The Self Publishing Podcast - Writing, Indie Publishing, and Marketing Advice for Writers

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Want to publish and sell more books? Want to get your writing into the world without contending with agents, publishers, or the other gatekeepers in traditional publishing? There's never been a better time to make money as a writer -- to take your books directly to readers and be in charge of your own business rather than jumping through hoops to please the Powers that Be.Full time authors Johnny B. Truant, David Wright, and Sean Platt (owners of the 2M+ words-per-year indie publishing company Sterling& Stone) explore everything related to getting your writing published ... and making money doing it ... in today's new DIY digital publishing frontier. This isn't artsy talk -- it's "authorpreneurial" business strategy that turns self-publishing from sideline into a rewarding career.

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Want to publish and sell more books? Want to get your writing into the world without contending with agents, publishers, or the other gatekeepers in traditional publishing? There's never been a better time to make money as a writer -- to take your books directly to readers and be in charge of your own business rather than jumping through hoops to please the Powers that Be.Full time authors Johnny B. Truant, David Wright, and Sean Platt (owners of the 2M+ words-per-year indie publishing company Sterling& Stone) explore everything related to getting your writing published ... and making money doing it ... in today's new DIY digital publishing frontier. This isn't artsy talk -- it's "authorpreneurial" business strategy that turns self-publishing from sideline into a rewarding career.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-09-05 13:51
last episode published
2019-09-04 09:00
publication frequency
7.07 days
Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and David Wright owner   author  
Number of Episodes
Detail page
Business Education Games & Hobbies Management & Marketing Training Hobbies Literature Arts



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

SSP079 Celebrating Your Accomplishments

In indie publishing, there’s a tendency to rapid churn. Once one book is out to the races, the next one immediately begins. This is a pace that Sterling and Stone isn’t immune to. And though a prolific output of fiction is a primary goal of our studio,...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP078 Planning and Thinking Ahead

Scheduling can be a logistical nightmare, especially when planning for a creative endeavor. And it’s no different in our story studio. For years, we’ve struggled with creating a schedule that was forward-looking enough that we could say with any certai...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP077 The Stone Tablets and a Return to Non-Fiction

We owe a lot of our growth to our community (that’s you!), and we’re eternally grateful for your support and enthusiasm. In return, we spent several years building The Smarter Artist brand, hoping that giving back as much as possible would strengthen t...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP076 Join The Story with Austin from StoryShop

*TRIGGER WARNING: This episode refers to recent mass shootings. If you’re still in mourning, you may want to skip this one.* There’s a lot of pain and division in the world right now. After a tragic mass shooting, Austin from the StoryShop team realize...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP075 Story Inspiration

“Where do you get your ideas?” It’s a question that every author gets asked at least once in their career. And the true answer is never satisfying to the untrained eye: “Ideas are all around you.” In today’s podcast, we talk about what inspires us to t...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP074 Story Research

Almost literally, Sterling and Stone is a house built on research… or the lack thereof. In part, our collaboration started because of a research roadblock, a dare, and putting a Unicorn in a Western novel. And though we proudly retell that story when i...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP073 Vacations for Creatives

Vacations are an opportunity to rest and refresh. But when you’re a storyteller with certain habits, a vacation can throw off your entire groove. In today’s episode, we talk about each of us use our vacation time and why it’s important for creative min...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP072 The Story Solution

We just released The Story Solution. It’s our first new non-fiction book in a long time and marks a new generation of non-fiction under the Stone Table imprint. In The Story Solution, we address your meaning and purpose in life and how you can use stor...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP071 Reboots

Like them or not, reboots happen. Whether it’s an excellent remake of a Stephen King story or an excuse to cast Will Smith as a friendly genie, Hollywood loves re-imagining stories we’ve seen before. But why remake something old? And is this a bad thin...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP070 Listening to Your Instincts with Vered Ehsani

Vered Ehsani radiates passion and energy. From the time we met her, we knew she was special. She traveled from Nairobi, Kenya to our events multiple times to learn how to get better, and each time she returned, she’d accomplished her objectives and was...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP069 2019 Q2 Story Studio Check-in

It’s been six months since our last big check in with the state of affairs at our Story Studio. Since last October, we’ve hit publish again and again, ramping up the next big phase in the Sterling and Stone history. It’s safe to say that we’ve official...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP068 Doing the Work with Jamie Davis

One of our favorite and hardest working author friends is Jamie Davis. Throughout the time we’ve known him, he’s always held true to the work ethic of the 21st century storyteller: write, publish, repeat. And though it took time to make the career a fu...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP067 Rebuilding StoryShop pt. 2 with David Brown

In SSP057, we talked about rebuilding StoryShop and why it became a necessary step in order for it to become the app we envision. StoryShop is continuing to iterate forward with bi-weekly updates now that we have the core of the rebuild available in be...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP066 Elements of a Successful Sitcom

When we first began writing adaptations for our novels, we had to learn a whole new set of rules that govern the visual medium. Since then, we’ve also transitioned into creating stories for film and TV out the gate, and that has required building new m...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP065 How We’ve Evolved as Writers This Year

Last year, we had a problem. Well, we had multiple problems. Johnny was suffering from burnout. Sean wasn’t drafting as much as he wanted. And Dave had just emerged from his year of setbacks. The publishing market was barreling ahead of us and we were ...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP064 Meaningful Connections with Chris Plough

When we met Chris Plough, we knew we had to get him on the show to talk with us, and now that the show is live again, we thought it was the perfect time to bring him on. Chris has done so many awesome things, and his story is inspirational. In today’s ...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP063 Writing As Therapy

We tell stories as our full-time job, and while we have a responsibility to the company and our family to produce words that sell, there are reasons for us to step away from writing for our readers to make room for writing that is just meant for our pe...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP062 The Stone Table: Phase 2 with Neeve Silver

“We change the world with story” is a phrase we’ve used over and over, and while we believed that this was our trajectory as a company, we’ve struggled to actualize that vision. We even pulled back on our efforts with The Smarter Artist so we could tel...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP061 The Stone Table: Reimagined with Neeve Silver

Closing down the Smarter Artist part of Sterling and Stone was bittersweet for us. We have a desire to teach, but the transactional nature of the Smarter Artist brand leeched life from the fiction side of the company. We’re passionate about uplifting t...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP060 Sean Goes to Prison

The creative mind is mysterious. As storytellers, we build entire worlds and shape unforgettable characters. But when asked where we get our ideas, it’s often difficult to pin down one exact influence. But one thing is certain: the inspiration for our ...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP059 Mystery Box Storytelling

During one of our recent company meetings, Sean asked the team “how many people know what Mystery Box Storytelling is?” To our surprise, not every hand went up. If several people we work with don’t know what it is, then maybe you don’t either. Mystery ...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP058 Teaching an Old Dave New Tricks

As we prepare our novels for new storytelling mediums, it has forced us to revisit stories that are years old. And if you’ve ever gone back to read your older books, you know what this experience is like: a cringe-fest. What’s interesting is that when ...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP057 Rebuilding StoryShop

A few years ago, we had the vision to build a tool that would become the ultimate collaborative storytelling workspace. We created a kickstarter that got fully funded, partnered with a fantastic engineer, and built what we now refer to as StoryShop 1.0...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP056 SAS 2019 Recap

The Smarter Artist Summit has been our “new year” for a long time now. It has been an opportunity for us to connect with creators in our community and learn from each other. It has also been the primary way that we’ve grown our family for the past few ...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP055 Turning Pro (SAS2019 Live Podcast)

At our final Smarter Artist Summit, we focused on the idea of “turning pro,” and how authors today can build a sustainable career. We share how Dave has evolved since the last summit, and Jami Albright shares her success story with us. The post SSP055 ...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP054 Habit Hacking

The most important part of achieving a goal is not at all sexy. It’s the process—the system you follow day in and day out that results in success. The best way to ensure that you stick to your system is by hacking your lifestyle and building habits aro...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP053 The Art of the Pitch

A year ago, we met Derek Frederickson & Fat Vampire got optioned. Since then, we’ve visited LA three times now and have made some serious steps into film & TV. While we still can’t fully disclose all the specifics of the progress we’ve made, we...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP052 The Forgotten Gems

There are more movies and TV shows then there have ever been, and it's so easy to miss great content. Sometimes it’s because the timing was poor, or the world wasn’t ready for that particular story. Today, we wanted to give you a few suggestions that w...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP051 Opening the Door to the Story Studio

Today’s intro-absent podcast is the beginning of a brand new look for the show. For too long, we’ve been struggling to fit into a business suit that’s too small and not at all our style. In order to complete our journey of becoming a 100%-Story-First c...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP050 Know Your Genre (Part 2)

The genre you write in matters. A lot. It can be the difference between years of frustration and artistic fulfillment. To save you from the anguish of writing the wrong books, we’ve built a system to evaluate if you’re spending your efforts in the righ...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP049 Know Your Genre (Part 1)

We’ve talked before about Genre Therapy and how we use it to help our writers identify the best genre of fiction to write. But we realized that we could do a bit better and help you guys out by sharing what questions authors must come to terms with in ...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP048 What We’re Excited for in 2019

For a long time, we’ve said that 2018 was “our year.” But now that 2018 has come and gone, it was simultaneously our year and not our year. Instead, 2018 became the setup for our “story-first” future, leading to us all producing something in the same s...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP047 Analyzing Bird Box (SPOILERS!)

Bird Box is Netflix's most successful (by measure of viewership) film to date, and it started as a novel. The success Josh Malerman experienced with his debut novel can happen to anyone, especially as we’re experiencing market upheavals in film and tel...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP046 On Mastery and 10000 Hours

The “10,000 hour rule” has become a staple of the practicing artist. When applied with intention, the consistent daily effort of putting in your hours can produce results that appear to be magical to your audience. In today’s episode, we talk about how...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP045 Performance Under Pressure

For the first time, everyone in the whole company is working in the same story world, and because we need to produce on a schedule with high-pressure deadlines, the kitchen is getting hot. Today, we have a discussion about how each of us performs under...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP044 Making a Bad Premise Awesome

“If you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a brilliant team, they will either fix it or throw it away and come up with something better.” ― Ed Catmull Some stories shouldn’t work based on their de...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP043 Analyzing The Haunting of Hill House (SPOILERS!)

SPOILER ALERT! In this episode, we spoil the fuck out of the Netflix adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House ( and discuss why it resonated so much for us as artists and fans of good storytelling. So before you l...
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SSP042 Adapting a Story for Film and TV pt. 2

Several episodes ago, we talked about film and TV adaptation and how we're approaching the process as we work to move into new formats of storytelling. Today, we continue the conversation by looking at adaptations you may be familiar with and discussin...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP041 Characters: What Doesn’t Work

If you read enough books or watch enough films, you’ll eventually find a character or cast of characters that “doesn’t work.” When characters fail to meet their true potential, the story can flop faster than you can say “cardboard cut-out.” Today, we d...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP040 How Our Childhoods Informed Our Storytelling

Being aware of who you are is important if you want optimal results in your life and storytelling. Hardship has shaped our worldview and the kinds of stories we yearn to tell. In today’s episode, we discuss how we—like our characters—carry the baggage ...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP039 Creative Expression

We recently held a small genre therapy event where we talked to authors that were motivated by a wide range of forces. During our meet-up, we asked: “how many of you feel like you can’t not write?” This is a question that authors can easily take for gr...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP038 2018 Q4 Story Studio Check-in

We’ve all taken on new adventures and challenges in our writing, and we’ve learned a lot over the past year. Committing to the vision of the Story Studio has meant channeling our energy into producing fiction in ways that are unprecedented for Sterling...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP037 The Real-Life Stories That Inform Our Fiction pt. 2

The seeds of stories are all around us. It’s our job as storytellers to acknowledge and nurture these seeds so that our novels and screenplays have life—a three-dimensionality that binds our audience to our characters. This is episode 2 of 2 of our dis...
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SSP036 The Real-Life Stories That Inform Our Fiction pt. 1

The Story Studio Podcast is phoning it in for a couple episodes. But really, we’re expanding the scope of the show. The seeds of stories are all around us. It’s our job as storytellers to acknowledge and nurture these seeds so that our novels and scree...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP035 Newsletter Ninjitsu with Tammi Labrecque

No one knows author newsletters like Tammi Labrecque. She literally wrote the book on it. Lucky for us, she agreed to talk to us about what authors get wrong about their mailing lists and how you can use your list as your ultimate secret weapon. We Tal...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP034 Persuasion with Dave Lakhani

Dave Lakhani is a persuasion ninja. Driven by his need to understand why people believe what they believe, he’s built businesses using story to sell his ideas. Dave will be speaking at the 2019’s Smarter Artist Summit, but we wanted to give you a small...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP033 Storytelling in Video Games

Over the past forty years, the video game industry has grown in ways most of us couldn’t predict. Video games have shifted from the idled-away time of children to one of the largest entertainment industries in the world, appealing to all ages. In today...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP032 Great Villains

A hero is only as great as the villains that oppose them. A great villain frames your hero, bringing life to your conflicts and depth to your themes. Stories like The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Die Hard all have something to teach us about how to ...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP031 Relearning Mindset and Craft Lessons

We want to take a moment to talk about our writer’s journey. It’s been a long seven years with many trials and individual trajectories. That said, this isn’t a review of our entire history. Instead, we want to talk about more recent lessons we’ve learn...
Sterling & Stone author

SSP030 Bending the Rules of Story Structure

Now that we’re pulling back on author events with the Smarter Artist, we’re able to use our time on what we refer to as a “No ROI event.” These are private events with small groups. The purpose is to learn something together rather than teaching. Our l...
Sterling & Stone author