How to Make a Living with Your Writing: Books, Blogging and More (Books for Writers Book 3) 2nd Edition, Kindle Edition
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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.
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.
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.