The Kobo Writing Life Podcast is ten years old this June!
The Kobo Writing Life Podcast brings you insights and inspiration for growing your self-publishing business. We feature interviews with bestselling authors and industry experts, who share practical advice you can use to improve your writing and sell more books. Hosted by the Kobo Writing Life team, you’ll also get the latest news and updates about Kobo and the KWL platform!
For ten years, the Kobo Writing Life Podcast has been providing authors with tips, tricks, words of advice, updates, and info on hundreds of new releases, alongside, of course, fantastic, inspiring, and downright funny author interviews. With over 300 episodes, hundreds of guests, and a host of amazing hosts over the last ten years, we wanted to celebrate by sharing our top picks from the past decade!
These episodes (one from each of the past ten years) highlight some of the best the Kobo Writing Life Podcast has to offer. Be sure to check out our complete podcast archive here.
Our Top 10 Kobo Writing Life Podcast Episodes
2013 – #1 – Storytelling with Steve Vernon
The episode that started it all! For the very first episode of the Kobo Writing Life Podcast, we spoke with Steve Vernon, a writer and storyteller of both written and spoken words. Former Kobo Writing Life director Mark Lefebvre chats with Steve about writing a serialized story, elements of humour in a thriller and horror stories, embracing both traditional publishing and self-publishing as a hybrid author and the importance of being able to adapt and continue to learn as a writer. A strong start to ten years of podcasting!
2014 – #16 – How Joanna Penn Became an Indie Author Powerhouse
We’ve featured Joanna Penn on our show many times… but her first appearance was on this episode from 2014! KWL alums Mark Lefebvre and Christine Munroe were joined by NYT bestselling author, professional speaker, and entrepreneur Joanna Penn. Joanna is an invaluable resource for indie authors through her blog, The Creative Penn, and podcast of the same name. Be sure to check out this OG episode (as well as Joanna’s own podcast).
2015 – #39 – Creating a Visual, Bestselling Brand with Bella Andre
In this episode, we had the opportunity to speak with Bella Andre, a self-publishing superstar, one of the original Kobo Writing Life beta testers when we first started off way back in 2012, NYT and USA Today best-selling author, and all-around amazing guest! Former KWL director Christine Munroe hosted this episode and chatted with Bella about her publishing journey, including her secrets for success, how she creates her brand, her foray into collaborating with other authors.
2016 – #73 – Writing an Oprah Book Club Pick with Colson Whitehead
This episode featured best-selling and award-winning author Colson Whitehead, who spoke with us about his latest release (at the time), The Underground Railroad, which was an Oprah’s Book Club pick. Colson spoke to us about his research process, writing a historical-not-historical novel, how this novel examines racism and social structures in the USA, the music he listened to while writing, and offered us many more insights into his work. This episode was also co-hosted by former Kobo merchandising coordinator Nora Parker and former KWL director Mark Lefebvre!
2017 – #98 – A Mindset Shift to Write Every Day with Rachel Amphlett
This great episode featuring best-selling crime and thriller author Rachel Amphlett was recorded LIVE at the Kobo office space in Toronto! We chatted all things Kobo with Rachel, as well as her writing process, how she shifted her mindset around writing, how feedback from her readers have influenced her, and much, much more.
2018 – #121 – Celebrating 20 Years in Publishing with Shayla Black
Indie publishing powerhouse Shayla Black joined us for this great episode. Shayla chatted to us about celebrating 20 years in publishing, how she got her start in indie publishing, and how she manages to balance the business side of writing. Shayla also talked about staying authentic online and why being true to yourself is the most important aspect of social media – still very relevant today!
2019 – #153 – The Michael Tamblyn Interview: Why Our CEO Loves Indie Authors
Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn is a long-time supporter of indie authors, and this interview from 2019 really highlights his passion for the indie industry. Listen in as MT discusses the origin story of Kobo and Kobo Writing Life and his own unique career path that led him to where he is today and talks about how indie authors have been excellent at exploiting opportunities as the eBook market shifts.
2020 – #199 – Selling Audiobooks to the Kobo Customer with Elyse Daniels
Elyse, Content Sales Manager on the Global Audiobooks team here at Kobo, offers some great advice for selling audiobooks to Kobo readers (and listeners, of course) in this episode. As the interest in audiobooks continues to rise, and distribution opportunities for audiobook titles keep developing, be sure to listen in to this one to garner some insight into how Kobo gets your audiobooks out there.
2021 – #258 – Writing New Genres with Nalini Singh
Nalini Singh is an absolute pro when it comes to writing in multiple genres. This episode offers amazing insight into her move into writing thrillers, her publishing journey, and why she decided to give indie publishing a try and become a hybrid author. She also tells us what it was like to be included on Oprah’s list of Best Romances to Read in this Lifetime!
2022 – #297 – The Business of Writing Romance with Nana Malone
Nana Malone offers some amazing insights into the business side of writing romance, alongside how she writes using dictation, how she choreographs her fight scenes, how she worked with Kobo Originals, and more. We’ve featured Nana Malone twice now – be sure to check out her other episode from 2019!
2023 – #314 – How to Write Historical Romance with Grace Callaway
Sure, 2023 is only halfway through, and there are more great episodes to come, but our favourite so far is this interview with best-selling historical romance author Grace Callaway. We were so excited to speak to Grace about Glory and the Master of Shadows (and its gorgeous cover), her other books, her journey to writing, advice on research for historical romances, and more!
Which episode of the KWL podcast is your favourite? We’re looking forward to bringing you even more great episode throughout the second half of 2023, as well as who (and what) we will feature in 2024 and beyond!
Think you might be a good fit for the KWL podcast? Are you a self-published or hybrid author that has a lot to offer other writers in terms of insights and inspiration? Looking to chat about an exciting new release or your extensive backlist? Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com and pitch your podcast episode!