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Indie Book Talk

Indie Book Talk

By Emma and Shelley
Explore the expanding universe of indie books. Discover your next read or learn the ins and outs of indie publishing with Emma G. Rose and Shelley Shearer.

Emma G. Rose is the owner of Imperative Press Books, a publishing house that amplifies niche voices. She is also the author of contemporary fantasy and mythological weirdness, including Nothing's Ever Lost and Near-Life Experience.

Shelley Shearer is a writer of cozy mysteries and urban fantasy. Her first novel, Menace at Meeple Manor, the first of the Board Game Mystery Series is coming soon.

Find out more at
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A prodigy, a psychotherapist and two podcasters walk into a cult (interview with Verlin Darrow, author of Prodigy Quest)

Indie Book Talk

Libby Klein on Traditional Publishing and how to market your books
Libby Klein, author of The Poppy McAllister Mysteries, is an oddity on the Indie Book Talk podcast. She's traditionally published by Kensington Cozies. She talked with us about the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of traditional publishing. Spoiler alert: even traditionally published authors do a lot of their own marketing. If you're still deciding between traditional and indie publishing, this one is for you. Listen wherever podcasts play.  Learn more at:
October 21, 2021
Sneak Peek at the Storybilder tool for writers and how to get free access
After writing two books of her own, former English teacher and current web developer, Tonya Gough, noticed a need for a writing platform that lets writers play with narrative formats without immediately publicizing their work to the world. She's building Storybilder to fill that need. We talk to her about the trials of building a writing tool and how writers can get free access to the platform.  Tanya's Books: Root Bound (book 1 of Emma and the Elementals) Water Works (book 2 of Emma and the Elementals)  
October 14, 2021
Why Elizabeth Spann Craig Left Traditional Publishing to Go Indie (And how she's written more than 40 books)
Elizabeth Spann Craig has written more than 40 books. We talk about how she writes two books at the same time (!) and why she gave up traditional publishing to become an indie author. Listen in to this episode of the Indie Book Talk podcast to hear all about it. Then go check out her website for tons of writer resources. Website:
October 7, 2021
Indie Book Class - Session Three: Writing Past the First Page (what to do when you get stuck early in the story)
You have a great idea for a story, or maybe you just have a character or a setting. How do you keep writing when that first flush of excitement fades? In session three of Indie Book Class, we offer some strategies that can help you overcome the fear of the blank page and start writing your story today.  Mentioned in this episode:  For notes about why you don't want to include song lyrics in your book, listen to episode #36: Turning Memoir Into Fiction with Christy Alexander Hallberg Quote for the day: "The first draft of anything is shit." - Ernest Hemmingway
September 30, 2021
A prodigy, a psychotherapist and two podcasters walk into a cult (interview with Verlin Darrow, author of Prodigy Quest)
Before psychotherapist Verlin Darrow wrote the novel Prodigy Quest he was a professional volleyball player, a country-western singer/songwriter, and an assistant guru. He explains his winding path to publication and shares his one big tip for living a better life in this episode of Indie Book Talk.  Learn more at
September 23, 2021
Indie Book Class - Session Two: Plotting vs. Pantsing
Are you a Plotter or a Panster? That's writer-speak for do you plan ahead or just see where the story takes you. In our second Indie Book Class episode we debate the pros and cons of each style.  Mentions:  Episode 30: Romancing the SquidgieWitty, featuring Walter H. Hopgood and Lisa D. Whitte Episode 31: Stormi Lewis: 6 Months to Write and Publish a Novel Find us on Twitter @IndieBookTalk and tell us if you're a plotter or a pantser, and why.
September 16, 2021
Domenic Marinelli: Following the beat to write 16 books since 2016
Author Domenic Marinelli followed the beat of his own drum to write 16 books since 2016. From beat poetry to transgressive fiction his work spans genres and formats. Plus he has a great accent. Hear him read from his latest work "His Old Tapes" on this episode of the Indie Book Talk podcast. See is retro-fabulous website:
September 9, 2021
Indie Book Class - Session One: Where to Get Ideas
How do you know an idea is worth writing? In our first Indie Book Class episode of the Indie Book Talk podcast, we start at the very beginning - the idea. Where to find it and what do to when you think you have "the one." In this episode we talk about:  The magical idea factory every author has a key to Where to store your writing ideas Why cleaning the house really is part of the writing process Why bodies won't float in Lake Superior How to willfully misunderstand things Why kids are little idea factories The answer to the most commonly asked question at book events. Join the conversation on Twitter @IndieBookTalk
September 2, 2021
What Type of Editor Do you Need? With R.T. Cole
If you've ever wondered what kind of editor you need, our chat with R. T. Cole might get you started in the right direction. Hear how this author of epic fantasy became an editor of other writers and discover what you can do to make your editor happier on this episode of Indie Book Talk. And, if you’re a fan of epic fantasy, check out The Realm of Areon series by R.T. Cole, available now. Hire him on Fiverr: Or check out his books on Goodreads:
August 26, 2021
Becoming Instagram Famous with IG Lives and @Emma.Jean.Author has more than 11,000 followers on Instagram. On this episode of Indie Book Talk, she shares how she used IG Live and other strategies to grow her following in just a year and why you might not want to do the same. We also chat about her latest book, Sleeping Beauty and the Cursed Code, a STEM fantasy novel for girls who don't want to choose between science and princesses. #beboth Find Emma Jean at And on Twitter, TikTok and Instagram Mentioned in this episode:  One Million Followers by Brendan Kane Hook Point by Brendan Kane Aristotle's Poetics Xena Warrior Princess 2BR02B by Kurt Vonnegut
August 19, 2021
Turning Memoir Into Fiction with Christy Alexander Hallberg
What started as a personal memoir transformed into Christy Alexander Hallberg's first novel. Hear how she did it and the real-life events that set the story in motion on this episode of Indie Book Talk. As well as being the author of the upcoming Searching for Jimmy Page (Livingston Press, 2021), Christy is a teacher of literature and writing at East Carolina University.  Christy's Recommended Reading List for Aspiring Authors:  Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemmingway Tony Morrison Jhumpa Lahiri Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo *Note, the quote, "The first draft is just you telling yourself the story." Is from the immortal Sir. Terry Pratchett. (Emma is embarrassed that she forgot this.) We weren't able to find the source of the quote, "Write about the things that keep you up at night." If you know who said it first, Tweet at us.  Find Christy at: On Twitter and Instagram @ChristyHallberg And please remember to Like, Review, and Subscribe. It helps more listeners discover our podcast.
August 12, 2021
Jessica Dall on Writing Historical Fiction
Historical characters should be more than friends in other clothes. We talk with Jessica Dall, author of The Stars of Heaven, about how to write believable but relatable historical characters on this episode of Indie Book Talk. Find Jessica at:
July 29, 2021
Using Mythology In Fiction: Beware the Teenage Kraken
In honor of Emma's upcoming book launch (July 24!) Emma and Shelley talk about how they use mythology in their fantasy stories, including Emma's latest novel, Assembling Ella. Visit her website for launch details, but first, check out this episode of the Indie Book Talk podcast. We discuss gods, teenage Kraken, and respecting cultural traditions while borrowing from ancient myths. Visit Emma's website to discover Ella's story and get all the book launch details. 
July 22, 2021
Book Review: A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Claire
On this episode of Indie Book Talk, we review A Touch of Darkness, the first in the spellbinding Hades X Persephone series by Scarlett St. Clair Emma doesn't usually like romance, but she does LOVE Greek mythology and this unique retelling is steamy and satisfying. Instagram @authorscarlettstclair
July 15, 2021
Overcoming Procrastination and Distractions for Writers
We keep putting off this episode, but the time has come. Emma and Shelley talk about ways to overcome procrastination and dispel distractions so you can actually get some writing (or whatever creative work you do) done.
July 8, 2021
Stormi Lewis: 6 Months to Write and Publish a Novel
On this episode of Indie Book Talk, we talk with Stormi Lewis a.k.a The Story Sharing Guru, host of the Bookish Chatter podcast, and author of the Sophie Lee Trilogy of thrillers about writing with ADHD, taking care of grandma, and how to write and release books quickly. Stormi's top tips from this episode:  Have a plan or schedule for when you'll write Focus on writing for a particular timeslot, not word count Celebrate everything you do! Follow her on Instagram @thestorysharingguru or visit
July 1, 2021
Romancing the SquidgieWitty: On co-writing gay romance
He's a married gay man who loves the smell of markers on a whiteboard, she's his bi-sexual cowriter and massager of words. Together they're Squidgiewitty Authors of the Harts Square series of gay romance novels including the delightfully named AI Think I Love You. Get a peek at their collaboration process and discover why there's kitty litter everywhere in this episode of Indie Book Talk. Instagram: @walterwrites Twitter @squidgiewitty Web:
June 24, 2021
What is For Indie Authors and Indie Publishers might sound like a dangerous idea--An ecommerce platform to sell books. Sounds familiar right? The twist is that every book sold supports indie bookstores and indie booksellers. This episode of the Indie Book Talk podcast isn't an ad, it's a PSA. If you're a book lover, book seller, reviewer, or author, you want to know about is awesome.  the site: Emma's Storefront:
June 17, 2021
Dave Baker And Nicole Goux Love Indie Comics
Dave Baker drew Nicole Goux into the world of indie comics more than six years ago. Together they've written and drawn dozens of books, and attended hundreds of conventions. Hear how their indie adventures drew the attention of Dark Horse, D.C., and Simon and Schuster. More about Dave: More about Nicole: Their new book, Everyone is Tulip, launches June 16th. 
June 10, 2021
Adventure Riot: On-Air Critique
Two more brave writers have shared their work with us, and we're going to critique it on air for you.  Think of it as a virtual writer's group. Like this critique? Want to share your stories? Visit our podcast page at Thank you to Amanda Sharp and Amelia Loken for sharing their first chapters with us.  Amelia has a book coming out in 2022, follow her on Instagram @amelialoken
June 3, 2021
Elissa Dickey Author of the Speed of Light Talks Amazon Publishing
We talk to Elissa Dickey about being published by an Amazon imprint (no we're not talking about KDP). Her mission to help people understand life with MS. Her website:
May 27, 2021
Book Review: The Sense of Death by Matty Dalrymple
Emma and Shelley compare their reactions to The Sense of Death: An Anne Kinnear Mystery Thriller from Matty Dalrymple. The first book in her Ann Kinnear series.  Spoiler alert! They loved it.  Learn more about Matty: Get the book:
May 20, 2021
Demon & Doe: On Air Critique
Two brave souls sent in their writing...and we critiqued it. Think of this as a virtual writer's group. Featuring:  The Gracelynn Doe by V. George & Demon Curse by Marie Flynn Like this critique? Want to share your stories? Visit our podcast page at
May 13, 2021
Beta Readers: What They Are and Why You Need Them
What is a beta reader? Why do you need one? How can they help make your books better? All those questions answered, plus best practices for managing beta readers in this episode of Indie Book Talk. Want more? Check out this blog post Emma wrote about The Care and Keeping of Beta Readers:
May 6, 2021
Can Podcasting Help Build Your Author Platform with Matty Dalrymple
In our most meta episode ever, Matty Dalrymple shares what she's learned about podcasting as an indie author. Plus, we chat about her current and upcoming projects in the Ann Kinnear Suspense series and the Lizzie Ballard Thrillers. Check Out Matty's Podcast the Indy Author Podcast Get Matty's Guide to Podcasting for Authors Listen in as Emma guest on her podcast to talk about Handling Difficult Topics in YA Fiction Get  Meet Ann Kinnear and Lizzy Ballard. 
April 29, 2021
How to Get Your Book Into Bookstores with Gibran Graham
In honor of Indie Bookstore Day on April 24, we talk to indie bookseller Gibran Graham about how authors can get their books into indie bookstores like The Briar Patch in Bangor, Maine.  Learn more about the Briar Patch: What is Indie Bookstore Day: Related Episode: People Really DO Judge a Book by It's Cover (Episode 19)
April 22, 2021
Dirk Manning on Using Kickstarter to fund Indie Graphic Novels
We chat with comic book publisher Dirk Manning about using Kickstarter to fund his projects and the Butts in Seats campaign closing on April 16. Check it out at or visit Dirk's website at
April 15, 2021
People really DO judge a book by its cover
On this episode of Indie Book Talk we talk about covers. Yes you should judge a book by it's cover, and you'd better believe readers are going to. We share the essential elements every cover needs and discuss how to match your cover to your genre.  For a peak at the cover designs we talked about, click below.  Nothing's Ever Lost, old cover  Nothing's Ever Lost, new cover
April 8, 2021
How D&D Influences Novel Writing with Rebecca Ellette Fincher
Rebecca Ellette Fincher writes fantasy novels and D&D modules. We talk about how the two kinds of writing influence each other and what's next for Rebecca's series The Gemtouched Memoirs. Book 1: Escape from Salmira Find her D&D modules on The Dungeon Masters Guild Follow Rebecca on Facebook  And read her D&D based serial novel at (special thanks to Angar via for the knocking sound effect used in this episode)
April 1, 2021
Crime Fiction and Hybrid Publishing with Lisa Regan
Lisa Regan is the author of 10 Detective Josie Quinn Mystery Novels. Hush Little Girl (Book 11) Comes out next month! We talk to Lisa about Murder Conventions, how she chooses between small press and self-publishing, and how she manages to write 3 books a year. Plus, we get a sneak peek at a passion project that's a little out of her comfort zone. 
March 25, 2021
Book Review: Lost in a Dream by R.E. Fury
Lost in a Dream by R.E. Fury is a Fantasy novel with surprising depth and a unique use of language. Check it out Fury also shares short stories and artwork on his Instagram account at:
March 18, 2021
4 Tips For Hosting a Virtual Book Launch or Author Event
Emma shares her top tips on how to host a virtual book launch event, and why it's worth doing even after the world goes back to normal. 
March 11, 2021
Creative Book Marketing Strategies
How to find a book marketing strategy that works for you, without making you feel icky or overwhelmed. We talk about blogging, emails, and unconventional marketing methods. #ducks
March 4, 2021
Overcoming Self Doubt to Publish Your Novel with Lanette Pottle
Overcome self doubt and get your book into the world with advice from Life and Business Strategist, TEDx speaker, and author Lanette Pottle. "It's really about deciding that you will dance with the fear." - Lanette Read more in her upcoming book You Are a Success Magnet
February 25, 2021
8-year-old Author Holly Marshall on Publishing Her First Book
We talk with 8-year-old kid-author, Holly Marshall, about her children's chapter book Princess Clara's Royal Adventures: At the Lily Pond in Rivers Hollow. Follow @princess_clara_adventures on Instagram And follow high-school cover artist Judit Laidlaw @mud.arts.22 or visit to purchase her artwork. Proceeds benefit Voices Against Violence.
February 18, 2021
How to To Take Care of an Author (yourself or someone you love)
What do authors need from their friends and family in order to succeed and feel supported? Emma and Shelley talk about what works for them. Share this episode with your friends and family so they know how to support you. 
February 11, 2021
Experiments in Marketing Urban Fantasy with Author Stephanie Mirro
Stephanie Mirro is the author of the Immortal Relics Series and the Last Phoenix Series. She talks to us about why she switched her book covers, the challenges of defining your genre, and the marketing tactics that work for her.  Find her at or on social @StephanieMirro
February 4, 2021
Why You Need A Writing Group
Emma and Shelley talk about how writing groups have helped them become better writers, and what the ideal writing group looks like. 
January 28, 2021
Award Winning Short Story Writer Barb Goffman on Mystery Writing
Barb Goffman talks about her journey as a mystery writer and why she writes exclusively short stories. Find her latest stories in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Or visit for more details. Mentioned in this podcast:
January 21, 2021
Setting Achievable Writing Goals
More about doing your own page-a-day challenge:
January 14, 2021
Book Review: The Panda of Death by Betty Webb
This week we find out that Shelley has been reading The Panda of Death by Betty Webb. This cozy mystery is #6 in the Gunn Zoo Mystery Series and is published by Poisoned Pen Press, an independent publisher of mystery novels. 
January 7, 2021
How to Get Press for Your Indie Book
Emma shares her tips for getting noticed by news media, bloggers, and podcasters in this episode of Indie Book Talk.  Emma and Shelley talk about:  finding your hook how to pitch a media person when to start working on press For more on how to get press for your book, check out this blog post. 
December 31, 2020
Running a Bookshop During a Pandemic
Listen in on our surprisingly heartwarming conversation with Gibran Graham, owner of The Briar Patch in Bangor, Maine, as he talks about the trials and triumphs of running a bookshop during the pandemic.  Find The Briar Patch on Facebook @BriarPatchBooks Or order from their site.
December 24, 2020
Martin Wilsey on Audiobooks
Indie author Martin Wilsey shares what he's learned from publishing nine sci-fi audiobooks.  Finding the right voice royalty sharing vs. out-of-pocket production his #1 tip for audiobooks Martin Wilsey is a full-time author and creator of the bestselling, SOLSTICE 31 SAGA. His first novel, STILL FALLING, was published March 31st of 2015. Less than three years and over a half a million published words later, he retired from his career as a research scientist for a government-funded think tank. As a full-time science fiction writer, Martin still uses his research and whiteboard skills to keep the books flowing. He likes to put the science back into science fiction. Martin is also the founder and CEO of Tannhäuser Press, a small press and collaborative environment that was explicitly created by writers for writers. Snag his books or learn more at Hear Shadows of the Sentinel on Audible Also mentioned in this podcast: The Kepos Chronicles series by Erica Rue (not audiobooks, still awesome)
December 17, 2020
Book Review: Negative Zero by Ireland Gill
We review this contemporary fantasy novel with engaging characters and a trope-bending storyline. Will it be your next favorite indie book? Negative Zero is book one in the Soldier of Light series by Ireland Gill. Get it here
December 10, 2020
What We Talk About When We Talk About Indie Books
What are indie books anyway?  Emma and Shelley talk about:  what indie books actually are what sets them apart from traditionally published books and why Emma hates the term "self-published"
December 3, 2020
Trailer: Indie Book Talk
Meet your hosts Emma G Rose and Shelley Shearer and find out what Indie Book Talk is all about. 
November 16, 2020