The Kobo Writing Life team is excited to announce our latest Facebook Live Q&A on March 27th 2020. From 12:00 PM-1:00 PM EST, our takeover host, Joanna Penn, will be answering all your questions on the Kobo Writing Life Facebook page. If you can’t make the takeover, feel free to comment on this post with your questions and we can ask them for you! Keep reading to learn more about Joanna and her experience as an indie author and podcaster, and get your questions ready!

Hello Creatives,

I’m Joanna Penn from TheCreativePenn.com and I’m excited to be coming to you soon on Kobo Writing Life’s Facebook Live!

I started writing in 2006 and self-published my first book in 2008 while living in Australia. This was before ebooks went mainstream, before print-on-demand, digital audio, or podcasting had taken off, and in the early days of social media. Back then, it was difficult to be an independent author because there were no tools to help us reach readers and there was still a stigma to being self-published.

How things have changed!

Since then, I’ve written over 30 books — thrillers and dark fantasy as J.F.Penn, and non-fiction as Joanna Penn. I’ve been podcasting for over a decade at The Creative Penn Podcast and I’m an international speaker and award-winning creative entrepreneur. I left my day job in 2011 to become a full-time writer and make a multi-six figure income with my books and creative business.

Nowadays, we have all the tools we need to put out books in all formats and publish to (almost) every country in the world. I’ve sold books through Kobo Writing Life in 148 countries — that’s exciting!

But we now have the challenge of discoverability — how can readers find us in a sea of other books and creators out there? Yes, you can use paid advertising but it is highly competitive, can be expensive, and for many of us, it is just not a joyful experience to spend time monitoring ads!

I’m a fan of content marketing — creating articles, audio, or video for free that is useful, entertaining, or inspirational to your target audience. Once they discover you through your content, they get to know, like and trust you, and over time, they may buy your books. It’s a long-term strategy but it ensures you are memorable and stand out.

In this session with KWL, I’ll be focusing specifically on audio, both through audiobooks and podcasting. My latest book, Audio for Authors: Audiobooks, Podcasting, and Voice Technologies, goes into a lot of detail, so I hope to share some of the key elements with you in this live session.

We’ll talk about:

  • The rise of audiobooks and podcasting and why you need to be available in audio in order to reach a rising percentage of the market – plus, how to get over your fears and embrace voice-first!
  • Your options for getting your book into audio format — and selling through KWL
  • Tips for audiobook marketing
  • How you can identify podcasts for your niche — whether you write fiction or non-fiction
  • How to pitch for podcast interviews so you can reach more readers with your voice

    Plus, I’ll be answering your questions around audiobooks, podcasting and  voice-first technologies. I hope you’ll join me on the Facebook Live session!

A headshot of Joanna Penn.

Joanna Penn is an award-nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers under J.F.Penn and also writes non-fiction for authors. She’s also a podcaster and an award-winning creative entrepreneur. Her site, TheCreativePenn.com has been voted in the Top 100 sites for writers by Writer’s Digest.