SPS 067: The Most Interesting Man In Book Publishing… 25 Books Published, Prolific & Polarizing Writing, And What Kanye Taught Me About Book Marketing with James Altucher

Posted on Aug 19, 2020


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Joining me today James Altucher, author of Future Self, and host of the James Altucher Show podcast. A prolific and unique writer that blends analytical and creative talent into his book creation. A former hedge fund manager and computer science major, James has the ability to write humorous content with an analytical angle.

He has published two-thirds of his books by self-publishing, with his first two or three books experiments in self-publishing. He currently has three or four books that he is considering publishing. “I always think of what I call ‘professional self-publishing,’ which is that I want to do the same things that Harper-Collins will do, except I’ll do it and with the idea that I’ll hire a professional.” He distinguishes this process against “casual self-publishing” when an author writes a book without a professional team and publishes on Amazon.

“On one hand, a book is an event, and events affect every part of your life.” He has enjoyed writing since 1990 and published his first book in 2004. “I’ve enjoyed writing articles, but books are often a way to really take a consistent message and write it into a book.”

He believes that you should ask yourself, “What do you love doing? What do you need to do? and how can you combine the two elements?” James says a key to this process is that your heart and your mind should be talking. “Success comes on the other side of all these people who tell you that you can’t do it.”

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His next book Skip the Line, is an extension of Choose Yourself. In all of his books, he is transparent and upfront with his feelings. “When you’re vulnerable, people do care about you because they can see that you’ve been through it also. Like when we fail, we’ve all failed at something, that is just real.”

Listen in to find out how James decides whether to self-publish or traditionally publish his next book, why controlling the marketing is critical, and what sparked James’s shift to move from financial to self-help books. Learn the top three aspects of book marketing James uses to sell his books!

Show Notes

  • [02:08] James talks about the roots of his analytical background. 
  • [05:12] When you should publish, and when you shouldn’t publish.
  • [07:27] How James publishes a large amount of books. 
  • [14:05] Books and how they fit into James’ business goals. 
  • [16:41] What sparked the shift on writing financial to self-help books.
  • [20:14] James talks about developing his writing skill and how it became a format to write his stories.
  • [23:05] Why Choose Yourself resonated with so many readers and is selling so well.
  • [27:55] The process for enhancing your writing to the next level.
  • [31:45] Better writing equates to better headlines.
  • [34:15] Why vulnerability is very important.
  • [36:25] James talks about how good writing comes from self-awareness.
  • [39:29] Top book marketing practices.
  • [47:23] Chandler’s recommendation for book marketing.
  • [52:31] What different for James in the writing process of his last book.
  • [54:12] To create a good book, you have to be a good writer.
  • [56:03] Have a unique opinion when you author a book.
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