Seth Godin is my hero. Whenever I need an example of a clean, authentic, punchy writing style, he's the one I turn to. When I'm talking about interesting new publishing models, he's my go-to guy.
It took me quite a while to work up the courage to invite him onto the show. While I still hadn't asked him, he hadn't said no, right?
Yet when I did finally find the nerve to send the invitation, inviting him to talk about blogging, books, and business, he replied within seconds. 'I'd be thrilled... Let's do it.'
I suspect I was thrilled-er, to be honest, but we did it, and here's the result. He's funny, inspiring, honest and just a little bit life-changing. This episode is a bit longer than usual because after I'd wound it up in the usual time and said, off-mic, 'Man, I really didn't want to end it there, I would have loved to have kept on talking,' he simply said, 'Well, I'm not going anywhere. Let's keep talking.'
So we did. You're welcome.
When Barbara Gray thought about pulling together the research she'd done over her years as a top-rated equity analyst into a book about the fundamental disruption within the fast-moving market, she asked some friends for advice on publishing.
'The publishing model is broken, Barb,' they told her. 'Sorry.'
She did have a chat with an agent, but realised that if she took that route the book wouldn't see the light of day until 2018, by which time it would be ludicrously out of date. So instead she took to the Reedsy publishing marketplace, found an editor, and is in the process of managing publication herself.
In this interview she talks about that process, and about how the shift from scarcity to abundance - the key theme of Ubernomics - has empowered authors and changed the dynamics between publishers, authors and readers.
Giles Colborn is an expert in creating beautiful user experiences, which means making things simple and putting the user first. Writing a book, he says, is no different:
'You have to have a number of things very clear in your mind. You have to understand, at a very deep level, what it is you want to say. You have to understand who your audience is, and you have to appreciate the way in which the writing is likely to land with them. The temptation as an author, or as a designer, is to try and pack everything in, to try and say everything you want to say, to try and put every feature you want into the product, and the difficult thing to wrap your head around, very often, is that the book is only half of the story... what really matters is what happens when it lands in somebody's hands, what happens in their head in response to it.'
In this episode, we discuss just how hard simple writing is, and why what you take out is just as important as what stays in.
Julia Pimsleur was angry. The statistics on women's business success - only 4% of venture capital goes to women-run businesses, and only 3% of all women entrepreneurs ever reach $1m in revenue - appalled her and she thought someone should do something about this. It was something of a shock to realise it was going to be her.
I said to my assistant at the time, "I really want to go out and get the word out that there's this problem that needs to be addressed. Can you please research, for me, how I can do more public speaking on this important issue?" He came back looking sheepish and said, "Um, you have to write a book." I was like, "What do you mean you have to write a book?" He said, "Yeah, no one is going to have you come speak if you don't have a book." I was like, "I don't have time to write a book, I'm not writing a book."
The book, Million Dollar Women, is linked to a powerful online business model that has grown out of it almost accidentally:
When you write a book, it's almost like having a baby. You have to then be open to all the life changes that come about with it.
Julia's passion is inspiring, and anyone, particularly any woman, struggling with that common feeling of 'not enough' needs to hear about how Julia overcame this in both her business and her book.