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 • 109 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.

    Global, Wide Self-Publishing With Mark Leslie Lefebvre

    Global, Wide Self-Publishing With Mark Leslie Lefebvre

    How can you reach every reader on every platform in a global, distributed reading environment? How can you take a long-term, relaxed attitude to your author career? Mark Leslie Lefebvre talks about self-publishing wide in this interview.



    In the intro, KDP introduces Kindle Vella, a new serial reading platform, perhaps a response to China Literature's entrance into the US market? [The New Publishing Standard]; Microsoft buys Nuance, which makes Dragon Dictation [TechCrunch]; and Exploring Darkness and Accepting our Animal Nature on my Books and Travel Podcast.

    Plus, my new theme is Authority Pro by StudioPress; Six Figure Authors on using bonus material to sell more books; BookBub tips on book marketing in 2021; and check out the Adventure Writers Summit (23-25 April);

     



    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.



    Mark Leslie Lefebvre writes horror stories, travel books, and non-fiction for writers. He's a podcaster at Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing, a professional speaker, and a publishing consultant at Draft2Digital. His latest non-fiction book is Wide for the Win, Strategies to Sell Globally via Multiple Platforms and Forge Your Own Path to Success.

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

    Show Notes



    * Why is going wide with your books important now?

    * Where to start if you want to go wide

    * Understanding the way different stores work

    * The value in your backlist when you’re selling wide

    * The strategy behind first-in-series permafree

    * The ‘relaxed' author — playing the long game when your books are wide



    You can find Mark Leslie Lefebvre at MarkLeslie.ca and on Twitter @MarkLeslie



    Transcript of Interview with Mark Leslie Lefebvre

    Joanna: Mark Leslie Lefebvre writes horror stories, travel books, and non-fiction for writers.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Writing, Publishing And Marketing Books For Children With Crystal Swain-Bates

    Writing, Publishing And Marketing Books For Children With Crystal Swain-Bates

    How can you write a children's story with a message without being preachy? How can you find and work effectively with an illustrator? How can you market your book to kids in schools?

    Crystal Swain Bates gives her tips on writing, publishing and marketing books for children, as well as how we can make books and the author community more diverse.



    In the intro, how library distribution works for indie authors [ALLi]; Constant change and when your winning bet becomes your losing bet [Spotify A Product Story]; Tarzan Economics; 8 Principles for Pivoting Through Disruption by Will Page; Subscription models and streaming and the impact on indie authors [me and Orna Ross on the Ask ALLi Podcast]; The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow; Google update coming in May 2021 for Page Experience and Core Web Vitals [Search Engine Watch], plus ScribeCount for wide reporting.



    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 



    Crystal Swain-Bates is the best-selling author of children's books, and the founder of Goldest Karat Publishing, which seeks to fill the racial diversity gap in publishing.

    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



    * The value of making mistakes along the way and learning as you go

    * Writing a positioning statement for your book

    * Writing a story with a message — but without preaching or lecturing

    * How to find and work with illustrators for children’s picture books

    * The importance of getting your contract right if you want to create merchandise and other products

    * Using print-on-demand for children's books and which services are best

    * Marketing children’s books in schools and online

    * Encouraging diversity in characters, books and in the author community



    You can find Crystal Swain-Bates at CrystalSwainBates.com and on Twitter @CSwainBates



    Transcript of Interview with Crystal Swain-Bates

    Joanna: Crystal Swain-Bates is the best-selling author of children's books, and the founder of Goldest Karat Publishing, which seeks to fill the racial diversity gap in publishing. Welcome, Crystal.

    Crystal: Thank you. Thanks for having me here.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Publish Wide, Sell More Books And AI for Voice. Google Play Books With Ryan Dingler

    Publish Wide, Sell More Books And AI for Voice. Google Play Books With Ryan Dingler

    How can you sell more ebooks and audiobooks on Google Play Books to the global market? How can you optimize your books so they are more likely to be discovered?

    How might auto-narrated audiobooks help expand the market? All this and more in today's interview with Ryan Dingler from Google.



    Ryan Dingler is a product manager at Google, and also writes about the intersection of technology and business.

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

    Show Notes



    * The difference between Google Books and Google Play Books

    * How searching and purchasing books works on Android

    * Market penetration of Android devices and global reach of Google Play Books

    * Publishing books on Google Play Books and international pricing

    * Advantages of publishing direct with Google Play Books

    * The importance of good metadata for marketing books

    * AI-narrated audiobooks and when they might be available for authors



    You can find Google Play Books at play.google.com/store/books and you can publish at Play.google.com/books/publish/u/0/

    [You can buy my ebooks and audiobooks on Google Play — non-fiction as Joanna Penn, and fiction as J.F.Penn]



    Transcript of Interview with Ryan Dingler

    Joanna Penn: Ryan Dingler is a product manager at Google, and also writes about the intersection of technology and business. Welcome Ryan.

    Ryan Dingler: Hello.

    Joanna Penn: It's great to have you on the show. So first up, I have been having a little read of your blog.

    Tell us a bit more about you and why you're so interested in books and technology.

    Ryan Dingler: Maybe first I'll talk about my background. I am an avid reader of books myself, even before I got into this job, I mostly read nonfiction, although I do enjoy quite a bit of sci-fi and can definitely go on a binge there.

    One thing that is unique that I have been able to do is merge my interest in books with my actual job, especially as it relates to technology. As a product manager at Google, I work to develop products for a lot of our users, both on the publisher side and on the consumer side.

    So it's been quite interesting to see how books can interplay with technology. Books have a long history with technology dating back to the printing press in the 15th century and really disseminating information. I see my role as doing that today. Maybe on a little bit smaller scale, but allowing anyone to publish their books on our storefront and purchase it and read it in 75 countries.



     

    Joanna Penn: Fantastic. You mentioned 75 countries there, and I think this is the biggest issue I see with many self publishers. Obviously there's a huge market in America, but I feel like everyone just thinks America is everything. Give us an overview of Google Play Books in the global ebook ecosystem. Obviously we're not going to list 75 countries.

    Where does Google Play Books perform best and give us an idea about the Android ecosystem as well.

    Ryan Dingler: I think the best place to start actually is to talk about Google in general.

    • 41 min
    Writing Dialogue And Character Voice With Jeff Elkins

    Writing Dialogue And Character Voice With Jeff Elkins

    How can we write authentic and engaging character dialogue? How can we incorporate sub-text that deepens our writing? Jeff Elkins, The Dialogue Doctor explains more in this interview.



    In the intro, the new AudibleGate site; scammers using big publisher names [Writer Beware]; Vellum update for Ingram PDF [Vellum software; my tools and tutorials] ; Do BookBub deals on a permafree first in series work multiple times? [BookBub blog]; audio course on financial independence [JD Roth] and my list of money books. Plus, Secrets and Lies Storybundle; and updates on my books, The Wreck of the Unbelievable, and Damien Hirst's ‘green' NFT [FT].

    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.



    Jeff Elkins is the author of 12 thriller and mystery novels, as well as over 100 short stories. He's also a ghostwriter, dialogue editor, and a podcaster at the Dialogue Doctor 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



    * How getting fired started Jeff’s writing career and how he now manages multiple streams of income

    * The two biggest mistakes writers make with dialogue

    * Ways to research authentic voices

    * How to use subtext in dialogue

    * How dialogue helps readers connect with characters

    * Making choices about swearing in dialogue based on who your readers are



    You can find Jeff Elkins at DialogueDoctor.com and on Twitter @Jffelkins



    Transcript of Interview with Jeff Elkins

    Joanna: Jeff Elkins is the author of 12 thriller and mystery novels, as well as over 100 short stories. He's also a ghostwriter, dialogue editor, and a podcaster at the Dialogue Doctor Podcast. Welcome, Jeff.

    Jeff: Hey, Joanna. Thanks for having me on today.

    Joanna: I'm very excited.

    Before we get into our topic of dialogue, tell us a bit more about you and how you got into writing and publishing.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Fix Your Writing Tics With Chris Banks From ProWriting Aid

    Fix Your Writing Tics With Chris Banks From ProWriting Aid

    What is your writer's tic and how can you fix it with Pro Writing Aid? Why are commas such an issue for writers? (and my own personal nemesis!)

    How can AI tools enhance our creativity and usher in a new abundant future for writers? I discuss all this and more with Chris Banks from Pro Writing Aid.



    Chris Banks is the CEO and founder of ProWritingAid, which has over 1.5 million users worldwide.



    I use ProWritingAid for all my books at various stages of the editing process and I'm a very happy affiliate! You can get 25% off the premium edition using my link: www.TheCreativePenn.com/prowritingaid

    You can also check out my tutorial: How To Use ProWritingAid To Improve Your Writing And Self-Edit Your Book

    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 ProWriting Aid evolved from Chris's desire to improve his own writing

    * Passive voice, commas, -ing words, and other common writing tics

    * Integration with Scrivener and checking your writing across large documents

    * The different types of reports ProWriting Aid generates to support your writing

    * How AI is used at ProWriting Aid

    * How the demand for writers may increase because of AI, and help enhance our creativity



    You can find Chris Banks at ProWritingAid.com and on Twitter @ProWritingAid



    Transcript of Interview with Chris Banks

    Joanna: Chris Banks is the CEO and founder of ProWritingAid, which has over 1.5 million users worldwide. Welcome, Chris.

    Chris: Hi, Joanna. It's nice to be here.

    Joanna: I'm excited to talk to you today.

    Tell us a bit more about you and your background in writing, because your bio mentions books, but no details. I'm fascinated!

    Chris: It's because the books I've written are literally the most boring books you could ever imagine! They're only published in banking, so they're hard to get a hold of as well.

    I left University after I studied psychology, and went into management consultancy, and then research. Obviously, that was a lot of writing. Writing business processes, and then research pieces. I was very lucky at that point to have people who spent a lot of time mentoring me in my writing, and showing me how to write business writing well.

    I actually wasn't a good writer. I'd never had any guidance with my writing. It was definitely a shock when I arrived in the business world and had to write, to explain things to people rather than at university where you're trying to impress your tutors, because they already know the information you're presenting.

    Whereas in the real world, you have to explain things to people, so you have to simplify them and give them easier ways to understand things.

    Joanna: That's fascinating. I also went into management consultancy. I was at Accenture.

    Chris: I was at a company called CHP Consulting that was set up by ex-Accenture people.

    Joanna: Oh, there you go. I feel like many consultants end up in the writing world.

    Chris: It is so heavy in writing right? I think writing is a good way of clarifying your thoughts. And I think when you do a lot of thinking for a living,

    • 39 min
    What Can Authors Learn From Digital Changes In The Music Industry? With Tristra Newyear Yeager

    What Can Authors Learn From Digital Changes In The Music Industry? With Tristra Newyear Yeager

    What can authors learn from the digital changes in the music industry? In this interview, Tristra Newyear Yeager talks about the empowerment of the indie musician, multiple streams of income, and the uses of blockchain and AI.



    In the intro, I report back on attending SXSW and some other online conferences on lessons learned from the acceleration of digital adoption; what the metaverse might mean [Forbes]; Mark Zuckerberg on the next iteration of VR [The Information]; Facebook's wristband wearable [The Next Web]; creating AI avatars [Exponential Wisdom], and Microsoft's identity platform on Bitcoin’s Blockchain.

    Plus, the Secrets and Lies mystery/crime Storybundle (limited time); Businessplan für Autoren (German); and Spotify: A Product Story podcast.



    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.



    Tristra Newyear Yeager is a writer and strategist for music PR firm Rock Paper Scissors. She's the co-host of the Music Tectonics Podcast, which explores the intersection of music and technology. She's also a fantasy novelist as T. Newyear.

    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



    * Digital shifts in the music industry in the last few years

    * The upside, and downside of the digitization of music

    * How payouts for streaming works in the music industry

    * How musical artists responded to the pandemic when the tour economy was decimated

    * The creative ideas musicians have for merchandise that adds to their streams of income

    * The effect technology, NFT’s and AI are having on the music industry

    * How will copyright be affected by technology and will artists benefit or lose out?



    You can find Tristra Newyear Yeager on LinkedIn and at musictectonics.com and on Twitter @MusicTectonics

    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
109 Ratings

109 Ratings

Ângelo Silva ,

Lovely podcast

Thank you for always being joyful, it’s awfully contagious.

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.

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