200 episodes

Information, inspiration and interviews on writing, self-publishing, book marketing and making a living with your writing.

If you need help with writing your book, or you want to learn how to navigate the new world of publishing and book marketing, then join Joanna Penn and her guests every Monday. Also covers the business of being a writer and how to make money with your books.

The Creative Penn Podcast For Writer‪s‬ Joanna Penn

    • Books
    • 4.9 • 107 Ratings

Information, inspiration and interviews on writing, self-publishing, book marketing and making a living with your writing.

If you need help with writing your book, or you want to learn how to navigate the new world of publishing and book marketing, then join Joanna Penn and her guests every Monday. Also covers the business of being a writer and how to make money with your books.

    How To Write Authentic Crime Fiction With Patrick O’Donnell From Cops and Writers

    How To Write Authentic Crime Fiction With Patrick O’Donnell From Cops and Writers

    How can you write nuanced police characters in your crime novels? What are some under-used crimes that might make interesting plots? Patrick O'Donnell talks about Cops and Writers in the interview today.



    In the intro, thoughts on a digital sales webinar from Ingram Content; the Immersive Books & Media 2020 Research Report [Publishers Weekly]; how to Audible subscription earnings work [ALLi blog]; and how close I came to being taken in by scammers posing as traditional publishers [Writer Beware].

    Plus, my sell direct tutorial; How to Make a Living with Your Writing 3rd edition; talking about the audio eco-system [Music Tectonics]; and a discussion on Your Author Business Plan [Rebel Author]



    Today's podcast sponsor is Findaway Voices, which gives you access to the world's largest network of audiobook sellers and everything you need to create and sell professional audiobooks. Take back your freedom. Choose your price, choose how you sell, choose how you distribute audio. Check it out at FindawayVoices.com.



    Patrick O'Donnell is a retired American police sergeant and the author of the Cops and Writers reference books for authors and screenwriters as well as a technical consultant for crime and police procedural novels.

    You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and full transcript below.

    Show Notes



    * Common mistakes that writers make about the police

    * Writing three-dimensional police characters

    * How police officers deal with survivor’s guilt

    * What TV and film get wrong about the police

    * Ideas for under-used crime plots

    * Writing nuanced criminals

    * The double-edged sword of technology in the police



    You can find Patrick O'Donnell at CopsAndWriters.com.



    Transcript of Interview with Patrick O'Donnell

    Joanna: Patrick O'Donnell is a retired American police sergeant and the author of the ‘Cops and Writers' reference books for authors and screenwriters as well as a technical consultant for crime and police procedural novels. Welcome, Patrick.

    Patrick: Thank you, Joanna, for having me on your show.

    • 1 hr 15 min
    The AI-Augmented Author. Writing With GPT-3 With Paul Bellow

    The AI-Augmented Author. Writing With GPT-3 With Paul Bellow

    How can authors use AI writing tools like GPT-3? What's the best way to prompt the models to output usable text? Are there copyright issues with this approach?

    Author Paul Bellow explains how he is using the tools and how authors need to embrace the possibilities rather than reject them.



    In the intro, I talk about getting access to the Open AI GPT-3 beta shortly after interviewing Paul and how I used ideas from this interview to generate prompts, plus my thoughts on the tool. You can find some of the sites built on top of GPT-3 at TheCreativePenn.com/AIWriting; plus Will Artificial Intelligence Ever Write a Novel from thriller author, Andrew Mayne. You can find all the AI-related episodes and book recommendations at TheCreativePenn.com/future



    Paul Bellow is a LitRPG author. He's also the publisher of LitRPG Forum, LitRPG Reads, and LitRPG Adventures. A writer for over four decades, he's currently tinkering with GPT-3 to create tools for authors and help his own writing too.

    You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and full transcript below.

    Show Notes



    * What is LitRPG?

    * What is Open AI's GPT3?

    * Shifting your mindset to embrace AI tools rather than be scared of them

    * Ways to use prompts with GPT-3 and other Natural Language Generation tools in order to output coherent and useful text

    * Is it cheating to use AI tools to help write your book?

    * Copyright issues related to GPT-3 — more in Episode 519: Copyright law and blockchain for authors in an age of AI

    * How might AI tools for writing be used in the near future?



    You can find Paul Bellow at LitRPGForum.com and on Twitter @LitRPGforum and you can find the D&D character backstory generator at LitRPGAdventures.com



    Transcript of Interview with Paul Bellow

    Joanna: Paul Bellow is a LitRPG author. He's also the publisher of LitRPG Forum, LitRPG Reads, and LitRPG Adventures. A writer for over four decades, he's currently tinkering with GPT-3 to create tools for authors and help his own writing too. Welcome to the show, Paul.

    Paul: Hi. Thanks for having me. It's good to be here.

    Joanna: I'm so excited to talk to you today. As I was saying before, you've really helped me shift my own mindset around AI writing. We're going to get into so much today.

    Tell us a bit more about you and how you got into writing and, also, what is LitRPG?

    Paul: I'll start with the LitRPG first. It's basically a genre. The term was coined, back in 2010, I believe, by Russian authors that were putting out a anthology. And stories of this type, the basic trope being you're trapped in a video game or real people going inside a video game, has been around since at least 1978, I think, with ‘Quag Keep' by Andre Norton.

    • 44 min
    Writing Tips: How To Structure And Write A Series With Sara Rosett

    Writing Tips: How To Structure And Write A Series With Sara Rosett

    Why is a series the not-so-secret weapon for making a decent living with your writing? What's the difference between episodic series and one with a clear arc across the books? What are some of the best ways to market a series? Sara Rosett talks about all these things and more.



    In the intro, Facebook shuts down news organizations (and a lot more) in Australia [The Guardian]; The possible impact of Facebook changes on author advertising [Author Media]; my Author Website and Email List Tutorial; my tutorial on how to sell ebooks and audiobooks direct with Payhip and Bookfunnel; and tips on dictation.



    Today's show is sponsored by Draft2Digital, where you can get free ebook formatting, free distribution to multiple stores, and a host of other benefits. Get your free Author Marketing Guide at www.draft2digital.com/penn 



    Sara Rosett is the USA Today best-selling author of cozy mysteries, travel and historical mysteries, as well as books and courses for writers, including How to Write a Series, and, How to Outline a Cozy Mystery. She's also a podcaster at Wish I'd Known Then with co-host, Jami Albright.

    You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and full transcript below.

    Show Notes



    * Finding time to write with small children in the house

    * The pros and cons of writing a series

    * How the hero’s journey fits in with a series

    * On the different types of series and where they work best

    * How to plan a series

    * How to keep track of character continuity in a series

    * Different ideas for marketing a book series



    You can find Sara Rosett at SaraRosett.com and on Twitter @SaraRosett



    Transcript of Interview with Sara Rosett

    Joanna: Sara Rosett is the USA Today best-selling author of cozy mysteries, travel and historical mysteries, as well as books and courses for writers, including How to Write a Series, and, How to Outline a Cozy Mystery. She's also a podcaster at Wish I'd Known Then with co-host, Jami Albright. Welcome to the show, Sara.

    Sara: Hi, Joanna. It's great to be here.

    Joanna: Oh, it's so exciting to have you on the show. So let's get started.

    Tell us a bit more about you and how you got into writing.

    Sara: I've always loved reading. I've always loved books. I've always loved mysteries. And so I read so many books when I was a kid and my dream was to write a fiction novel. So what did I do? I went to school and got a degree in language and litera...

    • 52 min
    How To Write A Non-Fiction Book Proposal With Alison Jones

    How To Write A Non-Fiction Book Proposal With Alison Jones

    What makes a non-fiction book stand out from the crowd? What are the essential elements of a non-fiction book proposal if you want to pitch agents and/or publishers, or if you want to prepare for effective self-publishing?

    In this interview, Alison Jones goes into detail on these things and how the publishing industry has changed due to the pandemic.



    In the intro, how audiobook authors and narrators are paid by Audible-ACX – we think – ALLi blog; iOS14 possible impact on Facebook ads [Facebook]; Taylor Swift and intellectual property rights [The Guardian]; Publishers Weekly backlist titles.

    Plus, thoughts on a decade of fiction; How to Make a Living with your Writing Third Edition is up for pre-order; and Your Author Business Plan and Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Virtual Worlds are both available everywhere as an audiobook – links to all my books in audio here, or just search your favorite audio app.

    Today's show is sponsored by IngramSpark, who I use to print and distribute my print-on-demand books to 39,000 retailers including independent bookstores, schools and universities, libraries and more. It's your content – do more with it through IngramSpark.com.



    Alison Jones is the CEO of Practical Inspiration Publishing and the author of This Book Means Business, as well as the host of The Extraordinary Business Book Club podcast.

    You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and full transcript below.

    Show Notes



    * Changes in publishing accelerating as a result of the pandemic

    * What makes an extraordinary non-fiction book?

    * Why write a proposal for a non-fiction book?

    * The elements of a non-fiction proposal

    * The importance of having a fair contract for your intellectual property

    * What makes a book attractive for foreign rights licensing?



    You can find Alison Jones at AlisonJones.com and on Twitter @bookstothesky. Alison also has a 10 Day Book Proposal Challenge.



    Transcript of Interview with Alison Jones

    Joanna: Alison Jones is the CEO of Practical Inspiration Publishing and the author of This Book Means Bu...

    • 57 min
    The Artist In The Machine: The World Of AI-Powered Creativity With Arthur I. Miller

    The Artist In The Machine: The World Of AI-Powered Creativity With Arthur I. Miller

    Can artificial intelligence augment our human creativity? Will AI ever be able to create art on its own and would we even be able to appreciate it?

    In this interview, Arthur I. Miller talks about the nature of creativity and The Artist in the Machine. In the intro, I mention my list of AI writing sites, and DALL-E by Open AI, as well as episode 518 on Writing in the Age of AI.



     

    Arthur I. Miller, Emeritus Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at University College London, is the author of nine books spanning science, philosophy and creativity. Among them is Einstein, Picasso: Space, Time, and the Beauty that Causes Havoc, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and Colliding Worlds: How Cutting-Edge Science is Redefining Contemporary Art.

    His latest book is The Artist in the Machine: The World of AI-Powered Creativity, which we're talking about today.



    You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and full transcript below.

    Show Notes



    * What is creativity?

    * Examples of art created with AI across visual art, music, and writing

    * Is AI a tool or a collaborator?

    * Copyright issues with work created with AI

    * What does the future of AI hold?



    You can find Arthur I Miller at ArtistInTheMachine.net and ArthurIMiller.com and on Twitter @ArthurIMiller



    Transcript of Interview with Arthur I Miller

    Joanna: Welcome to the show, Arthur.

    Arthur: Thank you for inviting me, Joanna. It's a pleasure to be here.

    Joanna: I'm so excited to talk to you since I read your book. I've given it to several people as well. It's great.

    Tell us a bit more about your background and why you became interested in creativity and AI.

    Arthur: I became interested in creativity when I was a boy growing up in the Bronx. It's a Bronx story. I was always a voracious reader and I made frequent visits to the local public library which was a magisterial building jam-packed with books and records, too.

    One day I was reading at a table that happened to be next to the place where records were stacked. And on the edge of a row of records was one that particularly intrigued me because it had a picture of a man done in a pencil sketch, the man is deeply in thought.

    I was always interested in sketching and then art in general. So I decided to borrow it, take it home, and practice copying the sketch on the cover. And I figured, well, since I have the record in my house I might as well listen to it even though I never heard of the composer.

    I played it and it just blew my mind, with Tchaikovsky's “Fifth Symphony.” I have never heard anything like that before. I began working back to Tchaikovsky and then gradually working back in time to other composers, too.

    The question that was immediately on my mind was how did these people think up that magnificent music?

    • 37 min
    Value Your Books For The Long Term With David Farland

    Value Your Books For The Long Term With David Farland

    You are not writing one book. You are creating an intellectual property asset that can make you money for the rest of your life and 50-70 years after you die.

    In this interview, David Farland talks about the importance of valuing your writing, and how to keep a long-term mindset as an author.



    In the intro, Jeff Bezos steps down as Amazon CEO [WIRED] and what that might mean for the focus going forward [VentureBeat]; Bill introduced this week to reform antitrust law and retool regulatory agencies to confront anticompetitive behavior by big corporations—notably, tech companies [Fast Company]; Prolific writing on the 6-Figure Author Podcast; and How to Market a Book: Overperform in a crowded market from Reedsy CEO, Ricardo Fayet. 

    Plus, Microsoft has launched Custom Neural Voice in limited preview, a service that allows customers to create custom voices with AI [VentureBeat]; and I discuss the current state of writing and artificial intelligence on the Ask ALLi show.



    This podcast is sponsored by Kobo Writing Life, which helps authors self-publish and reach readers in global markets through the Kobo eco-system. You can also subscribe to the Kobo Writing Life podcast for interviews with successful indie authors.



    David Farland is the multi-award-winning and international best-selling author of over 50 novels and anthologies across science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction. His nonfiction books for writers include a Million Dollar Outlines and Drawing on the Power of Resonance in Writing. And he offers courses and online community and workshops at MyStoryDoctor.com.

    You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and full transcript below.

    Show Notes



    * How the pandemic has affected publishing and how business models might change moving forward

    * Why some contract clauses might be a deal-breaker

    * Thinking long-term about your intellectual property

    * The different types of audiences that are important for a book

    * Constructing a story arc that might work for a TV series



    You can find David Farland at MyStoryDoctor.

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
107 Ratings

107 Ratings

Tech advisor :) ,

Excellent show!

Brilliant presenter, fantastic information. Thank you!!

Pastures13 ,

Excellent show!

I have been listening to this for almost two years. It is fantastic resource and I look forward to the episode, even when they are not about my genre. Great guest appearances too. Highly recommended.

Emmadhesi ,

A One-Stop Shop for indies!

I am a huge fan of this podcast and have been listening for about 3 years now. One of my favourite segments is her round up of what's happening in book news. She keeps me informed about what's going on and I really appreciate that.

She has really interesting guests and always finds a new angle from which to explore the publishing world.

She's the person who encouraged me to go indie and through her website and blog has been a very important 'mentor' in my writing life. I highly recommend this podcast become part of your listening week.

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