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

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.

    Empowering Authors Around Copyright With Rebecca Giblin

    Empowering Authors Around Copyright With Rebecca Giblin

    Your author career is in your hands. Publishers are not charities and even if you have an agent, you need to know about the importance and value of copyright so you can make informed and empowered decisions about your writing. If you’re an indie author, you still need to understand copyright, because when you sign up with online distributors, you are making choices around licensing.

    In today's show, I interview Rebecca Giblin about a recent study on publishing contracts, what clauses to watch out for, why this is so important for authors, plus the potential impact of AI on copyright.



    In publishing news, The Bookseller reports that Penguin Random House has withdrawn its ebooks and digital audio titles from unlimited access subscription models,“to preserve a diversity of content in the marketplace and the actual and perceived long-term value of our authors’ intellectual property.” Plus, I'm interviewed on The Kindle Chronicles Podcast about audiobooks and how things have changed for authors over the last decade.

    In the futurist segment, This Time Tomorrow Podcast on 5G; plus, a Chinese court rules an AI-written article is protected by copyright [Venture Beat], Google’s AI language model Reformer can process the entirety of novels [VentureBeat], and Hollywood is now using AI tools for analysis and companies are developing AI for scriptwriting [The Guardian]. I talk about the implications of this for creatives and why we need to double down on being human.



    Today's show is sponsored by my patrons, those wonderful people who support the show with a few dollars a month. Knowing that you enjoy the show and find it useful keeps me coming back to the mic every week after all these years! If you'd like to support the show and get an extra Q&A audio every month (as well as the backlist), go to: www.Patreon.com/thecreativepenn



    Rebecca Giblin is an author and Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne, specializing in copyright and technology regulation. She is Director of the Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia (IPRIA), and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow leading the Author’s Interest project.

    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 below.

    Show Notes



    * Why Rebecca is passionate about helping authors with copyright

    * The difference between the ownership of copyright and the authorship of copyright

    * How dangerously easy it is for authors to transfer ownership

    * When and why reversion clauses matter

    * Other important clauses to negotiate into publishing contracts

    • 1 hr 1 min
    How To Pitch Your Book To Agents, Publishers And Readers With Kate Harrison

    How To Pitch Your Book To Agents, Publishers And Readers With Kate Harrison

    What is the best way to pitch your book to an agent or publisher? What's the best way to write a sales description that pitches your book to a potential reader if you're independent? How can you use the pitch technique to write a book that stands a better chance of selling? All this and more in today's interview with Kate Harrison, author of Pitch Power.



    In the intro, I mention the new FindawayVoices promotional pricing tool and BookBub's audiobook ads.

    Plus, join me and Joseph Michael, The Scrivener Coach for a free webinar on How You Can Get Scrivener To Do Exactly What You Want (And Accelerate Your Writing Career  In Less Than 1 Hour!) I've used Scrivener for 30+ books and it's still my #1 writing tool. This webinar will teach you how to make the most of the software in order to write your book (fiction or non-fiction). I'll also be sharing some of my tips. Join us on Thurs 30 Jan at 3 pm US Eastern / 8 pm UK. Click here to register for your free place. 

    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.



    Kate Harrison is the bestselling author of 13 novels and seven nonfiction books, which have sold over a million copies and been translated into 25 languages. She was formerly a TV producer at the BBC, and her latest book is Pitch Power: Discover what Makes Your Book Irresistible & how to Sell It.

    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 below.

    Show Notes



    * Why learning how to pitch a book is relevant even if you’re independent

    * Why the emotional tone of your book is a key thing to understand

    * How every step we take writing a book contributes to how we’ll pitch it in the end

    * The difference between hooks and tag lines

    * ‘Reverse engineering’ a book’s hook once it’s written

    * Tips for keeping book descriptions fresh across a series

    * Tips for how to pitch your book to an agent if you want to get published

    * How to finding comparison (comp) titles and authors to help with pitching your book

    * The balance between starting fresh with a new pen name or continuing with an established platform



    You can find Kate Harrison at kate-harrison.com and on Twitter @KateWritesBooks



    Transcript of Interview with Kate Harrison

    Joanna: Kate Harrison is the bestselling author of 13 novels and seven nonfiction books, which have sold over a million copies and been translated into 25 languages. She was formerly a TV producer at the BBC, and her latest book is Pitch Power: Discover what Makes Your Book Irresistible & how to Sell It. Welcome to the show, Kate.

    Kate: Thank you, Joanna. I am so excited to be here because I listen to the podcast every week. It's going to be quite freaky being here as a guest.

    • 57 min
    How Will Self-Publishing Change In The 2020s? Thoughts From Joanna Penn And Orna Ross

    How Will Self-Publishing Change In The 2020s? Thoughts From Joanna Penn And Orna Ross

    The 2010s saw the birth and growth of the independent author movement, so what do the 2020s have in store?

    In this episode, Joanna Penn and Orna Ross discuss some trends for authors and publishing in the next decade, as well as some predictions on some things that may well happen in the next decade. Are you ready to surf the wave?



    In the intro, I mention The Future is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler.

    Also, Mike Shatzkin's reflections on the changes in book publishing, and please help me bring you the most useful information and resources by completing my Creative Penn community survey and be in to win 1:1 consulting.



    Orna Ross is an author, a poet, and the founder of the Alliance of Independent Authors. Her work for ALLi has seen her named as one of The Bookseller’s “100 top people in publishing.” Joanna Penn is an award-nominated fiction writer, award-winning creative entrepreneur, and podcaster.

    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 below.

    Show Notes



    * Check out our review of a decade of self-publishing here

    * (1) Growth in global reading, why Android is so important, and why another billion internet users is so exciting

    * (2) Publishing networks decentralize and distribute, authors will sell direct, and there may be a break up of big companies

    * (3) Author business models diversify, with particular note of experiences, and sales on the blockchain

    * (4) Growing adoption of technology by authors and publishers, including the impact of AI on copyright, natural language generation, and 5G. Plus, why we don't think neurotechnology will be used to write a book anytime soon

    * (5) Audio becomes integral to the author business. Costs come down and AI voices will take audio into the mainstream and expand new forms of creation. Audio becomes ubiquitous.

    * (6) Growth in personal publishing and the importance of personal brand, as well as the rise of a whole new wave of creators

    * (7) Author empowerment and the importance of education around copyright and licensing

    * What won't change in the 2020s



    You can find Orna at www.OrnaRoss.com and at the Alliance of Independent Authors. Joanna and Orna also do a monthly Advanced Self-Publishing Salon on the Ask ALLi Podcast available on your favorite podcast app. This episode originally aired on Jan 8, 2020 on the Ask Alli podcast.



    Transcript of the Trends for 2020 conversation

    Note: This transcript has been lightly edited for sense and links added for more information. There are affiliate links within the text to books, services, and products that I personally use and recommend, which means if you purchase something, I get a % of sale but at no extra cost to you.

    Joanna Penn: Let’s get into the self-publishing trends for 2020, and the next decade. Orna. You did a great post,

    • 57 min
    How To Focus And Be Indistractable With Nir Eyal

    How To Focus And Be Indistractable With Nir Eyal

    Do you want to focus and get more writing done this year? Do you want to step away from the many distractions online and achieve your creative goals? In today's show, I discuss how to be indistractible with Nir Eyal.



    In the introduction, I talk about some of the challenges in writing for audio, and I also mention my interview on the QWERTY Writing Life Podcast where I talk about the power of affirmations for helping stay focused on what's really important.

    Plus, please help me provide more useful information and resources on the site and the podcast by completing The Creative Penn community survey: TheCreativePenn.com/survey2020 and be in to win 60 mins 1:1 consulting with me in the prize draw.



    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



    Nir Eyal writes, consults, and teaches about the interception of psychology, technology, and business. He's an entrepreneur, investor, and author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, and now, Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.

    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



    * Is it our fault that we’re so distractable?

    * Why technology isn’t the problem causing distraction

    * Creating indistractable time for writing

    * Why the opposite of distraction is not focus

    * The two types of triggers for distraction

    * Why do we do things that are against our better interests?

    * Why time management is pain management

    * The difference between a strategy and a tactic when it comes to being indistractable

    * Thoughts on the future of social media



    You can find Nir Eyal at nirandfar.com and on Twitter @nireyal



    Transcript of Interview with Nir Eyal

    Joanna: Nir Eyal writes, consults, and teaches about the interception of psychology, technology, and business. He's an entrepreneur, investor, and author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, and now, Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life. Welcome to the show, Nir.

    Nir: Thank you so much. Great to be here.

    Joanna: It's great to have you on the show.

    Tell me more about you and how you got to this area of behavioral psychology because it's super interesting.

    Nir: My experience comes out of the industry. I helped found two tech companies, the latest of which was at the intersection of gaming and advertising, and we founded that back in 2007. And it was there that I had this front-row seat to this rise in persuasive technology, as it's called, the rise of Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and WhatsApp and Slack,

    • 51 min
    Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) For Authors With Brad Barrett From ChooseFI

    Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) For Authors With Brad Barrett From ChooseFI

    What difference would financial independence make in your life? What changes are you willing to make to get to that point? In this episode, I talk to Brad Barrett about the Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) movement and why it's about pursuing choice rather than denial, as well as some of the money choices we have both made over the years. I am not financially independent but I am an investor with pension and other savings and money is an increasingly important topic for creators.



    In the introduction, Amazon Advertising expands into France, Italy, and Spain; Rakuten sells Overdrive to private equity firm, KKR [Publishers Weekly]; Romance Writers of America (RWA) goes through turbulent times [Bookriot], and Nora Roberts explains why she left the organization years back [FallIntoTheStory]. Mark Coker publishes his State of the Indie Nation 2020 calling for renewed independence — check out episode 429 if you want to publish wide. I explain why I moved the pre-order for Audio for Authors: Audiobooks, Podcasting, and Voice Technologies.

    LIMITED TIME: Plus, join me and Nick Stephenson for a webinar on $0 – $1000 per month in book sales in 2020, with a special focus on building your email list. Thurs 16 Jan at 3 pm US Eastern  8pm UK. Register to join us live or if you can't make it on the day, register anyway to receive the replay. Click here to register.



    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.



    Brad Barrett went from being a full-time CPA (an accountant in the US) to retiring with complete financial independence by the age of 35 through diligent savings and investing. Now, as co-host and co-founder of ChooseFI, he’s empowering others in their own pursuit of the financially independent lifestyle. He is also the co-author of Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence, which we are 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 the full transcript below.

    Show Notes



    * The definitions of FIRE and FI

    * Why financial independence is about running toward something, not away from a life you hate

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Operation Evergreen: My Creative And Business Goals For 2020

    Operation Evergreen: My Creative And Business Goals For 2020

    I love the New Year! It really is my favorite time of the year and I kick up a notch in terms of getting new projects started as well as finishing up anything left over from last year. 2020 also feels special because it's the start of a new decade and I am truly excited about the opportunities ahead.

    In this episode, I'll share my goals for the year ahead in the hope that it will help you decide on how to shape your year.



     

    (1) Operation Evergreen

    I'm 45 this year, and The Creative Penn business and website have been the core of my last decade. I left my consulting job in 2011 so the business has made it through the tough initial years to a point of maturation. It's time to take things to the next level as well as make sure the fundamentals remain intact so the business can continue successfully.

    After a decade in any career, things can stagnate, so you have to change things up over time. You also have to set things in place for long-term success so you can see options for the future. Like any job, you have to put money away for the future, invest and make sure you have choices. Because change is inevitable.

    Most of the people I have met along the creative journey so far have disappeared down other paths. There are few of us still going after more than a decade — and most of us have multiple streams of income. For some people that means a day job; for others, it means a huge backlist of books spread across multiple genres; and for me, it's making sure that no single company controls the income for my business.

    I'm diversified in my income streams and also in my investments, plus I have an eye on the future in terms of what disruption lies ahead. I have managed to thrive in the last decade of upheaval to the indie author business model, and I intend to surf the wave, rather than drown in it in the years to come.

    So, I've decided to make Operation Evergreen my main focus for 2020 because long-term thinking brings a perspective to my day to day work and impacts what I choose to spend my time on. (More on that in Productivity for Authors, which is mostly about choosing what is really important!)

    Physical health:

    Even after improving my working practices over the last decade and co-writing The Healthy Writer, I still managed to end up with chronic pain in my shoulder in 2019. The specialist told me it was postural, a result of 20+ years hunched over and I had to retrain my back muscles in order to avoid it happening again. I started working with a personal trainer twice a week and am now pain-free, as well as changing my diet to reduce inflammation (low sugar, low GI). I'm lifting weights and I love my workouts. I am a strong woman in my mid-40s and getting stronger!

    I'm really happy with the results and it's only the beginning of this shift. I'm stronger and feel fantastic, and I want to be away from my desk a lot more, which can only be healthier for the long-term. That glimpse of chronic pain was enough to scare me into making health my #1 priority. It is the most evergreen thing I can focus on for long-term sustainability, so in 2020, I will continue with my personal trainer, and in my 45th year, I intend to be in the best physical shape of my life. I have booked to do the 100km Race to the Stones in July, so that will be a good comparison to a href="https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2016/07/19/writing-walking-100km/" target="_blank" ...

    • 35 min

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