Posts Tagged ‘joanna penn’

Joanna Penn is not only an amazing author, but she is also extremely passionate about helping others in their quest to write and publish. She is the single reason I am an author with a published book on amazon and not just stacking manuscripts on my desk. She is smart and witty, and fun and energetic. She loves what she’s doing and it shows. She is a bundle of motivation and has somehow talked me into expanding my brand to include my American Ninja Warrior training.


And I consider her a friend. Meeting her at ThrillerFest last year was luck. We sat in David Morrell’s 10 hour Master CraftFest session and came out alive (I also learned a great deal from David’s class). She’s ever helpful and full of ideas.

Visit her website at The Creative Penn. If you’re a writer looking to better your writing, your marketing or some other detail that’s not easily googled, then scan through her site and you’ll probably find the answers you’re looking for. She podcasts, she interviews other authors, she writes books that help you write better and don’t forget…she writes great books too.

How do you keep up with your genre?
These days it’s impossible to read everyone’s website, blog or tweet.
For me, I have a couple of go-to’s that keep me in the loop. One of my favorites is The Big Thrill newsletter/magazine.
There are great interviews with some of the most successful authors in my genre – Thrillers. As well, there are many great interviews with authors about their latest releases.
In this month’s edition, my friend Joanna Penn (you probably know her as JF Penn or The Creative Penn) does a nice article and introspective with author Scott Mariani.
It’s tightly coupled with my favorite writers conference ThrillerFest, so you’ll see headline ads for it throughout, but I consider these two venues the main vein of thriller writing help and support.
Happy New Year!

In my search for the right kind of cover art for my book, The Carrington Event, I’ve perused some websites that I like and some that I don’t. Well, many that I don’t. It’s tough to find someone to help deliver your vision or something that falls within your particular taste.
Here’s one I actually like. Found out later that they’ve also done work for my friend Joanna Penn. So they can’t be all that bad 🙂

If you’re in for a bit of adventure, try hosting a design contest. 99designs has an amazing collection of authors vying to win your business. The hardest part with this approach is wording the ‘design brief’. The artists use this to work on your cover. But it’s probably a good idea anyway, because it’ll help you put down in words what you want. You’ll have to take the time to describe it the way you see it. So get crackin’ and let me know if you have any other good places or ideas to generate cover art that sucks readers in like a vacuum.

Practical advice to help build better books…

In Joanna Penn’s How to Market a Book, I stumbled upon one of the more interesting links she provides in the body. It had to do with professional book cover design. I knew that I would be getting to this point sooner or later, knowing I’ll probably start with the e-book route, but I had no idea how good e-book covers (and most especially how bad e-book covers) look.
The link below takes you to a great site constructed by Joel Friedlander, an author and an award-winning book designer.
Among some other great content he posts, he provides a monthly e-book cover design awards section. This was a really great idea and helped me look at various forms of great work, noting who the designer was. It’s a great way to skim through a list of preferred art.
Check it out:
The Book Designer

You can also follow Joel on Twitter (amongst other media forms) @jfbookman

Well, we know that it means ‘to scribe’, but to the uninitiated, it is really a fantastic writing tool.
I’m not going to go into details because I’m a mere novice with this program, but I will provide some excellent links for you to follow up on the best support and free webinar out there.

Scrivener is a tool created to help with writing, organizing and reordering long form text. Sound familiar? Yeah, that sounds like my novel too. Better yet, it was crafted to allow you to keep all your research together in the same app. This helps so you don’t have to open other documents or programs just to look up the one fact you buried away and want to use or that one photo you were using to help you describe a particular scene. It’s all under one hood.
This, in my mind, beats the typical word processor over the head with a great big ‘duh, why didn’t you think of that?’
I’ve only just started using it, but it’s so easy I don’t think I’ll go back to my, ahem, Microsoft program that does a few things to help me format.
But speaking of that, here’s the winning hand: Scrivener will help you format that wonderful text of yours into the formats required for all major self/indie publishing routes such as Kindle and Amazon. And if your editor, agent or publisher only has Word, then you can save it as that too.
I’m hooked, learning and using it every day. But there is always a way to learn more. One of the most prominent consultants regarding the learning of Scrivener is Joseph Michael (a Scrivener Coach). Google it and you’ll find his name anywhere a solid tutorial or how-to page is found.

Lastly, I have great news. Our super, self-help writing coach and best-selling author, Joanna Penn, is providing a free webinar Oct. 16th. I’ve included the link below. I’m attending and encourage you to attend as well. If anything, it will give you a great introduction to all the things this tool can do.

Check it out:

Scrivener homepage
Free Trial Download
Free Webinar – Oct 16th

ThrillerFest lectures

Posted: September 29, 2014 in Writing
Tags: , ,

ThrillerFest registration is now open. What exactly is it? It’s about all things within the thriller genre. Most importantly is what it is not. It is not just a chance to meet your favorite author and get their autograph – and occasional selfie if they oblige. But you still get to do that. It is not just a chance to listen to a panel of famous authors talk about their books. But you still get to do that.
So what is it?
It’s about the chance to learn and grow and network.
You learn by listening to individual lectures from these authors. Steve Berry teaches a couple of classes where great nuggets of knowledge still ring in my head. He was talking about ‘the six C’s of story structure’. And his words still echo. “Where do you start your story? As close to the end as possible…”. Just brilliant.
It’s the ability to sit in a class where a handful of real FBI agents talk about some interesting cases they’ve been through. It’s getting the chance to sit down and pitch to many real NY agents for hours, until you’re actually tired of talking.
I’ve grown from the lectures I sat in. There were times I learned so much after sitting in class that I had to run up to my room and start typing.
I’ve networked with groups of other aspiring authors, as well as famous authors themselves. I was able to meet the unstoppable Joanna Penn. A legend in the field of online marketing, book writing and everything about controlling your own destiny as a writer.
This is THE conference to attend if you’re into all things ‘thriller’.
Check it out: ThrillerFest

Joanna Penn

Posted: August 13, 2014 in Writing
Tags: ,

Peppi Vecchio
Uggh. After looking at all my fantastic ThrillerFest pics, I found I didn’t have one of my newest and most enthusiastic friends – Joanna Penn. But I just had to give her a ‘shout out’. Not only is she a great thriller writer (with an interesting dark side), she also shares her publishing, writing and marketing expertise with a smile. We shared a ten hour marathon class with super writer/teacher David Morrell and I’ve been learning from her ever since. I purchased her Best Selling book ‘How to Market a Book’ and confess, it’s the one and only book I’ve read cover to cover (pun coming) that was an e-book.

Joanna Penn