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Perennial Seller Review

Summary 

Perennial seller cover
Perennial Seller

“Art is the kind of marathon where you cross the finish line and instead of getting a medal placed around your neck, the volunteers roughly grab you by the shoulders and walk you over to the starting line of another marathon.” – Ryan Holiday

Don’t discount moderate success

Your ideas aren’t always going to be great. You’ll have bad ones – but even they could lead to amazing ideas. The trick is to always be alert to them and test them out. Write a blog post before a book, have a conversation before writing an article. Don’t overcommit too early

”You don’t have to be a genius to make genius—you just have to have small moments of brilliance and edit out the boring stuff.” – Anne Lamott

Whether you’re starting a business or writing a book, don’t spend your time only thinking about the content or features. Think about what your product is doing to other people. Your work should always have a purpose. Either entertain, or inform, or motivate, or delight. Decide what the function of your work should be – and that will save you a lot of time.

“You should only be a writer, if you can’t not be a writer.” – Orwell

Find Your Niche, Find Your Balance

Be specific with who your target audience is. Don’t use ambiguous descriptions that aren’t practical. Here’s a good test to use: If you can’t think of a location – online or offline – where your potential customers are hanging out, then you don’t have a specific enough idea of who your target audience is.

Evaluation

  • I Will Read This Book Again: 1.5/2
  • This Book Taught me Something New: 2/3
  • Reading Experience (Style, Length, Flow): 3/5

Rating: 6.5/10

Perennial Seller suffers from too much repetition. You can get away with that when you’re unraveling a deep, complicated thesis. In which case, slowly revealing examples and anecdotes to help you build your argument, piece by piece helps the reader. But Holiday doesn’t really have a central thesis. It’s just a book of scattered advice with examples to back up his points. But the examples were too numerous, and often not deep enough. The author’s style was energetic and fun, but lacked brevity, depth, and concision.  

On the plus side, reading this book will make you a more serious marketeer. Most creators get stuck in a narcissistic fantasy of never wanting to sell out, but the cold truth is that you will always be oblivious if you don’t promote yourself ferociously. Holiday makes this point well throughout the book, and it’s a lesson worth remembering. It’s not enough to be talented, and it’s not enough to work hard. You need luck, and sometimes, when you pay enough attention to how you’re going to market your work, you redirect some of that luck your way. But don’t be fooled by the title, this book is not a perennial seller, and it will not teach you to write one either. It’s an okay marketing book, though.

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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