AuthorMBA Podcast

Conversations About the Business of Books

“What a fine and generous idea for a podcast.” — Seth Godin

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 must-haves, content essentials, career decisions, and more.

To thrive in the new book economy, today’s most successful authors think like an entrepreneur and treat their books like a business. AuthorMBA is precisely that: business school for authors.

Get the RSS FeedSubscribe in iTunes

authormba podcast


  • jane miller knows

    Jane Miller

    Episode 47

    Sleep Your Way to the Top


    Jane Miller shares perspective on when, how, and why to write an authoritative book.

  • samir rath no startup hipsters

    Samir Rath

    Episode 46

    No Startup Hipsters


    Entrepreneur Samir Rath shares how startup business best practices apply to book-based business models.

  • penguin random house

    Niki Papadopoulos

    Episode 45

    Penguin Random House


    Niki Papadopoulos, senior editor at Penguin Random House, shares keen insights on the business of books.

  • eliot peper uncommon stock

    Eliot Peper

    Episode 44

    Uncommon Stock


    Eliot Peper shares how he approached his fiction book with the business sense of an entrepreneur.

  • jeremiah gardner

    Jeremiah Gardner

    Episode 43

    The Lean Brand


    Jeremiah Gardner returns to share how his work and life is changing after raising $22,995 for his book.

  • rich as a king douglas goldstein

    Douglas Goldstein

    Episode 42

    Rich As A King


    Discover how chess grandmaster-level strategic thinking can help you sell books and grow your career.

  • timothy tim fargo alphabet success

    Timothy Fargo

    Episode 41

    Alphabet Success


    Timothy Fargo deconstructs the sensible business logic behind his successful book.

  • jason gilmore easy active record

    Jason Gilmore

    Episode 40

    Easy Active Record for Rails Devs


    Jason Gilmore, a tech entrepreneur and author, breaks down the ROI numbers on book publishing.

  • dane mcdonald fg press

    Dane McDonald

    Episode 39

    FG Press


    Dane McDonald is a proven venture capitalist bent on bringing fairness (and profits) back to authors.

  • terry starbucker

    Terry Starbucker

    Episode 38

    More Human


    Terry Starbucker on overcoming publishing disappointment and finding new avenues for your manuscript.

  • book trailers simplifilm


    Episode 37

    Book Trailers: The Inside Story


    Chris Johnson and Jason Moore discuss the efficacy of book trailers and why they’re more than a trend.

  • c.c. chapman

    C.C. Chapman

    Episode 36

    Content Rules


    C.C. Chapman describes how he launched a writing career that bloomed into successful books.

  • jason surfrapp sadler

    Jason (SurfrApp) Sadler

    Episode 35

    Creativity for Sale


    Jason (SurfrApp) Sadler discusses the advantages of book sponsors and wild revenue models.

  • david burkus

    David Burkus

    Episode 34

    The Myths of Creativity


    David Burkus debunks conventional myths about becoming an author and developing a writing career.

  • jeremiah gardner

    Jeremiah Gardner

    Episode 33

    The Lean Brand


    Jeremiah Gardner walks us through how authors should be developing their platform and book brands.

  • richard sheridan joy inc

    Richard Sheridan

    Episode 32

    Joy, Inc.


    Richard Sheridan explains how his ‘book effect’ is growing his software business and fueling his work.

  • ryan holiday growth hacking

    Ryan Holiday

    Episode 31

    The Obstacle Is the Way


    Ryan Holiday deconstructs what it takes for authors to overcome writing obstacles and career adversity.

  • benny lewis fluent in 3 months

    Benny Lewis

    Episode 30

    Fluent in 3 Months


    Benny Lewis reveals the great business opportunities that exist in foreign book markets.

  • shawn murphy creating joy at work

    Shawn Murphy

    Episode 29

    Creating Joy at Work


    Shawn Murphy shares his real-time observations as a first-time author in pursuit of a book deal.

  • Joshua Fields Millburn the minimalists

    Joshua Fields Millburn

    Episode 28

    Everything That Remains


    Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus relive how they built fulfilling writing careers from scratch.

  • colin wright exile lifestyle

    Colin Wright

    Episode 27



    Colin Wright opens up about his publishing successes and failures, and what you should learn from them.

  • bob burg go giver

    Bob Burg

    Episode 26

    Adversaries into Allies


    Best-selling author Bob Burg returns to share business lessons from his new book launch.

  • mignon fogarty grammar girl

    Mignon Fogarty

    Episode 25

    Peeve Wars


    Mignon Fogarty returns to share how she’s using crowdfunding and content licensing in her business.

  • paul jarvis everything i know

    Paul Jarvis

    Episode 24

    Everything I Know


    Paul Jarvis talks about paying your dues, selling direct, and how to ‘write and sell your damn book’.

  • michael hyatt platform

    Michael Hyatt

    Episode 23



    Michael Hyatt shares the strategies and tactics he used to build a massive author platform.

  • charlie hoehn play it away

    Charlie Hoehn

    Episode 22

    Play It Away


    Charlie Hoehn delves into the mechanics of writing, publishing, and marketing a popular book.

  • hooked Nir Eyal Ryan Hoover

    Nir Eyal and Ryan Hoover

    Episode 021



    Nir and Ryan translate the science of building habit-forming products to crafting irresistible books.

  • chris ducker virtual freedom

    Chris Ducker

    Episode 020

    Virtual Freedom


    Chris reveals how he’s using his first book to catapult his speaking career and grow a new business.

  • scott bales mobile ready

    Scott Bales

    Episode 019

    Mobile Ready


    Scott talks about his crowdfunding publishing process and how books can accelerate global careers.

  • derek sivers woodegg

    Derek Sivers

    Episode 018



    Derek Sivers shares insights about how to grow a business with words and produce books at scale.

  • josh kaufman personal mba first 20 hours

    Josh Kaufman

    Episode 017

    The First 20 Hours


    Josh Kaufman opens up about rapid skill acquisition for authors, including valuable programming skills.

  • sean platt yesterdays gone

    Sean Platt

    Episode 016

    Write. Publish. Repeat.


    Sean Platt demystifies self-publishing strategies and reveals the science of his book marketing funnels.

  • whidbey independent MFA program jane friedman

    Whidbey MFA Panel

    Episode 015

    The Future of Publishing


    A lively panel of industry experts—Jane Friedman, Christina Katz, Wayne Ude—discuss Publishing 3.0.

  • pam slim body of work

    Pam Slim

    Episode 014

    Body of Work


    Pam Slim describes how writers can unify their content into a body of work that propels a successful career.

  • jason fried remote rework

    Jason Fried

    Episode 013

    Remote and Rework


    Jason Fried discusses his writing process and why books are important to his software business.

  • dan pink drive to sell is human

    Dan Pink

    Episode 012

    To Sell Is Human


    Dan Pink breaks down the essential elements of crafting a book that sells itself, and how his business works.

  • cj lyons broken

    CJ Lyons

    Episode 011



    CJ Lyons explains how she built a NYT best-selling author career from her work as a pediatric ER doctor.

  • jocelyn k glei 99U

    Jocelyn K. Glei

    Episode 010

    Maximize Your Potential


    Jocelyn K. Glei talks about creating multi-contributor books that complement a larger business plan.

  • bob mayer self-publishing

    Bob Mayer

    Episode 009



    Bob Mayer talks about the business opportunities and responsibilities befalling today’s fiction writers.

  • clive thompson smarter than you think

    Clive Thompson

    Episode 008

    Smarter Than You Think


    Clive Thompson discusses the role of technology in publishing, writing, and the future of the book business.

  • cal newport

    Cal Newport

    Episode 007

    So Good They Can’t Ignore You


    Cal Newport describes the mindset, traits, and behaviors that help authors develop superior business skills.

  • tim grahl

    Tim Grahl

    Episode 006

    Your First 1,000 Copies


    Tim Grahl shares behind-the-scenes insights into how best-selling authors develop their audiences and careers.

  • bob burg go giver

    Bob Burg

    Episode 005

    The Go-Giver


    Best-selling author Bob Burg shares his experience about selling skills and growing business based on value.

  • joanna penn creative penn

    Joanna Penn

    Episode 004

    How to Market a Book


    Joanna Penn shares her book marketing strategies, sources of income, and publishing insights.

  • todd henry accidental creative

    Todd Henry

    Episode 003

    Die Empty & Accidental Creative


    Todd Henry talks Die Empty book launch and reveals how his Accidental Creative business works.

  • jeff goins

    Jeff Goins

    Episode 002

    The In-Between


    Where Jeff Goins makes his money and how he manages his author platform and community of readers.

  • mignon fogarty grammar girl

    Mignon Fogarty

    Episode 001

    Grammar Girl & Grammar Pop


    How Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty grows her business with popular books and software games.