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How to make a
living with your
writing!
with Joanna Penn
@thecreativepenn
#indierecon
J.F.Penn - NY Times & USA
Today Bestselling Author
The Creative Penn Ltd
Over 250,000 copies sold	

in 65 countries. Ebook...
2008 ...
4
What do you value?
What’s non-negotiable?
Design a life, not another job
What is a living?
What are you willing to
change to live that life?
What are you
willing to give up?
“I want to write a
book”
“I’ve written one book”
“I’ve written 12 books & I run
a business as an author”
“I’ve written 30+...
Don’t rely on one source of income.
Develop multiple streams.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/23155134@N06/14747424846/
Create once
Sell forever
Create assets that
put income in your
pocket for years to
come.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/impa...
http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/01/07/know-your-rights/
Publish in multiple formats
10
Royalty split deals available
with narrators
!
Non-fiction authors -
consider recording your own
http://www.acx.com/
High volume!
production
Book as !
lead-gen to back
end sales
Book as way
into teaching/
speaking
Business models related t...
Write books that people want: genre
http://authorearnings.com/ Romance
!
Mystery / Thriller
!
Sci Fi / Fantasy
Look at the...
Write books that people want: search
For non-fiction ideas or for keyword
optimisation for fiction/ non-fiction, think of
Ama...
Write a series & get people hooked
• Binge consumption culture

• People who find you at any
point & love the books will bu...
Write across multiple genres. !
Some use different author names.
16
Write more
books!
!
Digital shelf
space. Total # of
sales.
Think global My Kobo sales (English)
globally = 65 countries	

(available in 190)	

!
iBooks = 51 country
stores	

Amazon ...
Think mobile and digital
“Between 2013 and 2017, mobile
phone penetration will rise from
61.1% to 69.4% of the global
popu...
Think mobile and digital
Apple CarPlay and
Google Auto to be
adopted by mainstream
car manufacturers. Will
bring audiobook...
20
Marketing is
sharing what
you love with
people who will
appreciate
hearing about it
http://www.flickr.com/photos/333345...
21
Platform: Get Noticed In A Noisy
World by Michael Hyatt
Discoverability by
Kristine Kathryn Rusch
How to Market a Book
...
High volume!
production
Book as !
lead-gen to back
end sales
Book as way
into teaching/
speaking
Do you need a blog/ other...
1) Product sales - books, courses, audio
2) Paid professional speaking opportunities
3) Consulting / services (or freelanc...
24
Develop your voice &
community, social proof and
attract opportunity
25
Who do you want to attract?

How can you help them/
entertain them?
!
What do you want them to
do on your site? 

How d...
Content is a
long-term
strategy,
whether it’s
books or a
blog.
!
It takes time
to grow.
27
Product Sales
http://www.thecreativepenn.com/
2014/08/03/direct-sales-entrepreneur/
• Do your research into what
people...
28
Professional Speaking• Start speaking for free and
get some experience

• Call yourself a speaker,
add a speaker’s page...
29
Services e.g. freelance writing/coaching
• Develop a reputation by being an
authority on a topic and people will
come t...
30
TheWriteLife.com/category/freelancing/
http://www.makealivingwriting.com/
If you want to find freelance writing work …
B...
31
Sponsorship / Advertising
• Develop niche audience &
have a regular way of talking
to those people

• Need evidence of ...
32
Affiliate Income
• Develop niche audience

• Find products and services
that they need & that fit
your brand & long term
...
33
Learn the business
• You need to understand the
business of being an author if you
want to do this for a living, not ju...
www.TheCreativePenn.com/alliance
Continue to learn from others
“When should I quit the
day job?”
Don’t rely on one source of income.
Develop multiple streams.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/23155134@N06/14747424846/
• When you have sustainable
income from multiple sources
so you are not too stretched

• When you have downsized
and lower...
!
!
We all have limited time.
!
What will help you create
a body of work you’re
proud of?
!
And create a life you want
to ...
Get your free Author 2.0 Blueprint +
email and video series	

www.TheCreativePenn.com/blueprint	

!
!
Any questions? 	

Tw...
How to make a living with your writing. Indie Recon conference 2015
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How to make a living with your writing. Indie Recon conference 2015

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Joanna Penn explains how to make a living with your writing - including books, blogging, product sales, affiliate income, advertising, sponsorship, speaking - and more. Recorded for the IndieRecon indie author conference April 2015
Watch the video with commentary here: http://youtu.be/r2-bMS9US0k

http://indierecon.org/
http://thecreativepenn.com/entrepreneur/

Published in: Business
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How to make a living with your writing. Indie Recon conference 2015

  1. 1. How to make a living with your writing! with Joanna Penn @thecreativepenn #indierecon
  2. 2. J.F.Penn - NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author The Creative Penn Ltd Over 250,000 copies sold in 65 countries. Ebook, print & audio format. German, Spanish & Italian. * Professional speaker * Non-fiction books, courses, audio programs * Entrepreneur Left day-job as IT consultant in Sept 2011.
  3. 3. 2008 ...
  4. 4. 4 What do you value? What’s non-negotiable? Design a life, not another job What is a living?
  5. 5. What are you willing to change to live that life? What are you willing to give up?
  6. 6. “I want to write a book” “I’ve written one book” “I’ve written 12 books & I run a business as an author” “I’ve written 30+ books & I’m CEO of my global media empire” http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/07/08/arc-of-the-indie-author/
  7. 7. Don’t rely on one source of income. Develop multiple streams. https://www.flickr.com/photos/23155134@N06/14747424846/
  8. 8. Create once Sell forever Create assets that put income in your pocket for years to come. https://www.flickr.com/photos/impactmatt/4581758027/ Think scalable
  9. 9. http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/01/07/know-your-rights/ Publish in multiple formats
  10. 10. 10 Royalty split deals available with narrators ! Non-fiction authors - consider recording your own http://www.acx.com/
  11. 11. High volume! production Book as ! lead-gen to back end sales Book as way into teaching/ speaking Business models related to books You can use them all - I do!
  12. 12. Write books that people want: genre http://authorearnings.com/ Romance ! Mystery / Thriller ! Sci Fi / Fantasy Look at the Amazon Top 100 overall or the NY Times List or the USA Today or the Sunday Times list
  13. 13. Write books that people want: search For non-fiction ideas or for keyword optimisation for fiction/ non-fiction, think of Amazon as a search engine
  14. 14. Write a series & get people hooked • Binge consumption culture
 • People who find you at any point & love the books will buy the backlist & devour them all ! • You don’t have to reinvent characters & world so you can write faster
 • Many authors note an income jump at book 3 and book 5 Over 4 million sold!
  15. 15. Write across multiple genres. ! Some use different author names.
  16. 16. 16 Write more books! ! Digital shelf space. Total # of sales.
  17. 17. Think global My Kobo sales (English) globally = 65 countries (available in 190) ! iBooks = 51 country stores Amazon Kindle = 171 countries ! Plus Google Play & Nook, Smashwords & other stores ! Go English first. German taking off Reach customers globally by using multiple retailers. Use print on demand for global reach with print books
  18. 18. Think mobile and digital “Between 2013 and 2017, mobile phone penetration will rise from 61.1% to 69.4% of the global population” eMarketer Demographic shift into cities + smaller living spaces + trend towards less ‘stuff’ + rise of digital native = more digital purchases Ageing population = big market for ebooks as can change text size & audiobooks that read to you
  19. 19. Think mobile and digital Apple CarPlay and Google Auto to be adopted by mainstream car manufacturers. Will bring audiobooks and podcasts to the mainstream. Make sure your website is mobile optimized with responsive design, and your books can be bought via mobile devices. Consider audio for books and also for marketing.
  20. 20. 20 Marketing is sharing what you love with people who will appreciate hearing about it http://www.flickr.com/photos/33334577@N06/5431318035/ Change your attitude!
  21. 21. 21 Platform: Get Noticed In A Noisy World by Michael Hyatt Discoverability by Kristine Kathryn Rusch How to Market a Book by Me! In print and ebook formats. http://viewbook.at/marketbook
  22. 22. High volume! production Book as ! lead-gen to back end sales Book as way into teaching/ speaking Do you need a blog/ other content? It depends on your business model X
  23. 23. 1) Product sales - books, courses, audio 2) Paid professional speaking opportunities 3) Consulting / services (or freelance writing) 4) Sponsorship / advertising (traffic based) 5) Affiliate income (traffic based) Reputation, Social Proof, Traffic Business model around a blog
  24. 24. 24 Develop your voice & community, social proof and attract opportunity
  25. 25. 25 Who do you want to attract?
 How can you help them/ entertain them? ! What do you want them to do on your site? 
 How does the site add to your business? How is it monetized? Is there a point? (p://www.flickr.com/photos/87765855@N00/3105128025/
  26. 26. Content is a long-term strategy, whether it’s books or a blog. ! It takes time to grow.
  27. 27. 27 Product Sales http://www.thecreativepenn.com/ 2014/08/03/direct-sales-entrepreneur/ • Do your research into what people actually want - and relate to your books for cross-selling
 • Decide on how you want to sell it
 • Higher price for multimedia, so you need to up skill to produce these
  28. 28. 28 Professional Speaking• Start speaking for free and get some experience
 • Call yourself a speaker, add a speaker’s page to your site, add it to your business card
 • Get some training & join a professional organisation if you want to take this to a pro level
 • Aim for corporates :) Price depends heavily on industry www.TheCreativePenn.com/speaking/
  29. 29. 29 Services e.g. freelance writing/coaching • Develop a reputation by being an authority on a topic and people will come to you
 • Include the option of people hiring you early on & see what happens
 • Do some work for free to get testimonials. Proactively seek this out. www.TheCreativePenn.com/consulting/
  30. 30. 30 TheWriteLife.com/category/freelancing/ http://www.makealivingwriting.com/ If you want to find freelance writing work … But remember, this is work for hire. Remember to build your own assets too.
  31. 31. 31 Sponsorship / Advertising • Develop niche audience & have a regular way of talking to those people
 • Need evidence of traffic
 • Approach appropriate companies or/ they will approach you over time
  32. 32. 32 Affiliate Income • Develop niche audience
 • Find products and services that they need & that fit your brand & long term goals & ethics
 • Promote those products & services in an authentic way. Use them yourself!
  33. 33. 33 Learn the business • You need to understand the business of being an author if you want to do this for a living, not just the craft of writing.
 • Even if you have an agent and use traditional publishing, you want to understand your rights and the money flow. 
 • Empower yourself! http://viewbook.at/authorbusiness
  34. 34. www.TheCreativePenn.com/alliance Continue to learn from others
  35. 35. “When should I quit the day job?”
  36. 36. Don’t rely on one source of income. Develop multiple streams. https://www.flickr.com/photos/23155134@N06/14747424846/
  37. 37. • When you have sustainable income from multiple sources so you are not too stretched
 • When you have downsized and lowered your expenses so you’re not stretched
 • When you know this is what you really want to do & you can’t take your day job anymore!
 • For me it was after 3 years of part-time working & I earn about 1/4 of what I used to
  38. 38. ! ! We all have limited time. ! What will help you create a body of work you’re proud of? ! And create a life you want to live? Strategy is choosing what you DON’T do, as well as what you do.
  39. 39. Get your free Author 2.0 Blueprint + email and video series www.TheCreativePenn.com/blueprint ! ! Any questions? Tweet me @thecreativepenn https://www.facebook.com/ TheCreativePenn

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