Successful Multi-Genre Author: Joanna Penn

Whether you write for fun or for pay, it’s always great to make a connection to others with similar interests. That’s why once in a while, you’ll see a featured writer on

Show our featured folks some love by checking out their blogs and leaving a comment.


Joanna Penn: multi-niche writer, indie publishing advocate, and super awesome resource, MultiTalented Writers


Usually, I share interviews in this space, but today, I just wanted to tell you about a multi-niche writer I follow and admire—not only because of her absolutely perfect writer’s name, but because of what she represents to multi-niche writers and indie writers in general.

Joanna Penn, multi-niche writer and indie publishing all-star

fountain pen writing on a lined page, Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash


Joanna Penn is a fiction writer as well as a nonfiction writer. She’s a successful independent author and a champion of the independent publishing industry. She has written several thrillers as well as several nonfiction books specifically for authors.

Penn has a great website, The Creative Penn, where she teaches authors about the independent publishing process, and she also has a podcast where she shares publishing news and interviews authors and publishing experts.

Penn is a best-selling author on both the New York Times and the USA Today bestseller lists, and her website is frequently listed in the “it” resource for writers, The Writer’s Digest.

She is open about how she earns money as a full-time writer, and in her openness, shows what’s possible when you’re willing to branch out into different but related fields (something that mind mapping can help you with).

How to earn an income as a full-time writer

Woman at laptop with a screen that says "business strategy." Photo by from Pexels


Joanna suggests that if you’d like to be a full-time writer, you should consider doing more than just writing. While book sales are great, it’s not often that a beginning author can live solely off their earnings from sold books. But you can diversify your income streams by doing things that are related to writing.

For instance, if you’re a book writer, consider doing some freelance writing. Consider doing things like coaching, speaking at colleges and universities, or developing courses related to your book. If you keep a blog, you can think about affiliate marketing, ads, or selling ad space directly to companies, if you have enough of a following.


Stumbling through the process to become a bestselling author

writing on chalkboard: If you stumble, make it part of the dance, author unkown


Penn has now sold over 500,000 books, and she sells both nonfiction as well as thrillers. She started from humble beginnings, initially self-publishing a non-fiction book that sold zero copies. She then learned everything she could about marketing, restarted the process, blogged about it, and never looked back.

As a successful full-time independent author, small publisher, and international speaker, she makes a living doing what she loves while writing in two separate niches and diversifying her income in ways that suit her work style.

The Creative Penn is both an inspirational story for new writers as well as an excellent resource for writers in various stages of the writing and publishing process. Be sure to check out her site.

Have you read a Joanna Penn or J.F. Penn book? What did you think?

The following two tabs change content below.
Mariana Abeid-McDougall is a writer, a wife, and a homeschooling mom in an out-of-the-box, adventurous family. She's on a mission to show the world that writers don't need to niche to be successful. She hopes you'll join the conversation on the MultiTalented Writers blog.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected