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.
Co-writing With Artificial Intelligence With Yudhanjaya Wijeratne
We all use tools as part of the writing process. Other books and internet resources for research, Scrivener for writing the first draft, and a computer for typing or dictating into, as well as editing tools like ProWritingAid. But what if you could use AI tools to help inspire the writing process?
In this episode, science fiction author Yudhanjaya Wijeratne talks about how he used artificial intelligence to co-write his novel, The Salvage Crew.
In the intro, I talk about how I've been playing with Inferkit using my own books to train the Natural Language Generation model. More on AI writing tools here. Google announced a model 6x bigger than GPT-3, and Eleuther.ai wants to create an open-source version.
In publishing news, Amazon and the Big 5 publishers have been accused of colluding to fix ebook prices [The Guardian], and Amazon is being investigated for potentially anti-competitive behavior in its sale of ebooks [Wall St Journal].
I useful stuff, Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors course is open now and very useful if you want to get to grips with paid ads this year, one of the ways in which big tech definitely impacts authors! Plus, you can get 50% off my online courses during lockdown: www.TheCreativePenn.com/learn Use coupon: LOCKDOWN. Valid until the end of this UK lockdown!
Today's show is sponsored by my patrons at Patreon.com/thecreativepenn. They pay for my time so I can think and research the future of creativity and then share it with you. If you find the show useful, please consider supporting for just a few dollars a month and get an extra monthly patron-only Q&A audio. Thank you!
Yudhanjaya Wijeratne is the award-nominated author of science fiction novels including Numbercaste and The Inhuman Race, as well as a Senior Researcher on Data, Algorithms, and Policy for an Asian think tank based in Sri Lanka. His latest novel, The Salvage Crew, features humans working alongside an AI overseer and was written with the help of AI tools.
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.
* How code is less like math and more like art
* Co-writing a book with AI tools
* What does it mean for art if art can be automated and humans can't perceive the difference?
It’s Never Too Late. How To Achieve Your Goals At Any Age With Kate Champion
If you feel like it's too late to achieve your goals — whether that’s because of your age or your fear of technology or you’re late to the indie author world — or anything else, today's interview with Kate Champion will help you reboot your mindset for the year ahead.
In the intro, thoughts on the COVID-19 and Book Publishing Report: Impacts and Insights for 2021; Top 10 Trends that every author needs to know for 2021 from Written Word Media; positive signs for translation from Ricardo Fayet at Reedsy (where you can also hire translators), plus my experience using AI translation tool Deepl for German translation.
In useful stuff, Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors course is open, which I use and highly recommend; plus if you want to create an online course that sells, check out the free Teachable webinar with everything you need to know. PLUS, if you'd like to do one of my online courses for authors, you can get 50% off until the end of February 2021 (when hopefully, we are out of lockdown!). Just go to TheCreativePenn.com/learn and use coupon: LOCKDOWN
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
Kate Champion is the author of Never Too Late and Starting Out or Starting Over, as well as a licensed mental health professional who works with anxiety, loss trauma, with a focus on sustainable wellness and overcoming limiting beliefs.
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.
* How writing can help with mental health issues
* Writing as marketing for a small business
* How our limiting beliefs don’t have to stop us from achieving goals
* The importance of discomfort for pushing your boundaries and comfort zone
* Finding mentors to inspire and guide you
* How life is a series of transitions
You can find Kate Champion at KateChampionAuthor.com
Transcript of Interview with Kate Champion
Joanna: Kate Champion is the author of Never Too Late and Starting Out or Starting Over, as well as a licensed mental health professional who works with anxiety, loss trauma, with a focus on sustainable wellness and overcoming limiting beliefs. Welcome to the show, Kate.
Kate: Hello, how are you today?
How To Be A Healthy Writer In 2021 With Dr Euan Lawson
Let's make 2021 a healthy, creative year! In today's show, Dr. Euan Lawson talks about ways to improve your physical and mental health, and how it can impact your creativity in a positive way.
In the introduction, some thoughts on the year ahead for authors and publishing, including continued expansion to the global, digital, mobile business model and more subscription options for ebooks and audiobooks [Episode 520 – Voice technologies, streaming and subscription audio], Smashwords 2021 predictions, consolidation in publishing and impact on paid ads, Writers Ink state of the industry.
Expansion of audio as Amazon buys Wondery; regulation or possible break up of Big Tech (as discussed in episode 505), and by David Gaughran in his year-end newsletter, plus TechCrunch on European plans for digital rules; PLUS, a useful podcast on doing larger print runs through China on the Self-Publishing Show episode 259. My tutorial on how to set up your email list, and you can buy ebooks and audiobooks directly from me at Payhip.com/thecreativepenn.
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.
Dr. Euan Lawson is a British medical doctor and a fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners. He is currently the Acting Editor of the British Journal of General Practice, as well as an educator. He’s the author of GP Wellbeing: Combatting Burnout in General Practice, and the co-author, with Joanna Penn, of The Healthy Writer: Reduce Your Pain, Improve Your Health, and Build a Writing Career for the Long-Term.
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.
* Common health issues that may crop up in a year like 2020 — depression,
Creative Business Goals For 2021 With Joanna Penn
I love the new year! As the calendar turns a new page, we get to start again. After a very strange 2020, it feels like hope is in the air, and I'm ready to embark on the next year of my author journey. Are you ready for a fantastic 2021?
Here are my creative and business goals for the year ahead. Feel free to add yours in the comments and we can keep each other accountable.
2021: A Year of Expansion
2020 was a year of letting go in so many ways. It was an encounter with mortality and left its mark on many of us with decisions to change our work, our life, and our health; to make more of the precious time we have, and to stop doing those things that don't bring joy in some way, or at least take us a step in the direction we want to travel. I certainly evaluated my creative and business life and pared back a lot of it as part of my Author Business Plan.
It was a year of contraction, of diminishing, in terms of our sense of control (or the illusion of it!) as well as our physical space and freedom to roam. I want my 2021 to be a year of expansion — creatively in terms of what I write, mentally in terms of the things I learn about, and physically, in terms of my health and where I travel (once we're out of the woods with the virus, of course.)
I now have a mature author business and 2020 has proved the resilience of the global, digital, scalable business model. My multiple streams of income remain pretty stable if I keep producing books, podcasting, and marketing. But this year, in Sept 2021, I will hit my 10 year anniversary of going full-time as an author-entrepreneur, and if you're not growing, you're dying, as the old adage goes. I am not content to just write the next book, publish, market, and repeat.
Of course, I will continue to serve this community with useful information about the various aspects of the author life as it is right now, but I also want to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible for authors. Here's how I intend to manage my expansive 2021.
The Creative Penn Books and Podcast
There are some books I want to write and publish early in 2021:
* How to Make a Living with Your Writing – Third Edition. Things have changed a lot since I put out the first edition in 2015, and the second in 2017, and this remains my bestselling non-fiction book, so that will be out by end of Q1.
* How to Write a Novel. I've been sitting on a draft of this for a while and many of you have emailed and asked for it, so expect this by the end of Q2.
Thanks to your enthusiasm, The Creative Penn Podcast continues for another year!
On the days when I wonder whether the show is still useful, I get emails and comments from many of you saying it is worth continuing, and my patrons at Patreon, in particular, keep me enthused. Thank you for your support of the show!
I'll be sticking with the weekly format on Mondays as usual, and I will be adding in some inbetweenisodes on topics that I am investigating on the creative future (more detail below).
Doubling down on selling direct
I've been selling ebooks directly to readers for over a decade from various platforms, but now I have a proven platform with Payhip.com and BookFunnel for both ebooks and audiobooks, I'm going to streamline my direct sales process and bett...
Creative Business Review Of 2020 And Lessons Learned From A Pandemic Year With Joanna Penn
Every year, I set creative, financial and health goals and share them on the blog and the podcast. It helps keep me accountable and focused, although, inevitably things change over the year — this year, things changed across the whole world in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic and we all had to pivot to a new way of living, let alone a new way of creating.
In this episode, I round up my year in creative business and also reflect on my lessons learned from this very strange year. Here are the things I'm celebrating and you're welcome to leave your thoughts and accomplishments in the comments.
Surviving the pandemic (so far!)
I decided to make this the first thing on my list and if you're reading/listening to this, then you can also celebrate this milestone! It's been a hell of a year, that's for sure.
My (super-fit) cousin got COVID early and ended up in a coma for five weeks. (He's now well on the way to recovery.) I had a conversation with my Mum about whether ventilation was something she wanted, or might not even have the choice to receive. One of my best friends was badly ill (she recovered), another was trapped in Peru, unable to get home. (She made it back). I wrote about the importance of home in difficult times, and the challenges of having a multi-cultural family with loved ones all over the globe at a time when travel is impossible (or ill-advised).
I considered what I would be angry about if I died right now and what I really want out of the next half of my life. I thought deeply about how I want to spend the short, precious years we have in this life, and what I no longer wanted to do. I shared some of that on the podcast and some of it remains locked in my journals in the emotional angst of a rollercoaster year.
There have been moments of fear, panic, and anxiety, as well as grief, sadness, and depression. Plus, a heavy dose of boredom, frustration, anger, and pretty much everything else on the emotional spectrum. Sometimes in the same day as the news cycle amped up everything to the max.
One big lesson learned is to avoid the news as much as possible — although of course, we all want to stay informed. I haven't watched TV news for years but I found myself reading multiple newspapers on my phone every day — definitely doomscrolling!
Unsurprisingly, I found peace of mind when walking the canal, out in nature away from screens. I tackled my fernweh (longing for far-off places) by going for a six-day pilgrimage in October, walking the Pilgrims' Way from Southwark in London to Canterbury Cathedral.
In the early days of the pandemic, I went through a creative ‘freeze' when I wondered if I would be able to write again. Talking to Mark McGuinness about creating in difficult times (episode 484) helped unlock me and I ended up having the most creative year ever in terms of my written (and spoken) output. It's amazing what you can do when everything gets canceled and the only thing to do is work!
I felt deeply grateful for the simple things I take for granted and really want back in my life:
* Spending time with my family and cuddling my little nieces — since I am the eldest of five siblings, we have only been able to catch up once this year in the summer between lockdowns
* Going out for drinks in a crowded bar with friends, or dinner in a busy restaurant,
Tips For Your Author Business Plan With Joanna Penn
You are an author. You turn ideas into reality in the shape of a book.
You turn the thoughts in your head into valuable intellectual property assets. You understand how powerful the written word can be. Now it's time to use your words to create a business plan to take your writing career to the next level — whatever that means for your situation.
In this episode, I share some chapters from my new book, Your Author Business Plan, available now.
In the intro, Bob Dylan sold his song catalogue for $300 million [The Guardian] and thoughts on how streaming is impacting revenues [Financial Times]; Spotify and blockchain [Musically]; Daniel Ek interview [Tim Ferriss Podcast]; China's AI audiobook narration in the author's voice [BBC]; Tiktok's owner Bytedance launches an app with AI-narrated audiobooks [RadiiChina].
Google’s next Android update will expand audiobook availability on Google Play Books by auto-generating AI narrations for books that don’t offer an audio version [Techcrunch]. It's already available for public domain books. [Google Play Books]. Plus, Orna Ross and I talk about our Mistakes, Failures and Setbacks on the author journey [Ask ALLi podcast].
Your Author Business Plan: Take Your Author Career to the Next Level is out now in ebook, paperback, large print, and companion workbook editions. Plus, you can get the audiobook directly from me, and available in the other stores in January. You can get 50% off any of my audiobooks and ebooks if you buy direct from me – Payhip.com/thecreativepenn – coupon: DEC20
Here's how to apply the coupon correctly if you're unsure. Plus, I have made Successful Self-Publishing free as an ebook and an audiobook so you can give the Bookfunnel audiobook app a try for free. It could be a gamechanger for selling audio direct.
On this episode, I share two chapters from my [human-narrated!] audiobook, which starts at 26 mins if you want to jump straight to it.
* What is a business plan?
* Business summary and big picture goals
* Marketing Strategy. Author eco-system
Here are the chapters of the audiobook featured in the episode. You can find links to a href="https://www.thecreativepenn.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The credit will go to Joanna.
When I finish my Middle Grade Novel series, podcast and non-fiction books on Parenting I will have to give a lot of the credit to Joanna Penn for not only her informative interviews and professional experience, but for her encouraging and fun personality. I never miss a week.
Always informative and engaging
This is one of the few podcasts I listen to every time it is released. Joanna combines hot-off-the-press updates from the creative business community with engaging interviews and thoughtful questions and tips about writing books and running a publishing business. Highly recommended to authors, entrepreneurs and even tech enthusiasts!
Love this podcast!
Joanna is knowledgeable, professional and a delight. Her advice is sound, and delivered in an encouraging manner. Love this podcast!