Zibby Owens is the host of the Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books podcast. Zibby interviews authors about the background and inspiration for their latest and greatest books, giving listeners an inside scoop into the literary world. We all know podcasting is a wonderful tool for both learning and multitasking, and Zibby’s podcast is a perfect example of a convergence of the two.
She has four books coming out: two anthologies from Skyhorse Publishing including Moms Don’t Have Time To: A Quarantine Anthology, which debuts 02/16/21, and a children’s book series from Flamingo, an imprint of Penguin Random House. She also runs Zibby’s Virtual Book Club and started a second podcast, Moms Don’t Have Time to Lose Weight.
Zibby has been featured on CBS This morning and Vulture for her work in the literary space. She is also a writer, mom of four, and entrepreneur.
Read more from Zibby Owens below and listen to Moms Don’t Have Time To Read Books here (leave a review, too!):
Tell us what your podcast is about in 3 sentences or less!
I interview authors five times each week to help busy people (like moms!) get their literary fix. I delve deep into the back story of the book, who the author is, what inspired him/her to write and any advice they have for aspiring authors.
New York, NY
New York, NY
What’s a quote or piece of advice that you try to live by?
Don’t miss the plot.
One thing on your bucket list:
“You Need to Calm Down” by Taylor Swift
Last Text Message You Sent:
“Aw! I love you!” to one of my best friends.
What was your first job?
Any unusual hobbies?
Trying to figure out new business ideas or personal connections to help everyone I talk to.
Biggest Pet Peeve
When people speak slowly.
What inspired you to start your podcast?
I had been writing a lot of parenting essays and my husband said, “You should turn these all into a book!” I rolled my eyes and said, “Ugh, moms don’t have time to read books!” Then I thought, that could be the title of the book! I quickly realized publishers wouldn’t find that funny, but I wanted to use the title for something. A girlfriend suggested I start a podcast and I thought, boom! I’ll use that title.
Originally I wanted to read clips of articles and books to other busy moms who didn’t have time to read them. When I found out that was illegal, I figured I should go straight to the authors. After my first author interview, I was completely hooked. I became passionate about not only helping moms and readers, but also helping authors get the word out about who they are and what their books are about.
Tell us more about your work/life outside of your podcast.
I’m a mom of four kids and also a writer. I started my career in brand development, then moved to internet marketing and consumer products marketing. But I started writing for magazines at age 16 and have been writing and publishing ever since. I’ve also always loved starting up businesses and have worked with many start-ups including helping my in-laws launch a crumb cake business. I podcast, but I also write (I’m working on several book projects) and I’m turning my brand into its own business.
What is your show’s USP?
I make guests feel comfortable enough to truly open up and share things they haven’t elsewhere.
What is one of the greatest challenges you have personally faced with your podcast?
During one podcast set-up, I realized Skype wasn’t working. (I usually record in person but had made an exception.) My guest said she could record for us so I agreed. After a ridiculously intense interview during which she spoke and cried about losing her teenaged daughter, we said goodbye and she blurted out, “I never pressed record!” I had to wait a couple months to fortify myself to interview her again.
What was one of your favorite episodes you’ve ever done? Why does it stand out?
One of my very first episodes was with Andre Agassi about his memoir, OPEN (listen here). I’ve been an Agassi fan for my entire life in tennis, but his book was also one of my very favorites! I interviewed him over the phone and was literally drenched in sweat the entire time! He couldn’t have been nicer. We ended up having a great conversation but I was sure listeners would be able to hear my heart pounding in the background.
What is one thing you have accomplished with your podcast thus far that you are most proud of?
What is one major milestone that you would like to accomplish through your podcast in the next year?
Being in the top 200 podcasts on Apple in All Categories.
What is a trend or development in the podcast industry that you foresee happening in the next few years?
More partnerships and consolidations between podcasts.
What is one of the best pieces of podcast-related advice you’ve ever received & why?
Get the transcripts. I love being able to look back and read over the fantastic conversations I’ve had, use the content for other things, and have a record of it in a non-audio format.
What is one of the worst pieces of podcast-related advice you have ever received & why?
I was told many times to change the name of my podcast because it was too long/limiting/weird. I love the name!
What are some of your favorite women-hosted podcasts (besides your own)?
Dani Shapiro’s Family Secrets, Gretchen Rubin, The Happier Hour, Mallory Kasdan, MILK.
Can you tell us about a time when you took a huge risk/did something you were scared to do, and it totally paid off?
I decided to get a divorce at age 40 with four children, then ages 9 months – 8 years old. I then fell in love with my second husband who has completely changed my life and brought out a side of me I didn’t know existed. His encouragement and belief in me inspired this podcast and everything I do.
Are there any great podcast-related resources you love that you would like to share?
I love my sound editors from Texturessound. They’ve taught me everything I needed to know with various YouTube videos and articles!
Is there a charity or cause you care about that you would like to share?
After my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law passed away from COVID-19 within six weeks of each other last summer, my husband and I founded the Susan Felice Owens Program for COVID-19 Vaccine Research at Mount Sinai Medical Center. I’m donating all the book proceeds to that.
How do you feel you’re making a positive impact and generating change through your podcast?
I’m connecting with people all over the world and reigniting their love of books!