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Hi, I’m Carrie Rollwagen, and I published the book The Localist in 2015. Since then, lots of aspiring authors have asked me if they, too, should jump into the world of self-publishing. The truth is, self-publishing is difficult, and it has a lot of haters (the traditional publishing industry, for one). But it can also be incredible and fulfilling.

So I wanted to talk about all of it — the good, the bad and the ugly of creating and producing your own work. My podcast, Everybody Hates Self-Publishing, launched in May 2017 — find  weekly episodes that on iTunes, Stitcher, wherever you listen to podcasts — or find each episodes and show notes below.

You’ll find my Kickstarter Basics course mentioned in the podcast ad right here. Thanks for listening!

Episode Twenty-Eight, The Last Chapter: Season One Is Over!
In this episode, I wrap up season one of Everybody Hates Self-Publishing. I talk about Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol was self-published), WordCamp US, my new job with the American Booksellers Association and my upcoming new podcast, Words with Carrie. View Show Notes
Episode Twenty-Seven, Meet the Bookseller: Author Events and the Art of the Successful Book Signing with Annie B. Jones of The Bookshelf
In this episode, I talk to Annie B. Jones, owner of The Bookshelf bookstore in Thomasville, Georgia about how to host an innovative book signing and how to pitch a book signing for your self-published book to a bookstore successfully. View Show Notes
Episode Twenty-Six, Meet the Small Press: Talking Writing, Publishing and Crowdfunding with Betsy Teter of Hub City Writers Project
In this episode, I talk to Betsy Teter of Spartanburg, South Carolina’s Hub City Writers Project about small press publishing versus self-publishing, crowdfunding projects, book signings, book selling and more. View Show Notes
Episode Twenty-Five, Shop Small Saturday: #shopsmall, #optoutside and Get in Good with Independent Shopkeepers
In this episode, I explain what Shop Small Saturday is and how it can help you establish relationships with bookstores that can help you get your book onto shelves. I also talk about the Shop Small Saturday release of my self-published book, The Localist, and give tips about hosting your own book signing. View Show Notes
Episode Twenty-Four, Meet the Printer: Leslie Johnson on Color Correction, Book Binding and Converting Digital Files for Your Printer
In this episode, I talk to former Print Production Manager Leslie Johnson about getting your self-published book printed and understanding print terminology to get a better idea of how to manage the printing of your book. View Show Notes
Episode Twenty-Three: Meet the Bookseller: Little Professor’s Sara Glassman Chats about Nanowrimo, Moving a Bookstore, and Self-Publishing Mistakes
In this episode, I talk to Little Professor bookseller and Nanowrimo winner Sara Glassman about how writing a draft for this year’s National Novel Writing Month could be a great first step to writing your book. We also talk about Little Professor’s recent move to a new building, decorating a bookstore for the holidays, and mistakes self-published authors often make when trying to get independent bookstores to carry our books. View Show Notes
Episode Twenty-Two, Get a Book Signing: Localist Author Carrie Rollwagen Shares How to Schedule a Book Signing at an Independent Bookstore
In this episode, I talk about my own book tour which stretched from New Orleans to New York. I share how I booked the signings, what I packed to take to signings, what discount I offered on my books, and which mistakes most self-published authors make that keep them from being able to schedule in-store signings. View Show Notes
Episode Twenty-Two: Meet the Beauty Expert: Rock Star Style, Korean Skin Care and Travel Beauty Tips with Katie Kelly
In this episode, I talk to Katie Kelly about how to look great while traveling on a book tour, how to keep your skin looking its best and how to create a consistent look that will photograph well on your tour. View Show Notes
Episode Twenty-One, Meet the Stylists: Define Your Brand, Find Your Personal Style and Take Better Headshots with Irrelephant’s Molly Stilley and Joanna Ballentine
In this episode, I talk to the stylists behind Irrelephant blog — Joanna Ballentine and Molly Stilley — about how to prep for headshots, how to find a stylist, and which makeup and hair products are their favorites. View Show Notes
Episode Twenty, The Trouble with Amazon: What Self-Published Authors Need to Know about CreateSpace and Amazon
In this episode, I talk about why most independent booksellers dislike Amazon and why partnering with Amazon by publishing through CreateSpace isn’t the best idea for self publishers who hope to be found on bookstore shelves someday. I also read an excerpt from my book, The Localist. View Show Notes
Episode Nineteen, Meet the Bookseller: Book Signings, Book Covers and Awkward Self-Publishing Moments with Michelle Phillips
In this episode, I talk with former bookseller Michelle Phillips of Church Street Coffee & Books about how self-published authors often botch their bookstore pitches. We also talk about how to make the best of your book signing and tone down the awkwardness of a signing or meeting. View Show Notes
Episode Eighteen, Writing Your Author Website: Digital Copywriting, Book Sales and Affiliate Links
In this episode, I share my experience as a website copywriter with tips for how to create an author website, including which pages your website should include, where to link your books for sales, and how to process payments. View Show Notes
Episode Seventeen, Meet the Instagrammer: Talking Book Marketing, Selfies and Hashtag Strategy with Photographer Kelly Cummings
In this episode, I interview photographer Kelly Cummings about how to design a social media campaign for your self-published book and book tour. We discuss how to use hashtags, how to deal with Instagram changes and how to spin a lackluster book signing into social media gold. View Show Notes
Episode Sixteen, Meet the Web Developer: Talking Author Websites with Jonathan Walls
In this episode, I interview Jonathan Walls, the web designer and developer who built the website for The Localist. We talk about whether you should hire a web developer to design your author website or use a template, when to install Google Analytics, the pros and cons of WordPres and Squarespace, and which pages and functionality your book’s website will need. View Show Notes
Episode Fifteen, How to Know Everybody: Networking, Small Talk and Elevator Pitches for the Self-Published Author
In this episode, I talk about how to network to promote your self-published book, including tips for a short and sweet elevator pitch, ideas for how to drive people to your website, and how to meet people who’ll care about your book. View Show Notes
Episode Fourteen, Meet the Librarian: Talking Library Etiquette, Shelving Mishaps and the Dewey Decimal System with Mollie Hawkins
In this episode, I interview Mollie Hawkins, freelance writer and former librarian. We talk about why it’s difficult to get your self-published book onto library shelves and the best ways to butter up library staff and librarians in hopes of getting your book into a library catalog. View Show Notes
Episode Thirteen (and a Half), Bonus Episode with Book Buyer Elisa Munoz: Talking Book Signings, Local Bookselling and Farmers Markets
In this bonus episode, book buyer Elisa Munoz and I continue our conversation. In this episode, we talk more about The Localist book tour, discussing how to get book signings in brick and mortar bookstores, how to approach book industry people for favors, and what to expect from a book signing. View Show Notes
Episode Thirteen, Meet the Book Buyer: Talking Big Box Bookstores and Genre Fiction with Elisa Munoz
In this episode, I interview Elisa Munoz, former book buyer at a big box bookstore. We talk about why it’s almost impossible for self-published authors to get their books into big box stores, how to approach a book buyer, and which genres perform best in corporate bookstores. View Show Notes
Episode Twelve, The Art of the Selfie: Social Media, Spotlights and Self Promotion
In this episode, I give tips for taking better selfies, including: how to find better lighting, how to get better at turning the camera on yourself, and how to deal with feeling bad about self-promotion — because self-published authors and published authors alike need to know how to self-promote on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. View Show Notes
Episode Eleven, Meet the Photographer: Talking Headshots, Press Photos and Photo Credits with Cary Norton
In this episode, I interview Cary Norton, the Birmingham area photographer who took my press photos for The Localist book. We talk about how to hire a photographer, how to properly credit a photographer, what photo styling will make the best author photos, and we discuss Cary Norton’s tin type photo project, Gus Dugger. View Show Notes
Episode Ten, Meet the Journalist: Talking Media Kits and Press Releases with Sarah Cook
In this episode, I interview Sarah Cook, freelance journalist for publications like Birmingham Magazine and Social Media Manager for Iron Tribe Fitness. We talk about best practices for press releases, what to include in your press kit, and what to say (and what not to say) when emailing a journalist about your self-published book. View Show Notes
Episode Nine, How to Be a Writer: Getting Motivated to Get It Written with Carrie Rollwagen
In this episode, I talk about my writing process, including writing rituals, the magic of deadlines, the importance of grammar and most important writing tool of all — hard work. View Show Notes
Episode Eight (and a Half?), Bonus Episode with Writer and Editor Josh Miller: ebooks, Erotic Fiction and the Economics of Self-Publishing
In this bonus episode, I continue my conversation with writer and editor Josh Miller (from Taste of the South and Southern Cast Iron magazines). In this bonus episode, Josh turns the tables on me and asks questions about self-publishing — including whether or not I made money with my book, The Localist. We also talk about Twilight, erotic ebooks and Fifty Shades of Grey. View Show Notes
Episode Eight, Meet the (Other) Writer: Talking Fiction, Fantasy and Writing Inspiration with Josh Miller
In this episode, I interview Josh Miller, a writer and editor at two magazines: Taste of the South and Southern Cast Iron by Hoffman Media. We talk about how to get and keep inspiration, the mechanics of writing, whether grammar matters and who taught who to use a semicolon. View Show Notes
Episode Seven, Meet the Copyeditor: Grammar, Constructive Criticism and Family Drama with Susan Rollwagen
In this episode, I interview Susan Rollwagen, my mom and copyeditor of The Localist book. We talk about the difference between a content editor and a copyeditor, how to give a take edits and criticism, and which parts of The Localist Mom took issue with. View Show Notes
Episode Six, Raise Money for Your Book: Budgets, Crowdfunding and Side Hustles
In this episode, I talk about what budget you should plan for your self-published book and how to make the money, including how to start a side hustle and how to work your crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter to self-publish your own book. View Show Notes
Episode Five, Meet the eBook Coder: Talking Upload Errors and eReaders with Jonathan Walls
In this episode, I interview Jonathan Walls, the web designer and developer who coded the ebook of The Localist. We talk about differences between print and epub, why to submit to different ereaders, and what errors to look out for in your self-published ebook. View Show Notes
Episode Four, Meet the Designer: Book Design, Cover Art and Book Blurbs with Andrew Thomson
In this episode, I interview Andrew Thomson, product designer, graphic designer and designer of The Localist book. We talk about the limitations of self-publishing and small print runs and how to utilize a self-publishing printer like Ingram Spark. View Show Notes
Episode Three, How to Ask for Help: Working with Freelancers and Asking for Favors
In this episode, I share my top 10 tips for asking for favors when self-publishing your book. Whether you're paying professional freelancers or asking for help from family and friends, it's important to be courteous and professional — I'll show you how to do that. View Show Notes
Episode Two, Meet the Editor: Grammar, Notes and Constructive Criticism with Bobby Watson
In this second podcast I interview my editor, Bobby Watson, about the book editing process. View Show Notes
Episode One, Find Your First Reader: Deadlines, Feedback and Sibling Non-Rivalry with Courtenay Rollwagen
In our first full-length podcast, I interview my first reader (and sister) Courtenay Rollwagen about deadlines and raw feedback on first drafts. View Show Notes
Episode Zero, Why I Hate Self-Publishing: Hi, I’m Carrie Rollwagen
April 22, 2017
Welcome to Everybody Hates Self-Publishing, the podcast that explores the good, the bad and the ugly of creating and producing your own work. In this introduction to the podcast, I'll explain why I'm producing this podcast and what I hope to cover in this season. I hope you love it! View Show Notes