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Perennial Seller

The Art of Making and Marketing Work That Lasts
Written by: Ryan Holiday
Narrated by: Ryan Holiday
Length: 7 hrs
4.5 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The book that Inc. says "every entrepreneur should read" and an FT Book of the Month selection...

How did the movie The Shawshank Redemption fail at the box office but go on to gross more than $100 million as a cult classic?  

How did The 48 Laws of Power miss the best-seller lists for more than a decade and still sell more than a million copies? 

How is Iron Maiden still filling stadiums worldwide without radio or TV exposure 40 years after the band was founded?  

Best-selling author and marketer Ryan Holiday calls such works and artists perennial sellers. How do they endure and thrive while most books, movies, songs, video games, and pieces of art disappear quickly after initial success? How can we create and market creative works that achieve longevity? 

Holiday explores this mystery by drawing on his extensive experience working with businesses and creators such as Google, American Apparel, and the author John Grisham as well as his interviews with the minds behind some of the greatest perennial sellers of our time. His fascinating examples include: 

  • Rick Rubin, producer for Adele, Jay-Z, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who teaches his artists to push past short-term thinking and root their work in long-term inspiration. 
  • Tim Ferriss, whose books have sold millions of copies, in part because he rigorously tests every element of his work to see what generates the strongest response. 
  • Seinfeld, which managed to capture both the essence of the '90s and timeless themes to become a modern classic. 
  • Harper Lee, who transformed a muddled manuscript into To Kill a Mockingbird with the help of the right editor and feedback. 
  • Winston Churchill, Stefan Zweig, and Lady Gaga, who each learned the essential tenets of building a platform of loyal, dedicated supporters. 

Holiday reveals that the key to success for many perennial sellers is that their creators don't distinguish between the making and the marketing. The product's purpose and audience are in the creator's mind from day one. By thinking holistically about the relationship between their audience and their work, creators of all kinds improve the chances that their offerings will stand the test of time. 

©2017 Ryan Holiday (P)2017 Penguin Audio

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This is something I wish I had from the beginning!

Truly comprehensive... the information in this book will set up even a novice with passion of how to succeed with creating and selling a product as well as building up a following... tremendously helpful with clearing up why businesses take time to build and gain momentum. Must read for artistic types... Wish this was recommended reading back in art school!

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  • Luke
  • 2017-10-29

Another Holiday marketing success, ironically .

Toward the end of the book I realized two things: there is little value to me in this book and the formula seemed extremely familiar. I looked up the author and saw other books of his I’ve listened to on audible. This book (even more than the others) irked me. Like the Obstacle is the Way and other interest peaking titles, this book is mostly one good idea (and not his own) that can be explained in one or two pages which has been fluffed up by literally hundreds of quotes and self aggrandizing anecdotes. This is a common formula in the nonfiction-self improvement genre, which makes finding an actual “masterpiece” in this genre very difficult. But the very success of his use of this formula is based on his skill at marketing and knowing his audience could not be more annoying hahaha. The audacity for this book to tell us the keys to creating a ‘perennial best seller’ are focusing on originality, quality, and timeless content, not just marketing tricks... when all his books are selling mostly as a result of the later and and none of the former! I hope these books result in motivation and empowerment in enough of its readers to warrant the high sales numbers (hopefully not pricing tricks as he outlined) and phony sounding reviews. Maybe if this is true it would offset the number of people that get duped into following the herd down another meaningless book of researched quotes and eye-rolling-ly obvious advice.
I appreciate the effort the research took and the success of his formula, but his books are good for people who have not read or intend to read the many truly good books and literature the from which the quotes and anecdotes are sourced.
The wisest use of this book might be to take down a list of the works and people it references and then read those and some good biographies instead.

46 of 49 people found this review helpful

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  • Jim
  • 2017-08-09

Ok, but...

Good concepts and good ideas, however the author goes off topic several times and brags about things he's done, or said to manipulate others which is less than stellar. Focus on purpose. It's not about you, it's about others!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-02-06

The Marketing: War of Art

This book beings the reader into the story, imagining yourself on a journey through the creative world, taking on challenges, persevering, and looking towards meaning and purpose, instead of quick rewards and immediate likeability. Choosing the long game, a life path of excruciating pain, extensive editing, and endless creative pursuits. All in service to exhausting the grand potential the individual has as their gift to the world. Will be overjoyed to share this with colleagues and friends to share Ryan's inspiring work, in hope's to share that same inspiration with others.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Spencer Perry
  • 2017-07-18

The Most Comprehensive Book on Making Things, Ever

Without a doubt, future-you will be grateful to present-you for buying, listening, and re-listening to this book.

Engaging the reader with concrete examples and stories for each claim and strategy, Ryan quickly covers every base you can currently imagine regarding how to create and present important work.

One of my favorite things about Ryan's writing is he doesn't just tell you what you want to hear, he tells you what you need to hear. His writing makes you want to be a better person, and he presents constructive and applicable ways to do the work this endeavor requires.

Whether you've read/listened to his work before, or you're coming into this world of media stunts, stoicism, and creativity for the first time, you'll certainly learn valuable lessons from this book, and enjoy every second of his fast-paced, story-rich presentation.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • C. Singer
  • Idyllwild, CA
  • 2017-07-28

Another Home Run

I didn't think this book was going to pertain to me because I am an Innkeeper of a little historic (perennial) lodge in the mountains of California. I gleaned many gems and even made a significant change to allocating advertising dollars. Thank you Ryan for writing such a useful & entertaining book. I have every one of yours and my favorite is The Obstacle Is the Way but this is a close 2nd. I am one of your "Iron Maiden" fans & I had never e en heard of them before your book. Thanks Ryan.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • HomeInspector
  • 2019-01-29

Always thought provoking

This is a book I'll need to read again and again. The stories and examples he gives on how to best create a long last "perennial" business were fantastic. You can tell Ryan loves to research!
Definitely recommended!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-09-15

Amazing.

Enjoyed it from start to finish. I have been able to take away a lot from this. Perspective changing to say the very least.

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  • South Florida MBA
  • Tampa
  • 2019-07-14

Another great Ryan Holiday book

I am always surpirsed at how well Ryan can write on a variety of different topics, great book on building ideas with lasting value

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  • Donna Partow
  • Florida
  • 2018-12-20

Terrific

As an author myself, I'm always interested in gaining new insights about the publishing industry. This book is excellent and the narration, by the author, is a delight to listen to. Highly-recommended

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  • Mike
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 2018-12-20

Good stuff. Face reality!

Not an artist here trying to get a masterpiece done that 2 generations from now will appreciate but a entrepreneur looking for an edge. A lot of info smacked me in the face like “build it and they will come” I have HOPED would happen. Bottom line stuff you probably don’t want to hear but need to ( unless you are my competitor!).