If you haven’t listened to a podcast yet, you’re probably in the minority and if, like us, you’re addicted to them, you’re part of a growing trend. According to a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, we’re in the midst of an audio renaissance, with easy access to audio books and podcasts on our smartphones, and we downloaded more than one billion podcasts in the past year.
At Better Reading, in response to the popularity of our live interviews with authors on Facebook, we began producing podcasts as a way to bring more in-depth conversations with authors to our audience.
Since then we’ve produced more than fifty podcasts with a dazzling array of talent. We’ve been featured on iTunes ‘New and Noteworthy’, we’ve been an iTunes ‘Featured Hits’, and our podcasts regularly appear in the iTunes Top 100 and the Top 10 most downloaded podcasts in the Arts category.
While our podcasts always feature a personality who has written a book, among our selected authors are non-fiction writers too. This is why so many of our conversations feature some of the pressing issues of our day from prominent Australian commentators.
For example, one of our most popular podcasts is a conversation with young social commentator Jamila Rizvi in which she discusses women’s treatment in the workplace and her new book, Not Just Lucky.
Another much downloaded podcast is with writer and activist Anne Tonner who discusses the book that documents her daughters’ anorexia and its devastating effects on her family, Cold Vein.
Saudi Arabian activist Manal al-Sharif visited us recently to talk about finding her political voice, and her new book, Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening.
One of our favourites so far this year is with Ailsa Piper in which she discusses writing, grief, personal faith and the book she has written with Catholic priest Tony Doherty, The Attachment.
Earlier this year at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, Better Reading director Cheryl Akle interviewed local and international authors, including US Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead, who was long-listed for the Booker Prize for The Underground Railroad. She spoke with the highly-revered American short story writer George Saunders who was not only long-listed, but has since made the shortlist for this year’s Booker for his debut long fiction, Lincoln in the Bardo.
Other highlights include Colombiano author Rusty Young; an interview Australian author and comedian John Safran for his latest book, Depends What You Mean by Extremist; Jenny Valentish on women and addiction, documented in her new book, Woman of Substances; and, poignantly, a much-downloaded, conversation with the late cookbook author Valli Little.
For those interested in writing or for budding authors, many of our writers talk to us about the craft, their inspirations and how they got published.
So far our podcasts have garnered high praise including:
‘Just finished listening to your Louisa Hope two parter. Bravo. I thought I’d read and watched everything there is to read and watch about Lindt but so much in there was new and fascinating to me. And you’re a great interviewer – you really restrain the gush…’ – Katrina Strickland.
‘Loved your interview with Bill Hayes! I’ve almost finished Insomniac City and I don’t want it to end! Such beautiful writing. Dad got me into Oliver Sacks when I was a teenager – he really fueled my interest in psychology. It’s so sad and beautiful that Oliver and Billy found each other so late in life.’ – Judith McFarlane
‘Morning Cheryl, Kerry (my husband) and I have listened to your Rusty Y podcast. Congratulations…it is just fantastic… Loving ???? the new books too. Enjoy your day and… it is nearly the weekend. ???? x’
Subscribe for free to our podcasts here and look out for upcoming podcasts… If you enjoy the podcast, please write a short review on iTunes and share with your friends.