Do you like books? And do you like listening to podcasts? Then this one might be exactly the thing for you: “Mighty Books” is a podcast on YouTube and Spotify in which Ryan Oliver interviews authors about their books. Ryan is an author himself, and I have been one of his interview partners last year. So, about time to tell YOU about this special and truly eye-opening podcast of his.
Ryan Oliver began learning how to produce his podcast many months prior to launch with the assistance of his younger brother, who has over a decade of experience with video and audio editing. “To produce a podcast like mine, interview style with audio only, one has to be able to communicate well with others, be able to hold a conversation, have a curious mind, and a little computer know-how,” Ryan says and claims the rest were pretty simple. He uses a USB microphone that “lives” next to his laptop. He has also learned to use a movie maker to edit the audio, add music, and other ingredients that make the episodes what they are. He records the interviews with Zoom and conducts his interviews online. Then, Ryan uploads his interviews to certain platforms, i.e., Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube. Thumbnails and other artwork help Ryan to promote the episodes. “Thankfully, Canva is a wonderful resource,” Ryan lets on, “and for the most part is free to use.” Sound simple?! Umh …
In the beginning, Ryan Oliver planned on producing only one episode per month, starting in February 2022. But growing more comfortable and confident and having compiled a list of about a dozen interviewees, he started scheduling up to three interviews in a single day. “I am fortunate to work four ten-hour days giving me that extra day to perform the interviews,” Ryan says. “With the raw audio files saved, I can then edit each one to my liking, finish them, and upload the interviews to the various platforms. I always ensure that I have several episodes completed and scheduled way ahead of time, sometimes up to three months.” Talk about foresight in view to unforeseen events, illnesses, or cancelations …
In the beginning, Ryan had even planned to read at least one of each interviewee’s books. And with the first five he actually did! Cover to cover. He came across books that wouldn’t even have been a first choice for him. But over time and with the increase of episodes in order to support more authors, Ryan had to cut himself some slack. He’d read at least a few chapters of each book by the author he was going to interview. “This way, I still got a feel for the author’s style,” Ryan reasons, “and I learn a bit about their topic or story for when the interview is conducted.” One author whose book “took his breath away” is Jenny Foster. He perceived her real-life story “Natty’s Pond” as raw and honest. “It’s about what a mother goes through during something as traumatic as losing a child through a medically advised abortion,” he summarizes. “Foster doesn’t even politicize; her focus is on healing and finding forgiveness.”
Meanwhile, there is a line of authors waiting for their turn on Ryan Oliver’s podcast. And more are welcome at any time. “I have yet to shy away from anyone or any subject of any genre of book,” Ryan chuckles. “If there is an author out there with knowledge or a story to tell, I want to help them share it with the world.” He gently pulls out a lot of things that also define an author as a person, not “just” as the creator of a specific book. “We have gone off script and chatted about family, writing habits, traveling, philosophies on life, and anything else that may come up,” Ryan recounts “I generally have a list of questions sitting in front of me to drive the interview. But many times, I ask whatever questions come to mind about their topic or something else that may be fun to know about them.”
Ryan himself, whose foremost love is that of ancient history and – connected to that – legends and fantasy, enjoys podcasts interview-style, “Did you know”-style, or such that tell an interesting story. His favorite is “That’s the Way I Heard it” by Mike Rowe, “who, oddly enough, is an author I’d love to talk to as well!”
As of 2023, Ryan Oliver has decided to, yet again, increase the release schedule for “Mighty Books”. He will release one new interview every week, also changing the release day from Saturday to Wednesday. “I’m hopeful for the podcast’s and my future,” Ryan says. “My overall goal with ‘Mighty Books’ is for it to reach readers and writers everywhere. Allow authors, new and seasoned, an opportunity to share themselves and their art with the world.”
Clearly, Ryan Oliver has all his mighty ducks, pardon, books in a row. Fingers crossed that Mike Rowe will not stay a dream on his interview list – a supportive author like Ryan Oliver would so deserve it!