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AuthorMBA features one-on-one conversations with today's brightest authors who excel at the business of books. Conversations feature insights into successful business models, revenue streams, publishing strategies, marketing know-how, author platform dos and don'ts, content essentials, career decisions, and more. Writing a good book isn't enough. Selling a good book usually isn't enough either. To thrive in the new book economy, today's most successful authors think like an entrepreneur with ...
 
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show series
 
Joining me today is veteran CEO Jane Miller. Jane has a distinguished career as a President and CEO for major brands. She was Present of a $1 billion division of Frito-Lay at age 36. She was also the Present of Heinz in London. Most recently, Jane was the CEO and President of Rudi’s Organic Bakery, a private-equity backed company based in Boulder, …
 
The parallels between creating books and building businesses are strong and made stronger thanks to Samir Rath. Samir isn’t only a seasoned startup founder and angel investor—he’s also the author of No Startup Hipsters: Build Scalable Technology Companies. I was blown away by Samir’s pinpoint business thinking and how it applies in equal measure to…
 
Joining me today is none other than Niki Papadopoulos, senior editor at Penguin Random House. I’m so honored to have Niki on the show to talk about life inside one of the world’s largest publishers. We explore her work as a front-line member assessing and acquiring books for the Portfolio, Sentinel, and Current imprints. We chat about why tradition…
 
When a successful entrepreneur and startup advisor wants to distill his experience into a book to educate others, surely he is going to choose to write a non-fiction trade book, right? Not if your name is Eliot Peper. Instead of pursuing the conventional path toward yet another business book extolling advice, Eliot choose to contextualize his knowl…
 
Startup expert and author Jeremiah Gardner returns to talk about the aftermath of his success crowdfunding campaign for The Lean Brand. With over $23,000 raised directly through the campaign and via private investments, Jeremiah's book is on a trajectory toward success. What did he learn through his experience writing and crowdfunding his book? How…
 
Douglas Goldstein is the co-author of Rich as a King: How the Wisdom of Chess Can Make You a Grandmaster of Investing. Built around the application of strategic thinking and world-class decision-making, Doug’s book is a fantastic example of an interdisciplinary book positioned to create an impact on multiple levels. In our chat, Doug shares just wh…
 
If you’re an author entrepreneur or work in the business of books, then you’ve probably learned that there is no magic formula for success. A no-name author can become an breakout bestseller. And a best-selling author can publish a dud. Often times, we trick ourselves into thinking that there IS a formula for success, and that any failures we exper…
 
Jason Gilmore is an accomplished programmer who has been writing tech books for years. He's landed traditional book deals as well as published and sold books via self-publishing channels. And as a good programmer, he studies the data—all kinds of data. As Jason shares in this episode, there's a lot to know and calculate when it comes to the busines…
 
Although the publishing industry is ripe for innovation, figuring out how to tear down the old norms and build a thriving publishing startup company is tricky business. Lots of entrepreneurs have tried and failed at progressive publishing companies. But not Dane McDonald, the founder and CEO of a profitable publishing startup called FG Press. FG Pr…
 
How do you handle the emotions when your dream of being traditionally published doesn't come true? And what do you do with the manuscript you've worked on tirelessly? Terry Starbucker is confronting those questions right now. A successful businessman and blogger, Terry invested many years and thousands of dollars writing and re-writing his book. Al…
 
Chris Johnson and Jason Moore aren't authors, but they help some of the biggest authors launch their books with a BANG! From Seth Godin to Arianna Huffington to Ryan Holiday, Chris and Jason—and their company, Simpliflim—produce blockbuster media assets that are positioned to rocket book attention and sales into the stratosphere. In this lively epi…
 
C.C. Chapman has been working in the realm of content for a while now. He first seized the opportunity of emerging web 2.0 platforms to catapult his writing career, which has admittedly grown fast and done well. He now has a thriving consulting career and exciting new business prospects. But the journey hasn't always been glamorous. And questions o…
 
By today's standards, "build marketing into your book" has become common business advice for authors. There are, of course, a bajillion ways to go about doing that, some more effective than others. Jason Sadler, now Jason SurfrApp of IWearYourShirt.com fame, has embraced that logic in a mind-blowing way: he has a sponsor for every page in his book …
 
More and more professionals these days are changing not only jobs but entire careers. That said, going from a pharmaceutical sales professional to a professor of and author on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship is a big and difficult leap. That's precisely the career change that David Burkus successfully made. Burkus teaches at Oral Rober…
 
Brands don't only pertain to apparel companies like Nike, electronic manufacturers like Apple, tech companies like Twitter, or entertainment companies like Disney. For all the same marketplace positioning and economic advantage reasons, authors need to concentrate on developing magnetic and memorable brands too—both at their platform and book level…
 
Business can be stressful, especially as an entrepreneur, right? Of course it can, and often is. But for Richard Sheridan, his life as a software entrepreneur is amazingly joyful. In fact, joy is the secret to his company's tremendous success. In 'Joy, Inc.', Richard reveals how a workplace culture build upon joy enables the most positive, producti…
 
When big league authors like Tim Ferriss of 'The 4-Hour Workweek' fame need help with their book projects, they call Ryan Holiday. Ryan is particularly gifted at marketing, or "growth hacking" as has become the rage. And Ryan's an accomplished writer in his own right. His latest book, 'The Obstacle is the Way: Turning Adversity into Advantage', is …
 
Benny Lewis is a first-time author, but you wouldn't know it from the resounding success of his first book, Fluent In 3 Months. The book became an international bestseller almost instantly thanks in part to his established and enthusiastic fan base, which happens to be a global audience. Benny joins the show to reveal some intimate details about hi…
 
Shawn Murphy is devoted to the idea of infusing greater joy and responsibility into the modern workplace. He is turning to the world of books and publishing to expand the reach of his work. Along the way, he's learning a lot about what it's like to evolve from pure businessman to author entrepreneur. He's experimented with seeding his ideas by publ…
 
Joshua Fields Millburn quit his comfortable corporate job in his thirties to pursue what he truly loved—writing books. In the few years since Joshua excited the corporate business world to work for himself in the book business world, he's developed an impressive readership and author platform at TheMinimalists.com as well as published a number of p…
 
Colin Wright is a successful author and entrepreneur whose worldly travels inform and inspire his creative projects. Experienced in both creative non-fiction and fiction writing as well as the business-side of books, Colin continues to push the envelope on what authors can achieve when they marry strong writing skills with savvy business skills. Hi…
 
Bob Burg is back to talk about what author entrepreneurs can learn from his new book, Adversaries into Allies: Win People Over Without Manipulation or Coercion. Persuasion is at the heart of this book, which all authors and businesspeople need to study and practice if they are to have fulfilling and successful careers. Selling books takes persuasio…
 
Mignon Fogarty—better known as Grammar Girl—is diversifying her career and business with a new crowdfunding project, Peeve Wars. Peeve Wars is a fun grammar card game that is a beautiful real-world extension of her brand and business. It is also one of the few types of projects that she can run on her own due to her Grammar Girl licensing agreement…
 
Paul Jarvis is well known for his phenomenal design career. He's also become known for his personable, passionate, and sharp writing. From several popular books to his weekend newsletter reads, Paul pursues writing, publishing, and selling books and content as a grand adventure! From crowdfunding books, to designing books, to treating books as prod…
 
Michael Hyatt literally wrote the book on how to build platforms that attract readers, delight fans, and accelerate careers and businesses. His bookPlatform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World is a New York Times Best-Seller that's crammed with invaluable information for the early stage author entrepreneur looking to build their platform, or for the mid-…
 
Charlie Hoehn has been at the center of some of the most amazing and successful book projects of the modern era, including both the 4-Hour Bodyand 4-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss, I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi, The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau, and more. He knows book marketing inside and out as well as what the a-list, best-selling aut…
 
Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover have written the definitive book about how to craft a habit-forming product. The book—Hooked: A Guide to Building Habit-Forming Products—has rocketed to success in just its first five weeks of availability, catching the attention and admiration of many thought leaders in their industry. What's fascinating about Nir's and Ry…
 
Chris Ducker is a seasoned entrepreneur who has developed an authority online for building and leading virtual teams. To propel his author career forward, he's written Virtual Freedom—a book describing the mindset, systems, and tactics entrepreneurs and creative professionals need to know when augmenting their own personal work capacity with virtua…
 
Scott Bales is an accomplished technology thought leader specializing in mobile commerce, user experience, and direct-to-consumer campaigns. He's bringing his expertise to bear with an impressive book project, Mobile Ready, which is entirely financed via crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is a tricky world to navigate, especially for authors, and even more…
 
Derek Sivers is one of the most imaginative and emphatic entrepreneurs you'll ever meet. He's enjoyed great business and book success due to these qualities, which he is now applying to his new publishing venture, Woodegg. Derek epitomizes the persona of an author entrepreneur as he's used his writings and books to not only teach the next generatio…
 
Josh Kaufman may be the smartest business-minded author alive today. His first two books—Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours—have been enormous successes, and not only at launch but over time. His track record for consistent and persistent book sales along with a growing reputation as a systems and skill "hacker" make him among the brightest minds …
 
Sean Platt is the co-author of several engrossing fiction series including Yesterday's Gone, The Beam, and Z 2134. More than just a fiction writer, however, Sean is a savvy publishing professional who has figured out a lot about how Amazon works, the art and science of serialized books, and what it takes to sell bundles of books. With co-author Joh…
 
This is a special edition of the AuthorMBA podcast made possible by Yi Shun Lai of the Whidbey Master of Fine Arts program at the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts. Today, I’m honored to welcome a panel of three exceptionally brilliant professionals to join in a fun conversation about the future of publishing, writing careers, and what happens a…
 
Pam Slim's remarkable career as a writer, author, speaker, and business coach emerged from a successful enterprise career. What she soon discovered—and shares in her new book, Body of Work—is that single projects or books aren't enough to build a thriving, sustainable career. The modern author, replete with many creative influences and entrepreneur…
 
Jason Fried is one of my favorite authors and entrepreneurs. Not only is he the NYT best-selling author of REWORK—my all-time fave business book—but he's also the founder of 37signals, one of the coolest and most influential startup companies on the planet. Suffice to say, Jason knows a ton about writing popular books that support really imaginativ…
 
Dan Pink—NYT best-selling author and one of my heroes—joins me to talk about the business imperatives that face today's authors. Dan starts by sharing why he left is promising political career as a speech writer to pursue a career in books as well as what his business priorities were at that time. Dan explains how to select a subject for a commerci…
 
CJ Lyons is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 20 novels. She writes fictional “thrillers with heart,” which her fans love to the tune of 100,000+ copies sold every month! CJ joins AuthorMBA to share lessons learned from various publishing relationships—traditional and non—how the business-side of fiction works, and what career …
 
As editor-in-chief of 99U, Jocelyn K. Glei specializes in collaborating with top-tier writers on amazing work. From this vantage point, she leads the creative effort to develop 99U's successful new book series, which already contains two popular books. Jocelyn joins the show to share how the team positions these books within their larger business p…
 
Bob Mayer—a NYT best-selling author and micro-publisher—discusses the forces at play in publishing today such as building your own team, keeping your rights, profiting from audio books, and more. Bob also talks about how he's bootstrapping his micro-publishing startup—Cool Gus Publishing—from the incredible revenue generated from his backlist of po…
 
Clive Thompson knows a lot about how technology is impacting the way we think, write, publish books, and grow audiences. An accomplished journalist and avid learner, Clive joins the show to discuss how new technologies are making us smarter and better equipped to create and share compelling books. He also reveals how his own thinking has evolved ab…
 
Cal Newport believes that the most successful authors, businesspeople, or craftsman in any industry prioritize skill acquisition and development over pursuing blind passion. He's right. An esteemed associate professor and brilliant writer himself, Cal opens up about what it really takes to build and refine a smart author business through such uncon…
 
Tim Grahl works with some of today's most successful authors including Dan Pink, Charles Duhigg, and Hugh Howey. From his vantage point, Tim has learned how these authors engineer their author platforms, engage their audiences, and plan their businesses for current results and sustained growth. Enjoy this look behind the curtain on how influential …
 
Bob Burg is one of the smartest and most thoughtful authors about building successful careers. Bob's emphasis is on delivering value to others and establishing relationships of trust. His best-selling book The Go-Giver teaches these lessons in delightful parable form. And Bob lives what he teaches; his career is thriving and fulfilling. With bedroc…
 
Few in the self-publishing world are as experienced, wise, and respected as Joanna Penn. Although Joanna's books are primarily fiction thrillers, she shares oodles of advice about book marketing, self-publishing, audience building, editing, and more with her non-fiction work under her The Creative Penn brand. Speaking with Joanna is always a deligh…
 
Todd Henry is the beloved creator of the Accidental Creative brand complete with his smash-hit podcast of the same name. I was honored to have Todd on the show to not only discuss his new book Die Empty and how he planned his launch but also to share the better business decisions he's made as he's grown his Accidental Creative brand into a profitab…
 
Jeff Goins' popularity began with is blog and has grown into two published books and an active social media following. Now on the speaking circuit and involved in other book-related ventures, Jeff shares insights into how he's running and growing his business as an author entrepreneur. We weave in and out of the business value of traditional book d…
 
Mignon Fogarty is the creator of Grammar Girl, a much loved brand that includes an acclaimed podcast, podcast network, multiple popular books, huge social media following, and—most recently—a breakthrough iPad app called Grammar Pop. In this revealing chat with Mignon, you'll learn how she manages her business including where she makes the majority…
 
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