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About Joanna Penn
Joanna Penn is a bestselling author, international speaker and award-winning entrepreneur based in Bath, England.
Her site, www.TheCreativePenn.com helps authors with creativity, writing, publishing, book marketing and creative entrepreneurship. It has been voted one of the top 100 sites for authors by Writers Digest. Joanna has a popular podcast, The Creative Penn, and a YouTube Channel.
You can get a free Author 2.0 Blueprint ebook and video series at www.TheCreativePenn.com/blueprint
You can also connect with Joanna on Twitter @thecreativepenn
and on Facebook.com/TheCreativePenn
Joanna is a travel junkie, weaving her adventures into her Award-nominated, bestselling thrillers as J.F.Penn and podcasting at www.BooksAndTravel.page
She's a cat person and enjoys a nice G&T.
Joanna has a Masters in Theology from the University of Oxford, Mansfield College, and a post-graduate diploma in Psychology from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She spent 13 years in the corporate world before breaking out to become a full-time author-entrepreneur in 2011.
Her bestselling self-help books for writers and authors include:
Successful Self-Publishing: How to self-publish an ebook and print book
How to Market a Book
How to Make a Living with your Writing - listed as one of INC magazine top business books 2015
The Successful Author Mindset: A Handbook for Surviving the Writer's Journey
Audio for Authors: Audiobooks, Podcasting and Voice Technologies
Productivity for Authors
Business for Authors: How to be an Author Entrepreneur
Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives and Other Introverts
Co-writing a Book: Collaboration and Co-Creation for Writers - co-written with J. Thorn
The Healthy Writer: Reduce your Pain, Improve your Health, and Build a Writing Career for the Long-term - co-written with Dr Euan Lawson
Career Change: Stop Hating your Job, Discover what you Really Want to Do with your Life, and Start Doing It!
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There are thousands of new books being published every day, but many self-published books quickly sink to the bottom of the pile.
Many authors are frustrated because there are so many options for self-publishing, and they don’t know which one to choose or what will be best for their book. Others spend thousands of dollars to publish and end up broken-hearted with the result.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
I’ve spent over a decade self-publishing bestselling fiction and non-fiction books and in 2011, I left my day job to become a full-time author entrepreneur. I’ve made lots of mistakes along the way, but through the process of self-publishing over 30 books, I’ve learned the most effective way to publish and market your books. In this book, I’ll share everything with you.
You will discover:
- What you need to know before you self-publish
- Why self-publishing an ebook is a good idea
- How to format an ebook
- Exclusivity and going direct
- How to self-publish an ebook
- Why self-publish a print book
- Print-on-demand will change your life
- What you need to know before you print
- How to self-publish a print book
- What to do if you want help with the publishing process
- How to self-publish an audiobook
- After self-publishing
- How much does it cost to self-publish?
- How do you get paid when you self-publish?
- Book marketing principles
- How to market fiction
- How to market non-fiction
Plus, links to more useful resources. If you’re ready to successfully self-publish, then download a sample or buy now.
Updated Edition for April 2021.
Do you want to be a more relaxed author?
There are plenty of books and tips on writing faster, learning more marketing tactics and strategies, trying to maximize your ranking, hitting the top of the charts, juicing the algorithms, and hacking different ad platforms. While these are all important things — which the authors themselves regularly write and talk about — it's also important to recognize that your author journey is a marathon, and not a sprint.
Joanna Penn and Mark Leslie Lefebvre have been in the business long enough to see authors burning out and leaving the writing life because they turned what they love into a hamster wheel of ever more production and marketing tasks they hate. It doesn't have to be this way.
This book is a collection of tips on how to be a more relaxed author — and return to the love that brought you to writing in the first place. You will discover:
- Why the 'relaxed' author?
- You are not alone. Why authors are not relaxed.
Part 1: Relaxed Writing
- Write what you love
- Write at your own pace
- Write in a series (if you want to)
- Schedule time to fill the creative well and for rest and relaxation
- Improve your writing process — but only if it fits with your lifestyle
Part 2: Relaxed Publishing
- Make empowered publishing choices
- Understand persistence, patience, and partnership
- Value your work. You create intellectual property assets.
- Publish at your own pace
- Publish wide (or don't)
- Sell direct to your audience
- Don't let piracy and plagiarism derail you
- Deal with cancel culture, bad reviews, and haters
- Find a community who support your publishing choices
Part 3: Relaxed Marketing
- Focus on the basics first
- Simplify your author brand and website
- Simplify and automate your email
- Find one form of marketing you enjoy and can sustain for the long term
- Put book 1 in a series free or permafree
- Choose social media that suits you — or don't use it at all
- Advertise in campaigns
- Outsource when you can
- Embrace who you are. Double down on being human.
- Think global, digital, long-term marketing
Part 4: Relaxed Business
- Do you really want to run an author business?
- Create multiple streams of income
- Eliminate tasks. Say 'no' more.
- Organize and improve your processes
- Use tools
- Find voices you trust and tune out the rest
- Learn about money
- Look after your physical and mental health
- Keep a long-term mindset
If you want to be a more relaxed author, sample or buy today.
Are you ready to help other people and change your own life with your words?
The first non-fiction book I wrote changed my life. Sure, it helped other people, but mostly it altered the course of my life – so much so that 10 years later, I make a living with my writing.
I've written seven other non-fiction books and co-written two more and built a multi-six-figure income around my non-fiction eco-system. In this book, I'll share everything I've learned along the way and save you time, effort and frustration on your author journey.
The book includes:
PART 1. Before You Write: Mindset
Why write a non-fiction book?
Can I write a book if I'm not the expert?
Originality. Or, there are so many other books on this topic
Who are you? Personal stories and the writer's voice
The day a non-fiction book changed my life
Fear and self-doubt
PART 2. Before You Write: Business
Types of non-fiction books
Business models for non-fiction books
Who is your book for? Identify your target market
Decide on the topic for your book
Decide on your book title
Your author name and pseudonyms
How long does your book have to be?
How long will it take to write the book?
Your perspective on time
Writing a book proposal
PART 3. Writing and Editing
Gather and organize existing material
Research, interviews, surveys, and social listening
Structure and organize the book
How to write the first draft
How to dictate your book
Turn your blog/podcasts/videos/talks into a book
Speed and quality
Focus and shiny object syndrome
Co-writing a non-fiction book
How to turn a boring book into an engaging read
Elements of fiction in non-fiction
Truth and perfectionism
Legal issues: Using real people, quotes, lyrics, images, and citing sources
Self-editing a book
How to find and work with professional editors
PART 4. Publishing and Product Creation
Your publishing options
The different formats for your book
Non-fiction book covers
Book formatting for non-fiction
Pricing your book
Your book sales description
Categories and keywords
Turn your non-fiction book into a multimedia course
Updating your books over time
PART 5. Marketing Non-Fiction
Two models of marketing and the importance of mindset
Paid advertising for non-fiction books
Author-centered marketing. The power of a personal brand
Build your author website
Build an email list
Integrate email marketing with your book
Content marketing for non-fiction books
My non-fiction marketing journey
Conclusion and your next steps.
It's time to (finally) write your non-fiction book. Download a sample or buy now and start writing.
Being a writer is not just about typing. It’s also about surviving the roller-coaster of the creative journey.
Self-doubt, fear of failure, the need for validation, perfectionism, writer’s block, comparisonitis, overwhelm, and much more. When you’re going through these things, it can feel like you’re alone. But actually, they are part of the creative process, and every author goes through them too.
This book collects the mindset issues that writers experience, that I have been through myself over the last decade, and that perhaps you will experience at different times on the creative journey.
Each small chapter tackles a possible issue and then offers an antidote, so that you can dip in and out over time. It includes excerpts from my own personal journals as well as quotes from well-known writers. I hope it helps you on the road to becoming a successful author. The book includes:
Part 1: Mindset Aspects of Creativity and Writing
* Self-doubt and imposter syndrome
* Need for validation
* Fear of failure
* Fear of rejection and criticism
* Your inner critic
* Fear of judgment
* Writer’s block and procrastination
* “I’m not creative. I don’t have any ideas”
* “My writing isn’t original”
* “Why write? There are too many books in the world already”
* “I don’t have the time or self-discipline to write”
* “I’m not finding writing much fun. It’s hard work.”
* “I keep starting things and not finishing them”
* Dealing with friends, family and writer’s groups
* “How do I find my voice?”
* Comparisonitis or “Everyone is better than me”
Part 2: Mindset Aspects after Publishing
* Anti-climax and creative dissatisfaction
* What is your definition of success?
* What happens when you tell people that you’re an author?
* “I’m overwhelmed”
* Dealing with fans, authenticity and drawing the line
* Haters gonna hate
* Ambition, fame and fortune
* Giving up
Part 3: Tips for Success on the Author Journey
* Know thyself
* Understand and hone your creative process
* Develop professional habits
* Manage professional relationships
* Take control of your writing career
* Find your community
* Keep learning
* Schedule rest and take time off
* Think long term. Create a body of work
You're not alone on the author's journey. Download a sample or buy now.
You are an author. You turn ideas into reality in the shape of a book.
You turn the thoughts in your head into valuable intellectual property assets. You understand how powerful the written word can be. Now it's time to use your words to create a business plan to take your writing career to the next level — whatever that means for your situation.
I'm Joanna Penn and I've been a full-time author-entrepreneur for almost a decade. In this book, I’ll guide you through the process of creating a business plan that will help you achieve your creative and financial goals.
It’s relevant for fiction and non-fiction authors, as well as those who want to include other products, services, and income streams. It’s also applicable whether you’re just starting out or if you already have a mature author business. A plan helps at any stage of the journey.
- Part 1 covers your business summary and author brand, taking you through the process of deciding the overall direction for what you want to achieve and who you want to serve.
- Part 2 goes into the production process around your writing, publishing and licensing, products and services.
- Part 3 covers your marketing strategy and author eco-system.
- Part 4 goes into the financial side of your business, from mindset to revenue and costs, as well as paying yourself now and into the future.
The final chapter will give you a framework for simplifying your plan and turning it into achievable steps across a chosen timeline.
In each section, I give examples from my own business plan and there are questions for you to answer, templates, and resources that might help along the way, as well as example business plans for different kinds of authors.
It's time to take your author career to the next level. Let's get started on your business plan.
Please note: This book doesn’t go into detail on how to do the specific topics, for example, how to self-publish a book, or how to do content marketing. I cover those topics in my other Books for Authors.
If you already have my previous business book, Business for Authors, this is a rewritten and updated sub-set of that material, focusing on the specifics of a plan as opposed to everything involved in running a business. This book acts as a companion as well as a more recent update to my own author journey. It will help you bring it all together into a coherent plan that you can use to take your author business into the future.
Books for Authors by Joanna Penn
- How to Write Non-Fiction
- How to Market a Book
- How to Make a Living with your Writing
- Productivity for Authors
- Successful Self-Publishing
- Your Author Business Plan
- The Successful Author Mindset
- Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives and Other Introverts
- Audio for Authors: Audiobooks, Podcasting, and Voice Technologies
- The Healthy Writer
- Business for Authors: How to be an Author Entrepreneur
- Career Change
Do you want to sell more books and reach more readers?
Do you want to discover how to build an author career for the long-term as well as spike your book sales right now?
If you don’t know much about marketing, don’t worry. We all start with nothing.
I’m Joanna Penn and back in 2008, I had no book sales, no audience, no website, no social media, no podcast, no email list. No nothing.
Now I’m a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers and non-fiction. My books have sold over 600,000 copies in 162 countries, and I’m an award-winning creative entrepreneur and international speaker, making a multi-six-figure income with my writing.
Learning how to market my books and my personal brand changed my life. Yes, you need to write an awesome book, but you also need to know how to get it in front of the right readers.
How to Market a Book is for authors who want to sell more books, but it's also for those writers who want to think like an entrepreneur and build a long-term income. It's for traditionally published authors who want to take control of their future, and for self-published authors who want to jump-start a career.
There are short-term tactics for those who want to boost immediate sales, but the focus of the book is more about instilling values and marketing principles that will help your long-term career as a writer.
It's also about going beyond just the book, because these methods can take you from being an author into making money from other products, professional speaking, and creating opportunities that you can't even imagine yet.
In this completely updated Third Edition, you’ll discover:
˃˃˃ Part 1: Marketing Principles
Book marketing myths, how discoverability works, and the polarities of marketing that will determine what you choose to implement
˃˃˃ Part 2: Your Book Fundamentals
Prerequisites for success, how to optimise your book for online sales, categories and keywords, exclusivity, pricing and use of free, box-sets and bundling, and writing series
˃˃˃ Part 3: No Platform Needed. Short-term Marketing
How to get customer reviews and find book bloggers, paid advertising with email blasts, paid advertising with Facebook, Amazon Ads and ad stacking, algorithm hacking, big data, and production speed
˃˃˃ Part 4: Your Author Platform. Long-term Marketing
Building an author brand, author website, list-building and email marketing, content marketing, blogging, audio and podcasting, video and book trailers, social networking, professional speaking, marketing audiobooks, PR and publicity, TV, radio and traditional media
˃˃˃ Part 5: Launching Your Book
Why launching is different for indie authors, soft launch, launch spikes, post launch, how to relaunch backlist books. Includes an example book marketing strategy and launch plan checklist.
˃˃˃ Other books for authors by Joanna Penn. Available in ebook, print and audiobook.
How to Make a Living with your Writing
Business for Authors: How to be an Author Entrepreneur
The Successful Author Mindset
Public Speaking for Authors, Creatives and Other Introverts
Co-writing a Book: Collaboration and Co-Creation for Writers
Career Change: Stop hating your job, discover what you really want to do with your life, and start doing it!
Are you sick of your job?
Don't worry, I know how you feel! I used to start every working week saying "I hate my job" and spend every Friday night drinking too much to drown my misery.
I was a cubicle worker in large corporates, going to pointless meetings, writing endless documents no one would read, testing computer systems that would soon be obsolete. Every day, my soul and my creativity died a little.
Maybe you feel the same?
Well, life is too short to just exist on the edge of breakdown, and there is a better way of living. You need to discover what you love to do and then make that your job, your life's work.
This book will take you through understanding the way you feel now as well as how to improve your current situation immediately so you can create enough space to work on breaking out and doing what you truly love. It also contains the career change process I used to go from management consultant to full-time author-entrepreneur.
It's time to change your career and your life.
In this book, you will find:
** Part 1: I hate my job
1) Identifying the problem
2) The results of an unhappy workplace- stress, depression and weight gain
** Part 2: How to improve your current situation
3) Develop yourself
4) Coping with stress at work
5) Being valued and appreciated
6) Escaping the trap
7) Making money and keeping hold of it
8) Being creative
9) Escape is sometimes necessary
** Part 3: How to change your career
10) What do you really want to do?
11) Entrepreneurship or working for yourself
12) The Career Change Process
13) Setting and achieving your goals
14) Your Challenge. Your Future
* Case Study Micro-Entrepreneur: How I run my business, The Creative Penn Limited
* Interview with Joanna Penn on how to change careers
* From affirmation to reality: the author’s story
* The Smart Person’s Guide to Quitting the Day Job
Life’s too short to continue feeling this way. It’s time to change your life. Packed with strategies, tips and personal stories that will help you find the work you love. If you want to change your life and your career, download a sample or buy now.
It's time to stop, reassess and take control of your time. This book will help you discover the path to becoming a productive writer.
Learn how to:
- Identify what's really stopping you from reaching your goals
- Say no and set boundaries for others -- and for yourself
- Find more time to write
- Make the most of your writing time
- Dictate your words for a more efficient and healthy writing life
- Use outsourcing to buy yourself more creative time
- Work with co-writers to produce more books
- Use tools for specific aspects of productivity
- Focus on physical and mental health to boost your productive time
I've been writing and publishing for over a decade and in this book, I'll share my lessons learned in order to help you become more productive and, hopefully, save you time, money and heartache along the way.
If you want to become a more productive writer, download a sample or buy now.
Are you ready to use podcasting to grow your author brand and reach more readers with your books?
Audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment in publishing with double-digit growth in markets across the world. Podcasting has gone mainstream with listeners consuming audio on mobile phones and in-car devices, as well as through smart speakers. Advancements in voice technology continue to expand possibilities for audio creation and marketing.
With such rapid growth in opportunity, how can you position your books in an increasingly voice-first world?
I've been podcasting for over a decade as well as narrating and producing my own audiobooks since 2014. I'm an avid consumer of audio content and I'm also experimenting with AI voice technologies. In this book, I'll share everything I know so you can position your books and your author brand for the next shift in reader behavior.
You will discover:
Why audio and why now?
The audio first ecosystem
The audio mindset
Part 1: Audiobooks
Types of audiobooks
Writing, adapting and editing your work for audio
Intellectual property considerations for audiobooks
Your options for audiobook publishing and licensing
How to find and work with a professional narrator
Reasons to narrate your own audiobook
Audiobook narration tips
Recording studio options
Audiobook recording, editing, and production
How to self-publish an audiobook
How long does an audiobook take to produce?
How do audiobook readers discover audiobooks?
How to market audiobooks
The money side of audiobooks
Part 2: Podcasting
Why podcasting is important for authors
The difference between audiobooks and podcasting
Types of podcasts
How to research and pitch podcasters
How to be a great podcast guest
Should you start your own podcast?
Intellectual property considerations for podcasting
Podcasting equipment and software
How to be a great podcast host
Show notes and transcripts
Collaboration and freelancers
Podcast workflow and tools
How to launch a podcast
How to market a podcast
Repurpose your content
The money side of podcasting
Part 3: Voice Technologies
Overview of voice technologies
Speech to text: dictation
Text to speech
Voice assistants, smart speakers and devices
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the future of voice
If you want to position your books and your author brand for audio growth, then check out the book now!
Do you want to make a living with your writing?
Do you want to turn your words into multiple streams of income?
I’m Joanna Penn and I left my corporate job a decade ago to become a full-time author entrepreneur. In this completely updated Third Edition, I’ll explain how I make a living with my writing and share tips from other writers on how you can do it too with practical, actionable advice that you can implement for yourself.
If you love to create and you’re ready to learn fresh skills in a fast-changing environment, this book will give you lots of ideas on how to make money with your words.
Each chapter provides ideas you can use to research each opportunity in more detail and questions to guide your thought process. Sometimes it’s just about knowing what’s out there in order to find what’s right for you.
The book includes:
- First principles
Part 1: How to Make Money with Books
- 1.1 Your publishing options and how the industry has changed
- 1.2 Your book is a valuable intellectual property asset
- 1.3 Traditional publishing
- 1.4 Self-publishing or becoming an indie author
- 1.5 Write more books
- 1.6 Write books that people want to buy
- 1.7 Publish in multiple formats
- 1.8 Publish globally
- 1.9 Sell direct to your audience
- 1.10 Market your books
Part 2: How to Make Money with your Writing in Other Ways
- 2.1 Your author ecosystem
- 2.2 Affiliate income
- 2.3 Crowdfunding, patronage and subscription
- 2.4 Professional speaking, teaching, performing, and live events
- 2.5 Online courses, webinars, events, and membership sites
- 2.6 Advertising and sponsorship
- 2.7 Physical products and merchandise
- 2.8 Freelance writing and ghostwriting
- 2.9 Consulting or coaching
- 2.10 Author services
- 2.11 Other ways to make money with your writing
The transition to making a living with your writing
If you want to make a living with your writing, download a sample or buy now!
Are you ready to take the next step in your author journey?
Art for the sake of art is important. Writing for the love of it, or to create something beautiful on the page, is absolutely worthwhile and critical to expand the sum of human expression.
But I’m not here to talk about creativity or the craft of writing in this book. My aim is to take the result of your creativity into the realm of actually paying the bills.
˃˃˃ To take you from being an author to running a business as an author.
I was a business consultant for 13 years before I gave up my job in September 2011 to become a full-time author-entrepreneur. I worked for large corporates and small businesses, implementing financial systems across Europe and Asia Pacific.
I’ve also started a number of my own businesses ”" a scuba dive charter boat in New Zealand, a customized travel website, a property investment portfolio in Australia as well as my freelance consultancy. I’ve failed a lot and learned many lessons in my entrepreneurial life and I share them all in this book.
In the last six years of being an author, through tempestuous changes in the publishing world, I've learned the business side of being a writer and I now earn a good living as an author-entrepreneur. I’m an author because it's my passion and my joy but also because it's a viable business in this age of global and digital opportunity.
˃˃˃ In the book, you will learn:
** Part 1: From Author To Entrepreneur
The arc of the author’s journey, definition of an author-entrepreneur, deciding on your definition of success. Plus/ should you start a company?
** Part 2: Products and Services
How you can turn one manuscript into multiple streams of income by exploiting all the different rights, various business models for authors and how to evaluate them, information on contracts, copyright and piracy. Plus/ putting together a production plan.
** Part 3: Employees, Suppliers and Contractors
The team you need to run your business. Your role as author and what you’re committing to, as well as co-writing. Editors, agents and publishers, translators, book designers and formatters, audiobook narrators, book-keeping and accounting, virtual assistants. Plus/ how to manage your team.
** Part 4: Customers
In-depth questions to help you understand who your customers are and what they want, as well as customer service options for authors.
** Part 5: Sales and Distribution
How to sell through distributors and your options, plus all the information you need to sell direct. ISBNs and publishing imprints ”" do you need them? Plus/ your options for pricing.
** Part 6: Marketing
Key overarching marketing concepts. Book-based marketing including cover, back copy and sales pages on the distributors. Author-based marketing around building your platform, and customer-based marketing around your niche audience and targeted media.
** Part 7: Financials
Changing your mindset about money, and assessing where you are now vs where you want to be. Revenues of the author business and how to increase that revenue. Costs of the author business and funding your startup. Banking, PayPal, accounting, reporting, tax and estate planning.
** Part 8: Strategy and Planning
Developing your strategy and business plan. Managing your time and developing professional habits. The long term view and the process for becoming a full-time author. Plus/ looking after yourself.
Are you struggling with back pain, weight gain related to sedentary working, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, neck pain, eye strain, stress, loneliness, digestive issues, or Repetitive Strain Injury?
These are the most common issues reported by writers and if you struggle with any of them, you are not alone.
Writing is not a physically healthy job, but if you want a long-term writing career, then you need to look after your body.
I've been through my own pain journey over the last six years. I used to get crippling migraines that sent me to a dark room, and back pain so bad that I couldn't sleep, as well as stress levels so high that I wasn't able to breathe normally.
Now, my back pain, migraines and RSI have almost gone completely, and I manage my writing life in a far healthier way than ever before. I share my personal journey and insights with you in this book.
My co-author is Dr Euan Lawson, who shares his insights into how we can reduce pain, improve health and build a writing career for the long term.
The book covers:
Introduction and survey results from 1200 writers
7 Reasons why writing is great for your health
>>> Part 1: The Unhealthy Writer
Stress, anxiety, burnout
Back, neck and shoulder pain
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
A personal journey to a pain-free back
Writing with chronic pain
Sedentary life and inactivity
Sleep problems/ insomnia
Eye strain, headaches, and migraine
A personal story of headaches and migraine
Loneliness and isolation
Weight gain or weight loss
Joanna's Letter to Sugar
Digestive issues and IBS
A personal journey through IBS with FODMAP
Mood and mental health
Riding the Waves: Writing with depression
Alcohol - the good, the bad, and the ugly
Coffee and caffeine
Supplements, substances, and nootropics
>>> Part 2: The Healthy Writer
Improve your workspace
Sort out your sleep
Sort out your diet
From fat to fit
Sort out your back
Lessons learned about writing from yoga
How to use dictation for a healthier writing life
The active writer mindset
Strategies for the sofa-bound
The active writer: Three golden rules
The running writer: Three rookie mistakes
Lessons learned about writing from walking a double ultra-marathon
Find a community
Build wellbeing with mindfulness
Develop healthy habits for the long-term
Conclusion: It's your turn. Choose life.
It's time to be a healthy writer!