Friday, February 6, 2015

Book Review: Business For Authors

If you want to have a career as an author, you have to understand business. But most of us are artistes, so have we really given any thought to the business we have, especially if we're independent authors? While we may be tempted to focus more on our art than our incomes, if we want to support our family or leave a legacy for our children and grandchildren, being cognizant of the business aspects of being an author are incredibly important.

But who among us has a business degree? Not too many, I'd wager.

That's where Joanna Penn's Business For Authors: How to be an Author Entrepreneur may come in handy. Before her life as a writer, Ms. Penn was a business owner, so she knows a thing or two about business. She put together this practical manual for the author who wants to take control of their own business and utilize systems to be more efficient.

What I loved:

Even though she's had a lot of experience in business, it didn't feel like she was talking down to me as the reader. She laid things out logically, starting at the very basic questions of what it means to be an entrepreneur and how you as an author are one from the moment you press "publish" or sign a book contract with a publisher.

The topics discussed are incredibly practical and help you think outside the box. Who among us, especially when we're starting out, has thought that as an author, she'd have employees? But Ms. Penn lays out who your employees could be--editors, cover artists, accountants, bookkeepers, and more.

In addition to the book, you can download a companion workbook through Joanna's website that can help you sift out your own ideas for your business and your perceptions of money and what you want to write. I admit I got a little overwhelmed at a couple points working through this, so it may be good to read through everything slowly, or a couple of times at the very least.

This isn't a "writing" book per se. So if you're looking for guidance on writing your novel, this is not the book for you. But if you're releasing your first or second book and are trying to figure out how to maximize your book sales, and if you're wanting to have a lifelong career as an author, this is a book to pick up.

The resources mentioned in this book are very wide, and I was pleasantly surprised by who Ms. Penn cites--especially since I'd read a few of the books already. 

What I didn't like: 

There really isn't much in here I didn't care for. I noticed on one review on Amazon that there's little about marketing, which is true, however Ms. Penn also has an entire book devoted to just marketing. This book is more for systems you should have in place and understanding how to manage your role as CEO of your business.


If you are an author looking to make a nice side income, or possibly replace your job entirely, this is a book you can't afford to do without. I intend to re-read this as I'm able to help solidify my own thoughts on my business.

Important Information:

Business for Authors by Joanna Penn. ASIN: B00MQTR9HA  $5.99 for e-book on Amazon. $13.99 /paperback


Liberty Speidel has been a voracious reader since reading her first Nancy Drew book. But she was telling stories long before then with her figurines from Disney's Rescue Rangers. When she's not writing, you may find her gardening, baking, crocheting, or hiking. A lifelong Kansan, she now resides in the Kansas City metro area with her husband, children, and chocolate Labrador. She is the author of Emergence and Retaliation, novellas in her series featuring superhuman and police detective Darby Shaw.

She blogs sporadically at
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