If you’re an indie author and you’re not familiar with Joanna Penn, you should be. She quit her well-paying business consulting job in 2011 in order to publish her suspense fiction full-time under the name J.F. Penn. She represents authorship at its best in the new world of indie publishing: the author who makes writing their business.
Earning your income from writing is no longer a pie-in-the-sky idea, but can be a viable business based on concrete strategies. In her book Business for Authors, Joanna outlines how she does it, and she starts at the most crucial point: mindset. Writing is art, but to make a living at it, you have to don the cap of an entrepreneur. Do you hate filing paperwork and tracking sales and expenses? Or do you embrace that as part of your new life as a self-made author-entrepreneur?
For anyone embarking on authorship as business, there are a host of questions popping up – like what to claim as business expenses at tax time, whether or not you need to set up as a legal business entity, whether you need to establish separate bank accounts for your business, whether or not you should outsource certain tasks, and how to keep track of all the paperwork.
Indie publishing as a business is still so new, there are few resources available to answer all those questions. Joanna Penn very kindly takes each branch of the author business in hand and explains it bit by bit.
While I’m sure most of us would appreciate a cookie-cutter “follow the pattern,” Joanna instead introduces us to our options, and notes her own choices and why she made them. Indeed, there is no one size fits all – particularly since Joanna writes for an international audience. (She operates her author business in the UK, but many of her readers are in the US and elsewhere.) But options are one of the trademarks of owning your own business. Instead of telling you exactly what to do, Joanna empowers you to make smart choices for your author business.
If you’re starting up your own writing business – and asking all sorts of questions about financial records, business models, ISBNs, assistants, etc. – this book is indispensable reading. I know it’ll be living in the “recently read” section of my Kindle!
Where to Get Your Copy
About the Author
She was an IT consultant for 13 years, working in large corporates across Europe and Asia Pacific. In 2011, she became a full-time author/entrepreneur.