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

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 Get Your Book Into Libraries And Bookstores With Mark Leslie Lefebvre

    How To Get Your Book Into Libraries And Bookstores With Mark Leslie Lefebvre

    We are writers, but we are readers first! Many of us grew up in the corners of libraries and still spend our money on books from bookstores, but did you know that it is possible to get your books into libraries and bookstores as an independent author? Mark Leslie Lefebvre gives some tips in today's interview.



    In the introduction, I give an update about my thoughts in coronavirus lockdown here in the UK, and I refer to Mary Oliver's poem Wild Geese [Brain Pickings], a quote from Tolkien seen on the canal towpath (my Instagram), and That Discomfort You're Feeling is Grief [HBR], plus Indie Authors and Coronavirus resources updated every day by the Alliance of Independent Authors; and ACX gives an extra 5% royalty for the next 3 months [ACX blog].

    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.

    Mark Leslie Lefebvre writes horror travel books and nonfiction for writers. He's a podcaster at Stark Reflections on writing and publishing, a professional speaker, and a publishing consultant at Draft2Digital.com. His latest non-fiction book is An Author's Guide to Working with Libraries and Bookstores.

    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



    * Why now is a good time for indie authors to be approaching libraries

    * How Overdrive has recently changed in a way that’s advantageous to indies

    * How the digital and print library ecosystem works

    * The difference between the one-to-one and the cost-per-checkout model

    * Tips on earning from the public lending rights system in Commonwealth countries

    * The bookstore business model and why discounts are necessary

    * Book formats that are popular in bookstores and libraries – here's how to do large print

    * The abundance mindset of offering your books in multiple formats



    You can find Mark Leslie Lefebvre at MarkLeslie.ca and on Twitter @MarkLeslie



    Transcript of Interview with Mark Leslie Lefebvre

    Joanna: Mark Leslie Lefebvre writes horror travel books and nonfiction for writers. He's a podcaster at Stark Reflections on writing and publishing,

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Keep Going: How To Be Creative For The Long-Term With Austin Kleon

    Keep Going: How To Be Creative For The Long-Term With Austin Kleon

    What does it take to be creative over the long-term, especially in these challenging times? In today's interview, Austin Kleon gives his thoughts on how to Keep Going.



     

    In the introduction, I talk about my thoughts around dealing with coronavirus, plus Sanctuary, Retreat, Belonging: The Importance of Home in Difficult Times, My tips on how to work effectively from home, Kris Rusch's Patreon, my mini-course/lecture on Multiple Streams of Income from your Writing, plus How to Sell Your Books Directly to Readers and Get Paid Immediately, and if you want to get 50% off my ebooks and (some audiobooks), you can buy direct from me: Payhip.com/thecreativepenn and use discount coupon: QUARANTINE until the end of March.



    Today's podcast sponsor is Findaway Voices, which gives you access to the world's largest network of audiobook sellers and everything you need to create and sell professional audiobooks. Take back your freedom. Choose your price, choose how you sell, choose how you distribute audio. Check it out at FindawayVoices.com.



    Austin Kleon is the New York Times and international best-selling author of four books including Steal Like An Artist and Show Your Work. He's also an artist, professional speaker, and newspaper blackout poet. Today we're talking about Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad.

    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



    * Where to go next after being creative for ten years

    * Riding the wave of interest to see what’s next creatively

    * Granting ourselves permission to follow our interests

    * Tapping into our dark side while avoiding fear of judgment

    * Where are your creative safe zones?

    * What happens when art is the thing that feeds your family?

    * The part blogging can play in a writer’s life



    You can find Austin Kleon at AustinKleon.com and on Twitter @austinkleon



    Transcript of Interview with Austin Kleon

    Joanna: Austin Kleon is the New York Times and international best-selling author of four books including Steal Like An Artist and Show Your Work. He's also an artist, professional speaker, and newspaper blackout poet. Today we're talking about Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad.

    Welcome, Austin.

    Austin: Hello,

    • 1 hr 13 min
    A Career In Writing With Danielle Trussoni

    A Career In Writing With Danielle Trussoni

    The publishing industry has changed so much in the last decade and in today's interview, I talk to Danielle Trussoni about how her writer's life has shifted — both in what she writes, how she publishes and how she reaches readers.



    In the intro, I talk about the UK ending VAT on ebooks [BBC], why self-publishing changes everything for everyone in publishing [Orna Ross on the ALLi blog], a weird 45th birthday week, and my new mini-course/lecture on Multiple Streams of Income.



    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



    Danielle Trussoni is the multi-award-winning and international bestselling author of horror novels, including Angelology, and memoir, including The Fortress. She is also a horror columnist for ‘The New York Times' and a podcaster. Her latest book is The Ancestor, described as modern gothic.

    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



    * On writing memoir and then shifting to fiction

    * Do genre categories matter as they once did?

    * Where faith and belief fit into writing horror

    * On handling success and what defines it

    * How the love of creating can smooth the rough edges of a tumultuous time

    * On the difficult process of choosing a title

    * How the business of being an author has changed

    * New expectations for traditionally published authors

    * How to make a living as a writer

    * Writing a companion audio drama to a novel



    You can find Danielle Trussoni at DanielleTrussoni.com and on Twitter @DaniTrussoni



    Transcript of Interview with Danielle Trussoni

    Joanna: Danielle Trussoni is the multi-award-winning and international bestselling author of horror novels, including Angelology, and memoir, including The Fortress. She is also a horror columnist for ‘The New York Times' and a podcaster. Her latest book is The Ancestor, described as modern gothic.

    Welcome, Danielle.

    Danielle: Hi Joanna, thank you for having me on your show.

    Joanna: I'm super excited. And as I said to you by email, I have been a fan of yours since Angelology, which is over a decade now and I'm very excited about your new book.

    First up, tell us a bit more about you and how you got into writing.

    Danielle: I've been writing for about 15 years. My first book was published in 2006. Before that, I went to the Iowa Writer's Workshop, which is here in the States,

    • 58 min
    The Career Author With J Thorn And Zach Bohannon

    The Career Author With J Thorn And Zach Bohannon

    What does it take to build a full-time career from your writing? In today's show, I talk to J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon about some of their lessons learned from the first two years of full-time author entrepreneur life, plus co-writing, in-person experiences, and more.



    In the intro, London Book Fair cancellation [BBC] and why the coronavirus might accelerate trends towards remote working, AI and robotics. Plus, Simon & Schuster might be sold [Publishing Perspectives]; DeepZen are releasing the first AI-narrated audiobooks with Findaway [press release], Descript.com releases a new version of Overdub with editing for generated intonation; Deepl.com released a new AI translation model, ‘a quantum leap in translation quality' [Deepl blog]. I recommend A World With Work by Daniel Susskind. 



    Do you need help with marketing, publicity or advertising? Find a curated list of vetted professionals at the Reedsy marketplace, along with free training on writing, self-publishing and book marketing. Check it out at: www.TheCreativePenn.com/reedsy



    J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon co-write post-apocalyptic and dystopian sci-fi novels under Molten Universe Media as well as separately writing horror and dark fantasy. They also run The Career Author together with the weekly podcast and events like Authors on a Train, Rock Apoc, and the Career Author Summits. Their latest non-fiction book is The Three Story Method.

    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



    * Tips for finding a good fit in a collaboration partner

    * Why an ongoing writing collaboration needs systems

    * Sharing a simple story construction method with authors

    * Why plotting and organizing is so important for co-writing, and how difficult it was to co-write a book with 4 authors on the original, authors on a train, with Joanna and Lindsay Buroker [Listen to the episode here]

    * Why introverts J. and Zach make time for hosting live events

    * Small in-person events as a way of connecting and supporting authors

    * Lessons learned from leaving the day job

    * How non-fiction books can also create additional streams of income

    * On communicating to a spouse about wanting to quit the day job

    * Approaching the traditionally published world with help from mentor JD Barker

    * The future of author-publishing businesses



    You can find J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon at a href="https://thecareerauthor.

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Opportunities In Audiobook Publishing With Michele Cobb

    Opportunities In Audiobook Publishing With Michele Cobb

    Audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment in publishing and increasingly, a welcome extra revenue for authors and publishers alike. In this interview, Michele Cobb from the Audiobook Publishers Association talks about the expansion of the market as well as tips for marketing audio.



    In the introduction, I talk about Ingram Spark's Catalog Integrity Announcement which included AI-generated material [Ingram Spark blog], and extra comment on the Alliance of Independent Author's blog; plus the death of Clive Cussler, a hero of action-adventure writers. I also mention I'll be speaking at the Slow Business Adventure in Norway, Sept 2020 and the Superstars of Writing conference in Colorado Springs, Feb 2021.



    Today's show is sponsored by my book, Audio for Authors: Audiobooks, Podcasting and Voice Technologies, available (from 6 March 2020) in ebook, paperback, large print, hardback and audiobook editions.



    Michele Cobb is the executive director of the Audio Publishers Association, the publisher of AudioFile magazine, and a consultant for the audiobook business at Forte Business Consulting.

    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



    * Was 2019 the tipping point for audiobooks and podcasting?

    * The shift in listenership and why people listen rather than ‘read' text

    * The growing global reach of audiobooks

    * The different types of works available in addition to books

    * Thoughts on how AI will affect audiobooks and the narration industry in English-speaking markets as well as abroad

    * The subscription model for audiobooks

    * Tips for marketing audiobooks

    * What makes for an award-winning audiobook?



    You can find Michele Cobb at AudioPub.org.



    Transcript of Interview with Michele Cobb on Audiobooks

    Joanna: Michele Cobb is the executive director of the Audio Publishers Association, the publisher of AudioFile magazine, and a consultant for the audiobook business. Welcome, Michelle.

    Michelle: Hi. Glad to be here.

    Joanna: It's great to have you on the show.

    Tell us a bit more about you, because you are one busy lady, and also how you got into the audiobook business. Why do you love audio so much?

    Michelle: It's funny because I actually came from the world of theater and I used to travel around and direct plays and I would be on the road a lot. So I started to become an audiobook listener.

    When I moved to Los Angeles, I got connected with a company called L.A. Theater Works that records plays in front of an audience and then makes them available on audio as an audiobook. I became the resident expert in audiobooks for that company and I got stolen away by the BBC and have been in the industry now for 20 years.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    How To Find And Pitch A Literary Agent With Barbara Poelle

    How To Find And Pitch A Literary Agent With Barbara Poelle

    Authors have more possibilities than ever when it comes to publishing their books, but if you want a traditional publishing deal, then it's worth considering how an agent can help sell your book. In today's interview, literary agent, Barbara Poelle, gives tips for story craft, query letters, how to find and pitch an agent, plus what to expect from the publishing industry.



    In the intro, I discuss some of the findings of the Authors Guild report on The Profession of the Author in the 21st Century; Rebecca Giblin's paper on author rights in Australian publishing agreements; plus, Google Play Books has made publisher signup easier than ever and increased royalty rates and added affiliate links. Plus, I share my walk along the Kennet and Avon canal and my talk about self-publishing on the NaNoWriMo YouTube channel, as well as my writing update on Map of the Impossible.

    Join me and Mark Dawson for a free webinar on How To Get Your First (Or Next) 10 Book Reviews on Thurs 5 March at 3 pm US Eastern / 8 pm UK. Click here to register for your free place or to get the replay.



    Today's show is sponsored by my course, How to Write a Novel: From Idea to Finished Manuscript. Is it your dream to write a novel but you just don’t know where to start?

    Have you started writing only to run out of ideas? Are you suffering from self-doubt about whether you’re good enough to write a novel? Do you feel overwhelmed by all the information and craft books out there? Do you want to strip everything back to basics and learn a step by step process to writing your novel? If yes, this course might be for you. Check out my courses at www.TheCreativePenn.com/learn



    Barbara Poelle is a literary agent at the Irene Goodman Literary Agency in New York. She's also a magazine columnist at Writer's Digest and the author of Funny You Should Ask: Mostly Serious Answers to Mostly Serious Questions About the Book Publishing Industry.

    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



    * Why craft matters when pitching an agent

    * The importance of pacing in any book, especially thrillers

    * The hook, the book and the cook of a query letter

    * How the agent-author fit is like a relationship

    * Thoughts on pen names and whether agents are interested in self-published authors

    * The types of deals that are possible for a book

    * The reality of being successful in the book industry in the 21st century

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

Stan Dubin ,

Top Notch From Start to Finish

I love everything about this podcast.

I love her news and notes in the beginning. I love how she can get in depth interviews done with BOTH the host and her guest very comfortable with each other. I love Joanna's British (Australian?) accent.

I love ... What's that? For a second there, I thought my wife was behind me reading this review... she's not. All is well.

I just love everything about Joanna's podcast. Natural, informative, funny and up-lifting.

Xtinakaye ,

Helpful, Insightful, and Practical Advice

Joanna, your podcast has inspired me in so many ways. Not only do I listen regularly, I take notes on all the advice given by you and your amazing guest hosts. Listening to your show feels like having a conversation with a friend about our book journeys. Please keep doing all that you do for authors everywhere.

Carlyn Montes De Oca ,

Superb podcast

I wish I had started listening to this podcast years ago. Excellent, and extremely useful info. I feel much more confident with my marketing plan for the coming year.

Top Podcasts In Books

Listeners Also Subscribed To