A Tale of Two Podcasts

In 2012, we began publishing a podcast, now called Frontmatter, featuring heavily researched, in-depth interviews with Leanpub authors…

In 2012, we began publishing a podcast, now called Frontmatter, featuring heavily researched, in-depth interviews with Leanpub authors about their lives and careers, their professional interests, the subjects of their books, and their experiences as self-published authors.

While Leanpub is best known as a platform authors use to write and publish books on science and technology, our authors actually cover a very wide range of issues in their books, from Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, and his 2014 series of books on starting businesses in Asia, to Sarah K. Peck, founder of Startup Pregnant, and author of the Leanpub book Pregnancy Affirmations: Words of Wisdom for Pregnancy, Birth, New Motherhood and the Postpartum Period.

Over the years, Frontmatter has evolved into what is essentially a general interest podcast, where we discuss topics ranging from the Russian invasion of Crimea to the use of data science to analyze the impact of natural disasters, with a publishing-specific section at the end of each episode, for people interested in really getting into the weeds, and learning about how to be a successful Leanpub author.

This long-form interview format proved successful with our audience, and in 2017, we decided to use the same format to interview people who weren’t necessarily Leanpub authors, but were experts in the book publishing industry, about the latest industry developments and controversies, which are legion, and that’s how our Backmatter podcast was born. Our guests have included well-known figures in the book publishing industry commentariat, from Jane Friedman, co-founder of The Hot Sheet, to New York Times bestselling & Hugo Award-winning author Kristine Kathryn Rusch, to Mike Shatzkin, founder and CEO of The Idea Logical Company.

Along the way, we hosted a live event (long story!) at Trent University called “Towards a New Social Contract for the Digital Age,” featuring an interview with New York Times bestselling author Don Tapscott , in front of a packed audience of students and professors, and we’ve recently expanded our remit to include interviews with successful authors who aren’t on Leanpub; look out for our forthcoming interview with Pamela Q. Fernandes, a preventive health advocate and author of romance novellas and Christian non-fiction for women.

Given the expanded range of guests we’re interviewing on Frontmatter, we’ve decided we don’t need two podcasts anymore. So, we’re merging all the Backmatter publishing industry interviews into Frontmatter, and going forward, the Frontmatter podcast will be where we publish all of our interviews, including those with Leanpub authors, and those with special guests.

You can find Frontmatter in Apple Podcasts — please subscribe, and if you like what you hear, rate and review us - as all podcast hosts say, it really does help!

We also publish full, professional transcriptions of each interview on our website, with an in-browser audio player.

Thanks to all of our listeners and our guests for sharing this journey with us — we’re looking forward to years more of captivating, wide-ranging interviews, which we hope you’ll enjoy listening to, as much as we enjoy researching and recording them!

September 6, 2019

Len Epp