Last night, the Kobo Writing Life team was thrilled to welcome Joanna Penn to our Toronto office. Joanna is a bestselling author-entrepreneur and professional speaker, and she shares invaluable information with the self-publishing community on her blog and podcast, The Creative Penn.
A packed house of local authors chatted with Joanna over drinks and snacks, then she took the stage with KWL Director Mark Lefebvre to speak about self-publishing and answer questions from the audience. The advice she shared was incredibly helpful and inspiring, so we wanted to share a few key takeaways with you here.
- Remember that this industry is global. You can build a platform from anywhere in the world and reach an audience in countries you may have never heard of before!
- Book publishing and marketing are processes that take time. Set long-term goals—we’re talking years, not days. Don’t give up if you do not see a return on your investment immediately.
- It’s ok to fail. The Creative Penn is Joanna’s third blog effort.
- Take your work and yourself seriously as a business.
- Do a little bit every day.
- Be true to yourself and what you love in terms of your writing and marketing.
- Think about every opportunity for every book, including print on demand, audio, and translation. You can turn each book into multiple product streams, such that ten books multiply to become 50 potential income sources.
- Publish directly wherever you can. Every platform—KWL, iBooks, KDP, Nook, etc.—is a potential business partnership and can bring you new opportunities for success.
- The writing life does not have to be lonely. Get online and engage with other authors on social media, join ALLi, or go to a conference. Even if you’re introverted, don’t be afraid to join the author community.
We are so grateful to Joanna for sharing her time and knowledge with us.
Grab J.F. Penn’s newest release, DELIRIUM!
If you haven’t listened in to our podcast interview with Joanna, you can do so here.
KWL is a proud sponsor of The Creative Penn Podcast, which we can’t recommend highly enough.
Joanna Penn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers on the edge, as well as non-fiction for authors. She is also a professional speaker and entrepreneur, voted as one of The Guardian UK Top 100 creative professionals 2013.