Everybody wants to be a writer. Until they try to become one.
In short, writing itself is a lot of work, and trying to make any money off of it can be like shouting into a void. But that doesn't stop many of us from dreaming. Joanna Penn is one of the few who has turned the dream into a reality, and has written a series of books, as well as her blog and podcasts, full of tips and tricks on how she did so and how you can too.
Of course, the savvy reader can't help but notice that a lot of her success as an author seems to be driven by her success at selling self-help books on how to be successful as an author. But that is part of her point: she has, through hard work and excellent marketing and strategizing, created a virtuous circle in which she makes money from writing books about making money from writing books. She found an ever-popular genre and started contributing high-quality products to it that were strategically advertised and linked to each other. (She also writes fiction, which she says in this book creates about 50% of her income). In this book she breaks down some of the basic possibilities and processes for becoming an self-employed author-entrepreneur.
And that's the first of her "First Principles": think of yourself as an entrepreneur who "creates value from ideas." She also has a short but enlightening section on "creating scalable income": that is, things that "you create once and sell over and over again." As she points out, the beauty of creative work like writing is that you put in the time to create something once, and then have the possibility of selling it for as long as you want to keep doing so. These two concepts are extremely useful for authors who want to turn pro.
The book also has helpful ideas on deciding what kind of writing you want to do, how to define what "success" means to you, how to shift from working a regular job to writing, and how to be productive as a writer. It's a bit of a grab-bag of ideas, touching lightly on all the basics, and a great resource for people casting around for inspiration or ideas on how to start writing as well as how to start making money from your writing, although not super in-depth.
I read it after seeing a webinar with Penn, and she is persuasive and encouraging as both a speaker and a writer. Reading or hearing her will make you feel like you CAN do this, and give you a few pointers for how to get started. The book is very easy and quick to read, positive, and has links to plenty of other resources. Many of those resources are Penn's own other publications, which is where some readers might get a little turned off. The book IS well-written, informative, and engaging, and is probably worth the $4.99 price for aspiring professional authors, if nothing else than for the confidence boost it will give you. It's also...what do you call it...content marketing is the term, I believe. It's designed to market Penn's books and services as well as teach you how to create and market your own, making it an immediate example of how to do what she's showing you what to. Like I said, this may put some readers off, but those may be the readers who need the lessons the book has to offer the most. Like it or not, making a living out of writing means treating it like a business. Overall, a helpful, easy-to-read, and inspiring introduction to the topic that will leave you feeling good about yourself and your chances.
There are so many 'How To' books on self-publishing and how to profit from your labor that it can get all very confusing and overwhelming. It's quite the jungle from which you can easily get lost in. I have read my fair share in this particular genre and my head is usually spinning ala Exorcism style rather than being enlightened. At the crux of it is understanding the *fundamentals* of the self-publishing world and the clarity of the content.
With this brief primer, Joanna Penn breaks it down in a bullet by bullet point many aspects of the self-publishing world but more importantly advice for writers to keep focused and motivated, creating a battle plan on productivity and making a profit, as we'll as helping the newbie in how to navigate the multiple social platforms to maximize exposure and marketing yourself as much as your work. She provides excellent Note Benas on topics I would have never considered: like the legalities of self-publishing, audiobooks, blogging, the pros/cons of being picked up by an agent and ebooks vs traditional publishing--and everything in between. She provides many useful resources that are free on her website and references she utilizes as a fiction author herself.
This book, however, does not provide HOW to write a novel. Instead, I would recommend K. M. Weiland's books on how to structure, write, plot, etc, your books. I religiously visit her very, VERY wonderful site [...] If you're serious about being a writer and not dreaming of becoming one--and Ms. Penn is quite serious in helping you become a published author--this is a MUST READ. ***And it's F-R-E-E!*** As I said above, this is a very SHORT introduction and does not intimately delve into the specifics. It's more of a foundation book. Those that have been reading self-help guides on self-publishign and marketing, this book will seem very basic. But that's the point. It is a great starting point if you don't want to be quickly confused or overwrought from the bombardment of information. From this novel, you can start venturing to other self-help books on publishing. I would highly recommend her other books, visiting [...]and follow her twitter page for daily free advice and useful links. Ms. Penn is a vital resource for me and it should be for you. Her books will become your Self-Publishing Bible, I guarantee it.
This book is really great. I am a huge Joanna Penn fan anyways. I follow her channel on YouTube. I absolutely love her stuff.
This book is good for beginners as well as people who have been writing for a while. I often have a hard time finding books that are useful to someone like myself who has been writing for a while. This book was helpful. It was very specific and gave lots of resources.
One thing I love about Penn is how open she is about her finances. In this book she gives a percentage breakdown of where her income comes from and that was very helpful to me.
My only negative comment about the book is that I bought the paperback and there are a few places in the paperback that appear like they were a link in an ebook. So, if you are thinking about grabbing this book you might choose the ebook version over the paperback if you really want the links.
Joanna Penn has a knack for covering a wide berth of information in clear and concise ways. This book covers the various ways writers can make a living through their craft. If you are new to the idea of making a living through writing or to the writing industry in general, this is a perfect guide for you. However, if you already know your publishing options and other ways to create income streams through writing, reading this book may be a good refresher, but I would advise going straight to BUSINESS FOR AUTHORS.
As a writer who has made very little income from the three stories I've had published in anthologies, I've been looking for ways to monetize my work. This book contains a lot of very useful information about how one writer managed to do just that, and expand her income through multiple sources. If you pick up this book expecting all the answers to be handed to you, then you'll be disappointed. But if you're willing to take some time and actually think about what you're doing, what your definition of success is, and what you can personally achieve, then this is a great book. Joanna Penn comes across as someone who not only knows what she's talking about, but has authority in the field that actually verifies that fact. This is one of several books by Penn that address aspects of being a writer, and ways to turn your passion into financial income. Having read this one from cover to cover in just two days, and having made a ton of notes that reflect the course I want to take, I will definitely be picking up more of her books.
If you are a writer or starting a career in writing and hope to make money from it, I strongly recommend that you get a copy of Joanna Penn’s book and read it before you write another word. Firstly, it will save you a lot of pain by helping you to avoid the many pitfalls that await the newbie writer, because Joanna experienced them during her career and she has kindly pointed them out and advises you how to avoid them. Secondly the book does not only tell you how to avoid pitfalls. It tells you what to do to become successful as a writer. She lays out the journey in a simple straightforward manner that is easy to follow and makes you feel that you can do it too. She then shows you how to make money as a writer entrepreneur. However, the book does not guarantee that you will succeed. It shows you how. The rest is up you you.
I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, so in the meantime I work a job that I don't like so that I can buy stuff that I don't need. But most importantly, I dream. While I am at work I live out fantasies in my head, the proverbial "what if?" Scenarios. And then I come home and I write these stories down. If reality wasn't disappointing then I would have no need to dream. But because my dreams keep me alive, why would I not want to share this with the world? And now I have a good source of information to reference on how to share my dreams with other dreamers. A way to share my passion on purpose and make a profit. So thank you for the priceless information. Cheers!
Joanna Penn has a number of books and products for writers. As a struggling writer myself I often ask 'is it possible to make a living writing'? After reading this book I think it is. The author discusses the pros and cons of publishing the traditional way as opposed to indie publishing and self publishing. She also gives tips on productivity. The publishing industry is changing and she addresses this subject. She gives information on ho to self publish ebooks, print books and audiobooks. She discusses marketing as well as expanding your income with consulting, public speaking and affiliate income. I liked her sections on advertising and freelance writing.
The field of books on writing is vast. .There are lots of books out there on writing, publishing and marketing. This is one of the better ones. -- Valerie Lull, Author, Ten Healthy Teas
The age of self-publishing is here and offers tremendous opportunities for authors. Making a living with your writing is now a serious option, which used to be typically only reserved for the happy few when there was just traditional publishing.
Self-publishing is still hard, however, and there are lots of things to learn if you want to be a successful authorpreneur. Simply writing a good book is not good enough. You have to manage everything yourself, from formatting/editing, to cover design, and marketing. This can definitely be difficult and overwhelming.
This book by Joanna Penn will help aspiring author entrepreneurs to make a living with their writing. It covers how to make money with your books and how to diversify your income by selling things like products and courses, promoting affiliate offers, and sponsorship/advertising.
This book lays out all the options and is very useful for authors looking for some guidance on how to make a living with their writing. However, this is not a book that covers all the aspects of self-publishing in detail, so if you want to really learn more about specific things like marketing, for example, it’s better to start elsewhere. “How to make a living with your writing” is a very useful handbook for aspiring authorpreneurs!
I started listening to the Creative Penn podcast and have been working my way through Joanna's non-fiction offerings, trying to build my skills as a writer beyond just the act of writing. Joanna doesn't take away from the fact that marketing and making money from writing can be difficult, but she makes it sound difficult _but doable_ if you're willing to put in the work. She's open about her own struggles and successes, and if you listen to her podcast (and if you don't, you should), she's very entertaining and comforting and inspiring, all at once.