The Write Lines | Podcasts with Sue Cook

I first mentioned Sue Cook’s excellent The Write Lines on TIPM almost three years ago. Back then the programme was a BBC Radio Oxford production aimed at writers and publishing and ran for two years before sadly disappearing from the BBC schedules. However, Cook, a veteran television and radio broadcaster and author of two mainstream novels, kept The Write Lines brand going with a number of podcasts in 2011 highlighting National Short Story Week UK and also conducting several author interviews arising from her activities at literary festivals in the UK.

This year Sue Cook has returned to the original format of The Write Lines, often featuring three guests per programme and lots of discussion, but with a greater degree of attention on aspiring writers and self-publishing. The Write Lines also has a website with resources and all episodes can be listened to directly or via iTunes. Even the original BBC Radio episodes from 2009/10 are available there. The Write Lines is unfortunately only planning a short run this year with three of this season’s episodes complete.

1. ebook publishing and getting a traditional book deal

Sue Cook talks to three writers who have all enjoyed success by self-publishing ebooks. Mark Edwards (Catch your Death, Killing Cupid), Roz Morris (My Memories of a Future Life) and Mel Sherratt (Taunting the Dead, Somewhere to Hide) share their experiences of going it alone and, in Mark’s case, of securing a traditional book deal.
Topics covered include getting to the top of the Amazon Kindle charts, building a buzz about your book, formatting a book for Kindle, cover design, the benefits of agents and editors, digital vs print publishing and pricing strategies.

2. How to build a career as a writer

Sue Cook is joined by Julie Cohen (novelist, tutor), Sue Moorcroft (novelist, short story writer, tutor) and Nicola Morgan (fiction for children/YA and non-fiction for adults, tutor) to talk about how to build a career and profile as a writer.
Topics covered include ways to get into writing, making money from writing, recycling your writing, using Twitter for research, holding a book launch, getting book reviews and author networking.

3. How to market your book

Sue Cook talks to Dr Alison Baverstock (author, publishing expert and university tutor), Catherine Ryan Howard (successful self-published author) and Jane Wenham-Jones (fiction and non-fiction writer, journalist and speaker).
The guests share their experiences, with advice about writing marketing copy, identifying a market for your book, building a readership, avoiding the hard sell, how publishers promote books, cheap and free books and using social media.
The Write Lines is well worth checking out and it is a shame there isn’t more programmes of this nature available. If anything, the few programmes over recent years on television and radio have stuck rigidly to mainstream authors, disappeared completely (The Book Channel); become pap-filled entertainment; drive home political agendas; or for the most part are outright celebrity book endorsements (Book.tvThe Book Show and The TV Book Club) and any programme of real substance seems consigned to a pod or blogcast on the Internet (Radio Litopia and BlogTalkRadio). There is certainly an audience and opportunity for any daring TV/radio producer.
You can follow The Write Lines here on Facebook and Twitter.  
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