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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Calliope Nerve Interview Series: Author 2.0's Joanna Penn

From Muse Thing (The Calliope Nerve Weblog):

Calliope Nerve kicks off our Interview Series with Joanna Penn creator of the successful Author 2.0 program.

What is the Author 2.0 Blueprint/Author 2.0 Program?

The Author 2.0 Blueprint is a free report on how authors can use web 2.0 tools to write, publish, sell and promote their books. It is a downloadable PDF and is packed with information and links to help people get started using these technologies. It includes a model that authors/writers can use to drive traffic and sales from their website as well as examples of authors who use platform building techniques themselves.

The Author 2.0 Program is a 12 module course featuring 9 hours of audio,5 hours of video and over 400 pages of information on these topics.It is a premium "how-to" program for authors who want to put the ideas of the Blueprint into action immediately. It includes how to self-publish on, on the Kindle and in e-book versions, as well as how to build an effective website and blog, podcast, make book videos, use social networking effectively, drive traffic with many different methods and make money with back end products. It shows in detail how to do each of these topics and is a self paced course that can be done over 3 months. There is more information including a behind the scenes video here:

What is it you hope readers take away from Author 2.0?

It is such an exciting time in the publishing industry right now!Technology is changing the marketplace and authors can use these tools to get their work out there themselves. Publishing companies are suffering in the global economic downturn so are publishing fewer books. The books they do publish need to be marketed by the author, so all of these web 2.0 tools are important for self-published and traditionally published authors. I hope readers will be inspired and get at least 2 new ideas they can use to publish or promote their books. If people are just starting to write, then hopefully the Blueprint will encourage them to complete their book and publish it themselves. Technology now is enabling creativity like never before!

Tell us about some of the things you've written. Do you write fiction/poetry/creatively as well?

I have written 3 books so far, all non-fiction. "How to Enjoy Your Job" on career change and finding work your love. "From Idea to Book" for people who want to write their first book; and "From Book to Market" on book marketing and promotion.

I have also published poetry and have started writing my first fiction novel. I think we all have so much writing in our lives – here is a post I wrote about my own writing journey. It might encourage others to see how much writing they have done!

What makes you successful? What makes a person successful?

Success must be self-defined I think. I considered my first book a success when I sold my first copy to a stranger through Amazon. I am a goal-setting fiend and every year I review what I have achieved and set goals for the next year. The wonderful thing about writing a book is you can quite clearly see the tangible results of your work, so publishing books can definitely be seen as one measure of success.

A book I reread constantly is Jack Canfield's "Success Principles" so people could read that if they want a great study on how to be successful in all fields of life.

Do you earn a full time living from your writing and related work? What tips do you have for aspiring authors so they can "live their dream?"

I don't earn a full time living from writing (yet!) I am a business consultant contracting to corporate at the moment. The good thing is that I work the days I want so I can schedule writing and speaking commitments as well. I won't give up the day job while it pays the bills and also stretches another side of me that I enjoy.

I think "living the dream" is questionable unless you want to be a freelance writer and essentially write what others want you to write. That is the main way to make a full time living writing. Here's a podcast by a ghostwriter who makes 6 figures this way and he offers lots of tips for people who want this life.

I like to write what I want to write about. It is my creativity and not my main income! I love to blog and also to write creatively. I make some money from sales of books and Author 2.0 but certainly not full time!

Do you feel you have a mission in life? How do you feel about Spirituality?

I am definitely a spiritual person, but not specifically religious. I have a degree in Theology and have studied many religions. I have had spiritual experience and want to write a book on "Spiritual Places" one day. In terms of a mission in life, I get a lot of joy in helping others find their creativity and I would like to inspire 1 million books – in that, I want to help 1 million people release their creativity and create when they thought they couldn't. It is a corporate trap that people can't be in business and a day job and be creative. I want to help people break out of that.

Do you have any hobbies?

I read a lot. My blog is a hobby and I spend a lot of time on that. I also love scuba diving and traveling.

What other careers have you had? What was the worst job you have had?

I have been a business IT consultant since I left University 12 years ago. I have worked in Europe, Australia and New Zealand for large and small companies. There have been ups and downs like many other people have in their jobs.

The worst job I have had has been the cubicle employee who hates her work and is just miserable (hence my first book). Being a contractor is much better because of the control you have over your time, even though you have less stability.

What's on your recommended reading list? (books, magazines, websites, etc)

Definitely Jack Canfield as above. Also Tim Ferris's blog and book The Four Hour Work Week

I read a lot of blogs in the publishing industry – too many to list here!

How do you "network" to make contacts?

I mainly use Twitter now as it is so fabulous for connecting with people. I tweet a lot and then start emailing with people. I find people for my podcasts on Twitter and build relationships that way. I do also go to networking events in Brisbane, but obviously that is so physically located, whereas Twitter is global.

What advice do you have for people who have a "fear" of failure? Have you ever failed?

Fear of failure stops many people from following their dreams and my biggest advice has to be just to get on with it any way. I have "failed" in many areas, but I try to see it as a way to learn and then move on with those lessons for the next adventure. I look forward, not back! Life is exciting and if you are not failing, you are not trying hard enough!

What skills does a person need to learn to accomplish the kinds of things you have?

Willingness to do it themselves if people say it can't be done – this is why I self published my first book. I didn't like the negative energy of being rejected. I LOVE the positive energy of selling and promoting my books and getting positive responses from people.

Put the hours in. I do work hard. I spend hours on my blog every week. I don't have a TV which gives me extra hours to read, write, learn and create.

Love of change. My words are freedom and change, so I love the fact that the publishing industry is opening up to technologies and authors have opportunities now. We have the freedom to express so let's do it!

What's next for Joanna Penn?

I'm writing my first fiction novel. I want to be the No 1 writing blog in Australia and also help more authors with Author 2.0. I am planning some travel adventures next year so I will be writing about those too. I also want to expand on my speaking career – either on teleconferences or live events.

-posted by Nobius 11:59 PM #
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