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 • 512 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.

    Selling Books Direct On Shopify With Morgana Best

    Selling Books Direct On Shopify With Morgana Best

    Selling your books direct to readers and listeners can bring you more money, faster, and allow you to control your customer's experience and data. Morgana Best explains why selling direct is so important for an author business, and some of her tips for implementing a Shopify store.







    In the intro, the publishing court case of the DOJ vs PRH and S&S merger [New York Times; Vanity Fair; The Hotsheet]; Publisher Pearson is planning to use NFTs [The Guardian]; More on NFTs and blockchain [Future]; Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors opens this week (affiliate link); my bookbinding project from print on demand to leather-bound original.















    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















    Morgana Best is the ‘USA Today' Bestselling Author of over 50 cozy mysteries. She has been selling direct from her website for many years, and shares all her tips in her new book, Stop Making Others Rich: How Authors Can Make Bank Selling Direct.







    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







    * Why sell direct? * The mindset you need to sell direct* Cost of your own store vs cost of selling through the retailers (and of course, you can do both!)* Delivering ebooks, audiobooks, and print-on-demand books when selling direct?* Using customer data in an ethical manner, and how to optimize your store by utilizing data* Don't get overwhelmed. Start with a minimum viable store* Direct book marketing — how to drive traffic to a Shopify store







    You can find Morgana Best at MorganaBest.com and on Twitter @MorganaBest







    Transcript of Interview with Morgana Best







    Joanna: Morgana Best is the ‘USA Today' Bestselling Author of over 50 cozy mysteries. She has been selling direct from her website for many years, and shares all her tips in her new book, Stop Making Others Rich: How Authors Can Make Bank Selling Direct. Welcome, Morgana.

    • 57 min
    Lessons Learned From 3 Years As A Full-Time Author with Sacha Black

    Lessons Learned From 3 Years As A Full-Time Author with Sacha Black

    What do you need to consider if you want to go full time as an author entrepreneur? What challenges might you face in your first few years? Sacha Black shared her lessons learned from 3 years full-time.







    In the intro, PRH and S&S merger heads to trial [Publishers Weekly]; Pilgrimage episodes on my Books and Travel Podcast; plus, Steven Pressfield's new ‘tough love for creatives' book, Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be.















    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















    Sacha Black is an author, rebel podcaster and professional speaker. She writes educational nonfiction books for writers and sapphic books for young adults.







    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







    * Important things to consider when leaving a day job* Building confidence in the first year of full-time authorship* Multiple streams of income — and when to say ‘no' * Why self-care matters so much * Leaning in to authentic branding* What makes writers good publishers?







    You can find Sacha Black at SachaBlack.co.uk and on Twitter @sacha_black. Her latest book is The Anatomy of a Bestseller.







    Transcript of Interview with Sacha Black







    Joanna: Sacha Black is an author, rebel podcaster and professional speaker. She writes educational nonfiction books for writers and sapphic books for young adults. Welcome back to the show, Sacha.







    Sacha: Thank you for having me. It's always a massive giddy honor, and pleasure to be here. So, thank you.







    Joanna: Oh, well, it's great to talk to you again. You were last on the show in March 2019, talking about writing heroes and villains. And you left your job a couple of months after that.







    Take us back to how you made that decision. What were you doing before? And why did you decide to make the jump?







    Sacha: I think my decision to leave the day job is probably a little bit different to a lot of writers who are very keen on leaving just to purely write books. Whereas I really didn't like my day job, I was very low, and I didn't fit.

    • 56 min
    Blockchain For Copyright And Intellectual Property With Roanie Levy

    Blockchain For Copyright And Intellectual Property With Roanie Levy

    How will blockchain technology change the way creatives register copyright, as well as monetize their work? Roanie Levy explains how blockchain can solve the attribution problem, and how smart contracts will allow new business models with ownership of digital assets in web 3.















    This podcast is sponsored by Written Word Media, which makes book marketing a breeze by offering quick, easy and effective ways for authors to promote their books. You can also subscribe to the Written Word Media email newsletter for book marketing tips.







    This podcast is also sponsored by my wonderful patrons, www.Patreon.com/thecreativepenn















    Roanie Levy is the CEO of Access Copyright, a collective that distributes licensing royalties to creator and publishing affiliates. She also leads Prescient, Access Copyright's creative-focused innovation lab dedicated to exploring the future of rights management and content monetization through blockchain and other technologies.







    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 blockchain technology and how will it change business models for creatives?* Smart contracts related to book sales* Solving the attribution problem for copyright* The differences between Web 1, 2 and 3* How long will it take for the publishing industry to adopt these new technologies — or will new companies start new businesses first?







    You can find Roanie Levy at Imprimo.ca and on LinkedIn / RoanieLevy.







    Transcript of Interview with Roanie Levy







    Joanna: Roanie Levy is the CEO of Access Copyright, a collective that distributes licensing royalties to creator and publishing affiliates. She also leads Prescient, Access Copyright's creative-focused innovation lab dedicated to exploring the future of rights management and content monetization through blockchain and other technologies. Welcome, Roanie.







    Roanie: Thank you very much for inviting me.







    Joanna: I'm excited to talk to you today. So, first up, tell us a bit more about your career.







    How did you become interested in aspects of IP (intellectual property) and copyright?







    Roanie: Well, actually, one of my first jobs, when I became a lawyer, was to work for the Canadian federal government on copyright policy, way back, I guess, the early days of web 1 when we were talking about the internet as the ‘information superhighway.'







    So, that's when I started to get interested about copyright, the impact that it has on the creative sector, and how technology interacts with those copyright concepts.







    Joanna: So, you're actually a copyright lawyer?

    • 45 min
    Writing A Bestseller With A.G. Riddle

    Writing A Bestseller With A.G. Riddle

    How can you lean into your strengths as a writer to find the genre — and the business model — that suits you best? A.G. Riddle talks about his writing process, his publishing choices, and how he's planning to pivot into the next phase of his career.







    In the intro, I talk about my experience at Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Writing festival this week, and how we all have to decide which game we want to play.















    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















    A.G. Riddle is the bestselling author of 11 books with over 4 million copies sold and translated into 24 languages. His latest novel is Lost in Time, a time travel thriller.







    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







    * Reflecting on success — or lack of it — and assessing a career after a decade* Crafting a bestseller* Focusing on your strengths as a writer* Researching a novel, and Gerry's writing process* Why the ‘job' of being an author is different now* Moving from indie to hybrid to traditional publishing — and movie deals* What do you want to control — and what are you willing to let go of to achieve what you want?







    You can find A.G. Riddle at AGRiddle.com and on Twitter @Riddlist







    Transcript of Interview with A.G. Riddle







    Joanna: A.G. Riddle is the bestselling author of 11 books with over 4 million copies sold and translated into 24 languages. His latest novel is Lost in Time, a time travel thriller. Welcome to the show, Gerry.







    Gerry: Thank you for having me.







    Joanna: I'm excited to talk to you.







    Tell us a bit more about you and how you got into writing after quite a different original career.







    Gerry: I'm someone who didn't grow up wanting to be a writer. It's something that is a second career for me that I came to in my late 20s, early 30s. I started an internet company in college, and I did that for 10 years. I really enjoyed it. I like creating software and loved the startup environment.







    I had had some success in my career, but I didn't really feel that I had found that thing that I felt I was really qualified to do and was meant to do with my life. So I was just at this point in my life where I was reflecting to say, ‘When I leave this earth, what do I want to be proud that I've worked on?'







    I think if you get 10 years into a career, you learn a lot about yourself and your own strengths and weaknesses.







    And it's incumbent upon all of us to periodically reflect and say, ‘Why am I not achieving the success I want, or what went well, what didn't?'

    • 55 min
    Reach: Create The Biggest Audience For Your Book With Becky Robinson

    Reach: Create The Biggest Audience For Your Book With Becky Robinson

    Tools and tactics may change, but the principles of book marketing remain the same whatever the situation. Becky Robinson gives advice on how to reach readers and market your books for the long term.







    In the intro, The Things You Think Matter — Don’t [Ryan Holiday]; Boost Your Backlist [ALLi]; Craving Independence [The Bookseller]; 21st Century Creative [Mark McGuinness]; My Shopify store is live [CreativePennBooks.com]; Thoughts from the Pilgrim's Way [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. 















    Becky Robinson is the author of Reach: Create the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause. She is also the founder and CEO of the digital marketing agency, Weaving Influence.







    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







    * Reframing marketing* Providing value to your audience* Generosity and social karma* Curated authenticity* Figuring out your author brand* Keeping ambition alive while building for the long-term* What has changed, and what has stayed the same in book marketing







    You can find Becky Robinson at BeckyRobinson.com and on Twitter @beckyrbnsn







    Transcript of Interview with Becky Robinson







    Joanna: Becky Robinson is the author of Reach: Create the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause. She is also the founder and CEO of the digital marketing agency, Weaving Influence. Welcome to the show, Becky.







    Becky: Thank you so much, Joanna. It's great to be with you.







    Joanna: This is such a great topic, and many authors need this. But let's start with an attitude question, because many authors actually hate the idea of marketing.







    How can authors reframe marketing as valuable and important for reaching readers?







    Becky: I think one thing is to really focus on the reason why you wrote the book in the first place.







    Most people who write nonfiction write it because they have a valuable message to add to the world, they have an idea or a cause that they want to promote through their nonfiction book.







    If someone's writing fiction, then they likely have a story that they want to tell t...

    • 57 min
    Writing A Novel Will Change Your Life. Audiobook Introduction Of How To Write A Novel.

    Writing A Novel Will Change Your Life. Audiobook Introduction Of How To Write A Novel.

    How To Write a Novel: From Idea to Book is out now if you buy direct from my store, www.CreativePennBooks.com for ebook, audiobook, paperback, or workbook editions.







    It will be out everywhere on your favorite store in your preferred format from 13 August 2022. More details and links here.







    In today's special inbetweenisode, I share the Introduction from the audiobook edition of How to Write a Novel: From Idea to Book, written and narrated by me, Joanna Penn.















    Introduction to How to Write a Novel







    Writing a novel will change your life.







    It might not be in the way that you expect, but when you hold your book in your hand and say, “I made this,” something will shift. The process of getting to that point will light a spark in your creative soul and help you discover unexpected aspects of yourself. It will be one of the things you are most proud of in your life. It will be worth the effort.







    My goal with this book is to help you get there.







    But How to Write a Novel is not an exhaustive tome of everything you could ever learn about writing. I have deliberately cut it down as much as possible.







    The writing craft is like an iceberg.







    You can write a novel with the basic knowledge that you can see above the surface. The hidden depths of the writing craft, like the iceberg, go much deeper than you can imagine. Learning it all cannot be achieved in a single lifetime, and that is part of the joy of being a writer. You learn something new with every story you write and every book that emerges into the world.







    But you don’t need to know it all in order to get started.







    In fact, if you wait until you know everything about the writing craft before you start your novel, you will be overwhelmed with too much information and, most likely, never finish.







    This book will help those writing their first novel and also those who want to revisit the creative process. It covers the basic knowledge above the surface of the iceberg and hints at the depths beneath.







    What sets this book apart is that I’m an intuitive discovery writer. I don’t plot or outline. Most craft books are written by plotters, outliners, and linear thinkers, so hopefully, I can also provide a different perspective.







    You can certainly write and finish a novel with the information in this book, but there’s always more to learn. The writing craft is the journey of a lifetime. Let’s take the first step together.







    You can learn how to write a novel







    I used to think that authors sat at their desks, and perfect words flowed effortlessly from their fingertips. I thought that the sentences in the pages of a finished book emerged from the author’s mind fully formed. That writers entered a state of flow and wrote without effort. In fact, if it was difficult, and they struggled, perhaps they weren’t a ‘real’ writer after all. Perhaps they didn’t have talent or a gift for writing and, of course, that meant I could never write a novel because I, too, had neither.







    But that is not the reality of the writing life.







    The words you read in a finished novel result from hard work,

    • 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
512 Ratings

512 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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