Authormba: Conversations About Book Marketing, Publishing, Author Platforms, And Other Business Strategies For Authors



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 an MBA and treat their books like a business. AuthorMBA is precisely that, business school for authors.


  • How a Big-League CEO Is Launching An Author Career

    05/12/2014 Duración: 37min

    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, CO. For almost the last twenty years, she has been the most senior woman at every company she worked for. Jane has taken that vast business experience and distilled it into her book, Sleep Your Way to The Top: And Other Myths About Business Success. In our conversation, Jane opens up about why she choose to write a book now, how this book fits into the next phase of her career, and what she’s learned about the publishing business as a first-time author. After the show, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #authormba with your questions and comments. Enjoy!

  • Lessons in Building a Sustainable Book-Based Business

    21/11/2014 Duración: 36min

    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 forging a thriving, meaningful business as well as crafting a memorable, important book. In today’s chat, Samir and I talk about ideal reader identification, author platforms, marketing campaigns, funding models, expanded content funnels, and so much more. Get prepared to learn a lot. After the show, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #authormba with your questions and comments. Enjoy!

  • Inside the Mind of a Senior Editor at Penguin Random House

    14/11/2014 Duración: 43min

    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 traditional publishers remain relevant in the industry despite a lot of criticism. And we delve into a lot of topics related to how vibrant author platforms are built, including what types of books and author characteristics elevate the probability of success. I couldn’t be more pleased to share this episode with you. Have your pen read; you’re going to want to take notes. After the show, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #authormba with your questions and comments. Enjoy!

  • The Business Decision Behind a Choosing Fiction Over Non-Fiction

    07/11/2014 Duración: 48min

    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 knowledge into a fiction story—Uncommon Stock. Eliot's book is defining a new category within the fiction genre—something of a thriller situated in the land of startups. Eliot joins the show to talk about why he made the decision to contextualize his advice in the fiction form, and how he's developing his career as a fiction author. And if you listen until the end, you’ll hear Eliot turn the tables and ask me a profound question about the business model of books. After the show, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #authormba with your questions and comments. Enjoy!

  • Jeremiah Gardner on Work & Life After Raising $22,995 For His Book

    24/10/2014 Duración: 38min

    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 did he avoid near disaster when his campaign momentum plummeted four days in? What is he doing now with this book to continue the positive energy with readers and fans? You'll find out in this in-depth conversation with Jeremiah, who—true to form—isn't bashful about sharing very personal insights on how the book writing experienced affected him and his business. After the show, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #authormba with your questions and comments. Enjoy!

  • Can the Advice of a Chess Grandmaster Make You a Wiser Author?

    17/10/2014 Duración: 45min

    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 why he and co-author Susan Polgar (a genuine chess grandmaster) had to write this book, and what function it plays in their respective careers. Doug also shares how the wisdom of chess is also profoundly valuable to today’s authors seeking robust careers. Oh, and Doug is a big fan of Author MBA, which is awesome! After the show, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #authormba with your questions and comments. Enjoy!

  • The 'Magic Formula' for Book Success Isn't What You Think It Is

    10/10/2014 Duración: 50min

    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 experience somehow went against the gain. Tim Fargo proves that myth dead wrong. Tim is the author of the delight book, Alphabet Success. As Tim says, “to truly succeed you need to execute the basics.” In today’s conversation, Tim and I explore just how pernicious the ‘magic formula’ thinking is for enterprising authors—which, in part, influenced how he structured his book. Alternatively, Tim shares his insights on the types of behaviors and decisions that do increase the odds for success with a book or any entrepreneurial business. After the show, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #authormba with your questions and comments. Enjoy!

  • This Tech Author Breaks Down the ROI Numbers on Book Publishing

    23/09/2014 Duración: 54min

    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 business value of books. From testing book concepts before you even start writing the book to analyzing the "product-market" fit of a book idea for a particular niche, the numbers never lie. The business of books is largely a numbers game for all types of authors hoping to build a profitable and successful career. If you're a non-tech author, you have a great opportunity today to learn about the numbers-side of the business from Jason. And if you are a tech author, you'll enjoy learning from Jason's example—because he's doing very well publishing indeed. After the show, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #authormba with your questions and comments. Enjoy!

  • What a Venture Capitalist is Doing to Give Power Back to Authors

    05/09/2014 Duración: 31min

    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 Press is a modern publishing company that gives control to authors. They treat their authors as royalty, or in the business sense, as partners. What's so fascinating about Dane and his team is that they're all seasoned venture capitalists. If there's any group of folks that may have the inside edge of forging an alternative business model for publishing, it's the VCs. That's good news for them. It's good news for authors. And ultimately, it's good news for readers. To learn what Dane has discovered about the business of books and where he's leading his publishing business, plug into today's episode. It's a riveting, no holds barred conversation about what's working an

  • Terry Starbucker's Journey to Overcome Publishing Disappointment

    08/08/2014 Duración: 41min

    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. Alas, no traditional houses are biting at his proposal. In this intimate chat, Terry tells me about how his initial book concept took shape, how that shape dramatically changed over time, and why—for better and worse—that change altered the course of everything. In that light, Terry talks about his new publishing hopes, his love of the book he ended up with, and the increasing value of writing as a business skill. If you have ever faced adversity in your writing career—and especially if you're facing adversity now—today's episode will prove that you're not alone and that beautiful options are available to you. After the show, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #autho

  • Simplifilm Founders Pull Back the Curtain on Blockbuster Book Marketing

    25/07/2014 Duración: 43min

    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 episode, you'll learn all about the the state of book marketing at the highest levels as well as their insights into how the industry is evolving. We delve into a bunch of subjects, from the ROI of marketing campaigns to the appropriateness of certain types of marketing for certain kinds of books. It's a jam-packed show. After the show, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #authormba with your questions and comments. Enjoy!

  • C.C. Chapman On the Not Always Glamours Life as a Professional Author

    08/07/2014 Duración: 49min

    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 of 'what to do next' always remain. Chapman shares how he managed to grow his career to where it is today, and what is catching his eye about the business of books tomorrow. And together, we explore the interesting intersection of what brands can learn from authors, and what authors can learn from brands. Plug in and listen up because there's a lot to get through in today's episode! After the show, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #AuthorMBA with your questions and comments. Enjoy!

  • Jason (SurfrApp) Sadler on His Wild Book Promotion Model

    09/06/2014 Duración: 42min

    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 fame, has embraced that logic in a mind-blowing way: he has a sponsor for every page in his book as well as the covers (front and back) and inside flaps. That may sound off-putting (yuck, too many sponsors!). But Jason is a seasoned professional on nurturing and integrating sponsorship relationships into consumer product experiences that are tastefully done, align with the message, and add value to the overall experience. In fact, Jason's entire book project for 'Creativity that Sales' is a wild, show-me-the-proof way of teaching how to blend creativity with business in a way that doesn't suck for the consumer. Jason's project—and entire approach and personality—is far more than just these promotions. In our chat, we explore how he's using this one-of-a-kind bo

  • David Burkus Shares How He Broke Into the Author/Publishing Business

    30/05/2014 Duración: 42min

    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 Roberts University and is the author of 'The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas.' His work and personal story showcase the many artificial barriers that exist and obstruct us from developing the careers and businesses that we want for ourselves. In our chat, Burkus gets very personal and transparent about how he's overcome those struggles on his way to a blossoming author career with a highly anticipated second book already in the works. After the show, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #authormba with your questions and comments. Enjoy!

  • Jeremiah Gardner Teaches Lean Brand Development for Authors

    16/05/2014 Duración: 55min

    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 levels. Successful entrepreneur turned author Jeremiah Gardner is something of a Yoda about brand development. He joins the show today to share how his model for brand development—Lean Brand Development—is smarter and better tuned into the needs of today's entrepreneurial minded professionals, including authors. Oh, and Jeremiah's book campaign is going on RIGHT NOW! So, if you fancy an awesome business conversation with a savvy author who happens to be launching a book as we speak, then you're in the right place! And for more, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #AuthorMBA. Enjoy!

  • Richard Sheridan Discusses His Unexpected 'Book Effect'

    12/05/2014 Duración: 41min

    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, productive, and profitable work. Not surprisingly, perhaps, joy is also at the root of Richard's success with the book. From nearly making a fatal mistake in writing the wrong book to pursuing a not-often-fun traditional book deal, Richard was able to remain joyful throughout. His result: an unexpected 'book effect' that is carrying his business to new heights. Join us as we explore just how Richard has managed to infused joy so successfully into his business and creative life, and how you can do the same! And for more, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #AuthorMBA. Enjoy!

  • Ryan Holiday on Overcoming Adversity and Growth Hacking for Authors

    05/05/2014 Duración: 32min

    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 a powerful read about the stoic qualities needed to get unstuck in your career and life. As a voracious reader (including the classics), Ryan draws upon a great wealth of knowledge for his book. Ryan joins me in this episode to talk about how stoic qualities are wonderfully advantageous for writers, and how they can embrace some "growth hacking" techniques to support their projects. Ryan is one of the smartest guys I know and have had the pleasure to speak with. I think this episode will prove such. Consequently, I think you'll really like it. Enjoy! And for more, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #AuthorMBA. Enjoy!

  • Benny Lewis Explains Why Foreign Book Markets Are So Important

    25/04/2014 Duración: 35min

    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 his publishing process with HarperCollins—one of the big six traditional publishers—as well as how he's advancing his author career. Perhaps most fascinating are Benny's revelations about publishing books and become a successful author *outside* the United States. This chat is definitely one you don't want to miss as Benny is likely to blow your mind! And for more, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #AuthorMBA. Enjoy!

  • Shawn Murphy on Becoming an Author as a Businessman

    11/04/2014 Duración: 45min

    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 publishing a Snippet—a multimedia-based ebook. He's aligned himself with a book agent to seek a traditional book deal. And he's co-founded a growing community of likeminded business leaders at Shawn joins the show to talk about his observations as a first-time author pursuing the brighter career through books. If you're making this exciting evolution yourself, you'll really enjoy what Shawn has to say. And for more, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #AuthorMBA. Enjoy!

  • Joshua Fields Millburn on Building a Book Business from Scratch

    29/03/2014 Duración: 35min

    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 as well as published a number of popular books. Stretching his author entrepreneur wings further, he teamed up with Ryan Nicodemus and Colin Wright (last week's guest) to create Asymmetrical Press, a micro-publishing company. Any way you slice it, Joshua has proven himself a success business-minded author with MBA-like instincts. In this candid chat, Joshua reveals a lot about his transformation into a thriving author entrepreneur, and how you can follow in his footsteps. And for more, find us on Twitter @WinningEdits or #AuthorMBA. Enjoy!

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