will be “accountability episodes” that focus on helping authors get results with their businesses.

In essence, the podcast will focus entirely on the problems you experience with the self-publishing process. As an example, if you’re familiar with “Ask Pat” or “Money Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips,” then you’ve seen evidence of how shorter podcasts can provide lots of actionable information.

3 Ways to Get Started with SPQ

The podcast should be launched by early November. This isn’t a guarantee because there’s a lot to do beforehand. Just know that I’m working hard to turn the show into an invaluable part of your daily routine.

If you’re interested in this podcast, then please do these three things:

#1. Go to the “Self-Publishing Questions” launch page and subscribe to the early bird notification list. You don’t need to do this if you’re already subscribed to one of my other lists.

#2. Submit any question you have about the self-publishing process. Simply check out my SpeakPipe page and record your question. Your question will be played at the top of the episode, so please include your name, website and/or book title if you’d like to be featured. (You’ll also get a link in the show notes of your featured episode.)

#3. Leave a comment in the section below. The podcast won’t be successful without your feedback. That’s why I’d love to get your thoughts on what type of content you think should be included in every episode.

I’m really excited about this podcast because I feel it’ll provide a ton of value to the self-publishing community. Stay tuned for more details!

Take Action. Get Results.

111 thoughts on “(Coming Soon) “Self-Publishing Questions” – The Podcast”

  1. This is very much needed. I’ve not only enjoyed your interviews but learned so much as well.

    Count me in as a subscriber.

    Good luck and I will be sure to send a question!

    Cheers, Paul

  2. Hi Steve – that’s great news to hear you are getting a podcast out there.

    I’m finally starting my first Kindle book so I’m sure I will have a few questions to ask you 🙂

    I’m spending way too long dithering over which book to start off with and write first. Did you suffer from this at all?!

    Looking forward to your first podcast – good luck with it!

    • Hey Kate — I definitely get small doses of writer’s block. But what works for me is to constantly record book ideas in Evernote. Then by the time I finish one book, I already have the next one fully mapped out. Honestly, if you have a good process in place, you can consistently publish new ideas.

      Anywho…good luck with your first book. Please, send me any question you have and I’ll be happy to answer it on the podcast.

  3. That’s awesome Steve! I was hoping you would come out with a podcast at some point! Thanks for all your help and advice you put out!

    • Great to hear Eric! I’ve wanted to do one for awhile, but could never figure out the right format, especially since I’m not comfortable with public speaking. But I think a shorter show, focused on self-publishing questions will be something that listeners appreciate.

  4. Morning Steve, thrilled about your podcast idea. I don’t like long ones, get more out of short and concise so I am on board. Have a few of your books and they are dynamite.

    I am like Kate, spend too much time dithering over what and where to start. So I keep reading and studying and never “get going”. Can you help us with that problem?

    Thanks, Barb

    • Hey Barb — Absolutely. Ideally, I’d like to start with very basic questions and go from there. The problem is I don’t really know what people typically struggle with when getting started. Would you mind recording a question and I’ll be more than happy to provide a detailed episode.

  5. Brilliant idea Steve, especially having short episodes. although I love the content of the longer podcasts I just don’t have time to listen to many of them. I also find that little and often combined with audio are a great learning experience!

    • Yeah, I also love longer podcasts, but it’s hard to keep up with all of them. It’s almost like T.V. where you have to pick and choose your favorite shows. Hope mine makes your regular listening schedule. (And be sure to send in any question you might have!)

  6. I’ve followed your advice with enthusiasm and my results have been almost non-existent. I have a beautifully formatted and edited book (thanks to your referrals) but the marketing tips have yielded nothing. I am working hard at it everyday but getting no results. I am not sure that your ‘tips’ apply to other people or have simply been a great way for you to succeed. I am happy for your success but am not convinced you actually have a ‘method’ to succeed – but rather a case study in one person’s success. I wanted to believe that hard work and persistence make a difference. But I am having serious doubts.

    • Donna — I’m sorry to hear about your struggles. I definitely know that this is not an easy process. Can you tell me (here or send me an email: stevescottsite[at]gmail[dot]com) about your book/website/etc. I’d love to give some feedback and potential ideas.

    • Donna, it’s a numbers game. A single book may hit the nail or not. My 1st book has done OK selling immediately about a copy a day. 2nd sold only 17 copies within 3 first months. 3rd stirred some interest (113 copies in the first month). 4th was almost invisible to the market (less than a copy every other day).
      And my 5th book took off like a rocket ship.
      It’s a marathon, don’t give up.

  7. As we say in the UK, when we’re super excited about something –

    Can’t wait to put a voice to the sage publishing (and marketing, blogging, pricing) advice I’ve picked up from your books and blog over the last few months, which helped launch my first ebook. I’m currently playing with pricing strategies for KDP, so once I’ve launched Book 2 later this month I’m heading to my Kindle’s “Scott” bookshelf for some detailed guidance!

    Good luck with your TO DO lists!

    • Hey Emma — Glad to see you’re excited! Please, if you have any questions about pricing, feel free to submit it. I’d love to get as much feedback from blog readers/email subscribers as possible.

      • Hi Steve

        Will definitely think about a pricing question for your new venture; at the moment I’m re-reading “Is $.99 the New Free” and think I may just take a deep breath and play with pricing, recording changes every 24 hours so that I know what alters sales.

        • Hey Emma — I’d only change prices every few days. You want enough data where you’re sure a change in sales is in direct proportion to the price adjustment. Once a day seems too quick to me.

  8. Hi Steve,

    This is great to hear – can’t wait to check out your podcast. I find it challenging to keep up with email, so the podcast format will be great (I listen to them in the car) for getting this sort of information.

    One suggestion (request) is to make sure the podcast topic is easy to read in iTunes. Some podcasts have lengthy subjects and it becomes difficult to read what each episode is about. If this feedback isn’t clear, feel free to send me an email and I can send you a screen shot of what I mean.

    Thank you for all of your great content and advice.

  9. Steve,
    Great you are coming out with a podcast that addresses kindle publishing Steve. I look forward to it. Hope to get some of my confusions straight.


  10. I LOVE the idea Steve, and am planning on listening to every episode you put out. After all, everybody has 5 – 10 minutes a day, right?

    However, I’m wondering how long most people will stay interested, and check out every episode…

    In September I launched my first self-help book, and with it a new email list. My “lead magnet” is actually a promise to email my subscribers every single day with a short, actionable tip or resource.

    Out of the couple hundred (I think maybe 600 – 700) copies that I sold of that book last month, I got around 70 subscribers. (I didn’t do anything else to promote the list, other than launch the book.)

    At first click through rates were really high, but after a week or two open rates were hovering around 50 – 60% I don’t know about you, but for me, and with only 70 subscribers, that’s pretty low.

    I recently polled my subscribers and asked how many would prefer to be emailed once a day and how many would prefer to be emailed once a week, with a slightly longer email.

    I got 15 people saying once a day, and 16 people saying once a week…

    I still haven’t decided quite yet what I’m going to do. But in the long run, I think a lot of subscribers will either unsubscribe or just not open my emails. And that means I lose a ton of potential buyers when I release a new book.

    If they’re not opening my emails anymore, than they’re not going to open the email that promos my new book.

    I’m thinking that, for me, emailing my subscribers once a week may be in my favor.

    Just something to keep in mind.

    • Hey Mark — I agree and also disagree. You definitely can’t email people every day. People will unsubscribe en masse.

      Podcasts are a different animal. People spend so much time in their car and working out. If you can create a compelling podcast that’s short and to the point, I don’t think it’s hard to turn the listening experience into a … {ahem}… habit. Of course, all this predicates on providing maximum value to the listener.

      • You know what, I agree with you.

        There’s a podcast called “Writing Excuses” about writing fiction (I love writing fiction just as much as nonfiction) and their tagline is “15 minutes long because you’re in a hurry and we’re not that smart”.

        And I listen to at least one 15 minute episode every day. (They’ve got a very extensive archive. They’ve recorded one episode a week since the beginning of 2008.)

        And podcasts are definitely different than emails.

        I can stand to listen to a podcast a day from the same person, but opening an email every day is a different matter…

        Thanks for the advice!

  11. Best of luck with the new podcast, Steve. It should be a great forum for you and your very savvy approach to self-publishing.

    Wishing you much success…

    Thom Reece

    • Appreciate it Thom! Got your voice recording… truly appreciate you taking the time to leave it. I’m going to start creating responses in the next week or so.

  12. Wonderful idea and big thanks for the contribution. I’d love to hear about the book creation process. Successful methods for publishing consistently. Also more about list building, and developing an audience.

    • Hey Sean — More than happy to give detailed responses. Would you mind calling into the show and leaving a quick question. Probably one question would work best, because I can get really into the nitty-gritty.

  13. Hey Steve, I think this is a great idea. I closely follow your blog and most things you put out online (even though I rarely comment, sorry!) as they are aligned with how I like to do things in my own Kindle publishing business. Nevertheless, I always learn something new and appreciate your style. Good luck with this new project!

  14. Great, great Steve!
    I really admire you and all that you do for us, indies!
    Please, be sure to cover also about publishing fictional books. They are harder to market and sell.

    • Hey Antara — That will probably be an area where I ask established fiction authors to leave their comments. I’m not a fiction writer, so I think it would be more valuable to leverage my network and find someone who could better answer fiction-specific questions.

  15. Hurray! Great to hear we will get more amazing content from you Steve. I love the idea of short but actionable podcasts on Self Publishing. I keep your guest podcasts handy so I can listen anytime I am on the go-each time I listen I catch one more tip to help me publish for Kindle. Thank you for the great content you already so generously share. I will think of a question to submit to your SpeakPipe page. Good Luck!

  16. Podcasts are such a great idea. Just like when you say that writing takes time, the same applies to reading. There is so much information out there that just remains unread. Sometimes I just don’t have time, or my eyes are tired- this is why I go for podcasts, I even prefer them to youtube videos. You can listen to them when driving, running, walking, cleaning or just chilling out. I am sure I will learn a lot from them just like I do from your blog and books. Just hit $3K a month with my books and can’t wait to make it more and more, and spread my message:)! Thanks for your dedication again!:) I found your content extremly helpful.

    • Hey Marta — Congrats on hitting the $3k milestone! That’s great to see how you’re building momentum in the market.

      I’m just like you… reading blogs on a regular basis (in addition to my nonfiction and fiction book habit) can be hard to do. But I find that you can easily fit in lots of podcasts in those small cracks in the day. Hope SPQ doesn’t disappoint.

  17. Hi Steve,
    Way to go! Great idea ! I, for one, look forward to this.
    One suggestion: in addition to what you have stated, COLLECT these podcast texts and publish an e-book each 3 or 6 months, as a “catch-up for late joiners to your group.

    • Excellent idea Verne. I’ve already made a plan to have the podcasts transcribed and then have someone else create show notes. So it might not be too hard to turn them into short booklets.

  18. I’m excited for this. Honestly, I don’t prefer 30-45 minute podcasts because they feel like a time suck unless I’m driving. I love the idea of bite sized informative answers to questions. They don’t leave you overwhelmed either 🙂

    • Glad too see you’re excited. I like the 30 to 45 minute shows, but you have to be very careful about which ones you listen to. There’s just so many shows out there, so you really need to pick your favorites. Hope you find the shorter-form to be useful!

  19. G’day Steve,

    Great ideas – I’m looking forward to hearing / reading them. I’ve read and devoured several of your books. I’ve found them to be very useful and helpful with my own books. Thanks for going to the effort of writing them and making them available to the world.

    My question(s) would be about “marketing” – particularly around what makes a good cover design and what makes a good “Book Description” on your amazon book sales page.

    (Melbourne, Australia)

  20. Hi Steve,
    My basic questions are

    1 how to upload an ebook which is mostly made up of pictures – they are artwork, and poetry within artwork.

    2 does one need to get an ISBN in order to upload/sell an ebook on Kindle?

    3 do you have to convert your ebook to a certain file format before uploading?

    Very basic questions which are probably answered already in your books or elsewhere, just haven’t come around to them nor had the time to read them yet. The podcasts will make the info so much more accessible. Thanks for doing them..

    Thanks, Aileen

  21. Hi Steve,

    I’m not at all into podcasts. For the simple reason that I prefer reading and writing. And also, the couple of podcasts that I listened to are just too long. 1 hour to pick up 1 idea is just a waste of time. But.. if they are 5-10 minutes, I will follow them. Quick, fast and to-the-point. I’m currently working on my 10th book and things are growing. Slowly but surely.

    Keep writing!

    • Agreed Timo. Some podcasts can be veeeery long, with little to no knowledge. Part of the experience for me is I find the people hosting them to be entertaining. But often an hour is too long of a time to listen to people ramble on.

  22. Hi Steve,
    Great to see you are starting your own podcast! As a two in one would it be a good idea to film the podcast and then release as a YouTube video?

    Also, have you ever considered doing Live Google Hangouts? This is a great way to interact with your audience via the Hangout on Air method and also I am betting that people would pay a decent fee for a private one on one hangout with you for Ebook and Kindle advice.

    Finally got my new website up and running and hope to have 5 ebooks on Kindle by the end of the year, thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    • Hey Jamie — Thanks for both the idea of Google Hangouts and YouTube. To be perfectly honest, both are ideas that I’d like to pursue, but I want to be very careful with the projects I take on. The core of my business is still Kindle publishing, so don’t want to do too much that eats into my writing time. Definitely, though, down the road, I’d like to consider both.

  23. Good move Steve! I’ve caught you on a few podcast interviews and know you’ll do well on this platform. There is so much more to learn by listening and soaking in the message. My only advice is to stick to the topic and respect the listener’s time. Too many podcast turn into gab fest and go off tangent. I agree with your 10 minute limit, not unless you get a special guest. SPQ and Beyond!

    • Totally agree Rick. I think respecting the listener’s time is especially important. I love the longer podcasts, but some can be brutal to listen to on a regular basis. Honestly, I’m thinking that the “10 Minutes or Less” rule will be a core part of the marketing messages.

  24. Hey Steve

    I have some questions for the Ask Steve podcast:

    1. Are you better to launch with one book? Or launch with two or more books?
    2. If you do have multiple books ready to go what interval would you publish them at?
    3. Let’s say you publish books a month apart…would you start trying to promote straight away? Or would you wait until you have multiple books out before really pushing the promotion?

    Catch you later.


  25. So glad for the short format, I have a hard time with the long ones.

    I would like to ask a question, but I am shy to do a voice recording. I will make myself do it because doing hard things is good for me, but it occurs to me that there might be other people that have a hard time making recordings.

  26. What a great news Steve,

    I totally support the idea. Thank for all the tips you share about Kindle books. I learned a lot from you.

    Can’t wait for the podcast!

  27. Hi Steve,
    Great post.
    I’m very glad to hear that you launch out your new podcast. Really I’m very excited to see this awesome podcast. I learned a lot of knowledge from this post.

  28. Hi Steve

    I am very impressed by your work and follow it avidly. Keep going!

    My question/comment relates to your idea generation techniques. Your habit series has been justifiably very successful but I get the impression (perhaps wrongly) that you initiated it because you were very interested in the subject and then perhaps developed it through niche research afterwards. I read your Kindle book advising on niche research so I was wondering if you followed this path. I think you also made a couple of comments about keyword research in a podcast interview I heard recently that seemed to suggest keywords weren’t so important to you.
    How do you play it?
    Really many thanks
    Steve M

    • Hey Steve — Partially correct. I did some research to identify the habits market and make sure it was profitable. This article goes over what I did at the beginning: http://www.stevescottsite.com/profitable-authority-niche

      Re: Keywords. I definitely send mixed messages on this one. I feel they’re absolutely important when getting started–at least for the first few books. But at some point, you need to innovate and focus on what your audience wants. I look at keywords as “extra eyeballs”. It’s nice to get the attention, but I’m mostly focused on building a brand around the content. Hope this helps!

      • Hi Steve

        Many thanks in giving these meaningful insights. They help me a lot in my own research ideas!



  29. I use RSS Radio app with my iphone to automatically download the podcasts I listen to. This way they are waiting for me when I’m ready to listen to them.
    The app is a double edge sword in that I’m so behind in listening to the podcasts that I don’t subscribe to new podcasts. Just a thought.

    I’m working on my first book, and am wandering: would it be better to start your first book with “100 ways to xyz” and then publish more detail books of those various ways or the reverse?

    • Joe — That’s not an easy one to answer. I know that the XX lists tend to sell better, but they also tend to get shredded in the reviews. Perhaps try it and see what happens, but I’d also consider doing a deep dive into one aspect of the book and providing a thorough step-by-step solution.

  30. Thumbs up on this idea! A shorter podcast is very welcome! Following a long podcst is hard to sustain. Personally – I listen to these while on a train while also checking email and stuff. So listening to one shot podcast helps!

  31. Hi Steve
    Please permit me to ask another question…please feel free to ignore if I am hogging this! I am very interested in your views on business development of obviously successful business such as yours. I think you made a comment in one of the posts that although you advocated thinking about monetization in advance (and particularly for something that could work in affiliate terms) DGH went forward without affiliate offers (very few were suitable). So my question is this: do you normally want to see several possible monetization streams in advance of starting (perhaps contributions from each) and is this practicable, or are you advocating focus on one (even if it is risky depending on one platform)?
    Many thanks

    • Hey Steve – Honestly, I’d prefer to see multiple monetization opportunities. Not just Kindle. That was one of the mistakes that I made initially — not recognizing the lack of quality offers in this space. (Fortunately a couple of people are creating really good products.) So before moving forward, I’d recommend finding at least two or three types of income opportunities.

      • Hi Steve

        Again, your comments are much appreciated and valuable for those of us trying to step forward!



  32. Scott I love the idea of a short podcast based on one question. I have avoided podcasting as it seemed like WAY to much work on top of everything else. BUT a short piece a couple of times a week would be manageable. I can’t wait to listen to your podcast! Personally I am not a podcast listener, but if you are doing one, I would take the time to listen to your podcast!

    keep sharing and helping us folks out!
    much appreciated


    • Hey Mark — I’d definitely love to have you listen, but overall, the important thing is to focus on doing the important work for your business. Having a “narrow focus” has been a core part of my business, so don’t want to take away precious time from the things you need to do. Hopefully the content will be good enough to give you actionable stuff to do on a regular basis.

  33. Hi Scott.
    i was unable to buy your books from amazon due to

    ” This title is not available for customers from your location”

    pls tell how to buy?

  34. Hello Steve,

    I’ve got a question for you… I’ve published a ‘How to’ photography book through traditional methods: wrote it, got publisher, the publisher got it into a well known store + other bookshops online and in real life and it’s been a success.

    I’ve just completed writing my second non fiction photography book but my publisher doesn’t want to take it forward because the ‘well known store,’ doesn’t want to pre order copies of the book before it’s been published.

    I’m interested in going solo and publishing the new book myself. So what is the most cost effective and successful methods of self publishing a book that relies heavily on images?

    I’d be really interested in hearing your thoughts, I look forward to listening to the podcast.



    • Hey Sue — Would you mind emailing me directly (stevescottsite[at]gmail[dot]com.) I feel your question will require a lot of back-and-forth messages and think it would be easier to do it there.

  35. Hey SS!
    Listened to your podcast at Pat’s site…was one of the best I’ve heard. Got me all pumped up again about possibilities. Tks for also approving me to the FB group. Back with drive. Keep on rocking! So…so…happy for you and your successes. Picked up your Amazon bundle too. great stuff.


    • Hey Brandon — Great to hear from you! Actually we talked a few times way back when. (James was one of the first connections I made as a blogger. Btw, do you know how he’s doing?) Besides that, let me know if you have any questions about anything.

  36. Hello Steve – been reading some of your books and freebie reports (thank you!) – they are very useful. My question for your podcast: when setting up an ebook business, do you think you can have more than one niche?

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