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

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 575 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.

    The Hard Joy Of Writing With Sharon Fagan McDermott and M.C. Benner Dixon

    The Hard Joy Of Writing With Sharon Fagan McDermott and M.C. Benner Dixon

    How can we focus on the joy of the writing process itself, rather than the outcome? How can we embrace the positive side of being jealous of the success of other writers? How can we deepen our writing with metaphor and sense of place? Co-authors of writing book, Millions of Suns, Sharon and Christine share their tips.







    In the intro, Findaway Terms of Service; Why Kickstarter is the Most Creative Way to Launch Your Book [Self-Publishing Advice]; Sell direct resources; Why writing books is a career like no other [Roz Morris]; You are not what you used to be [Johnny B. Truant]; OpenAI's text to video tool, Sora; Google's Gemini model; the Vesuvius Challenge;







    Plus, my updated Author Blueprint; Spear of Destiny; and Pilgrimage is an award finalist for the Selfies [BookBrunch];













    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. 













    Sharon Fagan McDermott is an award-winning poet, musician, and a teacher of literature. M. C. Benner Dixon is an-award winning author, freelance editor, and writing coach. Together, they are the co-authors of Millions of Suns: On Writing and Life.







    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









    * Finding play and joy in the work of writing







    * How to find joy when writing alone







    * Using metaphor to elevate your writing







    * Bringing place alive on the page







    * Reframing jealousy in a positive way







    * The benefits and struggles of co-writing









    You can find Sharon at a href="https://www.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Writing And Producing A Micro-Budget Film With Jeffrey Crane Graham

    Writing And Producing A Micro-Budget Film With Jeffrey Crane Graham

    How can you pick yourself, rather than wait for someone else to pick you? How can you take control of your independent career and bring your creative vision to life? Jeffrey Crane Graham talks about his experience as an indie filmmaker, with lots of tips for indie authors.







    In the intro, 6 Types of Submission Comments BookBub Editors Love to See [BookBub]; Author platform is not a requirement to sell your novel or children’s book [Jane Friedman]; Your Author Business Plan and/or Business for Authors 50% off with discount coupon PLAN on CreativePennBooks.com; Spear of Destiny; Ruby Roe rainbow foil hardcover Kickstarter; Updated Author Blueprint coming soon; I'm interviewed on writing memoir [QWERTY Podcast].













    Today's show is sponsored by Draft2Digital, self-publishing with support, where you can get free formatting, free distribution to multiple stores, and a host of other benefits. Just go to www.draft2digital to get started.













    Jeffrey Crane Graham is a writer, director, and podcast producer. He wrote and directed the multi-award-winning film Always, Lola, and has also written comedy shorts. He produces and co-hosts The Screenwriting Life podcast.







    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









    * Choosing yourself, rather than waiting for someone to pick you







    * The process of creating a micro-budget feature







    * Writing screenplays that are “practically shootable”







    * Tips for authors who want to get their books on screen







    * Marketing a film in a crowded market







    * How the film festival circuit works for indie filmmakers







    * Possible uses of AI in the filmmaking process that are not the act of creation









    You can find Jeffrey at JeffGrahamDigital.com. You can find Always Lola at AlwaysLolaFilm.com.







    Transcript of Interview with Jeffrey Crane Graham







    Joanna: Jeffrey Crane Graham is a writer, director, and podcast producer.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Your Author Brand With Isabelle Knight

    Your Author Brand With Isabelle Knight

    How do you find the story behind all your stories? Who are you at the heart of your books? Isabelle Knight talks about the importance of author brand in an age of limitless content, and gives tips on how to discover yours.







    In the intro, 20 new miniature books added to Queen Mary’s Dollhouse [BBC]; Amazon announced Rufus, a new generative AI-powered conversational shopping experience; How generative AI will impact book discoverability; Amazon AI Ready Initiative free AI training; NY Times is hiring for their own AI initiatives [The Verge]; “There’s nothing wrong with the tech, but it has to be legal and licensed.” [Hollywood Reporter]; Tools & Strategies you must use to survive the 2024 revolution [Marketing Against the Grain].







    Plus, I recommend Forever Strong by Dr Gabrielle Lyon; my Kickstarter pre-launch page is up for Spear of Destiny; Vienna, Nuremberg, and Cologne: My Five days Research Trip notes and pictures.













    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







    You can also support the show and join my Community at Patreon.com/thecreativepenn













    Isabelle Knight is a professional publicist, speaker and PR & brand mentor to authors and business founders. She is also adjunct professor in MA, PR & Advertising at the American International University of London.







    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









    * Brand and it's importance in the age of AI







    * Is human connection more important than content...

    • 1 hr
    How To Be Successful On Kickstarter With Paddy Finn

    How To Be Successful On Kickstarter With Paddy Finn

    What are the benefits — and the challenges — of crowdfunding on Kickstarter? How can you fund successfully, as well as make a profit with your campaign? Paddy Finn gives his tips.







    In the intro, you can find more selling direct resources here; Streaming due for a streamlining [FT]; Authors Guild explores AI licensing deal [Hollywood Reporter]; Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI on Bill Gates' podcast, Unconfuse Me; AI audio company ElevenLabs in funding deal [TechCrunch]. Plus, follow my book research trip for Spear of Destiny on Instagram @jfpennauthor or Facebook @jfpennauthor.













    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. 















    Paddy Finn is the author of science fiction and fantasy novels, the CEO of Penny Dragon Games and Starcane Press, and is a Kickstarter expert.







    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









    * Harnessing the popularity of Dungeons and Dragons on Kickstarter







    * Offering physical objects to accompany your book campaign







    * Why are direct sales and Kickstarter taking off now?







    * The importance of audience ownership







    * Pre-launching your Kickstarter campaign







    * Costing out your campaign to make it profitable







    * Shipping tips, tools, and manufacturing recommendations







    * How to plan a six-figure campaign









    You can find Paddy at PaddyFinn.com, and his course at KickstarterUniversity.com.







    Transcript of Interview with Paddy Finn







    Joanna: Paddy Finn is the author of science fiction and fantasy novels, the CEO of Penny Dragon Games and Starcane Press, and is a Kickstarter expert. So welcome to the show, Paddy.







    Paddy: It's awesome to be here, Jo. Thanks for having me.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    A Creative Approach To Generative AI In Book Cover Design With James Helps

    A Creative Approach To Generative AI In Book Cover Design With James Helps

    I really enjoyed this laid-back discussion around AI tools as part of the creative book cover design process with James Helps from Go On Write. We discuss how generative AI tools can help make more unique and interesting cover designs, and how designers can have a more imaginative time making them.













    This episode is supported by my Patreon community, who fund my future-focused thinking time. If you join the community, you get an extra solo Q&A show monthly, as well as behind-the-scenes videos on planning for the year ahead, AI and creative business, plus discounts, early access, and more. Join the community for the price of a coffee a month at Patreon.com/thecreativepenn















    James Helps is a book cover designer at GoOnWrite.com, offering pre-made covers and custom cover design. He also writes articles for authors about the impact of AI at his blog, HumbleNations.







    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









    * James' history with computers, AI, and art







    * Various tools for AI-generated images and the rise of text to video







    * Midjourney vs DALL-E and how being an artist makes Midjourney easier to use as you have the language to use it







    * How James uses Midjourney as part of his creative ideation process with a client and how it gives him more scope for imaginative designs, and how it takes more time







    * Is AI a threat to cover designers and/or authors? How our human creative drive and connection is our real differentiator.









    You can find James at GoOnWrite.com, HumbleNations.wordpress.com, or JamesHelps.co.uk.







    Transcript of Interview with James Helps







    Joanna: James is a book cover designer at GoOnWrite.com, offering pre-made covers and custom cover design. He also writes articles for authors about the impact of AI at his blog, HumbleNations, which we're talking about today. So welcome to the show, James.







    James: Hi there.







    Joanna: Hello.







    Tell us a bit more about your book cover design business and how you became interested in generative AI.







    James: I guess the first thing I'd probably say is I don't really like the word business. It's more that I make covers for people that I like. They come in and chat to me, and I'm just a designer that really enjoys doing covers.







    I guess when it comes down to the AI stuff, I got interested in that probably around two years ago when there was a lot of stuff in the air. There was like the DALL-E and Imagen that I was reading about quite a lot. I've always been sort of somebody who's looked at technology as a thing.







    In my history, I did a computer science degree back in the early 90s. As a kid,

    • 38 min
    Direct Sales And Merchandising For Authors With Alex Kava

    Direct Sales And Merchandising For Authors With Alex Kava

    What are the benefits and challenges of selling direct? How can you use limited edition merchandise to add more value to retailers and make more money on a launch? Alex Kava talks about her author business.







    In the intro, award-winning Japanese writer, Rie Kudan, used ChatGPT to write parts of her prize-winning novel and judges lauded the work as ‘flawless.’ [The Telegraph]; Personal news about my pivot, the Blueprint rewrite, and cleaning up the backlist; plus, I'm on The Alignment Show.













    Today's show is sponsored by Draft2Digital, self-publishing with support, where you can get free formatting, free distribution to multiple stores, and a host of other benefits. Just go to www.draft2digital to get started.







    This show is also sponsored by my community at Patreon.com/thecreativepenn.













    Alex Kava is the multi-award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author of the FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell series and K-9 handler Ryder Creed series, amongst other books.







    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 struggles that come with traditional publishing







    * Becoming an indie author and taking back control







    * Direct sales as part of the author business model







    * Sourcing and selling quality merchandise







    * Merchandise as an extension of the reader experience







    * The technical side of selling personalized books and merchandise







    * Building your newsletter and marketing your direct store









    You can find Alex at AlexKava.com.







    Transcript of Interview with Alex Kava







    Joanna: Alex Kava is the multi-award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author of the FBI Profiler Maggie O'Dell series and K-9 Handler Ryder Creed series, amongst other books. So welcome to the show, Alex. 







    Alex: Thanks, Jo. I'm so excited. Thank you for inviting me. 







    Joanna: Oh, yes, well, we have lots to talk about. But first up– 







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







    Alex: Well, I've been in the business now for over 20 years. So I guess as a kid, I was like all the other authors, but for me, I never dreamed that you could actually make a living by writing up stories and writing books. 







    Both my parents were children of Polish immigrants, and they instilled a very strong work ethic.

    • 1 hr 5 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
575 Ratings

575 Ratings

tjnoss ,

Value

Joanna Penn always exceeds my expectations when it comes to giving me value for my time and money spent for her products.

Cheryel H. ,

Awesome podcast!

Joanna Penn is THE podcast for independent authors. Every episode is filled with information covering trends and tips and inspiration. Always upbeat and interesting, Joanna is a shining light in the sometimes confusing and scary world of the entrepreneur author. Thank you, Joanna!

J-Slatt ,

A lot of preamble

I downloaded an episode wanting to learn tips on writing a particular genre. The first 25 minutes of the show had nothing to do with the episode title/stated focus. I can understand how some listeners may have found that intro info helpful but suggest making that content its own episode with a title noting this.

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