From One Independent Writer to Another:

    I developed The Only Question Podcast after my experience marketing my first novel, Dying Light.   I decided to publish Dying Light through my imprint, Maitri River Publications, because I knew I’d have to build and execute my own marketing strategy even if an agent or publisher signed me.  After developing my brand strategy and marketing tools, I quickly realized that not many independent authors had the experience, time or capital to do what I was doing.  There are plenty of people charging independent writers and authors to tell them how and what to do to market their work DIY.  I still haven’t seen a product or service that affordably provides the independent writer or author a real tool to use.  So, I started The Only Question Podcast.

    Few authors have more than twenty-five years of experience successfully marketing small businesses, so most don’t see the problems in independent publishing the way I see them.  I developed The Only Question Podcast to address all the major issues that prevent independently-marketed writers from finding their audiences.  In short, here is the value I baked into participation in The Only Question Podcast.

    • The Power of a Collective Effort

    The Only Question Podcast pulls the efforts of all of its writers in the same direction, multiplying the marketing effort and exposure.  By multiplying the effort, every participating writer reaches a bigger audience.  To accommodate wide distribution, the content focus of the podcast is on volume and variety.  This factor attracts listeners from all genre, levels the road for mass appeal and cross-pollinates audiences.  Teaming up with other different authors makes all this possible.

    • Convenient Consumption

    The biggest obstacle to finding your audience is reader convenience.  I noticed this when many of my friends bought my book but did not read it.  I realized a simple fact about entertainment consumption: people are busy.  Complicating matters for writers, reading requires focus and time commitment.  So, I looked for a better way to connect to the audience at first.  Podcasts are portable and play on demand, so they fit into the convenient places in the audience’s schedule.  By showcasing our writers’ work on a podcast, they might connect with their audience in the listener’s gym, car, workplace or wherever it is convenient for the listener.  These factors are also why I settled on the 15-minute short story length.  With The Only Question Podcast, writers can reach a larger audience for short period of time to showcase their brand at the audience’s convenience.

    • Brand-Focus

    Most writers try to market their products, which is extremely hard compared to marketing a brand.  The Only Question Podcast focuses on each writer’s brand.  A 2250-word, 15-minute short story is an excellent brand sample for listeners.  Our writers will build a following much faster with mass distribution of this free sample.

    • Abundance

    When you find your audience with the help of our tools, I want you to be successful.  Our writers retain the rights to their work that is written and performed for The Only Question Podcast.  We want you to be successful, so there are no golden handcuffs.  Writers do not pay to publish on The Only Question Podcast.  Writers pay for production and participating in the collective marketing effort.  Our writers are not limited by The Only Question Podcast; they are empowered by it.

    • Unique Approach to Content

    A successful podcast must have compelling content.  The short-stories on the The Only Question Podcast will stand on their own merits, but our local focus on independent writers adds a whole new level of value.  For example, one character prompt in Dallas, Texas might yield twenty-four vastly different styles of short stories.  One three-episode podcast may feature a sci-fi story, a Western story and a literary fiction story all about the same character.  However, the three writers on that episode all will be writing with an inherent, local Dallas flavor.  This effect adds content value in that each story is part of a bigger local cultural influence.  That fascinating angle adds value to each author’s brand.

    • Low Cost/High Value

    Most literary workshops for writers are priced higher than $400.  Most subscription services for writers cost more than $25/month.  I know people who have paid more than $15,000 for editing services for their novels.  These are reasons why the one-time $350 production fee for The Only Question Podcast is a remarkable value.  Our writers receive professional editing, professional audio production and professional marketing by joining their story to a large, attractive podcast production.  The more writers adding their work to The Only Question Podcast, the stronger the marketing effort for all writers involved.

    It’s my goal for The Only Question Podcast to make marketing easier for independent writers and authors.  Just because an author is independent doesn’t mean he or she can’t leverage the power of collective marketing, enhance their brand and build an audience without roadblocks.  Yes, marketing yourself as a writer is a hard, time-consuming and expensive task that takes you away from what you love to do: write.  I made The Only Question Podcast to change all that.

    From one independent writer to another, please send in your story.  Let’s do this together.


    Donald Griswold

    Author, Dying Light

    Independent Writers, We Want To Hear From You!

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