Author Entrepreneur: Increase Your Revenue

There’s a learning curve for all indie authors, which I have covered before in the arc of the indie author.

piggy bankBut once you get the hang of the process – writing, editing, publishing, marketing – then you start to think about the business side.

If you want to make more profit, then increasing your revenue will be next on the list.

Derek Sivers sold his company CD Baby and now sells ebooks about starting a business in foreign markets at Woodegg.com. I read this interview with him and he talked about how to increase cash-flow in a business. It struck home as true for authors as well.

There are four basic ways to increase your revenue:

(1) Increase the number of customers you serve

There are a couple of ways to do this:

book browser on iphone

Book Browser function on iPhone Kindle app. All KU books shown.

a) Use KDP Select and go exclusive to Amazon in order to take advantage of the enhanced visibility on the platform that way. I noticed that the Kindle app on the iPhone changed recently to add a Book Browser function, which is entirely dominated by Kindle Unlimited. The emails I get from Amazon are also increasingly KU dominated. As a READER, I have tried KU and didn’t like it – mainly because I like owning the books and don’t want to borrow them – but clearly it is a very popular service. If you’re a new author with only a couple of books, this is definitely the way to go, and many authors are exclusive with all their books. Here are the pros and cons of exclusivity.

b) Publish on multiple platforms and take advantage of a completely different audience who shop elsewhere. This is my preferred approach. Although Amazon’s KDP Select program offers benefits, it limits your sales to people who buy on that particular platform. Amazon may also dominate in the US and UK, but Kobo dominates in Canada, and iBooks dominates in many other global markets. In 2014, I published Pentecost and Desecration-Verletzung in German, kobo writing life map March 2015and in Germany there is a challenger to Kindle in the Tolino reader, which has 40% of the market so is not to be ignored when publishing. I’ve now sold books in 65 countries – the pic left is my sales from Kobo Writing Life. It makes me happy just looking at it!

c) Use marketing and building your platform to attract more customers. There are a LOT of different marketing avenues for authors. I suggest focusing on the one or two methods that you enjoy and make it sustainable for the long term. Whatever you do, make sure that building your email list is a key focus.

d) Publish in multiple formats and multiple languages. If you only publish in ebook format, you will only attract ebook readers. By using print on demand as well as audiobook formats as well, you will reach different customers. If you publish only in English, you will only reach those readers. Indie authors are now branching out into self-publishing in foreign languages or selling rights to those markets.

e) Expand your streams of income. You can increase the customers you serve by adding to your portfolio of services and products. For example, I serve a different customer base through public speaking and live events, and others use online video or audio courses to reach new customers.

(2) Increase the average size of the transaction by selling more

  • This can be done by having multiple books that customers might like within product lines. If a customer buys one book and enjoys it, they are likely to want more. This is why many authors write in a series, and why many Arkane Thriller Boxsetpublishers prefer books in a series, or within a similar brand.
  • If you have more books available, the customer may buy more. The power is in the backlist, which is why being an author is a long-term game. At the London Book Fair 2014, I talked to Barbara Freethy, who has over 35 books and, as I write this, is the bestselling KDP author of all time with over 4.5 million books sold. She mentioned that when someone new discovers her books, she sees an overall effect as they dive into her backlist.
  • Bundling is another way to do this. You can do ebook boxsets as a single author and charge more for a single transaction, which is also a great deal for the customer. For example, I sell ARKANE Books 1-3, Pentecost, Prophecy and Exodus, in a box-set for $5.99. If bought separately, they would cost $9.98, so it’s a good deal for everyone. All you need to do is create a file with multiple books in, and get a cover designed that looks like a boxset, which you can get from Fiverr.

(3) Increase the frequency of transactions by customer

This can be done by releasing books and products more often, so that loyal customers return. It’s also important to use an hm wardemail list to capture their information so that you can tell them when you have a new product available.

  • Some authors are doing this through serialization and novellas. H.M.Ward’s Ferro series is a good example of this, currently with over 18 books in one particular series with many of them 20,000-30,000 word novellas.
  • Others are doing this through co-writing. For example, Jeremy Robinson’s Jack Sigler Chess Team series has several co-authors writing in his world.

(4) Raise your prices

There are a couple of ways in which authors are doing this:

  • price comparisonCharge more for all books. When you’re first starting out, you often need to lower the barrier to entry so that people will try your books with little risk. But as you become more established and more people are aware of your books, you might find that people are happy to pay more. For non-fiction in particular, if you can help people with a problem, they are more likely to pay more. Amazon KDP now has a pricing feature on the publishing page which will analyze books like yours and suggest a new price point. You have to be selling a decent number before it shows any data. As right, it suggests that my Business for Authors should be at $9.99, but I still keep it at $7.99 at the moment.
  • Make the first book available for free and then raise the price of others in the series. If you do the math right, you’ll see that you can make more money this way than using a 99c entry price point.

Do any of these ideas resonate with you? How will you increase your revenue? Please leave a comment below.

Top image: Flickr Creative Commons piggybank by Images Money

Creativity And Entrepreneurship: Lessons Learned By My 40th Birthday

I turned 40 yesterday and I am super thrilled that I have made this milestone birthday while doing something I love with my life!

It’s been a journey and I have learned a lot along the way … I’ve been sharing everything here since 2008 but here are some of the most important things I’ve learned.

First of all, looking back … what a difference 10 years makes!

Joanna Penn at 30

My 30th Birthday in 2005. Face painting in Auckland, New Zealand

On my 30th birthday, I was living in Auckland, New Zealand and newly divorced. The scuba diving business I had with my ex-husband, as well as our property investment was all gone, and I was back at my day job.

I was an IT consultant, implementing Accounts Payable systems into large corporates and small boutique companies (yawn!) – something I did from 1997 – 2011 in the end.

My two best friends were single at the time as well, so we hired a body painter and got glammed up. Cameras were clearly not as handy back then – no smart phones! – but the pics are still quite fun!

On my 40th birthday, I am happily married and living in London, England. I am a New York Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author under J.F.Penn, with 6 novels and 3 novellas out in the ARKANE and London Psychic series, as well as a short story collection.

Joanna Penn

Happy writer at 40!

I also have 4 non-fiction books under Joanna Penn. I’m an award-winning creative entrepreneur, international professional speaker and this site, The Creative Penn, has been voted one of the top 10 sites for writers and self-publishers multiple times. My best friends are writers and I am part of a community of creative entrepreneurs worldwide.

I am incredibly grateful of the opportunities that have led me here, and thank you to all of you who have supported me on the journey.

So how did I make such a dramatic shift? Here’s my lessons learned, in the hope they will help you too.

(1) Take 100% responsibility for your life

the success principlesI first read Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles a little after my 30th birthday, and the 10th anniversary edition has just been released. I still recommend it as a life changing book and am re-reading it at the moment.

The first chapter, Take 100% responsibility for your life, still resonates with me.

I had what many would have seen as a successful life back then. I was earning very good money as a consultant, doing a high status job in one of the best cities of the world.

But I was empty inside.

That emptiness around my career remained even when I met a lovely man and moved to Australia. Which is when I read Jack’s book and decided I had to make some changes.

I had originally decided to change careers way back in 2000 when I went traveling, but I kept ending up back in the same job. My exam results led to a degree at Oxford, which led to a consultancy job, which led into the work I did – seemingly without any real conscious choice. I had ‘fallen into’ a job, as many do, and I needed to make a change.

Since then, I have changed direction several times – learning about blogging, online marketing, writing books, professional speaking and a lot more besides. But it all starts with deciding to take 100% responsibility, stop making excuses, stop blaming other people or your background or whatever and just start on whatever you really want to do with your life.

(2) Balance consumption with creation

Zen BalanceThis was the first major mindset shift and one I still make sure I keep in balance as a creative entrepreneur. Here are a few examples:

  • Make stuff instead of just buying stuff
  • Write a book, don’t just read books
  • Or read a book and put it into action in concrete ways
  • Record a podcast and not just listen to podcasts
  • Record a video and not just watch videos
  • Do an online course to learn something – and then immediately put it into practice and create something from those ideas
  • Spend time creating instead of watching TV, or watch TV and then use those ideas in your own work. Steal like an artist as Austin Kleon says :)

We all NEED consumption as artists – we need to fill our creative well, and learn from other media – but if you record the hours you spend in consumption instead of production, you may see why you’re not getting enough creative writing time in! Remembering this will help you turn your time into finished products.

(3) The magic of scalable income and intellectual property

I’ve had several life-changing moments in my life as an author-entrepreneur:

  • Discovering print on demand and realizing that I didn’t have to pay for printing books. I could just upload digital files and Amazon would sell direct to customers. I didn’t need to hold stock or do any shipping or pay in advance. That was amazing! (especially as I had just paid for 2000 print books, which mostly went in the landfill). Here’s my video on that realization – it’s 5 years old and pretty hilarious!
  • The launch of Amazon Kindle and going digital as a reader. Realizing the potential of reaching readers globally through self-publishing to this new platform radically changed my business plans because the publisher was no longer necessary as middleman. I didn’t have to ask permission anymore. I could just choose myself and give it a go. Here’s another funny vid of me extolling the virtues of the first iteration of the international Kindle. You can see the packing boxes in the background as we were just about to move house in Australia. Again, it’s pretty embarrassing but good to see how far I’ve come since then.
  • Realizing that a book was not just one book. One manuscript can be turned into multiple streams of income through the exploitation of rights. Multiple formats, multiple country sales, multiple languages – and all possible as an indie author. When the penny drops, your head may explode! Read more on this idea here.
  • Understanding that fiction doesn’t age. Every story I write can sell for my lifetime and 70 years after I die according to copyright law. Stories touch people many years later, even generations later. Whereas I have to update my non-fiction every couple of years and I have withdrawn several since starting writing. Ditto for online courses, which date even faster. The best use of my time is therefore creating fiction. Here’s a video of me talking about this realization.

(4) Beware the shadow career

Turning Pro Steven PressfieldAnother book I re-read over and over again is Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield.

He warns of the shadow career, which echoes our calling but entails no real risk. His example is,

“Are you getting your PhD in Elizabethan studies because you’re afraid to write the tragedies and comedies that you know you have inside you?”

Everyone has their different version of a shadow career – and it is hard to face up to.

For me, the constant challenge is: Are you blogging and speaking about self-publishing and book marketing instead of writing the stories that will make an impact on the world?

The former is easier than the latter and it is easily justified.

I love to help other people, and I still make an income from this site, my non-fiction and professional speaking – and I love all of it to a point – but I need to constantly re-evaluate my time in order to create the things that really challenge me.

Does this challenge you? Do you have a shadow career?

(5) The Compound Effect works

compound effectIt’s interesting that in reviewing the biggest changes in my life, the ideas often stem from books that I have read. I’ve never had an ‘in-person’ mentor, but I have had hundreds, if not thousands of mentors online and in books. You’ll find much of their wisdom interspersed in my own non-fiction books. Yes, I am a self-help junkie!

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy is a great book, even if the basic idea is quite obvious.

Essentially, little steps every day in the same direction will get you a very long way over time.

If you keep chopping and changing, and if you give up too soon, you may have nothing. But if you hold to your course, keep making consistent steps towards your goals every day, then you will achieve far more than you think is possible.

This might be 500 words every day on your book, which is 182,000 in a year, which is three thrillers or a couple of fantasy novel, or six romance novellas :)

It might be one blog post a week, making 52 by the end of the year. Or taking one photo a day and sharing it on Pinterest or Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, resulting in the beginnings of a platform by the end of the year. It might be 10 mins meditation a day, leading to a calmer, happier life.

It might be reading 10 pages a day of life-changing books – which has made a huge difference in my life, that’s for sure! You can find more of my recommended books for writers here.

I am evidence of this principle working in practice.

On my 30th birthday, I had no books, and no inkling of even writing one.

I had no website, no blog, no social media, no email list. I knew nothing about publishing or marketing. I didn’t know that I would end up here by 40. I DID have a desire to change my life, and I was willing to take massive action.

It was 3.5 years from the photo at the top of the page to when I started this site in Dec 2008. It was 6 years until I gave up IT consulting forever to become a full-time author entrepreneur. That may seem like a lot of time, or no time at all. But the point is, it can be done.

If you feel unhappy with where you are now, you CAN change things.

In this new world of creative opportunity online, you are empowered to write, to publish, to create, to reach readers directly, to make money online through a myriad of opportunities.

The only thing stopping you is you.

As for me, well, I have plenty of plans for the next 10 years. I hope you will join me for the ride!

Please do let me know what you think in the comments below. I’d love to hear about your journey and lessons learned along the way. 

Limited Time Deal: Learn Scrivener Fast , Kindle Launch Plan, Video Marketing, Book Proposals And More

The one tool that changed my writing life? Definitely Scrivener.

learn scrivener fastIt continues to be the most important piece of software for me as an author of fiction and non-fiction. It helps me organize and plot, write first draft, edit and publish my books. The software itself is incredibly powerful, so I recommend people learn how to use it with the awesome training course, Learn Scrivener Fast.

Well, today is super exciting because you can get Learn Scrivener Fast for just $99 – it usually sells for $179.

*** NO LONGER AVAILABLE – expired on Wednesday, March 11 at midnight EST***

But that’s not all.

When you purchase, you’ll also get eight other amazing ebooks and courses that will help you grow as a writer.

Click here to access Learn Scrivener Fast (Plus Eight Other Resources) Here. $1076 value for just $99writersbundle

This is available through The Writer’s Bundle, an awesome offer for writers that lasts three days ONLY. It expires on Wednesday, March 11 at midnight EST.

If this offer only included Learn Scrivener Fast, I would still be excited as I have found it very useful myself.

“The Learn Scrivener Fast program is the most comprehensive and easy-to-use guide to Scrivener, with short actionable videos that will help you write more efficiently as well as publish more easily. I’m learning so much, and I’ve been using Scrivener for years.”

~ Joanna Penn, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

But there’s a lot more in the Writer’s Bundle! It’s $1076 value for just $99

writers bundle 1Here’s what’s included in the Writer’s Bundle – and links to where I have interviewed the creators, so you can find out more about them. This is also so you know that I rate these fantastic authors & bloggers and believe this is really a good deal!

  • Book Proposal & Manuscript Template, from Joel Friedlander (retails for $27). I’m a huge fan of everything Joel does, and if you want to write a book proposal, this kit guides you through the whole process. I’ve interviewed Joel a number of times – here’s us discussing book cover design.
  • Authority: A Step-By-Step Guide to Self-Publishing, from Nathan Barry (retails for $39)
  • Video Idiot Boot Camp, from Katie Davis (retails for $297). Katie is a super energetic author and illustrator for kids books and also specializes in video marketing. You can see our interview here.
  • Content Strategy for Thought Leaders, from Sarah Kathleen Peck (retails for $300)

As you can see, this is an amazing deal that will help you on your journey to make a living as a writer. Again, it’s available for THREE DAYS ONLY, so grab it while you can!

Click here to read more or to purchase The Writer’s Bundle

 

Overwhelmed As An Author? How To Work With Virtual Assistants With Chris Ducker

As you move from just being an author to running a business as an author, you will need to find people to work with you and take things off your shoulders.

You’re a writer, so you need to offload some of the other tasks, even if you can do it all yourself. I know how hard this outsourcing is, but also how critical it is if you don’t want to burn out. Today, I talk to Chris Ducker about the concept of Virtual Freedom.

In the introduction I give an update on my own writing and speaking events, as well as talking about Mark Coker’s post on ebooks as annuity and the podcast I have just discovered, On Being with Krista Tippett which I recommend.

99designs-logo-750x200pxThis podcast episode is sponsored by 99 Designs, where you can get all kinds of designs for your author business including book covers, merchandising, branding and business cards, illustrations and artwork and much more. You can get a Powerpack upgrade which gives your project more chance of getting noticed by going to: 99Designs.com/joanna

chris duckerChris Ducker is a serial entrepreneur, virtual staffing expert, blogger, podcaster and author of Virtual Freedom: How to work with virtual staff to buy more time, become more productive and build your dream business.

You can listen above or on iTunes or Stitcher, watch the interview on YouTube here or read the notes and links below.

  • How Chris got started in business and how he now lives in Cebu running an outsourcing company serving global businesses.
  • What is Superhero Syndrome and how do we stop it? All entrepreneurs hit this. It comes down to doing everything yourself to save a few $ and learning new skills rather than hiring the work out. It’s the inability to let go so you can focus on what you should be focusing on.
  • What is a Virtual Assistant anyway? A time saver and can be a life saver. You have to stop the burnout that will eventually happen if you keep doing everything yourself. A VA can help you run your business in different ways. It’s not about finding a ‘me-clone,’ or a replicant of yourself. You have to break things down into roles and outsource those, and using multiple people is often better than one.
  • If you break your work down into the various tasks, you can then find people to take those off your hands. This can be things from sorting out your file formatting and social media, to triaging your email. The ‘super-VA’ doesn’t exist. You virtual freedomneed to hire per role. This can be just one-off tasks using PeoplePerHour or other sites like this, or get a VA or contractors for ongoing work.

The Freedom Exercise. Warning: this may be life-changing!

  • List the things you don’t like doing but you have to do them because the business demands it. Then a list of the things you can’t do. Then a list you feel you shouldn’t be doing as the person running your business. You have to be very honest with yourself. You might LIKE or BE GOOD at some of these tasks, but should you be doing them? Should you time be better spent doing something important for the core business? [I’ve been going through this and it’s really important to do as you move through your career as an author.]
  • Cost vs investment. It’s only when you start to break under the strain that you start to appreciate the need to SPEND in order to have time back. There are different levels of VA – and there is a range of costs that will fluctuate over time – but you can be looking at $US15 – $80 per hour depending on the tasks. Chris talks about the different VAs he has and where they are situated. He also mentions Speechpad for transcription of interviews, which can be brilliant for podcast notes or for researching interviews for a non-fiction book.
  • What do people get wrong when they hire a VA? They don’t pay people what they are truly worth. And people don’t spend enough time training their VAs when they start. If you spend the time systematizing your own work and then handing it over slowly, even doing things like documents and videos to show how things are done, then your VA will be able to deliver the work as you want it done.
  • On global business and how Chris and I are both excited about the possibilities that are coming and the growth outside the US.
  • Chris also talks about what he learned from writing his book and the challenges of working with a traditional publisher and how he had to do all the marketing for his book himself.

You can find Virtual Freedom on Amazon here. You can find Chris at ChrisDucker.com.

Recommended Books For Writing, Self-Publishing, Book Marketing And Creative Entrepreneurship

These are some of the books I love and recommend for authors. I know there are gazillion more, but these have been the most useful to me on my own writing journey.

Books on Writing and Creativity

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen KingStephen King - On Writing. Insights about writing that will make you feel better about where you are. Even the uber-mega-stars have a difficult time! Includes timeless advice on ‘butt in chair.’

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life – Anne Lamottbirdbybird. Includes life-changing opinions on first drafts and how bad they really are meant to be.

The Successful Novelist: A lifetime of lessons about writing and publishing – David Morrellsuccessful novelist. From the creator of Rambo, this book has some great comments on fame and money, as well as what really matters as a writer and in life. Here’s my interview with David Morrell about the book and his writing life.

Writing Down The Bones: Freeing the writer within – Natalie Goldberg.bones I love Natalie’s vulnerability and this book continues to help me when I feel like self-censoring.

STORY: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting – Robert McKeestory. Incredible for authors as well as screenwriters as the principles of storytelling are universal. I’ve learned so much from this book, and more from seeing him live. It’s also worth getting on audiobook as McKee is an incredible performer.

Story Engineering: Mastering the six core competencies of successful writing – Larry BrooksStory Engineering. This was the book that helped me write my first novel. Once the concept of ‘scene’ dropped for me, I was able to structure a story. Here’s my interview with Larry Brooks on the topic.

The War of Art: Break through the blocks and win your creative battles – Steven Pressfieldwar of art. Will make you feel better about the struggles of being an artist and will give you hope that you can make it through to a finished product. Here’s my interview with Steven Pressfield.

Turning Pro: Tap your inner power and create your life’s work – Steven Pressfield.Turning Pro Steven Pressfield Probably the book I re-read the most. I have it in ebook, print and audio format and revisit every new year. If you want to be a professional writer, this book will kick your ass!

The Pursuit of Perfection and how it harms writers – Kristine Kathryn Ruschperfection. If you struggle to write, finish a project or with doubt in general, this book will help. Something for every writer.

Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys To Creativity – Hugh McLeodignoreverybody. If you think it’s crazy to consider making money from something you love, look at how Hugh has transitioned from cartoons on the back of business cards to a huge online business. But first, you need to tap into your creativity …

Self-publishing

Let’s Get Digital: How to self-publish and why you should – David Gaughranlets get digital. The most comprehensive book on self-publishing. David is a campaigner for indie rights, so this book is completely transparent with no hidden agenda.

Write. Publish. Repeat. The No-Luck Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success – Johnny B. Truant & Sean Plattwrite-publish-repeat. A comprehensive look at the business model of high-output fiction writers. Includes how to write fast, publish quickly and get your book to customers. They also have a video course on Udemy that goes through the aspects of the book. Here’s my interview with Sean Platt and separately with Johnny B Truant.

Choosing a Self Publishing Service – The Alliance of Independent Authorschoosing a self publishing service. Written by authors, for authors with no bias towards any service, this goes through how you can evaluate premium self-publishing companies and how to do it yourself.

Self-Publishers Legal Handbook – Helen Sedwicklegalhandbook. Contains information on using images as an indie, what to watch out for in contracts with self-publishing services, working with collaborators and much more.

Book Marketing

How to Market a Book – Joanna Penn.how to market a book second edition Yes, this is my book (!) but I wrote it because I couldn’t find one single book that offered everything for authors in one. I’ve been studying marketing for years now and this is everything I have learned along the way. Updated Oct 2014.

Platform: Get noticed in a noisy world. A step-by-step guide for anyone with something to say or sell – Michael Hyattplatform. This is for any small business and does a great job of going through all the aspects of reaching an audience through a platform.

Let’s Get Visible: How to get noticed and sell more books – David Gaughranvisible300px. Focuses specifically on aspects of book selling online regarding Amazon algorithms, categories and optimizing your sales page.

Discoverability: Help readers find you in today’s world of publishing – Kristine Kathryn Ruschdiscoverability. With 30 years of experience in publishing and now a mentor for indie authors, Kris brings immense experience with all kinds of marketing to this book. Insights on what really works online and off.

1001 ways to market your books – John Kremer1001 ways. A fascinating resource with tons of offline marketing tips as well as online ones to help you get your book noticed.

Author Entrepreneur

Business for Authors: How to be an author entrepreneur – Joanna Pennbusiness for authors. Yes, it’s my book again! But after 13 years as a consultant, I bring my business head to the creative world and share how you can make a living as a writer.

Make Art, Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on fueling your creative career – Elizabeth Hyde Stevensmakeartmakemoney. Jim Henson was a puppeteer and a multi-millionaire and this book explores how he ‘played’ with both art and money, becoming incredibly successful in both.

success principlesThe Success Principles: How to get from where you are to where you want to be – Jack Canfield. The book that changed my life and helped me to escape the day job and become an entrepreneur. Lesson 1: Take responsibility for 100% of everything in your life. You are where you are because of your choices. From the day I read that page, I started to make different choices.

The Compound Effect – Darren Hardycompound effect. Writing a few hundred words a day doesn’t seem like much. Saving a few hundred dollars a month doesn’t seem like much. Drinking water instead of soda doesn’t seem like much. But all these little things make a huge difference over time. This book will help you see the magic of compounding – and I have seen this in my own life. In 2007, I had no books, no website, no online audience, no podcast, no twitter – just a day job I hated. Little steps every day since then have changed my life.

The Four Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, live anywhere, and join the new rich – Tim Ferriss.four hour work week Helped me with the inspiration and education to leave my day job for the entrepreneurial life. It was the impetus to start this site and realistically consider a lifestyle change. Tim also has a brilliant podcast with some of the most interesting guests around.

$100 Startup – Chris Guillebeau: Reinvent the way you make a living, do what you love and create a new future100 startup. A more recent take on lifestyle design, opting out of traditional employment and how you can start an entrepreneurial venture for less than $100 – with LOTS of inspiring examples.

The Icarus Deception – Seth Godinicarus deception. Art isn’t a result. It’s a journey. Pick yourself and fly closer to the sun. I want everyone who has self-doubt about the creative process to read this book. It’s super inspiring – you can read some of my highlights from the book here.

Choose Yourself – James Altucherchoose yourself. A manifesto to ignore the middlemen and choose yourself in this age of opportunity. The corporate ‘work’ world is broken, the education system is a bubble waiting to burst – you need to take control of your life.

Manage your day-to-day. Build your routine, find your focus and sharpen your creative mindmanage day to day. From 99U. Creatives need time to play and dream, but also to knuckle down and sort out a production routine, a workspace and schedule. This has lots of small chapters on all things productivity related.

Just writing this list down has made me want to start reading them all over again!

What are your recommended books for writers in these categories? Please leave them in the comments below.