Apr 21, 2014
KWL Director Mark Lefebvre and US Manager Christine Munroe were
joined by NYT bestselling author, professional speaker, and
entrepreneur Joanna Penn. Joanna is an invaluable resource for
indie authors through her blog, The Creative Penn, and
podcast of the
same name. Listen in as Joanna shares insights about:
- How Joanna began her journey as a fiction writer through
NaNoWriMo in 2009.
- Why she defines herself and fellow indie authors as
entrepreneurs: "I define an entrepreneur as someone who creates
something of value from their own head… these days, if you're
writing fiction and you're self-publishing, and you are being a
businessperson, then you are being an entrepreneur."
- Other methods of earning income as an author: audio, print, and
translation – and specifically how Joanna produced PENTECOST as an
audiobook through ACX.
- How publishing her eBooks in English through kobo.com helped
her reach readers in 30 countries and counting.
- Joanna's collaborative "give first" approach: if you give
first, others will come back and give to you (which she calls
"social karma"). Similarly, if you read others' books and review
them, they will come back and review your books ("reading
- Why Pentecost is now permanently free – it is an easy way to
draw readers into a funnel. This works best when you have many
other books available. Joanna has seen an increase in sales of her
other titles and sign-ups to her email list by using this
- The breakdown of Joanna's eBook price strategy for her latest
novel, DESECRATION: week one following the release, $2.99. One week
later, increased to $4.99. In general, at the moment she prices
eBooks at $2.99 for novellas, $4.99 for novels, $0.99 for short
stories, and $5.99 for nonfiction.
- How writing A THOUSAND FIENDISH ANGELS for Kobo (inspired by
Dan Brown's INFERNO) enabled her write darker material and stop
self-censoring, which helped her push her boundaries while writing
- The distinction between her two brands, J.F. Penn for fiction
and Joanna Penn for nonfiction – including her amazing title that
every author should read, HOW
TO MARKET A BOOK. She only recommends establishing two author
brands if it's necessary, which is true in her case so that she can
target to these two distinct audiences.
- Why she's a self-described "taphophile" - aka a "cemetery
- How reading five books a week, and traveling to the places
where her books are set, inspire Joanna's writing.
- The best thing Joanna has learned as a writer: "It's all about
the Compound Effect. Little things repeated every day over time are
what makes the difference."
Joanna recently became a NYT and USA Today bestselling
author with the boxed set DEADLY
DOZEN, which features her novella ONE DAY IN BUDAPEST.
Learn more about this amazing example of author collaboration on
post about this experience