AuthorMBA: Conversations About Book Marketing, Publishing, Author Platforms, and Other Business Strategies for Authors






September 2013
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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 at the intersection of creative/literary skills and business/publishing skills. Joining me are Jane Friedman, Christina Katz, and Wayne Ude. This episode will leave you tingling with ideas to advance your author career.

Direct download: 15_The_Future_of_Publishing_Panel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:39pm EDT

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 entrepreneurial aspirations—needs to concentrate on building a complete, holistic body of work. Pam joins the show to share how she did that with her author career, and how you can do it too.

Direct download: 14_Pam_Slim_Describes_the_Importance_of_a_Body_of_Work.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

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 imaginative businesses. And with his new book, REMOTE, Jason takes the argument for compelling and slightly controversial books even further. I hope you have as much fun listening to this episode as I did recording it.

Direct download: 13_Jason_Fried_Discusses_the_Role_of_Books_in_Businesses.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:16pm EDT

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 commercially-viable book that is also fulfilling to research and write. And he'll give candid accounts of what it's like to be a best-selling author experimenting with new training programs and other business models. Sound awesome enough? Enjoy!

Direct download: 12_Dan_Pink_Talks_Business_Imperatives_for_Modern_Authors.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:24pm EDT

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 expectations new authors should have as they start out.

Direct download: 11_CJ_Lyons_Shares_How_to_Make_Publishing_Relationships_Work.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:15pm EDT

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 plan, what she learned working with Amazon Publishing, and how best-selling authors make their own luck for their careers.

Direct download: 10_Jocelyn_K._Glei_Reveals_How_to_Craft_Successful_Multi-Author_Books.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:08pm EDT

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 popular scifi series like Area 51. Oh, and Bob's a former Green Beret, so he's not messing around with the advice he gives. Listen up!

Direct download: 09_Bob_Mayer_Breaks_Down_the_Mechanics_of_Next-Gen_Publishing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:48am EDT

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 about the pros/cons of technology in our professional lives, along with a few dangers to be cognizant of as we adopt new innovations.

Direct download: 08_Clive_Thompson_Discusses_Technology_in_Publishing_and_Books.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:29pm EDT

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 unconventional paradigms as the "craftsmanship mindset" and "the adjacent possible," the very insights he's applied to write beloved books that have sold over collectively over 100,000 copies.

Direct download: 07_Cal_Newport_Offers_a_Smarter_Way_to_Develop_Your_Skills.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:29pm EDT

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 author businesses are built and run.

Direct download: 06_Tim_Grahl_Shares_How_Authors_Become_Best-Sellers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:08pm EDT

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 bedrocks in giving and goodwill, Bob shares what it takes to writing a popular book that sells itself.

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 delight and opportunity to learn something new about the business of books.

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 profitable author business. Todd is someone I greatly look up to, as I'm sure you will as well after hearing his insights.

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 deals, storytelling skills, community building, revenue stream diversification, networking with other authors, and more. You'll walk away from this show buzzing with ideas.

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 of her income these days, why writing books isn't her immediate focus anymore, and why all authors should seriously consider building software products like apps. In addition, you'll discover how she uses social media to grow her author platform by keeping her readers and fans actively engaged. Hosted by Matt Gartland, Founder of Winning Edits.