Podcast: Download (Duration: 23:00 — 18.6MB)
Subscribe: Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS | More
Happy New Year 2023!
I am more excited than ever this year about the books I want to write and publish.
I've had a difficult few years (haven't we all?!) but now I'm ready to create at full throttle in 2023, aided by the incredible AI-powered tools emerging for writers.
Here's an overview of my 2023 goals:
- J.F. Penn — Pilgrimage (and my first Kickstarter); Catacomb book, ARKANE 13, and some short stories
- Joanna Penn — The Shadow Book (and maybe another Kickstarter), The Creator Economy for Authors, and maybe The AI-Assisted Author
- Continue The Creative Penn Podcast
- Experiment with futurist technologies and share what I learn with you along the way
- More digital, more physical. Focus on optimizing my health, and do more in-person travel and events.
- Financial goals
As ever, I am a full-time author-entrepreneur and this is my job, so I have a lot of goals. If your goals are simpler — like finishing your book, or publishing for the first time, or selling 1000 copies, then fantastic! You don’t have to have such extensive goals as me.
Please share your goals in the comments so we can keep each other accountable.
J.F. Penn — Kickstarter for Pilgrimage with a special signed hardback edition
I have finished Pilgrimage and am currently narrating the audiobook as well as formatting the print edition.
It's a very personal book, and so I want to do a special signed hardback edition that won't be available anywhere else.
The best way to do that is to know how many people want to buy it, so I can order the books, have them shipped here, sign them, and then send them out myself.
So I'm (finally) going to do a Kickstarter!
Click here to sign up for the pre-launch list (no commitment to buy)
You'll be notified of the campaign when it launches on 23 Jan, 2023.
The Kickstarter will also have the ebook and audiobook (narrated by me), as well as the special edition hardback (signed and unsigned available), a special edition paperback edition (POD, not signed) and a Pilgrimage workbook, with guided prompts so you can plan your own pilgrimage.
My plan is to sell direct through the Kickstarter, and then put the books in all formats (except for the special edition hardback) up on my store, www.CreativePennBooks.com and available everywhere wide a month later.
J.F. Penn — Write and publish the ‘catacomb' book, ARKANE #13, and some short stories — and maybe other fiction
The catacomb book is a stand-alone story I have had on my mind for a while, and I want to get it out of my head and onto the page. I'm not sure if it's a novel or a novella yet.
At the end of Tomb of Relics, ARKANE #12, I left Morgan and Jake heading to Vienna for the next adventure, but until recently, I didn't know what they would find there.
But now I know — and the plan is to go to Vienna sometime in 2023 — so I will be able to write the story.
I've also got some short story ideas that I'd like to finish and publish. My goal is to do a short story anthology in 2024, so I can print a book, so I need more stories for that. I love writing short stories, but they take a lot more time than you expect!
Joanna Penn — Write and publish The Creator Economy and The AI-Assisted Author
I have courses on both topics, and since I think these are two of the biggest trends for authors, I'd like to expand them both into short non-fiction books. I already have drafts based on the course transcripts.
The AI-Assisted Author will be a follow-up to my 2020 book, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Virtual Worlds: The Impact of Converging Technologies on Authors and the Publishing Industry, much of which is now starting to happen. I am always early, lol!
Joanna Penn — Write and publish ‘The Shadow Book'
I've been talking about this for years and I have many thousands of words in a Scrivener project, but in 2023, I will overcome resistance and (finally) write this book.
I'm also planning to launch it as a Kickstarter, and one of the reasons for doing the Pilgrimage Kickstarter is as practice for this one.
I'm not sure yet whether this will go out under Joanna Penn or J.F. Penn, but the basic concept is about writing from your darker side, and about integrating your shadow into your creative work, rather than trying to bury it or sublimate it.
I studied Jungian psychology as part of my degree in Theology, specializing in the psychology of religion, and I also have a Graduate Diploma in Psychology. Morgan Sierra in my ARKANE thriller series is a psychologist, and I have brought my interest into my fiction over the years. Now it's time to turn it into a book that you might be able to use for your creative process.
I will continue to experiment with future technology and share what I learn with you
Regular readers and listeners to the show know that I have been commentating on the AI space since Alpha Go beat Lee Sodol at the game of Go in 2016.
In 2019, I posted 9 Ways That Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Disrupt Authors And The Publishing Industry, and I'm planning to do an update of that later in the year.
In 2020, I published my short book, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Virtual Worlds: The Impact of Converging Technologies On Authors and the Publishing Industry.
In 2021, I produced a course, The AI-Assisted Author.
In 2022, generative AI went mainstream, and now many creatives are using Midjourney/Stable Diffusion/DALL-E 2 for images and ChatGPT (along with Sudowrite or Jasper based on GPT3) to write and rewrite text, ideate and outline stories and articles, write ad copy, and more.
Some are expanding use of AI translation, and many more are using text-to-speech generation for audio, like Google Play Automated Narration or Deep Zen. In the last few weeks, Apple Books introduced AI narration as well.
For years, I have quoted Kevin Kelly from The Inevitable:
“This is not a race against the machines. If we race against them, we lose. This is a race with the machines. You’ll be paid in the future based on how well you work with robots … It is inevitable.“
It feels like 2008 all over again, like the early days of digital when we didn't really know what we were doing, but it was a hell of a lot of fun, and those who embraced the changes built a career on that technology.
I intend to work with the robots (AI tools), and 2023 will bring many more advances. These technologies will transform our industry in the next decade — not just ours, of course, but every industry.
In fact, the more important AI applications are outside of our industry. I am more excited about AI helping to solve climate change, finding treatments and even cures for diseases, and in reforming education to make it accessible for all, and much more.
There are so many opportunities, but as ever with technology, there are also dangers, problems, ethical questions, and much more. It's important that authors and creatives are involved in discussions around copyright, intellectual property, and future business models, rather than trying to ban these tools or avoid them completely. We need our voices to be heard so we can be part of creating the future.
I've previously worked with the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) on submissions for the World Intellectual Property Organization, as well as the UK government on AI and copyright, and I helped with the Ethical AI use guidelines. I will continue to work with ALLi on these aspects and become more active in the AI for Good movement.
In terms of using the tools in my creative process, this year, I will:
- Use ChatGPT and (hopefully) GPT-4 and other generative text tools to help iterate ideas for my books, to write the sales descriptions and ad copy, as well as expand on my words (like an extended thesaurus).
- Use Midjourney, DALL-E and other generative image tools for character and setting ideas, as well as elements of my book covers and marketing
- Mint special NFT editions of my books/stories on blockchain platforms
- Create more AI-narrated audiobooks
- Use text-to-video to get back into video marketing, which I put aside a few years back because the overhead of making video was too great, but that has changed with emerging text-to-video tools
- Use Otter.ai (AI speech-to-text) for the podcast transcription, and also to help me dictate my first drafts more quickly
No doubt there will be other things I don't even know about yet, but I hope to jump in as things emerge. One of the wonderful things about owning and controlling your own intellectual property assets is the ability to take advantage of new things as they arrive without asking permission from anyone.
Continue podcasting at The Creative Penn Podcast
The Creative Penn Podcast is part of my body of creative work, and I reach more people every week through the podcast than I do with my books. It is creative work, it is an important income stream, it is my community, and it is marketing.
I'm committing to another year of The Creative Penn Podcast, and to my patrons with my monthly Q&A.
Many of the topics I have covered as ‘futurist' have now moved into the mainstream conversation, so I will start covering those as part of the normal Monday shows instead of inbetweenisodes.
If you find the podcast useful, please consider supporting the show (and you'll get my extra monthly Q&A episode) at www.Patreon.com/thecreativepenn or you can buy me a coffee (or 3) at BuyMeACoffee.com/thecreativepenn
While my multi-six-figure business revenue has remained approximately the same for the last couple of years, book sales have become a greater part of it again because of selling direct.
In 2023, I have a few overarching goals:
- Double my book sales revenue — which means writing and publishing more books as well as increasing my ad spend and growing my email list.
- Grow the percentage of book sales revenue made from direct sales — through my Shopify store and Kickstarter, which will mean releasing direct first, and direct only for some products.
- Increase foreign rights and subsidiary licensing revenue. I'm working with DropCap, a rights licensing agency in 2023, which will hopefully result in some licensing revenue. I'll share more on the podcast once I have something to show for it!
Travel, speaking, health, and other things
I'll be speaking at Superstars of Writing in February, so I'll be in Colorado Springs, and I'm planning to visit Washington DC as well, since I've never been and I've always wanted to visit the Smithsonian.
I'll be at London Book Fair, and also potentially 20Books Seville in Spain in April.
We're heading back to New Zealand to visit family, and (hopefully) stopping somewhere on the way for a little holiday.
I'm also planning to visit Vienna, and hopefully, have at least another trip in the second half of the year.
Health-wise, I'll keep lifting weights, eating IF, and I have an ultra-marathon walk booked for the summer. Plus, I'd like to do another walking holiday, if Jonathan will join me for it.
Onwards into 2023, Creatives!
What are your creative and business plans for 2023?
Please leave a comment if you’d like to share, or if you have a question, and let’s keep each other accountable for another year. You can also tweet me @thecreativepenn or Contact me here.
Thanks for sharing your goals and (as ever) all of your great information! I plan to write and self-publish my first three books (non-fiction) in 2023. Can’t afford any extras so it will be all done by me. Also plan to write at least 10 short stories in anticipation of a 2024 novel.
In other areas – I plan to lose 50+ pounds, find fun physical activities to get me moving and work to get my financial house in order.
Difference between this and most years? I mean to do it!
Joanna Penn says
Sounds ambitious, Jalane — but doable, of course. It sounds like you’re committed, for sure. All the best.
L.G. O'Connor says
After a four-year publishing hiatus (life happens!) and feeling very left behind, I plan to:
– Finish three 75% completed manuscripts
– Release a rewrite of my first fantasy novel when I take it back from the publisher
– Re-cover two of my series
– Learn more about the new AI technology that you write about
– Relaunch the business side of my business with a new newsletter strategy
– Explore direct sales for physical books
Joanna Penn says
You’re not left behind, LG. The race is only with yourself 🙂
All the best for 2023!
Milissa L Story says
My goals for 2023 include: Publishing two more books in my Gates Point Romance Series; co-authoring a crime drama novel (in progress); start a new Sci-Fi series (different pen-name than romance series). Try my hand at self narration of my books not already in audio. Regarding marketing, continue to grow both newsletter lists, with more content marketing branching out into podcasts or other audio media. Leverage AI assisted tools as much as possible. I am in love with Chat GPT (thank you for that) I’m going to give Midjourney a try as well. Also, improve my frequency of blog posts and continue to be consistent with my NL emails.
My healthy writer goals are to increase my daily walking miles from three to five. Continue with my IF and healthy diet. Be more selective about how I spend my time honing my craft, such as narrowing my focus on the number of podcasts I listen to (always listen to you!) and remove some of the ‘noise’ that doesn’t fit my style/goals.
Continue to listen and support you! Thank you for all the hard work that goes into your podcasts and books. The non-fiction is very helpful and valuable. The fiction series are my favorites and wonderfully entertaining. I know it is a lot of work to do everything you do, but it is very much appreciated even if it doesn’t always feel that way.
Joanna Penn says
Thanks for your kind words and your support, Milissa, and I’m thrilled I remain on your ‘listen’ list!
Removing ‘noise’ is definitely one of my things too for 2023. I am almost grateful for the mess at Twitter as I am using it less, and barely use FB and Insta anymore, and I never went near TikTok. It might be the end of
social media for me in 2023, or if Twitter rises from the ashes, then that will be my main thing, but I have culled my lists of podcasts, email etc and it definitely makes a difference.
All the best for 2023.
Jeff Adams says
Happy New Year!
I finally feel energized again after a couple of flat years. The goals for 2023 are:
1) Publish the non-fiction book I worked on with a colleague during 2022. Our book on content accessibility for creatives will publish on March 1. As part of this book, I hope to be speaking live, doing webinars and maybe even launching a course over the next 12 to 18 months.
2) In fiction, I’ve got three goals. I’m going to expand a short that was in a 2021 anthology and put it out as a novella, or maybe a novel… the length is TBD.
3) Finish the holiday romance that I started in 2021 and release it for 2023 holidays.
4) This might be a bit of a stretch but going to see how this sorts out after the others. 2023 is the 10th anniversary of my first novel. It’s been out of print for a few years now and I want to brush it up and release an anniversary edition. This goal could roll into 2024–the novel started a trilogy so between 2023 and 2025 the three books will each celebrate. All three will get re-released, as 10th anniversay editions and I’d like to do them in fairly rapid release so anytime between 2023 and 2025 this could work. 🙂
To help make space for all this writing, production on the podcast is going to scale back from weekly to every-other-week.
Here’s to an awesome 2023 for us all!
Joanna Penn says
Good to hear, Jeff, and I know what you mean. I am also re-energized 🙂
Scaling back the podcast to give yourself space for other things sounds like a good plan, too.
Kat Farrow says
Happy New Year, Joanna!
My goals usually end up much bigger than I’m able to accomplish, so I’m trying to stay fairly narrow in focus:
Planning my first Kickstarter for my first book & releasing wide (and maybe direct) this year.
Creating an audio version for same book.
Starting work on the next book of that series.
Completing my high-fantasy novella/novel (we’ll see how long it ends up).
Finding new markets for some of my short stories.
Playing with Midjourney and ChatGPT
I’m also in recover from extreme burnout, so learning to balance productivity with a lot of downtime is an continuing goal, probably a lifetime goal.
Thanks for sharing your goals and I look forward to seeing you at Superstars.
Joanna Penn says
Thanks, Kat, and yes, definitely recover from your burnout before trying to achieve more!
In terms of Kickstarter, I’m already finding it a lot more work than expected, but perhaps because I have not ‘launched’ a book for years. I usually just publish and email and get on with the next one, lol!
See you at Superstars.
Elizabeth R says
I am usually full of plans on what the next year will be, but this New Year’s Eve snuck up on me! My “big” or new goal is to establish my author website, just to have it and make sure the domain is claimed, which will likely be a big job by itself! Oh, and getting an author photo, which I’ve been putting off… Have you done a show on author websites?
Joanna Penn says
Hi Elizabeth, An author website doesn’t have to be a big deal these days. It’s very easy to set one up.
I have some details here: https://www.thecreativepenn.com/website-email-help/
Luis Marin says
My goal is to learn English as well as possible to start the author journey.I am one of your Spanish fans from long time ago.
I already subscribed in Alli platform to learn more about self publishing .
Joanna Penn says
That’s great, Luis, although I also think the Spanish language market is starting to take off, so you could be early in that market, too.
S. J. Pajonas says
Happy New Year, Joanna! Thanks for sharing all of your goals each year. I always find them inspiring. I’m looking forward to hearing about your journeys for all of these goals. 🙂
My goals post is on my blog at https://www.spajonas.com/2023/01/01/2023-the-year-i-focus-on-progress-and-cultivate-self-belief/
I can’t wait to get started on all the writing!
Joanna Penn says
That looks like a big year ahead! All the best Steph!
Mwebe Morgan says
Thank you for inspiring new writers. Happy new year 2023. I’m listening to the 2023 podcast from this link https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2023/01/01/my-2023-creative-and-business-goals-with-joanna-penn/
I’m putting my website together this year.
Jenise Boland says
Washington DC at night is stunning aboard the hop on/ hop off bus. I know, I know, it sounds terribly uncool and touristy BUT visiting the monuments at night offers a completely different view, even if you have already seen them during the day. Plus, set aside at least two days for the 5 Smithsonian buildings.
Even MORE wonderful (at least for another tech optimist and history teacher) is the American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. Why? It as formerly the Old Patent Office. The architecture is gorgeous and there are often original miniature models on display of proposed inventions, what frequent visitor Walt Whitman described as ““fill’d with high and ponderous glass cases, crowded with models in miniature of every kind of utensil, machine or invention, it ever enter’d into the mind of man to conceive.”
As a Canadian, I wasn’t prepared to be as smitten with the American capital as I was during my first visit. I hope you have a wonderful time (and I look forward to hearing about all of your travels).
Thanks for all the inspiration, Joanna!
Joanna Penn says
Thanks for the tips! I have a list of places I want to visit, a hit list that won’t be too overwhelming — and also for my book research, so the Museum of the Bible is on my list. I know it wouldn’t be on everyones 🙂
Simon Willis says
Happy New Year
Thanks so much, Joanna! It’s inspiring, invigorating, and even sometimes thrilling sometimes to hear your plans every year.
And your leadership on AI legal issues for authors and publishers — ! We are so lucky to have you among us.
Wishing you a happy and successful New Year.
Joanna Penn says
Celina Grace says
I can’t keep up with you, Jo – it’s all amazing knowledge so thank you for sharing. I’ll do my best to keep up 🙂
Joanna Penn says
Thanks, Celina — and hope all is good with you and the boys!
Peter Hyson says
That’s an amazingly and inspirationally diverse list, Joanna! How exciting. My 2023 writing objectives are to launch launch my first 2 novels in the Cotswold Capers humorous cozy murder mystery series by Easter and Book 3 in the autumn, along with launching my website, newsletters and subscription club – all from a standing start! Plus maintain physical, mental and spiritual health from my lovely base in Tetbury.