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 • 517 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.

    Writing Tips: Outlining/Plotting Vs Discovery Writing/Pantsing

    Writing Tips: Outlining/Plotting Vs Discovery Writing/Pantsing

    Every fiction author will (eventually) find their own method for writing but all fall somewhere on the spectrum between outlining/plotting and discovery writing/pantsing/writing into the dark.







    In this excerpt from How To Write a Novel, I share two chapters on the topic from the audiobook, narrated by me (Joanna Penn).















    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 benefits and difficulties of outlining * How to outline and examples from authors who use this method* The benefits and difficulties of discovery writing (and why I hate the term pantsing!)* Examples of authors who discovery write* My writing process: Discovery writing with a hint of plotting* Links to books and resources that might help you







    This is an excerpt from my audiobook of How to Write a Novel, narrated by me.







    If you'd like more on How To Write a Novel: From Idea to Book, you can buy in multiple formats directly from me here, and you can find it on your favorite online store, order from your local independent bookstore, or borrow from your library (just ask your librarian to order it).







    Outlining (or plotting)







    “Outlining is the most efficient way to structure a novel to achieve the greatest emotional impact… Outlining lets you create a framework that compels your audience to keep reading from the first page to the last.” — Jeffery Deaver, Wall St Journal







    Writers who outline or plot spend more time up front considering aspects of the novel and know how the story will progress before they start writing the manuscript. It’s a spectrum, with some outlines consisting of a page or so and others stretching to thousands of words of preparation.







    The benefits of outlining







    While discovery writers jump into writing and spend more time later cleaning up their drafts, outliners or plotters spend time beforehand so they can write faster in the first draft.







    When it’s time to write, outliners focus on writing words on the page to fulfil their vision rather than figuring out what’s going on. Outlining can result in more intricate plots and twists, deeper characters, less time rewriting, and faster production time.







    If you co-write, outlining is the only way to ensure your process works smoothly. As a discovery writer, I have found it particularly challenging to co-write fiction, which is why I rarely do it!







    If you have an agent or a publisher, or you want an agent or a publisher, you might have to write an outline anyway, so learning how to do it well can help. If you’re a discovery writer, you can always outline after the book is finished, if you need to.







    “When you plan a story the right way, you guarantee a tight,

    • 28 min
    Transmedia And Self-Publishing Comics And Graphic Novels With Barry Nugent

    Transmedia And Self-Publishing Comics And Graphic Novels With Barry Nugent

    How can you adapt your novel into a comic or graphic form? What are the different types? How does a creative career develop over the long term and when do you need to take a step back to consider how to move forward? Barry Nugent talks about all this and more.







    In the intro, Amazon changes ebook return policy [Society of Authors]; Spotify introduces audiobooks [Spotify; FindawayVoices; Publishing Perspectives]; Neal Stephenson on The Sword Guy podcast.







    Please complete my Creative Penn Survey 2022 here (by 7 Oct). You can also get 30% off my courses here until the end of Sept with discount coupon: SUMMER22













    This episode is sponsored by Publisher Rocket, which will help you get your book in front of more Amazon readers so you can spend less time marketing and more time writing. I use Publisher Rocket for researching book titles, categories, and keywords — for new books and for updating my backlist. Check it out at www.PublisherRocket.com















    Barry Nugent is the author of the supernatural adventure Unseen Shadows Transmedia Universe, as well as the middle-grade adventure Trail of the Cursed Cobras. He's also the co-host of the Geek Syndicate 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







    * Shifting from traditional to indie publishing in the early days* What is transmedia?* The production and sales of full-color comics* Different formats of graphic novels* Crowdsourcing to cover the expense of creating a graphic novel* The different artists that are needed for comics and graphic novels* In the intro, I mentioned AI comic creation [Twist Street; Campfire]







    You can find Barry Nugent at BarryNugent.com and on Twitter @Unseen_Shadows







    Transcript of Interview with Barry Nugent







    Joanna: Barry Nugent is the author of the supernatural adventure Unsee...

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Lessons Learned From 11 Years As An Author Entrepreneur

    Lessons Learned From 11 Years As An Author Entrepreneur

    In this solo episode, I talk about my lessons learned from 11 years as a full-time author entrepreneur, and why I am (finally) taking some time off.







    In the intro, Soldiers of God short story, The Creator Economy for Authors course (use coupon SUMMER22 for 30% off), Science Fiction Writing online conference, Author Tech Summit; Pilgrimage on Books and Travel.















    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















    Joanna Penn writes non-fiction for authors and is an award-nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author as J.F. Penn. She’s also an award-winning podcaster, creative entrepreneur, and international professional speaker.







    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







    * It can take a long time to figure out what you think about a topic — but writing a book can help* Physical sickness and mental health issues can have a bigger impact than expected * Pivoting a business model takes time* If you can’t take time out for life events and goals after more than a decade running your own business, you’re doing something wrong! 







    You can follow my pilgrimage on Instagram @jfpennauthor and Facebook @jfpennauthor and Twitter @thecreativepenn















    Lessons Learned from 11 Years as an Author Entrepreneur







    (Almost) eleven years ago, in Sept 2011, I left my day job to become a full-time author-entrepreneur. Every year since I have reflected on the journey and what I learn along the way.







    My challenges change and grow along with the business and you will likely be at a different stage, but I hope that you find my lessons learned useful along your own author path.







    You can read all my lessons learned from previous years on my timeline so far – and remember, just like everyone else, I started out by writing my first book with no audience!

    • 28 min
    Estate Planning For Authors With Michael La Ronn

    Estate Planning For Authors With Michael La Ronn

    How can you make sure your heirs and successors are able to manage your books and copyright licensing after your death? What aspects do you need to think about in terms of your author estate? Michael La Ronn explains this important topic in clear terms.







    In the intro, more quotes from the DOJ vs PRH hearing [The Hotsheet]; Direct by Kathryn Judge; Chokepoint Capitalism Kickstarter by Cory Doctorow and Rebecca Giblin; Soldiers of God, an ARKANE Short Story [Available now from CreativePennBooks.com; or preorder on the other stores for 29 Aug.]















    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 draft2digital.com/penn















    Michael La Ronn is the author of over 80 books across science fiction, fantasy, and self-help books for authors, including The Author Estate Handbook: How to Organize Your Affairs and Leave a Legacy, and The Author Heir Handbook: How to Manage an Author Estate.







    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







    * Coming to terms with our mortality* How planning your estate is an act of love* The importance of a living will as well as a last will* Figuring out how much time and effort an heir wants to put into the writing business* Managing passwords for your successor* Should authors think of selling their IP before they die?







    You can find Michael La Ronn at AuthorLevelUp.com and on Twitter @MichaelLaRonn







    Transcript of Interview with Michael La Ronn







    Joanna: Michael La Ronn is the author of over 80 books across science fiction, fantasy, and self-help books for authors, including The Author Estate Handbook: How to Organize Your Affairs and Leave a Legacy, and The Author Heir Handbook: How to Manage an Author Estate, which we're talking about today. Welcome back to the show, Michael.







    Michael: Hi, Joanna. Great to be back.







    Joanna: This is such an interesting topic. You've been on the show several times before, so we're going to just jump straight into it today.







    Why did you want to write about this topic of estates and heirs — basically death — and how does your professional and personal background play into that?







    Michael: Yes, I have this morbid fascination with death…

    • 54 min
    Auto-Narrated Audiobooks With Ryan Dingler From Google Play Books

    Auto-Narrated Audiobooks With Ryan Dingler From Google Play Books

    What is auto-narration of audiobooks and how can it benefit authors and rights-holders as well as listeners? What are some of the common objections to auto-narration and how can we keep a positive attitude to embracing change? Ryan Dingler from Google Play Books goes into detail on these questions and more.







    You can also listen to my recent round-up of AI narration options across multiple platforms in episode 623.















    If you'd like to know more about how authors can use AI, check out my course, The AI-Assisted Author, which includes ethics and issues, as well as opportunities across writing, marketing, image and video creation, and much more. Learn more at www.TheCreativePenn.com/learn















    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







    * What is auto-narration? Who can use it and what languages and accents are available?* Tackling common objections to auto-narration — “the voices aren't good enough;” and narration should be “kept for humans”* Stratification of audio rights and how both human and AI narration fit into the audio ecosystem * Multi-cast audiobooks* The potential for growth in non-English-speaking markets* Pricing an AI narrated audiobook* How will the market change in the coming year?







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







    g.co/play/autonarrated – Publisher website for auto-narrated audiobooks







    g.co/play/narrator-library – Narrator library







    g.co/play/autonarrated-help – Help center







    Transcript of Interview with Ryan Dingler







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







    Ryan: Thanks for having me on.







    Joanna: It's good to talk to you again. You were on the show in April 2021, talking about publishing on Google Play Books in general. And we just mentioned auto-narration for audio, which was in beta at the time, but we're going to go into that in detail today.

    • 44 min
    Writing Conflict With Becca Puglisi

    Writing Conflict With Becca Puglisi

    How can you intensify the conflict in your books to hook readers? How can you introduce different types and layers of conflict to improve your story? Becca Puglisi explains why and how to write conflict.







    In the intro, thoughts on the DOJ vs PRH trial [Twitter @JohnHMaher] and Publishers Weekly round-up; my thoughts on subscription models; D2D and Humble Bundle; Apple Books Promotions page; How to Write a Novel is now available in all formats on all stores; My non-fiction books in Italian; Digital nomad [Books and Travel].















    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. 















    Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach and bestselling author of the “Thesaurus Series for Writers,” including the latest volume of The Conflict Thesaurus. Becca also writes YA and historical fiction, and can be found at writershelpingwriters.net, along with her co-author Angela Ackerman.







    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 is story conflict and why do we need it?* Examples of different kinds of conflicts, from large to small* How conflict creates reader interest and empathy* The importance of internal conflict as well as external* Mistakes to watch out for when writing conflict* Tips for co-writing a book* Intellectual property licensing and foreign rights







    You can find Becca Puglisi at WritersHelpingWriters.net and on Twitter @beccapuglisi







    The Conflict Thesaurus Vol 2 is out on 6 September 2022.







    Transcript of Interview with Becca Puglisi







    Joanna: Welcome back to the show, Becca.







    Becca: Thank you so much. I'm so glad to be back.







    Joanna: An exciting topic today. Now, you've been on the show twice before, and I will mention those episodes in the introduction. So,

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
517 Ratings

517 Ratings

Carter Prescott ,

My faithful Monday morning companion

I have been listening to Joanna's weekly Creative Penn podcast for several years now (also her "in-betweenie episodes" on tech and futuristic topics). I can't imagine starting my week without listening to her personal catchup, her sage advice and her wonderful interviews. She excels at directing her guests to talk about the most pertinent aspects of the topic, and she guides the conversation in such a way that the topic is fully fleshed out at the end of 30-45 minutes. Since she has such a large audience, she can afford to be picky about her guests, so you're assured of getting the best on a particular topic. Do start listening to The Creative Penn every week, if you don't already do so. Well worth it!

Flybynight84 ,

using business language to talk to authors

Many things occur to me while I’m listening to this podcast
Number one is that every single person here seems to have extraordinary privilege

They talk about maids and buying ads and ROI and are using marketing lingo which are things that people who are on the lower end of the pay scale (or who have NO online biz background) might not be familiar with
so I have a feeling that these people are talking down to an awful lot of authors who have maybe written ONE book, or none yet.

It’s absolutely ridiculous that a person cannot get a lot of sales out of one book.
They have to write 80 before they can really get any “traction”. This may be just a complaint against the industry as a whole rather than the podcast but still…

Too much lingo —maybe label podcasts for beginner novice and advanced

also speaking to Amazon
there should be something that Amazon was to begin with — someone selling books and only books online

better than Amazon

KinseydRoberts ,

Keeps getting better!

I’ve been a listener of the show for years, it just keeps getting better. If you are or want to be in the self-publishing world, this podcast should be on your weekly schedule. There’s something for all types of self-published authors here!

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