How I Do It: Super Successful Indie Authors Share Their Secrets – with Joanna Penn

JoannaPennFocus, long term commitment and sheer hard work, every day, are what have enabled Joanna Penn, bestselling author, professional speaker, entrepreneur and UK ALLi advisor, to pack so much into the five years since she entered the sphere of self-publishing.  The remarkable achievements of this authorpreneur have just earned her a place among The Guardian’s Top 100 Creative Professionals 2013, so it’s a timely occasion to ask her to share the secrets of her success.

What’s the secret of your success?
Joanna Penn headshotI don’t consider myself successful as yet, and I feel like I am just at the bottom of this ladder. I have some specific goals around being a writer, and I haven’t met them yet, but as any business, it takes a while before you begin to have some kind of mastery. I’m only 38, so I have time! As authors, we’re lucky to have the rest of our lives to improve the craft and please readers globally. In terms of what I’ve achieved in the last five years, it’s really been about commitment over the long term and working on writing and marketing every day. I’m passionate about what I do, and extremely focused on becoming the best writer I can be, as well as the best entrepreneur.

What’s the single best thing you ever did?
Starting a blog changed my life – seriously. It has freed my writing style up completely, and given me the confidence to get into fiction. Without the millions of words I’ve written on my blog, I would never have been able to write Desecration, my latest crime novel. Writing so much has enabled me to finally stop self-censoring. Blogging has also given me a community of writers worldwide, some of whom have become my best friends. It’s given me a platform for an income that enabled me to leave my corporate day job in 2011. It’s helped me find readers who want to buy my books all over the world. It’s also been the catalyst for synchronicity, global travel and opportunities that would never have happened without being out there, writing in public almost every day.

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