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Business for Authors: How to be an Author Entrepreneur Paperback – September 19, 2014
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"Ready to become CEO of your own Global Media Empire? Then Business for Authors is for you, featuring clear and concise steps to managing your writing career." New York Times and USA Today bestselling author CJ Lyons "I wish I had been given this book when I first graduated from my MFA program, back when the accounting of writing was even more of a mystery to me. With warmth and intelligence, Penn demystifies so much about what it takes to be a writer for life. This is a book that will remain on my bookshelf for the years to come." Elizabeth Hyde Stevens, Author of Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career and Lecturer at Boston University and Harvard University Extension School "The best book I know of for authors who are serious about making their writing into more than a hobby. Joanna Penn writes in an engaging, personal style to lead you through the often-confusing world of publishing for profit, sharing her own hard-won lessons. A boon to self-publishers everywhere." Joel Friedlander, TheBookDesigner.com "BUSINESS FOR AUTHORS ought to be required reading if you're a beginning writer who wants to make money in publishing. You can learn it all the hard way, like I did, but that usually takes years and it usually means that you'll make a LOT of mistakes along the way. Or you can read through Joanna Penn's awesome little guidebook in just a few hours and save yourself a huge amount of time, energy, and money." Randy Ingermanson, author of "Writing Fiction for Dummies" "This book demonstrates why Joanna Penn has become a favorite role model for professional author-publishers, those indie-minded writers who want to turn their passion into their job. In it Penn offers the step-by-step process she has followed to success and covers every aspect of earning a good living from writing. Not a word is wasted and not a lesson offered that hasn't been forged in the hotbed of her own experience. A must-have book for every indie author." Orna Ross, Bestselling author and founder of the Alliance of Independent Authors "Business for Authors has now become my business bible. Packed with advice, experience and knowledge, it opened my mind to so much more that I could be doing." Mel Sherratt, Crime writer and Amazon UK #1 Bestseller. "With Business for Authors, I felt like I stepped inside the brain of an entrepreneur. I love how Joanna explored the topic from so many angles, and then provided real-life context of how she worked through each opportunity/challenge." Dan Blank, WeGrowMedia.com "There's no doubt about it, to be successful as an author today you must think like an entrepreneur. But maybe you need some advice and guidance on exactly how to do that? Good news! Joanna Penn's latest book Business for Authors will walk you through everything you need to know for success. It's a comprehensive step-by-step guide for authors, written by someone who walks the walk as a best-selling author and entrepreneur." Jim F. Kukral, Author Marketing Club --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Joanna Penn is an author, international speaker and entrepreneur. Writing as J.F.Penn, she is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author. Joanna was voted one of the Guardian UK Top 100 creative professionals in 2013. Connect @thecreativepenn
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Top Customer Reviews
The content of Business for Authors builds similarly to an actual business. Penn helps the reader identify her potential business plan by outlining the various business models authors can have as well as the products and services they can offer. However, where the book really gains momentum is when Penn explains how to run one’s authorship like a business by hiring contract laborers (editors, cover designers, etc.), defining a customer base, and determining sales, distribution, and marketing strategies. Even someone with a highly limited knowledge of business can follow along up to this point.
Where Business for Authors becomes more complex is when Penn discusses the financial aspects of running a business. While her explanations are clear and concise, the subject matter still requires the reader to have a solid knowledge of finances, and if this knowledge is not existent, it may be difficult for the reader to follow along. This is not necessarily a critique of Penn, as she clearly states that technical financial knowledge is outside the realm of this book, but there may be some additional research necessary on behalf of the reader to understand this part entirely.
In the final content section of Business for Authors, Penn provides tactics for strategizing and planning one’s author business. This section takes the business knowledge from the rest of the book and shows the reader how he can apply it moving forward. For this section, Penn relies heavily on her personal experience, as she does throughout the book, and while this anecdotal approach is full of great examples and extremely helpful, it would have been beneficial to draw more upon the experiences of other authors and business people for more diversified insights into how an author entrepreneur business could be approached.
On a side note, while Business for Authors is intended for independent publishers, it is also useful for those looking to traditionally publish. Most notably, Penn has entire sections dedicated to agents, publishers, and contracts, and she lists multiple questions one should ask before signing away his rights as well as describes tricky situations and contract language to look out for. Likewise, authors seeking to traditionally publish can benefit from learning to view their novels as products and figuring out ways to market themselves and their products to potential agents, publishers, and readers.
My one advice to prospective readers is to buy the e-book edition and not the print book. Penn has loaded Business for Authors with dozens upon dozens of links to other reference books, articles, and videos, and of course, in print form, you cannot click on these links and must physically type them into your browser. I have not yet re-purchased the book in e-book format (I am considering it, because it is that great of a resource!), but I strongly encourage you all to learn from my mistakes and buy the digital copy to have those resources close at hand.
Additionally, Penn provides a Business for Authors worksheet on her website, which I highly recommend. The worksheet is free, and it contains questions to help guide the reader’s framing of her author business as well as a business plan template that the reader can fill out and revise as necessary.
If you are dreaming of or seriously considering turning your writing into your full-time career, Business for Authors by Joanna Penn is the perfect place to start. The book will walk you through the basic process, step-by-step, with personal examples from how Penn built her own author entrepreneur business. Where the book lacks, Penn will direct you to more detailed resources, either from herself or other publishing professionals. I strongly recommend this book to anyone looking to independently publish and considering going the extra mile to full-time entrepreneurship.
Ms. Penn is one of the very few non-fiction authors who I continuously purchase books from. I have personally read all her books except for the one on public speaking. Though, I am sure if I was interested in going that route, I would be devouring that book as well.
What you can except from this book is EXACTLY what the title says! This is a great starter book to have to begin your journey with. It breaks down the personal, the YOU side: the psychological, mental, emotional, the whys and your goals, free time and taking time for yourself. Then there's the author side: the inspiration, finding your niche, scheduling creative time, then there's the business workings. She touches on legal structure, bookkeeping and accounting, sales, marketing, taxes, employees/contractors, and so much more.
There's tons of content in this book. I love this author's style, her tone, usage of words. She's fresh and insightful. She includes her personal experiences and blog post from the past. There's also a compiled resource section that features books, podcast, and videos from authors.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. You will not go wrong and there is also a FREE companion workbook on her site to help you process your thoughts during or after you read this book.
Another highly recommended!