Book Alchemy
The Secret Library Podcast
The Thriving Writer with Kern Carter

The Thriving Writer with Kern Carter

Season 10, Episode Three


This week on the Secret Library podcast, my guest is Kern Carter. Kern Carter, based in Toronto, Canada, is an author, educator, and mentor celebrated for his captivating storytelling. With three books published and two more on the horizon for 2024, Kern has garnered critical acclaim and a devoted following. Through partnerships with various organizations, he amplifies the voices of countless writers who may not have had the opportunity otherwise. Kern's dedication extends to teaching part-time at a local college and conducting workshops on writing craft and the business of being an author. This conversation made me feel like a human bottle of champagne, and I cannot think of a better episode to share for Leap Day. We chat about diversifying your income as an author, self-publishing vs. traditional publishing, and how to thrive as an artist. So let's leap ahead with Kern Carter.


  • What made Kern create Writers Are Superstars and the foundation it was built on

  • Why making money as a writer needs to be centered but why so often we put it to the background

  • Breaking up with the belief that writers need to be tortured and The Real Writer mentality

  • The dichotomy of being considered a real writer only if you’re traditionally published rather than self-published

  • Multiple forms of income as the writer’s solution to thriving

  • Some of the creative projects that Kern has/is currently worked on to bring in more income

  • Highlighting the value add of writers and why it’s time to start showcasing this

  • Exploring technology to find ways that artists can be compensated every time their work is engaged with

  • Discussing if there’s a public benefit to an author being signed to a publisher

Episode Resources

Connect with Kern

About Kern

“Writing made me brave. The words that fear prevented me from saying verbally effortlessly poured onto pages. When my first, independent book came out in 2014, and readers I didn’t know sent me messages about what it meant to them—what my words meant to their lives—it changed me. It gave me the confidence to start speaking out loud the words that were in my head but paralyzed by anxiety. And when thousands of copies were sold, when high schools incorporated my story into their classroom and local bookstores carried and sold copies, I felt unleashed.

When I signed my first publishing deal in 2021, it felt fateful that it was a story about young boys and girls. Those years of uncertainty and insecurity are still clear in my mind, further exaggerated when I became a parent at 18. So when I write these stories, I invent the characters and situations, but all of the emotions I infuse into these characters are based on genuine emotions I’ve experienced.”

Work with Caroline:

Book Alchemy
The Secret Library Podcast
Most people believe that books are created in cabins all alone, where authors pound away on some manner of keyboard. Then they hand this masterpiece off to a publisher and it feels very much like it goes down a tube and comes out the other side as a book. By speaking to authors and other book lovers, I'm diving into the mystery that is the book world today.