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Iterate And Optimize: Optimize Your Creative Business for Profit (The Smarter Artist Book 3)

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The top-to-bottom guide to taking your writing and publishing business from “Square One” to “Stratosphere.” Iterate and Optimize is a behind-the-scenes peek into how indie publishing company Sterling & Stone grew their three-author team into a juggernaut — and a next-level guide for authors looking to explode their sales and do the same. In Write. Publish. Repeat., bests The top-to-bottom guide to taking your writing and publishing business from “Square One” to “Stratosphere.” Iterate and Optimize is a behind-the-scenes peek into how indie publishing company Sterling & Stone grew their three-author team into a juggernaut — and a next-level guide for authors looking to explode their sales and do the same. In Write. Publish. Repeat., bestselling authors Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and David Wright explained how to build a thriving international publishing empire with no luck required. Rather than resting on their laurels in the years since WPR was written, they’ve been evolving their once-fledgling business a little bit at a time: expanding to eight publishing imprints, ten high-profile podcasts, a coordinated staff working behind the scenes, millions of words published and hundreds of thousands of books in the hands of eager readers. In Iterate and Optimize, they show you how they grew their business from the ground up in tiny, incremental steps — and give you a road map so that you can do it, too. More than “just another self-publishing guide,” this book delves deep into the business behind the success of Platt, Truant, and Wright’s company Sterling & Stone, making it the essential “advanced course” follow up to Write. Publish. Repeat. It explains how to tweak your processes over time while maintaining momentum, wringing more profit out of assets you already have. You’ll learn how to diversify and create more products with less work, generate more money doing what you already do now, and set yourself up so you can build a readership who will support you in the specific ways you intend to evolve. You’ll learn how to grow from a bare-bones, minimum-viable-product business into a slightly larger business or an outright empire — not with massive, flashy (and risky) moves, but by the sustainable magic of incremental growth: small improvements made consistently over time. In this book, Platt, Truant, and Wright give you all the nitty-gritty they’ve learned and implemented since their last nonfiction publishing bestseller. You’ll learn how to “iterate and optimize” the way you handle: • Exclusive versus “going wide” distribution • International and multi-format sales • Advertising and marketing • Optimizing book covers, descriptions, and metadata to increase conversion • Slowly and sustainable building your assistants or contractors, plus outsourcing right • Advanced product funnels, including the changed role of free books • Networking and in-person meet-ups • Workflow management and systems • The writing and pre-writing process so you can “write better faster” • Social media • Podcasting • Crowdfunding - what works and what doesn’t • And much more! This book isn’t for the faint of heart! It’s only for serious “authorpreneurs” who’ve read and internalized the lessons of its predecessor Write. Publish. Repeat. and are ready to kick their businesses up a notch. In Iterate and Optimize, the authors hold nothing back … giving you a true insider’s look at all the details that make Sterling & Stone run. There has never been a “gold rush” or “magic button,” despite the flood of online marketers who want to convince you otherwise.


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The top-to-bottom guide to taking your writing and publishing business from “Square One” to “Stratosphere.” Iterate and Optimize is a behind-the-scenes peek into how indie publishing company Sterling & Stone grew their three-author team into a juggernaut — and a next-level guide for authors looking to explode their sales and do the same. In Write. Publish. Repeat., bests The top-to-bottom guide to taking your writing and publishing business from “Square One” to “Stratosphere.” Iterate and Optimize is a behind-the-scenes peek into how indie publishing company Sterling & Stone grew their three-author team into a juggernaut — and a next-level guide for authors looking to explode their sales and do the same. In Write. Publish. Repeat., bestselling authors Johnny B. Truant, Sean Platt, and David Wright explained how to build a thriving international publishing empire with no luck required. Rather than resting on their laurels in the years since WPR was written, they’ve been evolving their once-fledgling business a little bit at a time: expanding to eight publishing imprints, ten high-profile podcasts, a coordinated staff working behind the scenes, millions of words published and hundreds of thousands of books in the hands of eager readers. In Iterate and Optimize, they show you how they grew their business from the ground up in tiny, incremental steps — and give you a road map so that you can do it, too. More than “just another self-publishing guide,” this book delves deep into the business behind the success of Platt, Truant, and Wright’s company Sterling & Stone, making it the essential “advanced course” follow up to Write. Publish. Repeat. It explains how to tweak your processes over time while maintaining momentum, wringing more profit out of assets you already have. You’ll learn how to diversify and create more products with less work, generate more money doing what you already do now, and set yourself up so you can build a readership who will support you in the specific ways you intend to evolve. You’ll learn how to grow from a bare-bones, minimum-viable-product business into a slightly larger business or an outright empire — not with massive, flashy (and risky) moves, but by the sustainable magic of incremental growth: small improvements made consistently over time. In this book, Platt, Truant, and Wright give you all the nitty-gritty they’ve learned and implemented since their last nonfiction publishing bestseller. You’ll learn how to “iterate and optimize” the way you handle: • Exclusive versus “going wide” distribution • International and multi-format sales • Advertising and marketing • Optimizing book covers, descriptions, and metadata to increase conversion • Slowly and sustainable building your assistants or contractors, plus outsourcing right • Advanced product funnels, including the changed role of free books • Networking and in-person meet-ups • Workflow management and systems • The writing and pre-writing process so you can “write better faster” • Social media • Podcasting • Crowdfunding - what works and what doesn’t • And much more! This book isn’t for the faint of heart! It’s only for serious “authorpreneurs” who’ve read and internalized the lessons of its predecessor Write. Publish. Repeat. and are ready to kick their businesses up a notch. In Iterate and Optimize, the authors hold nothing back … giving you a true insider’s look at all the details that make Sterling & Stone run. There has never been a “gold rush” or “magic button,” despite the flood of online marketers who want to convince you otherwise.

30 review for Iterate And Optimize: Optimize Your Creative Business for Profit (The Smarter Artist Book 3)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Assimilate and Scrutinize! Talk about over-delivering! Sheesh, the boys have been busy with this one. I'll admit, I was hungry for I and O. I pre-ordered it and was counting down the days till its release and, as soon as it was available (12:01 am this morning), I download it and started tearing through the pages. Not sure what I was expecting, well, that's not true, I was expecting A LOT! And what I got was pretty f'n amazing! I think it's fair to say you should read "Write. Publish. Repeat." befo Assimilate and Scrutinize! Talk about over-delivering! Sheesh, the boys have been busy with this one. I'll admit, I was hungry for I and O. I pre-ordered it and was counting down the days till its release and, as soon as it was available (12:01 am this morning), I download it and started tearing through the pages. Not sure what I was expecting, well, that's not true, I was expecting A LOT! And what I got was pretty f'n amazing! I think it's fair to say you should read "Write. Publish. Repeat." before this one, but I won't tell you what to do. There are 4 sections to I and O: Part 1 is about you and what you've got to offer. There are some great exercises here that I skipped right over because I was in a reading frenzy, but I'm heading back and will do the work, honest! Part 2 is all about Sterling and Stone, what they I and O'd, why they did it, and what they learned. I absolutely LOVED this section! Lots of behind the scenes stuff. You get to meet the entire team, even the man with no title, Garrett... Lol. Anyway, there's some great stuff on their writing process as well as a deep dive into everything from product funnels, social media, dealing with criticism, and so much more. This section was the most fun for me as a fan. Part 3 is pure awesome! It's all about how you, and I, can start to I and O right now! The cool part is that they go into detail on how to I and O your entire creative process, I'll be reading this section over and over again. Part 4 is a collection of success stories. I'll be honest, I haven't read this section yet as I've already listened to the I and O podcast with the live interviews of the same folks. Still, great group of writers. Anyway, that's all from me. I absolutely LOVED Iterate and Optimize!!! My only complaint is that I lost almost an entire night's sleep, bastards! A must read for SPP fans, and for any writer on the path.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kate M. Colby

    A no-nonsense, direct, and often humorous detailing of what the SPP guys have done to grow their business and how other indie authors and creative entrepreneurs can apply the same practices to their own businesses. Packed with too much information to absorb it all 100% in the first sitting. This is definitely one to keep close by and reference by topic later. Once again, well done, guys.

  3. 4 out of 5

    sparklingunicorn

    Man, I really hate leaving a one-star review, especially when I gave Write. Publish. Repeat. (WPR) 5 stars. WPR was literally the book I based my entire business model on, so I waited for Iterate and Optimize for weeks and bought it the moment I had an opportunity to do so. What a disappointment. I really think the guys released this book way too early. If they had waited another year to see the results of their most recent projects, the information reaped from this book could've been drastically Man, I really hate leaving a one-star review, especially when I gave Write. Publish. Repeat. (WPR) 5 stars. WPR was literally the book I based my entire business model on, so I waited for Iterate and Optimize for weeks and bought it the moment I had an opportunity to do so. What a disappointment. I really think the guys released this book way too early. If they had waited another year to see the results of their most recent projects, the information reaped from this book could've been drastically more helpful. As a result, most of the experiments the boys did with Sterling and Stone aren't finished yet, so we constantly have Johnny saying, "We can't wait to see how this turns out." Guys, if I don't know the results of your experiments, I have no way to tell if it's worth trying out for myself. Why would you even let me know about it if you can't tell me how it went? The reason why I liked WPR so much is because it gave me actual steps that I could take and quantify on my own. It listed the experiences of Johnny, Sean and Dave, and then gave examples and strategies on how I could use those tools to grow my own business. In Iterate and Optimize, I just seemed like the guys were patting themselves on the back for what they'd accomplished. "Look at our app! Look at our new book! Look at our podcast! Look at our crowdfunding success story!" I felt like I was being marketed to the entire time. The whole book reads like one big infomercial. It totally bummed me out. I kept reading and reading, hoping to stumble upon some gem of information that would give me ideas to grow my business, but it never got there. The guys like to ramble, which wasn't an issue for me in WPR because each part of it had some sort of info relevant to my life, but in Iterate and Optimize it got out of control. I've only been in the indie publishing business for two years, so it really hasn't been that long, but some of the tips they presented in the book any indie author off the street could tell you. Examples: - Bookbub is a magic tool that will spike your sales (if you can get in) and Facebook Ads can work miracles IF you figure out how to use them correctly, which any monkey with a typewriter could tell you. - Hire a personal assistant to do all the stuff you don't have time for (seriously, a huge portion of the book talked about their staff, particularly Amy. If you're still a small-scale author like most of us out there pinching pennies to get by the thought of even hiring a PA makes you imagine yourself as Donald J. Trump). I was looking forward to the advertising portion of this book the most, as I've hit a wall with sales and really need to grow my brand. Unfortunately Iterate and Optimize didn't give me any new ideas that I didn't have before I started reading. The boys stated at the beginning that they had to trim the book down so it was a book for WRITERS and not general entrepreneurs, but honestly I feel like they did the complete opposite. By the time you get to the end you have all these business people talking about how they're developing apps and are putting on conventions and selling fitness programs. One of them even had 30 people on staff to meet the goal of becoming a billion dollar company in the next ten years and whatnot. To people like me, that's huge, and it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. My goal as an author is to write good fiction and have a sustainable income from just my books alone. I don't need to develop seminars or web programs. With the crappy changes in the Kindle Unlimited program recently I was hoping the guys would have figured out a way that indie authors can still make money, but all they've really told me is in order to survive you have to do everything BUT base your business off books. I was more than happy to pay the $5.99 price point, but now that I've completed the book it feels like a slap in the mouth. It deserves a 3 star at a $2.99 price point, at best. It just sucks so badly because when I reached the end I felt like I'd been lied to and I was bombarded with all these extra links to their other stuff. Before I bought this book I would've willingly paid for anything these guys put out. Now I'm not so sure if I want to pay for another advertisement for Sterling & Stone.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Willcocks

    This book spoke to me in volumes. As a self-published, indie author myself, I have been following these guys for a couple of months or so, and cannot praise them enough for the work they’re dedicating to help other writers who wish to publish without the barriers of publishing agents and publishers. Iterate and Optimize is a fantastic insight into the heads of three indie authors who have been there, and admit that, although they have not yet ‘made it’ in the conventional sense, they’re doing what This book spoke to me in volumes. As a self-published, indie author myself, I have been following these guys for a couple of months or so, and cannot praise them enough for the work they’re dedicating to help other writers who wish to publish without the barriers of publishing agents and publishers. Iterate and Optimize is a fantastic insight into the heads of three indie authors who have been there, and admit that, although they have not yet ‘made it’ in the conventional sense, they’re doing what they love for a living. It is not only an inspiring insight into how you can make tracks as an indie author in today’s age, but also a reflection on what has and hasn’t worked for themselves, and how it might benefit others in the same position. My favourite part of the book is how they often reinforce that, although it worked for them, and they’ve found their methods, they’re not saying that everything here is gospel. They’re merely things that worked for them, and they’re sharing that with an audience who are looking to try similar things. The only part I didn’t feel really fitted (though I understand why it’s there), was the interviews at the end. Even in the way they’re written they feel like clips from their Self-Publishing Podcast, which I already listen to a lot. For me, I feel I’d rather just listen to those clips than read them, but I can see their purpose for those that may be unfamiliar with SPP. For me, this was inspiring, motivating, and certainly a fair amount of help. I’m already looking at rejigging my own profiles and book collections based on their advice as it just makes sense. This book is a must for anyone who truly is interested in the world of indie publishing and would like to see an overview on how three guys certainly did it. Rock on, guys.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jay Grind

    This book was pretty good, but I didn't feel like it provided much advice not already in Write. Publish. Repeat. I feel like a lot of it was presented more along the lines of, "This is what has changed for us since we published Write. Publish. Repeat." and could have been summed up better in a new version of WPR as an additional chapter or revision. That being said, I'm a huge fan of everything Sterling & Stone does and this was a fun read. I just wish this book had a few more actionable items o This book was pretty good, but I didn't feel like it provided much advice not already in Write. Publish. Repeat. I feel like a lot of it was presented more along the lines of, "This is what has changed for us since we published Write. Publish. Repeat." and could have been summed up better in a new version of WPR as an additional chapter or revision. That being said, I'm a huge fan of everything Sterling & Stone does and this was a fun read. I just wish this book had a few more actionable items on improving my writing process, but maybe I've already implemented most of it due to all of the awesome and free content Sterling & Stone provides to the self-publishing community. As I read through the book, I found myself nodding and saying, "Yep, I do that." or "Yep, that was in Write. Publish. Repeat." The interviews at the end were fun to read, though there were quite a few erroneous sentences (to be fair, these seemed to be transcripts and they could have been literally transcribed with duplicate words and all.) I should also mention that I've followed people like James Clear and Tim Ferriss for years, and they've already pounded the value of iterative improvement and marginal gains into my head. I've also read The Compound Effect which was another great book about iterative improvement. So it very well could be that this book is intended for writers that haven't been exposed to the topic of iterative improvement as often as I have.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Emma Sea

    4.5 stars, rounding up for the authors telling me at the beginning exactly what the book would cover, and who it would be useful for, and who it would not be useful for, and telling me to return the book for refund if it was clear it wouldn't be for me. I appreciate my time not being wasted, as it is with so many productivity and small business books. Yes, it was useful, not only in a big picture way, but also in an immediate implementation way. 4.5 stars, rounding up for the authors telling me at the beginning exactly what the book would cover, and who it would be useful for, and who it would not be useful for, and telling me to return the book for refund if it was clear it wouldn't be for me. I appreciate my time not being wasted, as it is with so many productivity and small business books. Yes, it was useful, not only in a big picture way, but also in an immediate implementation way.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jean Oram

    A lot of it was what these guys are doing with their business, improving and expanding. It reminds me that at some point I'm going to digger deeper into adding more people to my team. It also was reassuring to be reminded that this should be a slow, thoughtful constant process--improving systems, etc. A lot of it was what these guys are doing with their business, improving and expanding. It reminds me that at some point I'm going to digger deeper into adding more people to my team. It also was reassuring to be reminded that this should be a slow, thoughtful constant process--improving systems, etc.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Z.R. Southcombe

    A useful & thorough 'companion' book to the Self Publishing Podcast. A useful & thorough 'companion' book to the Self Publishing Podcast.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Linda Fausnet

    Like Have a Coach in the Ring With You With a Squeeze Bottle of Water I listened to the audiobook version of this book with the always delightful Simon Whistler. This book is a must-read for anyone who is serious about writing as a business. It's straightforward, honest advice without being overwhelming, which is no easy feat. I love the authors' attitude of - "this is what works for us. It may not work for you." I read and listen to all kinds of self-publishing gurus, and if it's one thing I ca Like Have a Coach in the Ring With You With a Squeeze Bottle of Water I listened to the audiobook version of this book with the always delightful Simon Whistler. This book is a must-read for anyone who is serious about writing as a business. It's straightforward, honest advice without being overwhelming, which is no easy feat. I love the authors' attitude of - "this is what works for us. It may not work for you." I read and listen to all kinds of self-publishing gurus, and if it's one thing I can't stand it's experts who claim their way is the only path to success. One-size-fits-all advice never works because everybody has different goals. I also love the way the authors refuse to tolerate whiners who complain that the writing business is impossible, and I love the way they are not afraid to admit when they've totally screwed up from time to time. I also love the idea of being a Smarter Artist and not a starving one.

  10. 4 out of 5

    August

    I'm writing this review before I read the fourth part (the interview-appendix), but I imagine I'll take away a similar amount of goodness from those too. Definitely a solid addition to the Smarter Artist series. I'm looking forward to reading the book about 1+1=3 (in terms of writers) because I feel like that actually might be a more applicable "third" book in this series - because I'm not sure you can really benefit from all of the advice in this book if you aren't already working closely with o I'm writing this review before I read the fourth part (the interview-appendix), but I imagine I'll take away a similar amount of goodness from those too. Definitely a solid addition to the Smarter Artist series. I'm looking forward to reading the book about 1+1=3 (in terms of writers) because I feel like that actually might be a more applicable "third" book in this series - because I'm not sure you can really benefit from all of the advice in this book if you aren't already working closely with other creatives. That said, tons of takeaways, especially because I am in their true target audience!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Harris

    I finished WPR earlier this year and had received a copy of I&O when Sean and Johnny came to talk at a Write It Already event during NaNoWriMo. This book is a little further along in the process than where I'm at, currently, though I found a lot of the podcasting info useful (plus it sent me along to listen to some of their podcasts from Sterling&Stone FM). They're very upfront about what they do and how they did it, but if you're not going for a broad spectrum business approach they're probably I finished WPR earlier this year and had received a copy of I&O when Sean and Johnny came to talk at a Write It Already event during NaNoWriMo. This book is a little further along in the process than where I'm at, currently, though I found a lot of the podcasting info useful (plus it sent me along to listen to some of their podcasts from Sterling&Stone FM). They're very upfront about what they do and how they did it, but if you're not going for a broad spectrum business approach they're probably not the guys for you.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Ellwood

    This book is chock full of excellent ideas and stratagems for taking your writing business to the next level. Its a book which teaches you how to take what you have and start making small, systematic changes that improve your processes and enhance your productivity. I've already made some tweaks to my writing business and started to see immediate results. If you want to make money with your writing and still enjoy doing it, this is a must read guide that will help you create and enhance your wri This book is chock full of excellent ideas and stratagems for taking your writing business to the next level. Its a book which teaches you how to take what you have and start making small, systematic changes that improve your processes and enhance your productivity. I've already made some tweaks to my writing business and started to see immediate results. If you want to make money with your writing and still enjoy doing it, this is a must read guide that will help you create and enhance your writing business.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Spencer Borup

    Platt and Truant (and Wright) are brilliant. This book is so full of gold I'll be sifting it for years to come. If you are building a business in any artistic endeavor, read this (or listen to it, since it's narrated by an awesome British dude) and then read it again. And if you are an author, whether traditionally or self-published, read WRITE.PUBLISH.REPEAT. first and then read this, then repeat. Platt and Truant (and Wright) are brilliant. This book is so full of gold I'll be sifting it for years to come. If you are building a business in any artistic endeavor, read this (or listen to it, since it's narrated by an awesome British dude) and then read it again. And if you are an author, whether traditionally or self-published, read WRITE.PUBLISH.REPEAT. first and then read this, then repeat.

  14. 4 out of 5

    R.K. King

    A very technical look on how to narrow down, "iterate and optimize" your author platform. I am in the process of doing a lot of what was suggested here, so I appreciated it. I can see ways that some authors may not take to what they are preaching here, though. Overall, a useful way to look at your 'brand' on the whole. Join the RK King readers' list for an exclusive FREE short story, plus inside info, musings, promos and more: RK King Writes A very technical look on how to narrow down, "iterate and optimize" your author platform. I am in the process of doing a lot of what was suggested here, so I appreciated it. I can see ways that some authors may not take to what they are preaching here, though. Overall, a useful way to look at your 'brand' on the whole. Join the RK King readers' list for an exclusive FREE short story, plus inside info, musings, promos and more: RK King Writes

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    The first time I tried reading this was a year ago, but I wasn't far enough in my author career for it to resonate with me. Now, it makes more sense, and I can see how it would be applicable to certain areas of my writing life. The first time I tried reading this was a year ago, but I wasn't far enough in my author career for it to resonate with me. Now, it makes more sense, and I can see how it would be applicable to certain areas of my writing life.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ryan J.

    Great book on writing, publishing, and putting on your business hat. My only critique is the length. Could’ve been shorter and more concise. But great advice and helpful application for many disciplines.

  17. 5 out of 5

    satendrapalsingh

    Very actionable and honest advice Befitting finale to the "Authorpreneur Trilogy" (as I like to call it, starting with Write.Publish.Repeat and continuing with The Fiction Formula). Loads of actionable items here for any writer truly wanting to make a living with their work. Very actionable and honest advice Befitting finale to the "Authorpreneur Trilogy" (as I like to call it, starting with Write.Publish.Repeat and continuing with The Fiction Formula). Loads of actionable items here for any writer truly wanting to make a living with their work.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Third in series appropriate finale This series finally gave me faith I could fulfill the dream I've had my whole life. Thanks Sterling and Stone. Third in series appropriate finale This series finally gave me faith I could fulfill the dream I've had my whole life. Thanks Sterling and Stone.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Boo Walker

    Excellent!

  20. 5 out of 5

    A.M.

    I have followed the Sterling & Stone boys for a while now. I took time off from reading this to watch their bootcamp video course, I watch their Self publishing podcast, and I also listen to their podcast - the smarter artist on i-tunes. Maybe I’m overdoing it? Like everything in life, and Amazon, things change. So a lot of the sections about marketing, making your first book free or not etcetera may be outdated as soon as they are written. That’s the nature of the beast. There is also a large se I have followed the Sterling & Stone boys for a while now. I took time off from reading this to watch their bootcamp video course, I watch their Self publishing podcast, and I also listen to their podcast - the smarter artist on i-tunes. Maybe I’m overdoing it? Like everything in life, and Amazon, things change. So a lot of the sections about marketing, making your first book free or not etcetera may be outdated as soon as they are written. That’s the nature of the beast. There is also a large section at the back of the text from some of the interviews they have done with people in the industry. We put a call to action showing Contact’s book cover and a link to get it free on the first page of the book. (If you use Scrivener, put this item inside main binder before the story begins, NOT in a “front matter” folder. On most devices, front matter is skipped when a reader first opens the book.) Oh now… that’s good to know. I’ve noticed before that all my Kindle books start at page 1 of the story, not at the cover or the call to action (cta). They do a whole chapter on Facebook advertising. Also, probably subject to daily change. Actually I think that IS the comment on FB ads; what works today may not work tomorrow. Their Smart artist Summit was, I think, a roaring success. So many people I know of in the indie realm attended. Some from oceans away. The Internet has democratized much of the art world. Indies can publish on their own, without middlemen. We hear the cries of “There are no more gatekeepers!” plenty. But this isn’t true. The middlemen are gone, but there are more gatekeepers than ever: readers, viewers, listeners, and potential buyers. Get things in this chapter right, and those gatekeepers — people with the power to decide whether your art sells, how well it’s rated, and what the public at large thinks of you and your creations — move firmly onto your side. They stop being readers and turn into fans. (Kindle Locations 3018-3022). The boys have reached that stage where their very popularity makes it harder for them. If they reply personally to every email, they don’t have time to write a book. They are learning to delegate, and to find people to do the management stuff. In indie publishing, you do everything yourself. For example: you find a mistake in your book, fix it, then make sure you have fixed it, re-upload the new version, check that it works (and that you haven’t broken something else in the process) and then do it all over again for the other versions and websites and so on. It’s an enormous undertaking, it’s boring and it’s time wasting. Pay someone to do it for you. Fire yourself. They have some ideas on reviews and critics. Critics are not haters. I know I’ve written one star GR reviews for books that I didn’t like that plenty of others did. You see it all the time. Sometimes the very thing that I hated is what another five star reviewer loved. A solid hater might come up once every thousand readers, in our highly unscientific estimation. If that were an immutable statistic (one in a thousand), wouldn’t it make you want as many haters as possible? We would. We’d be like, “Holy shit; I’m up to one hundred haters! That means I have A HUNDRED THOUSAND READERS!” (Kindle Locations 3260-3262) Now that’s the way to think about it. They have also learned that sometimes the critics are right. The guys rail against systems, but they work. So they use them. They might pay someone else to do it for them. And to run their brand properly, they are the writers, the idea sources. Don’t waste your finite amount of time on other stuff. Or, as you’ve often seen it put: the best kind of marketing is writing the next book. The third part is about you (the reader). They know that if you’re reading this book then you aren’t at the same stage that they are. Of course. This section’s lesson is to create more stuff, but that means two things: actually finishing up and shipping off what you have rather than weaseling out of it from fear, and making your time more efficient. The goal isn’t to publish ten thousand words per day or week or month or year. The goal is to publish more this year than you did last year. It’s all relative. Don’t ever compare yourself to someone else. Only compare yourself to you. (Kindle Locations 3891-3894). Exactly. And if all you can do is write one good book a decade, or a year. Do that. Don’t feel you have to publish a bad book every ninety days. Like everything else in the indie world, you’re responsible for quality control as well. Don’t you forget it. 4 stars

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Bard

    I’m a huge fan of these authors, and the other books in their Smarter Artist imprint, as well as their podcasts, and I fit right into their audience category of 'entrepreneurially minded authors'. The book contains the detail on how they implemented changes to their writing and publishing to increase their success. It won’t necessarily all be relevant to every author (yet), but it’s incredibly inspiring to hear the breadth and depth of their activities, as well as what has and hasn’t worked for I’m a huge fan of these authors, and the other books in their Smarter Artist imprint, as well as their podcasts, and I fit right into their audience category of 'entrepreneurially minded authors'. The book contains the detail on how they implemented changes to their writing and publishing to increase their success. It won’t necessarily all be relevant to every author (yet), but it’s incredibly inspiring to hear the breadth and depth of their activities, as well as what has and hasn’t worked for them, as they are as honest and open about their mistakes and misses as they are about their successes. To give you a taste, I love their ‘rules’: “Persistence is more important than perfection. If at first you don’t succeed, it doesn’t matter as long as you always try, try again; Small improvements, made consistently, add up; You cannot fail unless you quit. What most people call failures are merely unsuccessful experiments. Failures are bumps on the road as long as your story remains a work in progress; You can always do better with what you already have - and often, it’s much smarter to find ways to do so than to invest time and money trying something entirely new as your next one sure thing; And most importantly, being good doesn’t matter nearly as much as being slightly better than yesterday.” One note is that I’d recommend starting with "Write. Publish. Repeat." which is their previous book in this area and contains material which is more suited to beginners in the field, and is still a book I read through every now and then as different tactics, just like in this book, are going to resonate at different times.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Craig Jr.

    This is a good book for authors who are looking for ideas to take their writing business to the next level. You have to know a bit about these guys going in. They ramble, and they ramble a lot. If you're looking for a straight to the point approach, you won't find it here. You'll need to highlight sections you need. But they tell the story of how they grew as a company, and how it works for them. That doesn't mean it will work for all of us. Some of us want to be involved in a team, others want This is a good book for authors who are looking for ideas to take their writing business to the next level. You have to know a bit about these guys going in. They ramble, and they ramble a lot. If you're looking for a straight to the point approach, you won't find it here. You'll need to highlight sections you need. But they tell the story of how they grew as a company, and how it works for them. That doesn't mean it will work for all of us. Some of us want to be involved in a team, others want to write and have a few contractors take care of things, but we don't look for the intimate business these guys use. I would love to have a strong connected team of writers myself, but finding those people is usually the hardest part. The best part about this book is at the end, the interview section. There, you discover how other people have created their business in writing, and how vastly different it is than how these guys do it. There is no one way, and so you can take things from how they did it, and read the interviews, and take things from how others have successfully built a business with writing. Do you want to take your writing business to the next level? You should probably give this a read, there are plenty of great ideas on how you can do that.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laura Martone

    For the most part, I found this book as helpful, entertaining, and enlightening as the first one - Write. Publish. Repeat. Admittedly, though, I wasn't a fan of the case studies in the back of the book - don't get me wrong, I did learn from the experiences of those other writers, but I often found the transcripts a little confusing. I just wish there were an explanatory bio before each interview - it would have made the exchange between each interview and the SPP boys a little less confusing. In For the most part, I found this book as helpful, entertaining, and enlightening as the first one - Write. Publish. Repeat. Admittedly, though, I wasn't a fan of the case studies in the back of the book - don't get me wrong, I did learn from the experiences of those other writers, but I often found the transcripts a little confusing. I just wish there were an explanatory bio before each interview - it would have made the exchange between each interview and the SPP boys a little less confusing. In other words, it felt as though the interviews were meant for those who were already familiar with all of the interviewees - when just a little bit of background info would've guided those of us not familiar with everyone.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Steven Barrie

    I can feel the Smarter in my Artist already This is the third Smarter Artist book I've read, and it delivers just as well as WRITE. PUBLISH. REPEAT. and FICTION UNBOXED. The thing that Sean, Johnny, and Dave do really well is lay bare the processes they follow. They don't try to generalize too much, so the book becomes a huge case study in how creative content creation and business can coexist. And that's a good thing because I've got enough creative stubbornness in me that I don't want someone t I can feel the Smarter in my Artist already This is the third Smarter Artist book I've read, and it delivers just as well as WRITE. PUBLISH. REPEAT. and FICTION UNBOXED. The thing that Sean, Johnny, and Dave do really well is lay bare the processes they follow. They don't try to generalize too much, so the book becomes a huge case study in how creative content creation and business can coexist. And that's a good thing because I've got enough creative stubbornness in me that I don't want someone to tell me literally what to do. Obviously I'm a genius artist who can forge my own way. Well, maybe not genius, but Sean, Johnny, and Dave got me a bit Smarter about it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jessie Kwak

    Good advice, no matter where you are on the journey I've been listening to the Self Publishing Podcast for a while now, and this book was a good summary and behind the scenes look at how the guys run their business. A lot of the advice is beyond my current situation, but the central message--keep working and experimenting to see what works best--is one I can take to heart. And, of course, I'll be keeping this around to refer to as my business grows. Good advice, no matter where you are on the journey I've been listening to the Self Publishing Podcast for a while now, and this book was a good summary and behind the scenes look at how the guys run their business. A lot of the advice is beyond my current situation, but the central message--keep working and experimenting to see what works best--is one I can take to heart. And, of course, I'll be keeping this around to refer to as my business grows.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Myk Pilgrim

    I have got far more form this second reading than my first - not because the book isn't useful, rather because I was at a very different stage of my writing career. So a lot of the advice felt like putting the cart before the horse. Now though, it's a completely different story. Great book, thanks gents. I have got far more form this second reading than my first - not because the book isn't useful, rather because I was at a very different stage of my writing career. So a lot of the advice felt like putting the cart before the horse. Now though, it's a completely different story. Great book, thanks gents.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Doug Solter

    Good book for indie-author entrepreneurs A good companion book for Write, Publish, Repeat. Digs deeper into expanding your indie business in general. Can apply to fiction or non-fiction authors.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Heather Myers

    Great read As usual, the trio has done it again. Using personal experience, the SPP guys draw out an extensive book about how to level your business with a specification co-authors (but most creative's can still gain tons of helpful info for the book). Great read! Great read As usual, the trio has done it again. Using personal experience, the SPP guys draw out an extensive book about how to level your business with a specification co-authors (but most creative's can still gain tons of helpful info for the book). Great read!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Harper Bliss

    Awesome inspiration for indies!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Yesenia Vargas

    Good resource Great insights into how Sterling and Stone works. Lots of good nuggets on how to iterate and optimize your self-publishing business.

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