Episode 23 – The Author Mindset with Joanna Penn

joanna pennA landmark episode this, with one of my all-time podcasting/writing heroes, Joanna Penn, who started herThe Creative Penn podcast before the term was even invented. Her new book The Successful Author Mindset brilliantly demystifies the process of writing, and in this episode she shares how she’s overcome her own demons of fear and self-doubt – demons that are shared by every writer, but which feel so uniquely our own.

She gives some great tips for pushing through the resistance, especially the special kind of energy required during the ‘saggy middle’, which I personally found invaluable, and on finding your ‘voice’.

If you’re struggling with any aspect of your writing, this is a great episode to pick you up and give you a whole load of practical tools for making things better.

Alison Jones:  Hello and welcome to The Extraordinary Business Book Club. I’m very excited because I’m here today with Joanna Penn, whose podcasts I very first listened to when I was thinking about doing a podcast, who’s been such an inspiration for me. So Joanna is a New York Times and USA Today best selling author, she writes thrillers under the name JF Penn and she also writes non fiction for authors and that’s what we’re going to be focusing on today. She’s also a professional speaker, an award winning entrepreneur and her site, www.thecreativepenn.com, which is brilliant, by the way, is regularly voted one of the top ten sites for writers. So welcome to The Extraordinary Business Book Club, Joanna.

Joanna Penn: Thanks so much for having me, Alison, I’m thrilled to be on the show.

Alison Jones:  I’m particularly thrilled to have you here because you and know, when we met at the London Book Fair earlier this year, and I was just, I think I’d just launched the podcast then, hadn’t I?

And I said, “Joanna, please will you come on my podcast?” And you have this sort of rule, you said, “Come back to me when you’ve done fifteen episodes and then I know you’re serious.” And it was such a thrill…

Joanna Penn: I’m glad you said that and I don’t want people to think I’m being mean in that way, but what’s so interesting with podcasting, as you’ve now found out, there’s a bit of a learning curve with podcasting and anything we do in business, online, writing books, but so many people start podcasts but then disappear, so I figure if you can fifteen you’re probably committed.

Alison Jones:  And it’s so great to have that because when I got to fifteen I felt like I’d sort of passed into a new dimension. It’s really great. But you’re right, I was looking at iTunes, looking at podcasts and there’s so many, there’s like a graveyard of abandoned podcasts around ten, twelve episodes, it’s amazing.

Joanna Penn: Yeah and I think, you know I’ve been podcasting since 2009, so really long term and I think once you get into the rhythm it can be really addictive and it can be amazing, like for listeners who have business books, it can be absolutely amazing and we’re kind of at that point with podcasting where we were with blogging in 2008, 2009 probably. Podcasting’s now the real way to connect so I think it is very powerful but as with anything, you kind of have to commit for the longer term and then it is very rewarding.

Alison Jones:  It is, it’s absolutely addictive and I love that you’ve been doing it since 2009, I didn’t even know podcasting was a thing in 2009.

Joanna Penn: It wasn’t really, to be honest, it was more download an audio onto your whatever it was, not quite tape deck but you know.

Alison Jones:  Your beat box.

Joanna Penn: Yeah.

Alison Jones:  Brilliant. Now your latest book, which is what I really want to talk about today, is The Successful Author Mindset and what I love about that, I’ve been talking about Chimp Chatter with my boot camp people at the moment and you set that out brilliantly, that stuff that goes on in every writer’s brain, you know, ‘What if no one buys my book’, ‘My writing’s not original’ and ‘What if it’s really bad?’ and all that stuff and it amazes me just how universal those fears are (and you make the point it’s even amongst really well established writers), but also how powerful they are, you know: is this just inevitable? Is it part and parcel of the very act of writing for publication?

Joanna Penn: Yeah and actually that’s why I ended up writing this book because I think so much … I don’t know why this happens and I’m going to blame the publishing industry, but there’s been this sort of veil, this sort of curtain over the truth of being an author for many years. This kind of, oh you just sit down and suddenly you’re Hemmingway, that type of feeling around writing that it streams onto the page, whereas the reality is rewriting and editing and all the stuff that goes into the nuts and bolts of actually writing a book. That’s been sort of kept quiet and also this psychological, some of the psychological issues around being a creative, also I think there’s been this veil over them.

What I’ve discovered in the last ten years of writing myself is all of these things I’ve gone through myself and as I’ve talked to people, I’ve realized that they have felt them too. The self doubt, self doubt is probably the biggest one, you know, my writing is terrible and of course this is one of the issues of being a writer, you might read an amazing book, talking non fiction, the book I am recommending to everyone is Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, it is amazing. And you read a book like that and you think, “Oh my goodness, well I can never write anything like that, so why bother.”

And this self doubt is part of … but I bet you that guy, Yuval Noah has exactly the same issues around self doubt and in fact I think if you don’t have any self doubt you’re probably delusional.

Alison Jones:  Very good point.

Joanna Penn: Yeah, but it is and it goes on and on and on and one of the things I was … fear of judgement has been one of my own issues around self censorship, you worry what people will think of you if you writing certain things. One of the other things I wrote was about the anti-climax of publication and this felt almost like blasphemy because in so many ways people think that the publication of a book is the pinnacle, but actually it’s the writing that’s often the point, the transformation comes with the writing and the publication is just the start of your next journey which is book marketing, or writing the next book. I think you’re right, I think that there are issues with every part of the author journey but actually it’s exactly the same in any kind of creative endeavour. Whether you want to paint or draw or do whatever, you have to go through these various things and so it just seemed to be part of the creative process.

The biggest change for me over the last ten years is not that these things have disappeared, it’s that I now know they are part of the process, so I’m not afraid of these things. I still suffer them, it’s like public speaking, you know you and I both do public speaking, I still get really bad stomach before public speaking but I know that’s just part of the process and so I’m not going to run screaming from the room.

Alison Jones:  Yes and you’re right it’s personal experience but I think it’s also knowing that everybody else is going through the same, is hugely comforting because it doesn’t make you feel like such a freak.

Joanna Penn: Yes and I went to Thriller Fest a few years ago and heard the biggest writers in the world, like Lee Child, David Morell, who invented Rambo and these people who’ve been writing and publishing for forty, fifty years, are still suffering from self doubt, who still look at their words, do a bit of writing and then read their words and go, “Oh my goodness, this is terrible.” This doesn’t seem to change and I think actually the bigger, in inverted commas, you get it turns into this imposter syndrome so people are like, “Well of course Lee Childs can do this, that and the other because he’s Lee Childs.” Or Malcolm Gladwell, for example, will always just be amazing and if you hear Malcolm Gladwell being interviewed, he was on the Tim Ferris I think, quite recently, which was really interesting, he talks about dealing with some of these psychological issues and in fact a really good book I recommend is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Alison Jones:  Yes, I loved it.

Joanna Penn: Yeah, that’s an amazing book and she talks there about all the fears and of course she wrote Eat, Pray, Love and that was just mega, mega successful and I think one of the best things in that book is that she says, “And what happens when you hit the top? What happens when your movie, when you get a movie made or when you sell gazillions and you never have to write again? When people tell you you’ve written the best thing you’re ever going to write and you’re only forty two or something.” And she’s like, “Well you know if you hit the top, you’ve just got to carry on creating.”

Yeah, it’s amazing that everyone suffers these issues and the best thing to do is to get on with it.

Alison Jones:  That’s what it boils down to, isn’t it? And remember as well that when you’re looking at someone else’s book, what you’re seeing is the finished article and when you try and compare that with your own crappy first draft, it’s a completely unfair comparison. You always forget that somehow.

Joanna Penn: Yeah and that’s what I mean about the veil of publishing is now lifting with the new world of indie authors and podcasting and blogging and things, people now are starting to talk more honestly about their process, which I think was kept in the dark before and so I think that makes a real difference but you’re exactly right, the finished product has no relation to that first draft originally. I think it’s quite interesting to consider that and to remember the finished product is part of the journey as well, but you have to start with those difficult days and some days … this is the other thing that I was reflecting on, when I read one of my own books back I know for sure that some of those chapters or scenes were so hard to write, just like blood from a stone and others were amazingly fast and just flowed onto the page and were easy. But if you read those chapters you couldn’t tell which one was hard and which one was easy to write. That’s like magic really isn’t it, because at the end of the day the finished product has no relationship to the emotion that you felt when you were writing it about the writing really so I think that’s super interesting.

Alison Jones:  That is fascinating, isn’t it?

Joanna Penn: It’s hilarious.

Alison Jones:  You’d think that it should be obvious how painful this piece was.

Joanna Penn: Yeah, exactly but in a way it’s quite good. Although I should say on the emotion there, just to be clear, I do think that the more you put yourself and your honest emotion on the page, the more the book will resonate with people and this book, The Successful Author Mindset, I’ve just had so many emails from people saying, “It’s like you read my mind.” And I included excerpts from my own journals from the last ten years which was very hard to do because some of them are pretty awful and I want to cry and I’m just kind of devastated about things, but actually by putting my real life into the book it makes it much more accessible to people and they connect with it a lot more so that would definitely be a tip to non fiction writers is don’t just keep yourself out of the information, put yourself into the book as much as possible and that will really connect with people.

Alison Jones:  And I think that’s really important and it takes me towards something else I wanted to talk about as well which is the originality and imitation because you have this wonderful sentence in your book about every non fiction gem of wisdom has been said before and I’ve come up against this myself but also with … you know you just sort of think everybody knows this, it’s so obvious and what you’re saying there about putting yourself in, in a sense that’s part of the answer, isn’t it? Because yes people might have talked about this before but you haven’t and you have a unique experience and a unique validity about that. How do we get over that paralyzing fear of imitation, just saying what’s been said before? Should we get over it? Should we just shut up?

Joanna Penn: Yeah, I think it’s just … I’ll use an example from the most popular genre in publishing which is the romance genre. I mean seriously, how many times can two people meet and have conflicts and then end up with and HEA which I’ve learnt is Happily Ever After. This is what’s so funny and just interviewed a romance author yesterday for the podcast and I was like, “Okay, I find this very interesting.” And of course every genre has genre conventions and for non fiction books it’s quite similar too. How many books do we need on ‘changing your life’? It’s kind of crazy. The next book I’m working on is, ‘How to Write a Novel’. I mean seriously, how many times has that book been written? But it has not been written from my perspective and that is exactly the point as you’re saying.

I think this actually ties into platform which as we know is very important for non fiction. The point is that when people connect with you in some way, people are connecting with your voice because you do a podcast as they have connected with my voice because of my podcast or my youtube channel or me on twitter or my blog post or whatever. They want to hear from you and that’s how you differentiate, so one, obviously you write and it’s going to be the same information in a different form, obviously we’re never plagiarizing, but we are often reiterating things that we’ve learned from other people over time and putting our own spin and our own information in it and our own experience. But also people want our voice and that’s the most important thing.

I think finding your author voice can be really hard, as a non fiction author originally, before I moved into fiction, I did find it very hard to be more personal in my writing but definitely blogging had helped me so much with that and just relaxing and not being all sort of business-y in the book. It needs to … you need to be able to convey your voice, especially so if you have a podcast, people really love to hear the words, I use the word, ‘brilliant’ a lot so when I write my non fiction I make sure I put the word brilliant in because I know people recognize that word as part of my vocabulary so there’s lots of ways to do this, but acknowledge that, of course there are lots of books on … I had someone email me about a book on potty training, people have been potty training their children for a long time, but she was obviously telling it from the perspective of her children and what she did with her children and she was building a website and all that and that’s a problem that people still have every day.

To add on this, the other exciting thing about writing non-fiction, and fiction in fact, in many ways, if people buy one book on a topic, they’re likely to buy more books on that same topic, so in the writing space where I am there are a lot of books on how to write a novel but my book will still sell because who want to write a novel buy a lot of books on that topic. Certainly the only concern should be if there are no books on your topic.

Alison Jones:  So true.

Joanna Penn: Unless it’s a very new technology, like crisper technology for gene editing, there are not many books on that right now but that’s because it’s quite new, but if it’s a topic that has no titles at all, I’d be more concerned about that.

Alison Jones:  Absolutely. And as I say, as a commissioning editor, we were talking about this in the book proposal challenge, people get very nervous, authors get nervous about the fact that there are competing titles and trying to reassure them this is a really, really good sign and all you’re doing is figuring out how you fit into that ecosystem.

Joanna Penn: Yeah because if you want a publishing deal or to work with someone like you around, you’re not going to take a bet on a book that is a brand new genre that doesn’t even have a category on Amazon. I do think that genre now is category on Amazon. People wondering where their book fits, that’s what you need to do because every book published now has to fit somewhere on Amazon and most people get between two and five categories, you can pick a couple but where you rank and where you appear when you launch that book, it’s super important so I think that’s probably the way to think about it. Go and have a look in your … or search for a well known book in the topic that you’re writing on, have a look at what sub categories it sits in and then have a browse around those categories, see what other books are out there that compare to yours.

Alison Jones:  Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. So yes, look at the books out there, don’t shy away from them but remember that you are you and also remember, I love that thing about the potty training, yes people have been potty training their children for years but not this one mum, who’s just new to it.

Joanna Penn: Exactly.

Alison Jones:  So every day there are new people having this problem for the first time, looking for the book on it.

Joanna Penn: Yeah and I hope that also gives people ideas because we’re in this amazing time in publishing history where you can write books on whatever you want and publish them, obviously I’m an indie author and I know you help people publish, but people can put out books on whatever they want, you don’t have to wait for a gatekeeper to say, “Yes.” This is what we’re getting, we’re getting people and obviously there are lots and lots of crap books that never see the light of day, no one ever buys, but readers are finding the books that they want to read and I’ve got twenty books now and none of which have a publisher because I do it myself and I have so many ideas for the books I want to write because I know no one’s going to tell me no I can’t write that.

It’s a real freedom of creativity to put whatever book you want out there and it has a chance of people finding it, so that’s super exciting.

Alison Jones:  It is, it’s incredible, I look back at … that’s been for me the most fundamental change in publishing and it is so exciting and it also means, particularly for non-fiction authors, it could be as niche as you like –

Joanna Penn: Exactly.

Alison Jones:  – as long as you can reach those people, it might not have been big enough for a commercial publisher to do it, but you can do it and that’s success.

Joanna Penn: You’re exactly right and I think the more niche, the better. I’m sure you’ve talked about keyword research but for me now the biggest thing I did with my first non fiction book, the first title was ‘How to enjoy your job or find a new one’, which is really a terrible title, but that is what the book was about but then I eventually discovered keyword research and if you go onto Amazon.com, change the little search browser to be ‘books’ and starting typing stuff in, you’ll get a drop down and the drop down of words that appear are the things that people are searching for most commonly so I did that research, came up with the title Career Change, renamed my book Career Change, did a new cover and it sells about ten times as many books, literally just with a title change that was keyword specific because that’s what people are searching for on Amazon and they weren’t searching for the other thing.

That’s a really big deal for non-fiction authors and that’s why going niche is really good because you can actually title a book based on a keyword.

Alison Jones:  Brilliant, two great things in there, one the fact that you’ve got keyword research, I think there’s a podcast episode in there somewhere actually, I will do something on that and particularly titles. The other things is, of course, when you’re indie you can change your title.

Joanna Penn: And your cover and upload a new version, whatever you want, which is really … I just don’t know how traditionally published authors cope with it because inevitably there is a typo and you want to fix it, even in, well you know, in traditional published books, some books are awful, like the last Dan Brown was just littered with typos. Obviously Dan Brown doesn’t care but you can change all of this stuff so I’ve re-titled, re-covered, re-written all my books, changed the price. Some people can’t cope with that kind of freedom but I love it.

Alison Jones:  It’s a control thing.

Joanna Penn: Yeah it is.

Alison Jones:  Now one thing that I really wanted to get to talk about, there’s no segue in here but I just really want to get, because it’s selfish, because I am here, you talk in your book about the ‘saggy middle’, which I think is just such a great phrase, it really made me laugh, I actually read it as ‘soggy middle’ initially and that works too. You say about 25,000 words into the book, you’re running out of enthusiasm and ideas, you still have a long way to go, I’m 30… well nearly 40,000 words in and I still feel like I’m inhabiting the saggy middle. You talk about the ‘pushing through’ energy and that’s what I need, so tell us a little bit more about that.

Joanna Penn: What’s so interesting is some people … there are these three different types of energy, right. The starting energy and some people never even start, and this middle pushing through energy of getting through the middle, and then finishing energy which a lot of authors don’t have finishing energy, so that’s a big deal but you’re obviously struggle with that pushing through energy. I think there’s two things here, the fist one is, are you really writing a book of the length that you think you should? So this is particularly interesting for non fiction. So The Successful Author Mindset is only about 30,000 words and yet it’s doing very, very well. My best selling non-fiction book, which is How To Make A Living With Your Writing, I think is only 27,000 words and that makes me by far the most money.

But then I have bigger books, like How To Market A Book is around 70,000 words, which is a decent full length non fiction book, so the days of having to publish a book of a certain length so that it goes on the shelf in a physical bookstore with the spine out and still can be seen is not necessarily where it’s at anymore. So that would be the first thing is are you, particularly for non-fiction, do you really need to pad this out a lot? Are you just writing chapters on the same topics because you want to have a 60,000-word book, or 80,000-word book, or whatever? I think we can agree a lot of traditionally published non-fiction is over padded. Sometimes you get these books and you’re like, “I’ve only highlighted three things in this whole book, that was a real waste of time.” That’s one thing to consider, is it really that you are pushing through to something that you don’t need to.

The second thing is sometimes you just have to do the work.

Alison Jones:  Oh dammit.

Joanna Penn: I know it comes back to that, the psychology thing. I think there’s another myth that says, “Oh if you really love writing, it should be easy for you and you should just be able to do it just like that and it should be wonderful and you should be happy the whole time.” It’s like no, this is actual work, if you want a finished product, like anything worth doing, you have to put your time in. So the pushing through energy is literally: get your butt in the chair, stop being nice to yourself, set your timer, write for an hour and then do that again tomorrow.

Alison Jones:  I think I’m just going to record that little section and have it on loop in the morning while I’m getting ready.

Joanna Penn: It’s the same for fiction writers, it’s the same for any writer, or creating anything, you literally just have to make the time and tell yourself, “Put your butt in the chair and do the blimming work.” I think creative writers can be very lovely with themselves but sometimes you just have to do the hard yards and if you don’t enjoy it, well tough luck, as we said, no ones going to know that you didn’t enjoy writing that thousand words. So just do it.

Alison Jones:  I think with the saggy middle, in a sense you’re almost mourning the starting energy because that’s so lovely and fresh and full of possibility and potential, isn’t it?

Joanna Penn: Oh yeah and again this is a real problem for fiction authors too, it’s like, “Oh I love my idea.” And then you realize that actually turning an idea into a finished product is a really hard process and that you’re kind of failing. The other thing I would say just with fiction and non fiction in fact, is research, so one of my issues is often, okay I actually need to go and research this more so that I filled creative well enough in order to be able to output information on this topic. Say for example I wrote a book, ‘Business for Authors’ which is basically how to run a small business if you are an author, which most authors don’t have a clue about, and I was like okay I need all these things in my business, it was a way that I used to actually redesign my own business. I wanted to write a chapter on strategy, but to be fair, I had not done much strategy with my own business, so the first thing I did I went and bought books on strategy. Read them, took notes on them and then I was able to write that chapter.

So if you are in a saggy middle, it may be that you are just missing … you need to put more stuff in your head so that you can then stream that out of you into some kind of chapter. That might help too.

Alison Jones:  That’s awesome advice, I’m sure it will be useful for loads of people, but very useful for me. It reminds me of actually one of the reasons I’m doing the podcast, which is that input, it’s the creative sparking, it’s great.

Joanna Penn: Oh it’s crucial, in fact I write a lot about writer’s block and I think a lot of the time writer’s block is literally people have not filled their creative well enough, so you have to put stuff in your head, however you do that, reading, watching films. I do a lot of research by watching documentaries for may fiction. My last novel was about India, I watched a whole load of documentaries about India and just took loads and loads of notes and that really helped me with the story and also with the actual writing. Especially with non fiction, if you haven’t got enough personal anecdotes then go out and do some stuff.

Alison Jones:  Go out and make some stories.

Joanna Penn: Yeah, go out and make some stories, go out and do some physical research, go and do something that you can then bring back and use in your book.

Alison Jones:  Yeah, I couldn’t agree more, I’m finding the boot camp at the moment is taking time away from the book, but it’s also giving me so much inspiration and ideas to put in there. Brilliant. So if I were to sort of pin you down, what would your one key bit of advice be for a first time business book author, from everything you talked about today, what would you say?

Joanna Penn: I’m going to give two pieces of advice.

Alison Jones:  Yeah, fair enough.

Joanna Penn: One is really practical, the practical piece of advice is get Scrivener.

Alison Jones:  Yes.

Joanna Penn: Get Scrivener software because …

Alison Jones:  And learn how to use it.

Joanna Penn: Well yeah, I wrote my first book on Microsoft Word and it’s blimming awful, especially with non fiction because you often don’t use the chapters in the order you write them and Scrivener is amazing for dragging and dropping and redoing and it is just … I couldn’t run my business without Scrivener and it’s $45, it’s amazing. It’s now available on iPad and iPhone as well so that just came out last week.

Alison Jones:  Oh I didn’t know that.

Joanna Penn: Yeah, it is amazing. Scrivener is my practical tip and then my other tip would be figure out what your definition of success is. This is so important and I think it should just be the number one question that everybody asks because the most emails I get are by people who are disappointed with what happened when they published and mainly it’s because they didn’t decide what the definition of success was. So for example I help my nine year old niece self publish a book, now for the definition of success was she got to write a book and hold it in her hand and take it to school and do a school assembly on it and say, “Hey look at my book.” Her definition of success was, ‘I have a book’ and actually a lot of people, that is there definition of success, they’re just not admitting to it. Whereas some people, with non fiction, for example, some people think, “Oh I’m going to make a million dollars.” How many authors actually think that, quite a lot actually think, “I’m going to make a million dollars and leave my job and it’s all going to be amazing.” Which is generally not true.

The other thing for non fiction authors is a lot of people realize, actually the book might cost them money, but it will get them a speaking deal, it’s used as a business card, it’s going to build their business in other ways, so the definition of success for a business book author could be that it brings in this many leads into my business or this. So you can see that if you define success by money versus influence or hitting a list, for example, hitting the New York Times list, that type of thing, all of those things will drive what type of book you write, how you publish, what type of publisher you use or whether you self publish, how you do marketing because, for example, to hit the New York Times or USA Today list or Sunday Times or whatever, you need to do a lot of marketing, which will cost you money.

These are some of the things I think people need to consider, why are you writing this book? Maybe it’s just to change your life, change other peoples lives, in which case, awesome. But don’t expect, necessarily, to then make stacks of cash from it. Does that make sense?

Alison Jones:  It makes absolute sense and so sane and you’re right, I think being honest about it as well because so many people will say, “Oh I just want help people.” When actually they –

Joanna Penn: Yeah, “I just want to help people.”

Alison Jones:  – what they really want is to hit the bestseller chart.

Joanna Penn: Hit the list and make loads of money. Yeah, just be honest about it.

Alison Jones:  Awesome advice, thank you. Now I always ask guests to recommend someone that they think would be really, really good for this show, so someone with something interesting to say about the business of business books and I’m guessing you have a million people that you could suggest. Who do you think I should …

Joanna Penn: I was just thinking about that. I actually would recommend a guy called Steve Scott. Do you know Steve?

Alison Jones:  I recognize the name but I can’t think of the book.

Joanna Penn: Well, he’s an American and I think he was one of the first non fiction indie authors to share his … so he shares his income reports and I don’t know how many …

Alison Jones:  Like Pat Flynn?

Joanna Penn: Yeah, like Pat Flynn, he’s kind of modelled on Pat Flynn, but he writes and what he does which is really interesting is he writes little non fiction books in a niche. So probably his most famous book is, well famous, best selling book is called Habit Stacking and that book just sells gazillions, but then he wrote a whole lot of other small non-fiction books in the same niche, so he writes lots of books on habits. He co-writes, he does all kinds of things. His website is authoritypub

Alison Jones:  Yes, that’s it, Authority Self-Publishing, isn’t it?

Joanna Penn: Yeah and I interviewed Steve on my podcast and I think for a non-fiction author who’s interested in being an indie author specifically, or being hybrid, you know doing some with a traditional publisher and some on your own because many of his books are Kindle only, they’re not necessarily in print. So this type of business design is really based on a lot of books targeting very small niches and then offering multiple books to the same readers, so basically instead of … you’re maximizing your income per reader because if they buy one book on habits, they might buy your other kind of twenty books on habits.

Alison Jones:  Brilliant, that sounds fascinating, I know the name because didn’t he write a book on Kindle publishing? Yes I think he did.

Joanna Penn: Yes, he probably did. We all do.

Alison Jones:  Yes I think I’ve got it. Brilliant.

Joanna Penn: Yes, there’s lot of books on how to publish on Kindle and, you know, but this is the thing, as we discussed, you can do that.

Alison Jones:  Yeah, absolutely because everybody’s in the market for it. Fantastic. Excellent recommendation. Thank you very much. So Joanna, if people want to find out more about you, about your books, about your business, where can they go?

Joanna Penn: So the best thing is to go to www.thecreativepenn.com and you can get the free Author Blueprint, which is an ebook and video course and things for free and there’s the podcast, which has over 270 episodes now, which is pretty major and I’m on Twitter, @thecreativepenn, and my fiction is at JFPenn.com, so there you go.

Alison Jones:  And you are, when you say you’re on Twitter, you’re never off Twitter are you? So that’s a really good way to get hold of you I think!

Joanna Penn: Exactly! Well, thanks so much for having me on the show, Alison.

Alison Jones:  Absolute pleasure, great to talk to you Joanna. Thanks so much.


One Comment

  1. thanks, an inspirational podcast just at the right moment. Lots of ideas on publishing to meet the needs of different readers. Having finally passed the ‘soggy middle’ after restructuring and somewhat apprehensively cutting out content, can now see the finishing line on the horizon!

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