Marketers & Coffee: Lessons learned publishing and marketing with Joanna Penn


Joanna and I might seem like competitors but in this medium, there really isn’t such a thing as competition. Just because somebody writes in the same niche as you, don’t look at them as a competitor. Instead, network with them, combine forces, email one another. You can work together to grow. It goes back to the saying of rising tide raises all ships (but do so with integrity).

And speaking of competition, comparing yourself to others may give yourself unrealistic expectations of yourself, especially if you are starting out. Comparing yourself is healthy, if done correctly, and should be done with the intention to learn and not destroy yourself. In fact, even though you may look at what you’re putting out years later with embarrassment, those first few videos or podcasts or books may serve those who haven’t done any of those things to help show them the ropes.

Want proof? If you’d like to watch our very first videos, see below.

Joanna’s First Video:

Dave Chesson’s First Video:

Joanna also advises to make marketing part of the creative life and not leave it to the last minute or put it on the back burner. Her popularity has grown not just because of her books, but because of her website, podcast and podcast appearances, ads, and informative videos.

You don't have to have a breakout hit in order to make a very good living with your writing. I can't even count the number of streams of income I have at this point. Every blog post I write, every podcast idea, almost every social media thing I put out, everything points to  different places that all feed into streams of income and all based on my writing.

Keeping track of where you begin as a way to look back later is also helpful. While comparing yourself to others can be constructive, so can comparing yourself to yourself. Write down where you are right now and in a few years time (Joanna likes to use four years on Olympics years) and have a goal to continuously learn and grow year after year so that in time, you can measure your success.

Success doesn’t look the same to everybody. In fact, success doesn’t even have to come from an amount of money made or books sold, but it could be the success of leaving your job or being able to spend more time with your family or traveling. Only you can define that success means to you. If you can define your WHY, you can define your success.

Most importantly, once you hit your goals you’ve set for yourself, don’t forget to reevaluate your goals and set new ones. And if you find yourself stuck in a period of self doubt, check out Joanna’s video about Self Doubt.

Joanna’s Self Doubt Video:

Bio of the Author in the Case Study:

Joanna Penn is a bestselling author, speaker and award-winning entrepreneur who resides in Bath, England.

On top of traveling and writing bestselling thrillers as J.F.Penn, she helps authors with creativity, writing, publishing, book marketing and creative entrepreneurship. She also co-authors romance novels with her mother under the name Penny Appleton.

Resources Referred to in this Episode:

“Gain insight from Kindlepreneur on how you can optimize marketing for your books."
- Kindle Direct Publishing

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4 thoughts on “Marketers & Coffee: Lessons learned publishing and marketing with Joanna Penn

  1. Kim C Steadman

    Great broadcast! So many nuggets of wisdom. do not compare yourself to others. Stop and evaluate to make sure you aren’t chasing things because of FOMO (fear of missing out.) Set long-term goals by deciding what your goals are and where you want to be. I was encouraged to hear Joanna say that at one time she had three different blogs. I can relate to that so well! Sometimes as a writer, part of the writing journey is our own self-discovery of exactly where we fit into a niche. Thanks again for all the information and how well you two meshed as a team!

    1. Dave Chesson

      Yeah, it was a real joy getting to talk to her and glad you got those things out of it. Very important lessons we learned the hard way 🙂

  2. Jeff Shear

    No comments here? Egad! This show was brilliant. The conversation was fluid and the advice was stunning. Yeah, these are big words ”brilliant, stunning ”but I’m really not using them lightly.I’ve known about Joanna for some years now, and her drive had scarred me. (I’ll never be a Joanna Penn.) But listening to Joanna interacting with Dave brought Joanna to life., and I’m so happy it did. This show touched me. A for instance? Here: I will look back at what I’m doing when the next winter olympic games roll around. This is what that matters to me. Every Success Evangelist talks about a five-year plan. I never get it, and I’m no duh. Five years… What`s that? Where is it? It is a blur. But when Joanna turned the five-year plan into something tangible, the next winter olympics, I had a performance measure, something to work toward, an actual destination, not some vague five-year point in time. The olympics provides a horizon, a stop point. You go, Joanna.I’ve just started marketing my books. I’m right at the beginning. Let`s see where I am when the next winter games roll around. Then I’ll take measure.I’m devoted to Kindlepreneur, Dave. With the world selling snake oil and the tracks to sales running hither and yon, you offer me a path I trust.So, in sum. You two were great. You brought out something wonderful in each other, and I know that because I feel inspired. Thank you.

    1. Dave Chesson

      Hi jeff, sorry I did not see this earlier. Thank you so much – that really means a lot to hear. Joanna is really awesome and I’ve even been a big fan for years.

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