Ebook Revolution

E-Book Revolution Podcast Episode 6: How To Become An Author-Entrepreneur With Joanna Penn

The days of a pasty author hunched over their manuscript in the garret have flown passed us in a whirlwind leaving more than one confused writer in the Land of Oz. No longer can authors let the publishing machine do all that pesky promotion work for them, heck authors can’t even throw their self-published works up on Amazon and expect to be ‘discovered’ anymore. Yet there are more people now then any time in history that claim being a writer as their full time job. While the paycheck for a self-published writer is slowly becoming more sustainable then a traditionally published writer, selling just books is still not going to be enough to keep the mortgage in check. Which is why this new generation of ‘full-time’ writers are using a new model, that of the author-entrepreneur. Basically, the author is making their money not only from their novels, but speaking, consulting and selling online courses, creating a more sustainable cash-flow. This is the model I am aiming for this year, being able to write and talk about writing is a dream job to me. So today’s podcast is all about learning how you and I can also become author-entrepreneurs! Our guest speaker for the podcast is none other than the fabulous author-entrepreneur herself, Joanna Penn.

JoannaPennNew27-248x300Joanna Penn is an author, internet entrepreneur and international speaker based in London, England. She spent 13 years as a business IT consultant in large corporates across the globe before becoming a fulltime author-entrepreneur in September 2011. In 2008 she self published her first non-fiction book and made ‘a lot of mistakes’ which culminated in the sale of almost no books. Determined to learn about marketing and become a better writer she started a website for indie authors called the Creative Penn. In Feb 2011, she self-published her first thriller novel ‘Pentecost‘,  and her  second novel in the ARKANE series, Prophecy was released in January 2012, debuting above Lee Child in the Action-Adventure list. Her novels have now sold over 50,000 copies, becoming bestsellers in the Thriller and Action Adventure categories. She has also just released the third novel in her series, Exodus. She has been asked to speak all over the world on self-publishing and the author platform and last year release four courses for authors on publishing with C.J.Lyons, a NY Times bestselling author. Although she continues to love self-publishing, she signed with a literary agent in July 2012 in order to pursue a traditional publishing deal for her mainstream novels.

In this podcast we discuss:

  • The benefits of being an author entrepreneur and how you supplement your income
  • Why you need an entrepreneurial spirit to be a successful indie
  • The reason why hybrid publishing is a good way to go
  • Why Joanna started the Creative Penn and how she found her creative ‘stride’
  • How to create a community around what you love
  • The important truth: Traditional press does not necessarily give you book sales
  • How to get started on creating your author platform
  • How she went from connecting with writers to connecting with thriller readers (The best results for fiction)
  • What to do if you’re starting from scratch
  • A typical day for Joanna (with and without a part-time job in IT!)
  • The ins and outs of working with JV partners
  • The compound effect
  • How to bridge the gap between giving things away for free and promoting novels
  • When giving away your fiction for free works
  • Top three pointers for indies starting out
  • Why writing novellas is a good idea
  • And much, much more!

You can learn more about Joanna and her ProWriter courses at http://www.thecreativepenn.com/prowriter/



Hope you enjoy the show! And remember, I love hearing from Listeners and readers so please drop me a line at

emily (at) ebookrevolution (dot) com (dot) au


Emily’s non-fiction book E-Book Revolution: The Ultimate Guide to E-book success is now available at Kobo, Amazon and Bkclb (Australian e-book store). If you enjoy her tongue in cheek style you may also enjoy her comedy novel set in Facebook, The Grand Adventures of Madeline Cain: Photographer Extraordinaire also available from Kobo,Amazon and Bkclb. Thinking of doing your own crowd funding project? Hire Emily’s brain! Emily has successfully conducted her own crowd funding project and interviewed many other authors on the subject, she know exactly what is needed to get a project off the ground. Contact her about it on the above email address.


4 Responses

  1. Great podcast! I’ll have to listen to it a few more times I think, for all the lessons to sink in. Thanks for providing, Emily and Joanna!

    • EmCraven says:

      I know! I was furiously jotting down points both when we were speaking and when I edited it weeks later. Thanks so much for checking it out!

  2. Amber Dane says:

    Thank you for sharing!

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