Tuesday, March 6, 2018

What I've been listening to...

It’s another round of “What I’ve been reading” and, like last time, I haven’t been reading much lately other than stuff I’m publishing.

So, I’m again going to take this in a different direction!

It’s taken me an embarrassingly long time to get into podcasts.

I’m sure some of you reading this don’t listen to podcasts and you’re thinking “That’s not embarrassing”. The difference with me, though, is that I’ve been a regular co-host / panelist of a podcast for a year and a half, but it’s only about six months ago that I listened to my first podcast. Since then, I’ve pretty much exploded into podcasts.

Under my real name, Craig, I’ve been a regular on the Write Right podcast since the start of the second season. (It was a 2018 goal of mine to “come out” about my writing, so it’s only now that I’m starting to link my real name to my author name.)

Under the name Cameron D. James, I now host two podcasts by myself:

Deep Desires Podcast — this is tied to my publishing company, Deep Desires Press, and we feature an author guest every month to chat about their book and their process of writing. We have a lot of fun and I feel like we keep the conversation interesting for both readers and writers who might be listening.

Sex For Money — this is a new podcast of mine that focusses on the business side of writing, publishing, and selling romantic and erotic fiction. There are a number of podcasts out there that talk about the business of writing, publishing, and selling, but things are almost always different for those in romantic and erotic genres. Because of what we write, special rules and limitations are often put on us. I’m only a few episodes in and I feel it’s gotten off to a bit of a rocky start — episode one (about changes at Facebook) I was unexpectedly nervous and rushed through it, and episode two (about Goodreads) I felt I wandered too much. For episode three, to be released this week, I interview an author to talk about motivation when it comes to writing and building a career. Next month I’m going to talk about strategies for making money in this genre.

But this post isn’t all self-promotion!

The theme of this fortnight is “What I’ve been reading” — so here is “What podcasts I’ve been listening to”:

Writing Excuses: This weekly show features a 15-minute discussion on writing by big name authors (or at least one big name author and some lesser-known authors). It took me a long time to even try this because the big name author is Brandon Sanderson, so I expected it to be focussed on epic fantasy and strongly favour traditional publishing. It’s not that at all. They totally respect all genres and have a romance author as a co-host and they have a healthy respect for self-publishing. I highly recommend this one.

Sell More Books Show: This weekly podcast explores the news in publishing and self-publishing. There are a few podcasts that explore news in the industry, but I find these co-hosts — Jim and Bryan — to be better than most other “news” hosts. They really break down the business of self-publishing and look at it objectively. (Whereas I find a lot of other book news shows carry heavy biases — you either agree with them or not. With Jim and Bryan, they try to look at it from all angles, so even if you don’t agree with their conclusion, your point of view was likely given discussion time.) It’s from listening to this one that I decided to start the Sex For Money podcast — while Jim and Brian give excellent analyses and advice, sometimes what they say doesn’t apply to erotic authors.

Smart Author with Mark Coker: Hosted by the founder of Smashwords, this is a very indie-focussed podcast that starts at the basics — how do you self-publish? — and then moves onto marketing. I find the information a little bit basic, but definitely worth listening to.

The Secret Life of Canada: I felt this one started off a bit rocky (it’s pretty new), but has very quickly grown in their professionalism and their approach. This podcast explores the history of Canada — but topics that don’t generally make it into school classes — and covers tough topics. There was one episode, though, that was erotica-focussed, exploring the history and context of Governor General Literary Award winning erotic novel Bear by Marian Engel — a book about a woman who enters a sexual relationship with a bear. (Like, the animal, not a fat hairy gay man.)

Canadaland Commons: This is a political magazine show, for lack of a better term. They explore issues in depth about politics in Canada. I find it can be a bit hit or miss, but when they do a good episode, they really do a fantastic job. One of their recent episodes covers what it means to be a person of colour in Canada — and exposed some really shocking things about Canada, like the fact that our last segregated school closed in the 80s.

Lore: This is a beautifully produced podcast that explores history and folklore — and how they intersect and overlap. The stories are captivating and the production quality (which includes haunting piano music) is entrancing. This is perhaps my favourite podcast.

I also listen to a few others, but these are the big ones that I look forward to the most when they pop up in my podcast app.

Hopefully I’ll actually be reading books again when this topic returns!

Cameron D. James is a writer of gay erotica and M/M erotic romance; his latest release is Autumn Fire. He is publisher at and co-founder of Deep Desires Press, member of the Indie Erotica Collective, and hosts two podcasts, Deep Desires Podcast and Sex For Money. He lives in Canada, is always crushing on Starbucks baristas, and has two rescue cats. To learn more about Cameron, visit http://www.camerondjames.com.


  1. Duh... I've *never* listened to a podcast. I won't say I never will, but I just can't imagine wanting to, although many of these sound quite fascinating.

    I know I am a dinosaur.

    Let me ask, how do you promote your own podcasts? And where and how do you publish them?

  2. I'm an older dinosaur than you are, Lisabet. I don't even have my computer set up to handle listening to podcasts. I think. I could probably manage it if I out my mind to it, but it hasn't been a priority. I almost never even have my sound turned on, since I'm seldom alone. Lately, though, I've been getting a series of stories by a great writer in podcast form and wishing I dared admit to her that I couldn't hear them, and would she please send them to me in written form. Hmm, I guess some podcasts come through iTunes, but I think I've lost my iTunes password, and hardly ever used it.

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  4. Gulp! Gotta confess that I've never (to my knowledge) read a podcast either. Guess that says something about us. ;>)

    Fucking Luddites. :>)

    But good for you that you've found other ways to present a face to the modern literary world. Like Sacchi suggests in her post yesterday, erotica isn't the seller it once was. If that's the trend, it'll be a good way for you and your brand to stay relevant. Keeps you hopping, I'd imagine.

  5. Hahaha -- they're not for everyone, I admit.

    For promoting it, there is a certain "discoverability" factor involved. I had posted my first episode, hadn't told a soul, and had twenty listens in twelve hours.

    Beyond that, the standard promo -- twitter, facebook, back of my books, newsletter. I'm still at the beginning of it all, so I still have a lot to do.

    1. Where do you post it? On YouTube? Or are there sites dedicated to podcasts?

    2. I host it on the same server where I host my website. (I had to get my tech friend to help me.) So it does require a little bit of tech knowledge on that end. Once I upload an episode to my server, I run it through a podcast management software attached to my site (podcast.indieerotica.com), which then generates an RSS feed or something like that.

      From there, I then have to submit it to places that take podcasts -- Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, and Stitcher are the ones I'm on -- once it's approved, that's all I have to do with them. Every time I upload a new episode to my server and run it through the software (a process that takes only a few moments), it updates the RSS feed. Apple, Google, Stitcher, etc., automatically receive the updated RSS feed and the new episodes are loaded to their sites/apps.

      For a while, we were also posting Write Right episodes on YouTube, but we literally got nobody watching/listening. Best place seems to be Apple Podcasts.

  6. This sounds like an exciting new direction for you, Cameron.

  7. This is a really cool post, Cameron! I'm off and on with podcasts myself. Depends how often I'm driving, going to the gym, stuff like that. But I love Writing Excuses and have for a long time. I'll have to check out one of yours the next time I get on a podcast kick.

    Also have you checked out Nobilis Erotica? I've read for that podcast a few times, and it's a steady source of erotic SF stories. :)

    1. I find audiobook-format podcasts a bit hit-or-miss for me because my mind wanders -- but I find this one super intriguing so I'm going to give it a try! Just subscribed!