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, 399 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 A Bestseller With Suzy K Quinn

    How To Write A Bestseller With Suzy K Quinn

    How can you write what you love and still aim for bestseller status? How can you combine craft and business in your writing life? Suzy K Quinn answers these questions and more in this fascinating interview.



    In the intro, entrepreneur and author Derek Sivers sells $250K worth of ebooks and audiobooks direct from his website [Sivers]; Amazon Decoded by David Gaughran; 150 Self-Publishing Questions Answered by Michael La Ronn and ALLi; The Ultimate Collection of Audiobook Marketing Examples from BookBub Blog; 6 Figure Author Podcast episode 50 on taking your author income to the next level. Plus, ARKANE Thriller #11, Tree of Life, is now available for pre-order.



    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



    Suzy K. Quinn is the bestselling author of romance, comedy, and thrillers. She also teaches a course on How to Write a Bestseller for Mark Dawson's Self-Publishing Formula.

    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 definition of a bestselling book

    * Does writing a bestseller mean you have to write to market?

    * Hooking readers with a strong book package

    * The importance of communicating how people are going to feel when they read a book

    * The long term view of building an author brand

    * What the future of publishing might look like



    You can find Suzy K Quinn at SuzyKQuinn.com and on Twitter @SuzyKQuinn. You can find the course at: www.SelfPublishingFormula.com/bestseller

    [Note, I am not an affiliate for this course. I took it myself and thought it was super useful, so I wanted to tell you about it!]

    Photo in sharing image by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash



    Transcript of Interview with Suzy K Quinn

    Joanna: Suzy K. Quinn is the bestselling author of romance, comedy, and thrillers. She also teaches a course on how to write a bestseller for Mark Dawson's Self-Publishing Formula, and it is a fantastic course. I've taken it myself and we're talking about it today. Welcome, Suzy.

    Suzy: Hi, Jo. How are you doing?

    Joanna: I'm good. Thanks for coming on the show.

    First up,

    • 40 min
    Writing And Business Lessons Learned From 500 Episodes And 11 Years Of The Creative Penn Podcast

    Writing And Business Lessons Learned From 500 Episodes And 11 Years Of The Creative Penn Podcast

    It’s episode 500! Time flies indeed.

    The first episode of The Creative Penn Podcast was released on 15 March 2009. I had a couple of non-fiction books out, the international Kindle had not even launched, and there was no empowered indie author movement as we know it today. I was living in Ipswich, just outside Brisbane, Australia and I worked as an IT consultant implementing SAP Financials at a large mining company. How things have changed! 

    I'm now a full-time author and podcaster with over 30 books, fiction and non-fiction. I live in Bath, UK and I'm part of a growing independent author scene. We have more opportunities than ever before and it truly is the best time to be an author!



    In this episode, I’m going to share some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the last 11 years and include clips from podcast episodes that helped me and can help you on your own author journey — some are craft and some are business.

    This episode covers:



    * Write what you love

    * It’s OK to suck in your first draft. Editing is the process that will turn your book into a finished product.

    * We are independent authors. We create and license intellectual property assets.

    * All long-term book marketing comes down to one thing

    * Turning pro and long term thinking. The mindset of the professional author.

    * Next steps: What's changing for The Creative Penn?



    Today’s show is sponsored by my wonderful patrons who support the podcast with a few dollars a month through patreon.com/thecreativepenn. Patrons get an extra Q&A show every month — bonus audio! — and also 10% off my courses. Thank you, Patrons!

    Thanks to my long-term listeners of the podcast and also to the long-term sponsors of the show, Kobo Writing Life, Draft2Digital, Ingram Spark, and more recent sponsors FindawayVoices and ProWritingAid.



    (1) Write what you love

    In episode 16, June 2009, I interviewed Tom Evans, back then known as The Bookwright, about writer’s block.

    Up until that interview, I had only written non-fiction, and I was afraid of writing fiction. I didn’t think I had a block but I clearly did and I realized it as part of this discussion.

    The ‘block’ was based on my education and background — my parents were teachers, and I did a Masters at the University of Oxford in Theology, so I was steeped in the literary tradition. I thought I had to write something literary whereas my guilty pleasure and my escape from the day job was binge-reading thrillers and watching action movies.

    Once I realized that I could just write what I loved to read instead of something others thought ‘worthy,’ I was off and writing. I started writing Pentecost (re-edited and re-titled as Stone of Fire in 2012) and I now have 18 novels — and counting!

    I didn’t have such a good mic set-up back then so it’s a bit breathy, but I think you’ll find it interesting.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Writing Action Adventure Fiction And Systems Thinking With Nick Thacker

    Writing Action Adventure Fiction And Systems Thinking With Nick Thacker

    The life of a full-time independent author involves wearing many hats. You have to balance your time between learning your craft and pleasing readers with great books, as well as publishing, book marketing, and building a business that will support you for the long-term.

    In today's interview, Nick Thacker talks about the key aspects of action-adventure thrillers as well as how he runs his publishing company and thoughts on pricing, email list building, and creating systems to avoid overwhelm.



    In the intro, The Hotsheet reports on the All about Audio conference, publishers start Storyglass, a new podcasting business [The Bookseller], The New York Times acquires a podcast production company [The Verge]; and Amazon Ad reports now incorporate page reads.

    In the futurist segment, GPT3 takes natural language generation to a new level — what does this mean for writers? [Towards Data Science; Wired; The Independent] and more at TheCreativePenn.com/future. I also recommend The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly and his blog post, 1000 True Fans, and Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari.

    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.



    Nick Thacker is the USA Today bestselling author of action-adventure thrillers. His non-fiction books for authors include Platform Mastery and BookBub Mastery.

    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



    * What draws readers to action-adventure novels?

    * The renaissance of action-adventure

    * Nick’s current indie publishing model and how it has changed over time

    * Co-writing with other authors

    * On different pricing models and why testing matters

    * Signing a trad publishing deal and what that means for Nick’s career

    * Building a large email list

    * Systems that underpin success

    • 57 min
    Writing A Series. Satisfy Readers And Make More Money With Lindsay Buroker

    Writing A Series. Satisfy Readers And Make More Money With Lindsay Buroker

    We live in a binge consumption culture and the best-loved stories are often those that allow a deeper experience of character and world. Think of your favorite TV shows or books and you will likely find a few series in there!

    Writing a series can also make you more money as a writer since you have more books for a reader to buy, you can turn them into boxsets in different formats, and it's faster to write with characters you know well. In today's show, Lindsay Buroker gives some great tips on how to effectively write series and make a full-time living from your fiction.



    In the intro, Kobo Plus launches in Canada [KWL blog]; Spotify improves its discoverability of podcasts and announces a new show by Michele Obama [The Next Web]; Dean Wesley Smith explains why Brandon Sanderson's Kickstarter is so significant in terms of selective rights licensing [Dean's blog]; Replay of $0 to $1000 a month webinar with Nick Stephenson and my aha moment around read-through; my interview on audio and productivity on 21st Century Creative; and Map of the Impossible launches this week. The Mapwalker trilogy is complete!



    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.



    Lindsay Buroker is an award-nominated internationally best-selling author of epic fantasy, urban fantasy, space opera, steampunk, and sci-fi romance with 79 books and counting across 2 pen names, 10 series, as well as, standalone and shorter works. She's also the co-host of the Six Figure Author Podcast. The pic above is us on the Jean Lafitte swamp jetboating experience in Louisiana just outside New Orleans in 2017. Fun times!

    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



    * Where Lindsay’s writing career is after 10 years as an indie author

    * How she writes 8 to 10 novels a year

    * Book series and the read-through effect of series arcs

    * Creating compelling characters

    * Why background and goals matter for characters

    * Pen names and the work involved

    * Book launch processes and how Lindsay uses her Patreon

    * Advertising, KU,

    • 1 hr 7 min
    How To Write Monsters With Philip Athans

    How To Write Monsters With Philip Athans

    Monsters tap into something primal that lies at the heart of being human. We have always feared what lies at the edge of the campfire, just out of sight, and as writers, tapping into those fears can be a powerful form of creation. In this interview, Philip Athans talks about why we find monsters so fascinating, how to create them, and why they can sometimes be a metaphor for society, plus, thoughts on making a living as a writer.



    In the intro, I discuss Brandon Sanderson's Kickstarter for the leather-bound edition of Way of Kings and why creating beautiful physical objects should be part of our indie maker movement, and check out this interview on bookbinding with Lisa Van Pelt. Plus, why we need to put our lessons learned from the pandemic into action now instead of waiting for ‘the end,' whatever that might mean!

    Also, I have re-recorded my tutorials on how to build an author website, install Author Pro theme (which I use for JFPenn.com), and also how to set up your email list with ConvertKit. I've also updated the Author Blueprint which you have access to on my email list or you can sign up here.

    Today's show is sponsored by ProWritingAid, writing and editing software that goes way beyond just grammar and typo checking. With its detailed reports on how to improve your writing and integration with Scrivener, ProWritingAid will help you improve your book before you send it to an editor, agent or publisher. Check it out for free or get 25% off the premium edition at www.ProWritingAid.com/joanna



    Philip Athans is the New York Times bestselling author of Annihilation, and a dozen other books, including The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction. He's also an editor, professional speaker, and writing coach. Today, we're talking about his book, Writing Monsters: How to Craft Believably Terrifying Creatures to Enhance Your Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction.

    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 a monster?

    * How monsters are part of our human evolution

    * The importance for humans of fighting a common enemy

    * How the monster in a story can bring out a character’s true nature

    * Monsters as metaphors

    * How do we create unique monsters?

    * When should you reveal your monster?

    * Multiple streams of income as a writer. “Walk through the door that's open.”

    * Licensing intellectual property as a source of income



    You can find Philip Athans at a href="http://athansassociates.

    • 53 min
    How To Write Memoir With Marion Roach Smith

    How To Write Memoir With Marion Roach Smith

    “Write something universal as illustrated by a deeply personal tale.” This advice is true regardless of the genre we write, and in this interview, Marion Roach Smith explains how we can dig deep into our truth and experience to write memoir, plus how she has created a business around a book, and a podcast around curiosity.



    In the introduction, I talk about how the pandemic impacts our energy levels and how online business is changing, and how that might impact us as authors. Business Insider reports that Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Google's Sundar Pichai, Apple's Tim Cook, and Amazon's Jeff Bezos will all testify before Congress in an antitrust hearing in late July. What are the potential impacts for authors?

    Publisher Rocket now has a useful feature for discovering categories for your books. Dave Chesson talks about the new functionality and more on the Writers Ink Podcast last week.

    Plus, join me and Nick Stephenson for a webinar on how to grow your book sales to $1000 a month — or add to your existing sales. We'll be going through how to build your email list and convert that traffic into sales, plus tips for revisiting the basics of your author platform + some more advanced tips for taking sales to the next level. Thurs 16 July at 3 pm US Eastern / 8 pm UK. Click here to register for your free place and also receive the replay if you can't join us live.



    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



    Marion Roach Smith is an author, memoir coach, and teacher of memoir writing. She has online courses on writing memoir. Her books include The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & 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



    * The difference between memoir and autobiography

    * Why memoir is an argument-driven genre

    * Where to draw the line between therapy and memoir

    * Tips for skillfully writing about other people

    * How memory works in memoir

    * What does research look like for memoir?

    * How to we ensure people care about our memoir?

    * Being brave when marketing books

    * Why podcasting is so powerful



    You can find Marion Roach Smith at MarionRoach.com and on Twitter @mroachsmith. You can check out her QWERTY Podcast on your favorite podcast a...

    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
399 Ratings

399 Ratings

Me1235432 ,

Informative and brilliant!

I discovered this podcast a couple of weeks ago and have already listened to several episodes! I thoroughly enjoy the host’s voice, her interview manners, her questions and answers etc.. she’s is knowledgeable and knows how to convey that to the listener. I’m a new author - working on editing my very first middle grade book. So I’m devouring any episode she has on editing and self and traditional publishing. I love her advice and that of her guests! Brilliant!

Thoughtful2019 ,

Awesome!

I have listened now for 1.5 years, every week. Frankly, I judge other podcasts using her podcast as the standard. Few measure up. Her knowledge, communication skills, curiosity, and authenticity are a joy and a gift. I love this podcast!

Clarisse Gomez ,

Awesome Podcast!!!

Joanna, host of The Creative Penn Podcast For Writers, highlights all aspects of books, marketing and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

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