#FabULyssFind/Moms Don’t Have Time To Read Books by Zibby Owens Podcast April 16th, 2019


As a busy working mom of three, I can tell you that one of my favorite podcasts is Moms Don’t Have Time To Read Books by Zibby Owens. Zibby Owens hosts THIS very popular and #FabULyss podcast. Zibby has conversations with the best AUTHORS of all types so busy people (like moms) can listen in and get the inside scoop on fantastic, #FabULyss books, articles and more.  Tune in on Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Stitcher, Spotify or Podbean. Make sure to also sign up on her awesome website and yes, you can hear my interview on my last book Motherhood Is A B#tch.


To vote for the Webby Award for the #FabULyss new podcast click here: wbby.co/vote-pod8

Q: What inspired you to start this amazing podcast? Which by the way, I think is a brilliant idea for busy moms that just do not have time to read.

A: Thanks, Lyss!! To be honest, I was going to write a book of parenting essays called, “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books,” but it turns out, literary agents didn’t think that was funny! I decided to use the name instead to start a podcast which an author friend of mine, Sarah Mlynowski (of the WHATEVER AFTER series), thought would be a good idea. At the time, I was like, “What’s a podcast?!”

Q: How do you pick which Authors you want to interview? Do you read the books before you reach out to them and their team?

A: I started by asking authors who I’ve loved for a long time, whose books have moved me or stayed with me in some way. Now, publishers, PR firms and authors reach out via email/social media to ask if they can send me their books for the show. If the books look/sound interesting to me, I’ll accept a galley copy (an advance copy), otherwise I say no. Once I start reading the book, I know if it’ll be right for the podcast. I have to feel like, “Ooooh, I can’t WAIT to read this.” If the book is jumping off my shelf, I have the author on the podcast! I also reach out to many authors myself if the books look great or if I think they have something really interesting to add to the show.

Q: I know you are also a very busy mom! What do your kids and husband think of the new amazing podcast? Do they want to help you? My middle son always comes up with ideas for me. I love when the kids love what we are doing.

A: My kids have been AMAZING about the podcast!!! My older son and I read one of the books together and then actually interviewed the author, Jeff Norton, as a team! My son is also the one who suggested I read Kwame Alexander’s books, which I did and then had him on the podcast. Recently I took him — and my husband and older daughter — to meet Kwame at a reading at the Center for Fiction in Brooklyn. It was so great!! My little kids have also been really into the podcast. They interviewed Chris Van Dusen with me. My son even started chanting, “Chris… van… Dusen… Let’s Go!” My older daughter is like my PR machine. She hands out bookmarks about the podcast, tells all her friends, recommends authors and comes up with great marketing ideas for me. And Kyle, my husband… there isn’t a single thing I do that I don’t run by him first. He’s incredibly creative. I don’t think I’d even have this podcast without him and his encouragement from day one.

Q: Has it become a full time job? How many hours a week would you say you put into the podcast? I must imagine many hours and I love the smart, thought out questions that you ask.

A: Oh gosh. I still believe I’m a full-time mom, but I do this on the side. The side has just gotten a little bigger recently. I’m in the middle of campaigning to win the Webby Award for Best Podcast: Arts & Culture. I’m nominated with podcasts like the New York Times and the Paris Review. I’m trying to win to show my kids that I can do it!! Or, that I won’t give up until I’ve tried my hardest. At the least I’ll be setting a good example. It takes me about 4-8 hours to read the book, 1 hour to prepare for the interview, an hour to do the interview and upload and then another 2 hours per interview of emails, technology/website updates which I’m still doing myself, and then publicizing the episode. And I’ve done about 100 episodes. So… kind of a lot. Plus I do author events, interviews… and then write myself. I basically just don’t sleep. I do have every other weekend “off” from the kids when they go to my ex-husband so I try to do a lot of reading when they aren’t with me.

Q: What’s your favorite part about having your own podcast? You must super excited to be nominate for the Webby Awards. How did you fee when you first heard the exciting news? I want all the moms reading this to vote for your podcast. click here https://zibbyowens.com/podcast-1

A: Thanks, Lyss. Yes, please vote, mamas!!! My favorite part is the flexibility. I do it all from home. The authors literally come to my house and sit at my desk with me so it doesn’t take time away from being with the kids. They can be playing in the next room and I just pop in to do the podcast. My other favorite part is that I have SO MUCH FUN. It’s like a dream come true!!! When I heard the news, I’d just gone for a run in Central Park and was walking upstairs, checking my emails, drenching in sweat and I just paused on the stairs to read it and then made my husband get out of the shower so I could tell him!

Q: How many Authors have you interviewed thus far? Have there been any that you just blew you away? Or any that really stand out? One or two of your favorites thus far?

A: I’ve interviewed 108 authors. They all blow me away in some way or another. Some stand out because I form a personal connection to them. Some stand out because of their work. I really love Claire Gibson, a Nashville-based mom of an adopted son whose book, BEYOND THE POINT, just came out. It’s about three women friends at West Point and what happens before and after they go to school together. It has already been optioned by a big shot production team! One of my first interviews was with Andre Agassi. I interviewed him over the phone and was so nervous, I was literally drenched in sweat. Thank God there wasn’t a video component of our Skype call!!!

Q: The only time these days that I get to read a book is before bed when the kids are asleep. Also on vacation if I can sneak in a bit why they are busy. Do you hear this a lot from other other moms? I know before children I read a lot. I loved and still love reading. I know my children see how excited I get when I really get into a new book that I cannot put down.

A: I hear this ALL THE TIME. And I feel it myself! Some weeks, I’m lucky to read two pages! Before bed is definitely my most reliable reading time, too. Now sometimes I get in bed and read for an hour or two. I also try to snatch a few minutes throughout the day, read on the elliptical machines, when waiting for appointments, while the kids are watching “Octonauts.” Whenever I can.

Q: I know a lot of moms are intrigued with the thought of starting a podcast. Was it hard for you to start? Do you have any words of wisdom for moms that might want to start one?

A: It was pretty easy actually! I would encourage moms to try it but to make sure they have something to say – some angle – that makes their podcast stand out in some way. They should listen to all their favorite podcasts (and mine!!!), see what they like and don’t like, see where they can add value, and then do it. It takes a LOT of time now but it’s really rewarding!

Q: In five years from now where to you see yourself? Do you think you will eventually write your own book? You are an amazing writer, I love the stories that you write for different publications. They are very real, funny and authentic.

A: You’re so sweet! I’ve actually written four books. One was published by McGraw-Hill in 2007. I helped write a fashion/fitness book for a fashion designer and fitness trainer called YOUR PERFECT FIT. I’ve also written a note, OFF BALANCE, based on my experience losing my best friend at business school (which didn’t sell to publishers, sadly)  and FORTY LOVE, about falling in love again at 40. I’m still tinkering with 40 LOVE and am changing it from a memoir to a novel. I think. Maybe a screenplay. And I just started another book about doing this podcast! In five years?! Well, here are my secret dreams. Be on the TODAY Show. Have a book on the NY Times Bestseller list. Write articles for the NY Times and the WSJ. (I wrote online for the NY Times once but want it in the Paper so my mom can rip it out while she eats breakfast.) And be in a place where a lot of people look to me for book recommendations.

Q: I saw your NY1 interview last week and loved your interview. Will you be doing more interviews in the near future?

A: I hope so. I LOVED it! I had so much fun!! I brought my older daughter with me. We had a blast in hair and make-up, creeping around the offices together and being on the set. It was SUCH a thrill!!!

Q: If there was one interview that you have done thus far that all moms should listen to, which one would you want them to listen to first? How LONG typically is each podcast?

A: Between 20-30 minutes. Listen to my interview with Delia Owens. Her book, WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING, has been #1 on the NY Times bestseller list for something crazy, like 20+ weeks. She was charming, funny and warm. It gives a good taste of the podcast.

Q: Is there anything else that you want to share with our readers about Moms Don’t Have Time To Read BOOKS?

A: I want to tell your readers that even if they don’t have time to listen to my podcast, I have the transcripts of all my interviews on my website,www.zibbyowens.com, so they can skim the interviews and find out more about the authors. Not everyone is a podcast person. Also, I want to tell them that they don’t have to feel bad about reading. It’s not another thing to add to the “should do” pile. They should just know that great books are always there for them. When they’re tired. Desperate. Exhausted. Lonely. A good book can help with all of it. And my podcast is just here to help moms decide what to pick up first. As a therapist once told me when I was going into a weekend when my ex-husband had custody of the kids: “You’ll never feel lonely if you’re reading a great book.”

*Words of wisdom from Lyss, listen to this podcast. I promise you will be hooked!