show episodes
 
Stories turn songs into symphonies, events into memories, and lives into legends. In our crowded world, “knowing your story” cuts through the noise so you can make your mark — whether you want to sell more books, increase profits, or just make a difference. At Sterling & Stone, Story is our business. The Story Studio Podcast is where we explore ways we can all tell our stories better.
 
You'll probably want to avoid this podcast. It sucks. It's filled with neurotic tales of thieving bears, decoy wallets, and epic Olive Garden rants. It's irreverent and stupid and terrible, and the hosts should really be ashamed of themselves. You can also find archives of this travesty in the "Better Off Undead" podcast, which was just as bad but also had an even stupider name.
 
Cast out from the magical kingdom of The Realm and into the dying desert of the Sands beyond, Marshal Clint Gulliver and his unicorn Edward have finally found peace in the small and dusty town of Solace. For the first time since leaving The Realm, Clint has dared to be happy, getting hitched to his bride to be, Mai. But when the town faces a deadly approaching enemy, the gunslinger feels compelled unholster his seven-shooters to face it... and the dark magic it brings with it. From the creat ...
 
Life is good at Bingham's Bagel Deli. The loathed customers are dealt the poor treatment they seem to deserve, bad rap music is played loudly, and The Rat is killed often enough to stem his immortality. And the insane homeless regulars -- like drunken Little Johnny Redbeard -- keep life interesting. But when a rival tricks the crew into thinking that the deli's closure is imminent, they do the only logical thing: instead of giving up, they decide to go out in a blaze of glory, handing their ...
 
When overweight treadmill salesman Reginald Baskin finally meets a co-worker who doesn't make fun of him, it's just his own bad luck that tech guy Maurice turns out to be a two thousand-year-old vampire. And when Maurice turns Reginald to save his life, it's just Reginald's own further bad luck that he wakes up to discover he's become the slowest, weakest, most out-of-shape vampire ever born, doomed to "heal" to his corpulent self for all of eternity. As Reginald struggles with the downsides ...
 
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show series
 
It’s a wrap! Season 1: State of the Industry is done. After interviewing some truly stellar guests with their fingers on the pulse of what’s going on in all different areas of self-publishing, the guys, Niamh, and Bonnie sit back to discuss what patterns they’ve seen and what lessons they’ve learned. The gang discusses being mindful both of what th…
 
“There’s never been a better time to be an indie author,” Craig Martell says on this episode of the Story Studio Podcast. Craig Martell runs the 20 Books to 50K facebook group and events with Michael Anderle who we also interviewed in this State of the Industry series. In this interview, Craig shares the behind the scenes of both his own wildly suc…
 
Erin Wright is a contemporary western romance author who also runs the fantastic online/Facebook Group called Wide For The Win. Erin was initially invited onto the podcast in place of having someone on from Apple since it is very difficult (maybe impossible) to get someone from Apple on a podcast to talk about the state of the industry, but her int…
 
When the guys first met Mark Leslie Lefevbre, they got to know him as Mark Kobo, because he was working for Kobo back then. Now Mark works for Draft2Digital, through which he continues to promote wide publishing options, including Kobo, but, through the easy-to-use Draft2Digital dashboard interface, also Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and more. Draft…
 
Andre Chaperon and Shawn Twing are writing and business partners. Together they run a website called Tiny Little Businesses (which you can find at https://tinylittlebusinesses.com). Sean first found Andre through his Autoresponder Madness course. Andre also spoke at the very first S&S event (after at first refusing to). Shawn has been in digital ma…
 
Once upon a time, there was a fiction writer who wanted to send a free copy of his book to his mom. But he didn’t want her to have to read it in a word doc on her desktop. He wanted her to see the book in its finished form, with the cover and copyright and all the rest. And he wanted her to read it on her e-reader, just like any other published boo…
 
It’s no secret that the audiobook segment of the publishing industry has been growing in recent years. In the last 9 months of stay-at-home orders and quarantines, people have been listening to audiobooks more than ever. But a lot of indie authors don’t know how to break into the audiobook market. How do you find the right narrator and get the righ…
 
Sean has known Jane Friedman since before the beginning, way back when Yesterday’s Gone was just the seed of an idea and he approached her to talk about a series of Shel Silverstein-like children’s poem’s that he wanted to write. She invited him to talk to one of her college classes about copywriting, and they have been close friends ever since. Ja…
 
In today’s episode, the guys talk to Dave Chesson, founder of Kindlepreneur.com, a website devoted to teaching advanced book marketing. His tactics and insights help both Fiction and Nonfiction authors get their books discovered by the right readers. Dave and the guys talk about how he went from being a career military member to becoming an author …
 
As powerful people are so fond of saying, “Knowledge is Power” and in the world of ebook publishing, Alex Newton’s K-Lytics is a powerful thing. Knowing the real numbers about the category, genre, and subgenre that you publish in can help to give you a deeper understanding, more realistic expectations, and help to make ebook launches and sales a li…
 
Knowing what to quit doing can be just as important as knowing what to do. Sean and Johnny first encountered Becca Syme through her book, Dear Writer, You need to Quit. Listen in to learn more about how Becca helps authors by leaning into their strengths and quitting the things they don’t need to be doing. Becca Syme holds a master’s degree in tran…
 
In today’s episode, the guys sit down with their old friends Mark Dawson and James Blatch to check in on what they’ve been doing and what they see coming in the near future for the self-publishing industry. Mark and the guys met early on in Mark’s career when he was just starting out. Listen in to hear that story and to find out what Sean said that…
 
State of the Industry with Michael Anderle The Guys first met Michael Anderle right at the start of his journey in Self-Publishing. He had the (dubious) pleasure of riding in a car with them at a very early Smarter Artist Summit and immediately realized that the guys are exactly the same in person as they are on their podcast. Michael is the award-…
 
Joanna Penn is a North Star in the Self-Publishing Industry. She is someone who was already there when the guys first got started, and most people think of them as being there from the very start. She has written, published, and podcasted consistently for over a decade. She has seen fads and trends come and go, and through it all, she has kept her …
 
Welcome to The Story Studio Podcast Season 1: The State of the Industry. Yes, after 131 episodes of The Story Studio Podcast, the show is finally transitioning from Season 0 to Season 1. For the next 15 episodes the guys, along with Niamh and Bonnie, will be interviewing leaders, thinkers, and doers in self-publishing to bring you the most up-to-da…
 
In today’s episode, the guys, along with Bonnie and Niamh, talk about the big changes coming to the Story Studio Podcast in the coming weeks. This episode is the last episode of what we are calling Season 0, and starting next week we will be embarking on Season 1 at last! Season 1 will focus on The State of the Industry. This will include interview…
 
Out of everyone in the story studio, Sean is probably the most versatile author who can dexterously turn his hand from one genre and form to another quickly and with ease. Maybe it’s because he started his writing career as a copywriter who wrote sales copy to spec and got paid per word. He has written, co-written, and ghostwritten sci-fi, horror, …
 
Johnny B Truant writes complex stories. Stories with plots that tend to branch out and get more complex by the chapter and book throughout a series. If you’ve read Invasion, The Beam, Fat Vampire, or The Inevitable, you know just how complex his stories can get. He creates not only fascinating characters living in richly textured worlds but multifa…
 
If you’ve ever read a David Wright story, you’ve experienced narrative tension. But how does Dave do it so well? And how does he crank it up a notch higher when your heart’s already beating out of your chest? One of his secrets: he’s really good at finding ways to make any situation worse. No matter how bad a situation already is, Dave can double-d…
 
Worldbuilding is about building both the hardware and software that supports a story. Culture is the software. How we interact with the hardware, how we view it and use it, and what kind of subcultures grow up around different views and uses, those are the kinds of cultures we want to explore. Today’s Story Studio guest, Vered Ehsani, who was raise…
 
When the critics can’t stop talking about something, and people can’t stop talking about it too, you hit that sweet spot we all look for in terms of finding ways to make our art commercial. Commercialism is particularly important in terms of outreach. When no one knows who you are they don’t have any reason to choose you. You have to give them thos…
 
Ninie Hammon wrote in the newspaper world for 25 years before she started writing novels. When she started writing novels, 12-13 years ago, she never thought about the process. She just started and wrote until she finished. Then she revised and revised and revised. She wrote stand-alone books and did all she knew to sell them. She would give them a…
 
In today’s episode of The Story Studio Podcast, the guys talk with Eileen Rose who is a member of the Sterling and Stone Story Studio. Before Eileen joined the Story Studio, she already had a successful career as a singer-songwriter and live performer. She has toured the world with well-known bands and has had a number of her own songs in the US ch…
 
Different people come up with ideas and brainstorm in different ways. In the Sterling & Stone Story Studio, all of the authors bring stories to the table to brainstorm at different times. Without fail, Joel Quinn is always an asset in any brainstorming session. On today’s episode, we wanted to showcase some of Joel’s full-frontal, no-holds-barred, …
 
On today’s episode, the guys talk about watching the movie Doctor Sleep and the Shining franchise. They have a lot to say about movie adaptations from books, about one book or movie relying on another so that things don’t make sense if you watch one movie without seeing another. And the things that get cut from the director’s cut of a movie. As an …
 
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