The Creative Penn Podcast For Writers
The Creative Penn Podcast For Writers
Joanna Penn
Writing, Publishing, Book Marketing, Creative Entrepreneurship
Embracing Multi-Passionate Creativity And Running A Small Press With Jessica Bell
Some say you can only be successful if you focus on one thing, but what if you are a multi-passionate creative? What if your Muse is inspired to write song lyrics as well as poetry, non-fiction as well as novels and heart-wrenching memoir? Jessica Bell manages to juggle many aspects of a creative career and shares her experiences in this interview. In the intro, Jeanette Winterson burns her own books in protest at the publisher's rebranding [The Guardian]; book research serendipity [my pics on Instagram]; Hollywood vs the Author book; Ads for Authors open for a limited time. 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. Jessica Bell is an award-winning author and poet, singer/songwriter, graphic designer, small press publisher, and voice-over actor. Her books include memoir, literary fiction, and the Writing in a Nutshell non-fiction series for writers. 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 * How a creative life can involve many passions* Writing memoir and dealing with self-doubt and vulnerability* What can authors learn from musicians?* Why Jessica made the switch to publishing other authors' books* The challenges of running a small press* What is required from authors who want someone else to publish their book? You can find Jessica Bell at IAmJessicaBell.com and VineLeavesPress.com and on Twitter @VineLeavesPress Transcript of interview with Jessica Bell Joanna: Jessica Bell is an award-winning author and poet, singer/songwriter, graphic designer, small press publisher, and voice-over actor. Her books include memoir, literary fiction, and the ‘Writing in a Nutshell' non-fiction series for writers. Welcome to the show, Jessica. Jessica: Thank you very much, Joanna. It's great to be here. Joanna: I'm excited to talk to you because, of course, we know each other in person but we haven't caught up for years. Jessica: We met, what, 10 years ago or something? Joanna: It does feel like a long time. I usually say to people, ‘Tell us a bit about how you got into writing,' but you are a multipreneur. Obviously, you've got all these different strands. How have the various aspects of your creativity emerged over your career so far?
Jun 13
53 min
NFTs for Authors And Publishing with John Fox
Why are NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) so exciting for authors and the publishing industry? How will they generate more streams of revenue for creators? What are some ways that authors could use them? All this and more in today's interview. I also mention Bloomberg's article on how NFTs shift power to artists in the intro. Thanks to my patrons at Patreon.com/thecreativepenn who support these extra futurist episodes. John Fox is an award-winning short story writer and author of I Will Shout Your Name, a collection of his stories. He's also a developmental editor, creator of writing courses, and a blogger.  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 are NFTs and how do they work?* How authors might benefit from selling NFTs* Questions to ask when you’re thinking about creating an NFT* Ideas for NFTs from authors* Addressing concerns about the environmental impact of NFTs* Exhibiting caution around publishing contracts and their blanket ownership of future formats of a book* Marketing strategies for authors as the world and technology changes You can find John Fox at thejohnfox.com and on Twitter @bookfox. John has some great courses for authors and if you'd like to support the show, check them out through my link: TheCreativePenn.com/bookfox Transcript of interview with John Fox Joanna: John Fox is an award-winning short story writer and author of I Will Shout Your Name, a collection of his stories. He's also a developmental editor, course creator, and blogger. Welcome, John. John: Thanks for having me. Joanna: I'm excited to talk to you today. Before we get into the topic of the show, the technological side, I did want to ask you a bit more about you and your writing journey so people know where you're coming from. John: I got a couple of graduate degrees in creative writing from New York University, and then an MFA from USC. Way back in 2006, I started blogging. So I've been blogging for 15 years now at Bookfox. About five or six years ago, I decided to monetize the blog and start selling courses, start doing editing, start to become more of a resource for writers out there, because they may need help, a lot of people need help. I get emails all the time saying like, ‘How do I self-publish?' Or, ‘How do I find an editor?' Or ‘How do I do this or that?' So I just wanted to help the writing community through Bookfox. Joanna: It's a goldmine. I spent quite a long time on your site. So we'll definitely direct people there a bit later. I was interested because you're a literary writer yourself, you mentioned you have an MFA, you write short stories,
Jun 10
55 min
Transitioning From An In-Person Business To Online Multiple Streams Of Income With Guy Windsor
The pandemic has favoured digital business models, but how can you transition to online sales when you run an in-person business? How can you move from one stream of income to multiple streams? Guy Windsor has lots of ideas for your author business in this fascinating interview. In the intro, fear-based decision making [Kris Rusch]; Amazon and MGM; Product focused vs Process focused [Dean Wesley Smith]; Royalties on second-hand print books [Guardian]. Plus, working titles, getting out of the house, and my cycling trip in the Cotswolds. 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.  Guy Windsor is a consulting swordsman, teacher, and author specializing in Medieval and Renaissance Italian swordsmanship. He runs Sword School and is the host of The Sword Guy 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 * How Guy transitioned to multiple sources of income that have seen him though the pandemic* The challenges of print books and using QR codes to link to videos* Lessons learned from creating online courses* Creating a deck of sword fighting cards as an alternative teaching tool* Guy’s post on the key principles of crowdfunding* On the intersection of podcasts and audiobook sales You can find Guy Windsor at GuyWindsor.net and on Twitter @guy_windsor. Guy has also created a useful landing page with examples of the things we discussed at Guywindsor.net/joanna/ Transcript of interview with Guy Windsor Joanna: Guy Windsor is a consulting swordsman, teacher, and author specializing in Medieval and Renaissance Italian swordsmanship. He runs sword school and is the host of ‘The Sword Guy Podcast.' Welcome back to the show, Guy.Guy: Nice to see you, Joanna. Thanks for having me.Joanna: It's great to have you back. Now, for everyone listening, you were on the show back in episode 229 when we t...
Jun 6
1 hr 4 min
How To Edit Your Book And The Different Kinds Of Professional Editors With Natasa Lekic
How you can prepare your book before sending it to an editor? What are the different types of edits and editors you can use for different phases of your writing process? When is editing software worth using and when do you really need human eyes on your work? All this and more in the interview with Natasa Lekic. In the intro, cycling through the Cotswolds (pics here on Instagram @jfpennauthor); Book marketing for introverts (6 Figure Authors); and limited time 99c/99p books for writers (DavidGaughran.com/writer-blowout) Do you need an editor for your book? Do you want to know how to find and work with a professional editor? Check out my tutorial and list of editors and resources at www.TheCreativePenn.com/editors Natasa Lekic is the Founder of New York Book Editors, which matches writers with experienced, vetted, professional editors. She previously worked in publishing and also co-founded an animated story platform for kids. 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 authors use professional editors* How to prepare your manuscript before sending to an editor* The different types of edits and how they work for writers with different levels of experience* What to do with notes from an editor* How much is editing and why is it an investment? You can find Natasa Lekic at NewYorkBookEditors.com and on Twitter @NYBookEditors Transcript of Interview with Natasa Lekic Joanna: Natasa Lekic is the Founder of New York Book Editors, which matches writers with experienced, vetted, professional editors, many of whom have worked with award-winning and bestselling authors. Natasa previously worked in publishing and also co-founded an animated story platform for kids. Welcome back to the show, Natasa. Natasa: Thank you so much for having me, Joanna. Joanna: I'm excited to talk to you again. We had such a good chat last time. Let's get straight into the whole topic of editing because it is one of the core things that writers have to deal with. Why is it worth working with a professional editor anyway? Why not just use people in a writing group or beta readers? Natasa: Let me explain how editors edit when they're at the very beginning of their careers, because it's the same or similar to how beta readers and writing groups look at material. And it's actually also why we have the longest experience requirements for our editing team. It's something I feel very strongly about. Early on, as an editorial assistant, or later, as an assistant editor,
May 30
46 min
Discovery Writing And Sustaining A Long-Term Writing Career With Patricia McLinn
What is discovery writing (sometimes known as pantsing)? How can you write a novel with structure if you don't plot in advance? How can you build a writing career for the long-term? All this and more with Patricia McLinn. In the intro, “98 percent of the books that publishers released in 2020 sold fewer than 5,000 copies,” [NY Times]; How much do authors earn? [BookRiot and Jane Friedman]; All About Audio conference [BookWire]; Google auto-narration video [YouTube]; Spotify partners with Storytel for audiobooks and introduces transcription for podcasts [The Verge]. 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. Patricia McLinn is the award-winning and multi-USA Today bestselling author of over 50 books across mystery, contemporary, and historical romance, women's fiction, and nonfiction. Today we're talking about discovery writing and the Survival Kit for Writers Who Don't Write Right. 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 a discovery writer?* How to manage story structure as a discovery writer* On retroactive plotting and how discovery writers use it* Tips for organizing pre-orders* How important is a ‘series bible’?* Tips for a long writing career You can find Patricia McLinn at PatriciaMcLinn.com and on Twitter @PatriciaMcLinn Transcript of Interview with Patricia McLinn Joanna: Patricia McLinn is the award-winning and multi-USA Today bestselling author of over 50 books across mystery, contemporary, and historical romance, women's fiction, and nonfiction. Today we're talking about discovery writing and the Survival Kit for Writers Who Don't Write Right. Welcome, Pat. Patricia: Well, thank you so much, Joanna. It's wonderful to talk to you. It's been a while. We were in London back in 2020.
May 23
1 hr 3 min
The Challenges Of A First Novel With James Blatch
What are the challenges of writing a first novel — even when you think you know what you're doing? How do you define success when you are just starting out on the author journey? James Blatch talks about these questions and more. In the intro, thoughts from attending the Audio Publishers Association conference, and audiobooks being delivered by podcast apps [The Verge]; Music industry creator trends for the next decade [Creative Industries]; a tribute to Joel Friedlander and thoughts on estate planning; The Relaxed Author; The Premonition by Michael Lewis; and last chance to get the Writing Storybundle. 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 James Blatch is the co-founder of Self-Publishing Formula, Fuse Books, Hello Books, and the co-host of The Self-Publishing Show. He's also now a fiction author with historical military thriller, The Final Flight.  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 * Learning how to write a novel over 11 years* Lessons learned when publishing a first book, including the importance of proofreading* Marketing strategies when you’ve only got one book* Balancing work and other areas of life* New avenues of book business including HelloBooks and Fuse Books You can find James Blatch at JamesBlatch.com and on Twitter @JamesBlatch Transcript of interview with James Blatch Joanna: James Blatch is the co-founder of Self-Publishing Formula, Fuse Books, Hello Books, and the co-host of ‘The Self-Publishing Show.' He's also now a fiction author with historical military thriller, The Final Flight. Welcome to the show, James. James: Hey, Jo. I was just saying, this is like self-publishing royalty. I've made it. I can look you in the eye now. When we meet, I can look you in the eye and say, ‘Yes,
May 15
1 hr 14 min
The Heroine’s Journey with Gail Carriger
What is the heroine's journey and how can it help you write a story that readers will love? Gail Carriger shares her writing tips in this interview. In the intro, publishing house mergers [Agent Kristin Nelson]; KDP Print in Australia; Bookwire announces a new NFT marketplace for the publishing and creator industry [Publishing Perspectives]. Plus, limited-time writing Storybundle including ebooks on film/TV rights; London Book Fair online; and Monetize You Summit (affiliate), useful if you want to take your creative business further than books. Today's show is sponsored by IngramSpark, who I use to print and distribute my print-on-demand books to 40,000 retailers including independent bookstores, schools and universities, libraries and more. It's your content – do more with it through IngramSpark.com. Gail Carriger is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of steampunk and urban fantasy, comedy and queer romance. Her books have sold over a million copies in print and include The Parasol Protectorate and The Finishing SchoolSeries. Her latest nonfiction book is The Heroine's Journey. 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 differences between the Hero’s Journey and the Heroine’s Journey* The importance of supporting characters in a heroine’s journey* How hero and heroine’s journeys endings are different* Why the heroine’s journey has been disenfranchised and how indie publishing has played a part in changing that* Tips for writing non-fiction when you’ve mostly written fiction* Differences between marketing fiction vs. Non-fiction You can find Gail Carriger at GailCarriger.com and on Twitter @gailcarriger Transcript of interview with Gail Carriger Joanna: Gail Carriger is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of steampunk and urban fantasy, comedy and queer romance. Her books have sold over a million copies in print and include The Parasol Protectorate and The Finishing SchoolSeries. Her latest nonfiction book is The Heroine's Journey. Welcome back. Gail. Gail: Thank you so much for having me back. I'm delighted to be here. Joanna: I'm thrilled to be talking about this. And I was just telling you,
May 9
1 hr 5 min
The AI-Powered Micro-Business with Ash Fontana
Artificial Intelligence is already part of our lives in the tools and services we use every day. As AI development accelerates, how can authors and small businesses use it as leverage to expand income and opportunities? Ash Fontana gives some ideas in this interview on The AI-First Company. In the intro, How GPT-3 is quietly ushering in the A.I. revolution [Digital Trends]; The Computers Are Getting Better At Writing [The New Yorker]; The Chinese equivalent on GPT-3, PanGu-α [Venture Beat]; List of AI writing tools and GPT-3 Examples. Ash Fontana is a startup investor and managing director of Zetta, an investment fund focusing on AI. He's also the author of The AI-First Company: How to Compete and Win with Artificial Intelligence. 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 * How AI development has accelerated due to the pandemic* How Natural Language Generation and other aspects of AI can help authors with marketing and content creation * How AI could help stop plagiarism* Licensing works in copyright for training AI models and the impact of AI on copyright law* Generative Adversarial Networks* A positive view of an AI powered future You can find Ash Fontana at AshFontana.com and on Twitter @ashfontana. You can also find the book website at TheAIFirstCompany.com Transcript of Interview with Ash Fontana Joanna Penn: Ash Fontana is a startup investor and managing director of Zetta, an investment fund focusing on AI. He's also the author of The AI-First Company: How to Compete and Win with Artificial Intelligence. Welcome, Ash. Ash Fontana: Hey, Joanna. Thank you very much for having me. Joanna Penn: I'm excited to talk to you today. Let's start with a quote from the book. ‘We thought AI was just around the corner for a long time, but it turns out that it was just getting started.' Now, many people in my community think, ‘AI will happen in a decade or longer,' but, What are you excited about right now and have things accelerated because of the pandemic? Ash Fontana: In many ways, AI will happen in a decade or longer and it'll keep happening for many decades going forward. We're just at the start of what I call the AI-first century. We're only partway through that. So bringing it back to today, where are we, and this AI-first century, and what's exciting today, and what's changing today, I'm still excited by a lot of the simple stuff, what we call supervised and semi-supervised systems in the field of AI.
May 6
1 hr 1 min
Tips For Translation, Self-Publishing, And Marketing In Foreign Languages With Nadine Mutas
The book market is saturated for certain genres in digitally mature markets like the US and UK, but readers in other markets are hungry for books. In this episode, Nadine Mutas talks about self-publishing in German, French and Italian and her tips for finding a translator and marketing the books once they're available. In the intro, Authors Guild contract template, #disneymustpay [The Guardian]; Movies (and books) changing from ‘event' to ‘pool' [The Future of Publishing]; The increasing issue of selling new or front list books [Publishers Weekly, The Hotsheet]; The Magic Bakery by Dean Wesley Smith; Apple and Spotify introduce paid podcast subscriptions — and why you need to change your perspective on what a podcast is.  Plus, self-publishing through personal struggles [ALLi blog]; How authors can use affiliate income; and A Speck on the Ocean: Sailing the Pacific on Books and Travel. Do you need help with editing and cover design, marketing, or translations? 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 Nadine Mutas is the award-winning author of paranormal romance novels, with books published in German, French, and Italian, as well as English. 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 * Shaking off the stigma of self-publishing in the early days * How book-buying habits in a country matter more than population when selling books * How genre and sub-genre affect book sales in foreign markets * How do you know if a translator is good if you don’t speak the language? * The cost-benefit analysis of translation and lessons learned * Why translating more than one book matters * Marketing books in a foreign language You can find Nadine Mutas at NadineMutas....
May 2
1 hr 7 min
Mind Management, Not Time Management With David Kadavy
How do we make time for original insights that set our creative work apart? How do we reframe productivity so it serves our career for the long term? David Kadavy talks about mind management, not time management in this interview.  In the intro, Jane Friedman reports on how the pandemic is affecting book publishing, lessons from Netflix vs the World documentary, news of Joe Biden’s antitrust nominee, Lina Khan, a law professor who has argued that companies like Amazon should be broken up or treated as public utilities (NY Times), Musicians call for the UK government to reform streaming royalties (BBC); and should streaming payments be changed from the shared pool model? (Pitchfork) Today's show is sponsored by my patrons at Patreon.com/thecreativepenn. After 12 years of the podcast, patron support encourages me to continue sharing the author journey. If you find the show useful, please consider becoming a patron. David Kadavy is a creative entrepreneur, nonfiction author, and podcaster. His latest book is Mind Management, Not Time Management. 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 * How creativity is different to productivity* Time spent thinking vs writing words* Unstructured time and its positive effect on creativity and insight* Multiple streams of income You can find David Kadavy at kdv.co and on Twitter @kadavy Transcript of Interview with David Kadavy Joanna: David Kadavy is a creative entrepreneur, nonfiction author, and podcaster. His latest book is Mind Management, Not Time Management. Welcome back to the show, David. David: Joanna, thank you so much for having me back. It's good to be here. Joanna: You were last on this show in 2018, so we won't get into your history. People can go listen to that. But let's get straight into the book because this is so important. I was reading it and it was fascinating to hear about you reaching the end of your tether with productivity hacks and getting things done and all those things. Tell us about that. How did you get to that? Because we're all self-help people here, and that's part of our life usually. What happened that made you get to the end of your tether with ‘productivity'? David: I was a Getting Things Done early adopter, I guess.
Apr 25
1 hr
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