About the Podcast:
Worst Bestsellers is a podcast where Kait, Renata, and a guest talk about popular books of questionable quality. It’s kind of like How Did This Get Made? or Mystery Science Theater 3000, but for books.
We want to be clear about something: we’re not snobs, honestly. If somebody only ever reads James Patterson books, or vampire books, or magazines: more power to them, we say. We’re reading these books because we’re curious about what’s popular, and also, reading these books gives us a better idea of what’s popular and how to give good readers advisory. We make jokes about the books we read, but our intent is never to make fun of readers.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF/SELVES.
WBS: We are two longtime friends and book lovers. Renata is a teen services librarian who loves reading contemporary YA fiction and is scared of horror. She adopted her cat, Duarte, when she was serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic, and now Duarte shares his opinions on the podcast too.
Kait is a former bookseller who currently has a desk job outside of the world of books. She is an aspiring writer who loves horror for all ages and especially enjoys books with queer protagonists across age ranges and genres.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH THE WORST BESTSELLERS?
WBS: In 2014, we were living in different states and time zones, but we were both listeners of other podcasts and decided to research how to start our own podcast. We’re both big readers, so we decided to do something around books. Being a fan of media critiquing other media like the podcasts How Did This Get Made? and The Flop House, and knowing Kait was a fellow fan of the thematically similar television show Mystery Science Theater 3000, Renata suggested trying something like that for books.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PODCAST?
WBS: We read and discuss popular books of questionable quality, usually with a guest. We’d like to emphasize that, despite having “Worst” in our name, we don’t always dislike the things we read. We are interested in investigating popular books, and sometimes we find that things are in fact popular because they are good. Other times, perhaps they are popular for…other reasons, and then we enjoy unpacking why a book didn’t work for us. We also provide Readers Advisory where we suggest other books for people to read instead of or in addition to the title we discussed.
WHAT’S THE MOST CHALLENGING AND MOST SATISFYING PART OF RUNNING A PODCAST?
WBS: Since we’re an independent podcast with no studio/producer/etc, the most challenging part is just the literal work of making the podcast–reading the book we’re going to talk about, preparing notes on it, recording it, and editing it.
The most satisfying part is connecting with our listeners, particularly when we hear that they’ve enjoyed a book we’ve recommended. It’s also really enlightening to read outside of our comfort zones and discover things we never would have picked up on our own, but end up truly enjoying. An example of that last one would be Nora Roberts, whose book (the first one of hers we read was Black Hills) we loved so much we make time every year to read more as a palate cleanser for us.
HOW MANY LISTENERS DO YOU HAVE?
WBS: Because our podcast focuses on a single book per episode, our listenership varies wildly depending on how many people are curious about a specific book. Our audience has been known to quadruple when we discuss one of Stephenie Meyer’s works, for example.
WHAT’S ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE EPISODES?
WBS: We really love talking about the Twilight series (episodes 1, 31, 40, 58, 82, 158, and 181) and are very sad that we’ve finally read all of Stephenie Meyer’s books. We hope she writes something else soon. We also enjoy any time we have a friend as a guest, or a book is just egregiously bonkers, like Modelland (episode 19) or Ready Player One (episode 100).
WHAT IS YOUR UPLOADING SCHEDULE, AND WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM THE WORST BESTSELLERS IN THE UPCOMING MONTHS?
WBS: We usually post new episodes on alternate Mondays, although we are taking a hiatus in January. We’ll be back in February with some Valentine’s Day-ready romance novels.
DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA THAT ACCOMPANIES THE PODCAST?
WHERE CAN LISTENERS FIND THE WORST BESTSELLERS?
WBS: Our website is https://www.worstbestsellers.com and the podcastis available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify,Stitcher, and all the usual podcatchers.
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