Eric Smith of P.S. Literary Agency Recommends...

There are a lot of things I miss about publishing conferences: dishing advice to writers, connecting with authors, and traveling to interesting new places (even if I didn’t always get the chance to leave the conference hotel). But catching up with industry peers while sitting down and eating terrible cold sandwiches and warm, flat soda…perhaps I miss that the most. The comradery. The insider industry knowledge. And sure, the gossip.

One of the ways I’ve hung onto that shoptalk is through podcasts. And they’re not just for industry folks who miss poorly lit greenrooms at conferences, but for anyone who wants an inside look at what makes the industry tick. They might feature news reports, deals worth discussing, trends that require breaking down.

Issues that need fixing. Like that flickering light in every greenroom.

So for those of you who want that inside peek, or who are maybe missing your friends the way I am, podcasts are the way to go. Here are a few that have helped me hold it together and will inevitably teach you a lot about the craft and business of writing:

Print Run: My favorite publishing podcast, run by literary agents Erik Hane and Laura Zats, Print Run offers up candid, honest, and almost always hilarious insights and deconstructions of the publishing business.

Deadline City: Run by two of my favorite authors, Dhonielle Clayton and Zoraida Cordova, this podcast digs into writing. Guests include a wide array of best-selling authors and industry pros, from Adam Silvera to Natalie C. Parker.

Minorities in Publishing: Hosted by Jennifer Baker, this podcast delves into industry news and discusses diversity and inclusion in the publishing world. Jennifer is also working on some wildly amazing books at Amistad—make sure you’re following her.

The Shit No One Tells You About Writing: Host Bianca Marais interviews folks from all across the industry, from booksellers and editors, to cover artists and authors. My P.S. Literary colleagues Carly Watters and CeCe Lyra also have a segment at the start of every show.

Literaticast: Hosted by the brilliant Jennifer Laughran, who is always so generous with her advice and time (look her up on TikTok!), Literaticast is all about the business of publishing and often features guests from across the industry.

Write or Die: While Claribel Ortega and Kat Cho are retiring this podcast soon, the backlog of episodes will be enough to keep you listening until it’s time to say goodbye. Run by these two wonderful authors, it’s a podcast packed full of advice and laughter that features writers and industry pros.

Manuscript Academy: Two rock star agents talking to editors, authors, and fellow agents? Yes please. Loads of advice and industry news here. (Hosts Jessica Sinsheimer and Julie Kingsley are also the brains behind the essential Manuscript Wishlist website. If you’ve never used it, check it out.)

Subscribe and listen to the back catalogues, too. There’s a lot to learn. Enjoy.

Eric Smith of P.S. Literary Agency

Portrait: Chris Urie

Photo credit: Chris Urie