Audiobooks and podcasts are brilliant for learning on the go, and there are some great non-fiction ones out there for indie authors and creative writers. With the growth in audiobooks booming, it’s hard to know what to listen to. To help narrow down your choices, ALLi author member Jules Horne takes a look at the best writing how-to audiobooks of the year 2019.
Audiobooks of the Year 2019
I love being able to drive, clean or exercise and buff up my practical skills at the same time. Perfect multi-tasking! And more and more how-tos for writers are appearing in audiobook form, from re-releases of timeless craft classics to up-to-the-minute tech handbooks for digital publishing.
Here’s my round-up of some of the best writing how-to audiobooks for 2019. Whether you’re interested in story, psychology, audio, productivity, marketing or craft, I hope there’s something for everyone in here!
Note: Some of these books are Whispersync compatible, which means the Audible audiobook and Kindle ebook versions can be synched so you don’t lose place when switching platforms. It’s a really useful feature, because how-tos often double as reference books and you may want to revisit particular sections.
Productivity for Authors: Find Time to Write, Organize Your Author Life, and Decide What Really Matters
Joanna Penn is a trailblazer in the indie author community, and well known for her influential podcast and inspiring how-to books for writers. This was written voice-first, which I think will become increasingly usual as people come to understand what’s different about writing for the ear. Joanna’s narration has a lovely calm pace and is warm and encouraging, like her podcast. The book is also bang up-to-date, well researched and packed with productivity and workflow tips and resources. I’ve been writing for years and still picked up loads of practical inspiration. #get-productive
Find her book here.
5 Secrets of Story Structure: How to Write a Novel That Stands Out
As KM Weiland says, story structure is one of the fundamentals you absolutely need to grasp before you “come of age as a writer”. I see a lot of work by aspiring authors in my day job, and few really, really dive in here. Those that do really do stand out. This is a great accessible introduction that like many good writing books, has deeper layers and epiphanies you’ll tap into as you develop. The narrator, Sonja Field, is an American voice coach and actor trained in voice studies at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. As you’d expect, her narration is a joy. #solidcraft
Find her audio book on Audible
Dear Writer, You Need to Quit
Becca Syme is breath of fresh air and I love her approach for its honesty, insights and practicality. She’s an experienced coach specialising in writers and creativity, and this audiobook in her own sassy voice feels like having a very wise, kind friend in the room. Writers often self-tyrannise about what they “should” be doing, and Becca is great at cutting through this with concepts such as Question the Premise, and aligning with your strengths, rather than beating yourself up about weaknesses. And as the title suggests, she offers a wakeup call for writers struggling to find their way. A challenge to go deep and shift your mindset. #mindsetbreakthrough
Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen
Mary Norris is a copyeditor on the New Yorker, and this idiosyncratic travelogue is a love letter to Greece, seen through the lens of a passionate language geek. She darts around the Greek language, mythology and landscape, in a journey loosely woven through her solo travels, giving a hotchpotch of hilarious anecdotes and intriguing factoids that will delight any writer. Although not a how-to, this is a masterclass in radio pictures, self-narrated in her own wry and husky tones. A treat for writers, editors and publishers.
Release Strategies: Plan Your Self-Publishing Schedule for Maximum Benefit
If you’re a slow and perfectionist writer and struggle to let go, the 20Books50K approach will kick your ass and possibly blow your mind. Craig Martelle is a prolific writer and inspiring speaker who I had the privilege of hearing at 20Books50K Edinburgh. A real shot of adrenaline! His non-fiction books are packed with solid, up-to-date information about indie self-publishing, with an emphasis on rapid release and Kindle series. Like many how-to books, this has a lot of numbers, lists and bullet points which don’t always play so well for audio. It would be great to see some of this material as a PDF download with the book, and to hear Craig’s own voice in the narration.
Find his book on Audible
Improv for Writers
10 Secrets to Help Novelists and Screenwriters Bypass Writer’s Block and Generate Infinite Ideas
This is a gorgeous and generous book – a treasure trove of writing improv games and ideas that transcend the idea of block and will keep you going for a lifetime of writing. The audiobook is lively, upbeat and inspiring, in the spirit of improv’s one rule of “yes to everything”. It’s very meaty and perhaps best listened to in chunks – it’ll make you want to pick up the pen, for sure. Jorjeana, an improv actor, writer, voiceover artist and teacher, narrates her own book with infectious energy. A useful downloadable resource comes free with the book, too.
Writing for Audiobooks: Audio-First for Flow and Impact
Author Advice from Radio Writing
Recommending my own book here at ALLi’s request! If you’re interested in getting your book ready for audio narration, you’ll need audio-first writing skills. Writing for the ear (also known as ‘voice-first’ writing) is different. Some book types and writing styles really work well for audio. Others need tough editing to give them full punch and impact on air. This book will help you to think like a radio writer and learn ear-friendly editing, so you can make the very best of this exciting platform. A must if you’re investing in audiobook narration.
Find my book on AudibleBest writing how-to audiobooks of 2019 @juleshorne #selfpublishing #IARTG #ASMRG #amwriting #writingcommunity #writetip Click To Tweet
OVER TO YOU
What are the best writing, business and marketing how-to audio books you’ve listened to this year?