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Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts Hardcover – July 18, 2017
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A Financial Times Book of the Month Selection
The book may find a cult following on Madison Avenue the same way his work on stoic philosophy, "The Obstacle is the Way," did in the NFL.
--Steve Rubel in AdvertisingAge
“How to create lasting success in a world of flash-in-the-pan hits and how to extend the proverbial 15 minutes of fame to a decade or even a century.”
—The Financial Times
“The book every entrepreneur should read this year.”
—Jeff Haden, Inc.
“Every artist aspires to create timeless, lasting work and this book is astudy on what it takes to do just that. Ryan Holiday has written a brilliant, inspiring guide to ignoring the trends of the day to focus on what matters and what will lead to real impact. If you want to write, produce, or build something amazing, read this book.”
—JAMES FREY, bestselling author of A Million Little Pieces and Bright Shiny Morning
“As a showrunner or any kind of artist, you have to know when to stick to your guns and trust your gut, when and whom to ask for help, and how to define and lean into your brand. This book gets to the core of each of those elements in an attempt to help creatives be successful for along time.”
—DAVID ZUCKERMAN, television writer and cocreator of Family Guy, American Dad, and Wilfred
“My first book took five years for it to become a bestseller. It sells more now than it did ten years ago. You won’t find a better guide to create something that lasts than Perennial Seller! Ryan Holiday is one of the great marketing minds of our time!”
—JON GORDON, bestselling author of The Energy Bus
"Ideas are a dime a dozen, but those who put them into practice are priceless. [In Perennial Seller], Ryan shows you how to become one of “those” through his simple and cutthroat strategy for what it takes to be a successful creative in the modern world. This book couldn’t be more timely!”
—JAKE UDELL, founder of TH3RD BRAIN; manager of Grace VanderWaal, Gallant, ZHU, and Krewella
“In an era of disposable hot takes, Ryan’s writing blends thoughtful and thorough contrarianism with delicious anecdotes to back it up. Perennial Seller continues that tradition.”
—RICKY VAN VEEN, cofounder CollegeHumor and Vimeo, head of global creative strategy at Facebook
“I said this about Ryan Holiday’s last book, but I’ll say this now about this book. This is his best book. This will be a perennial seller. Everything in here is so true and it is a guide to creativity in the real world.”
—JAMES ALTUCHER, author of Choose Yourself
"Ryan Holiday is more than a marketing genius—he is an extraordinary thinker whose instincts deliver him deep into the human condition. I’ve been lucky to work with Ryan, and his goal is unwavering—to help creators make work that lasts. Perennial Seller is the perfect distillation of his ideas, and that rarest of gifts—a road map to success and an insight into life.”
—ROBERT KURSON, New York Times bestselling author of Shadow Divers
"Autodidact extraordinaire Ryan Holiday strips away the ridiculous obsession with contemporary bestsellerdom and gets to the heart and soul of individual genius, creating timeless classics that change people’s lives year after year after year. For those of us who wish to summon the courage and forgo instant validation in favor of deep and original creation, this book offers not just the Why, but the How. A must-read for creators of all persuasions.”
—SHAWN COYNE, cofounder of Black Irish Books, author of The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know
“Fashion, like most industries, is all about what’s popular right now, yet at the same time the best designers and creators aspire to make and sell things that will last more than just a single season. Holiday’s new book is the ultimate road map to making your work and your message stick.”
—AYA KANAI, chief fashion director for Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Redbook, and Woman’s Day
"At this moment, it’s easy to think of music as no more than ephemeral content. For this reason, it’s more important than ever to make work that stands the test of time. This book is a complete and current handbook for writing classics. Perennial Seller clears a path through the noise. If you are interested in creating work that stands the test of time, then Perennial Seller is a must-read.”
—JUSTIN BORETA, The Glitch Mob
“Every artist who wants to create a thriving career that outlasts fads, trends, and technologies needs to read this book. It’s a formula for becoming a classic and legendary.”
—MICHAEL RAPINO, CEO and president, Live Nation
About the Author
RYAN HOLIDAY is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying; The Obstacle Is the Way; Ego Is the Enemy; and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into twenty-eight languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as multiplatinum musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.
Top customer reviews
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Google offers this definition of perennial:
"lasting or existing for a long or apparently infinite time; enduring or continually recurring."
If you're looking for the fast buck, the quick fix...do not buy this book. You'll be sorely disappointed. If you want to create something that folks will be using, reading, enjoying… talking about many years down the road, then this book will not disappoint.
I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because the author mentions often how utterly difficult it is to create this kind of work. That it's extremely hard work and you must be willing to forego many things and toil long. (my paraphrasing)
I think this may be some of the author's professed stoicism coming through, but there are also quite a few perennial products out there that were created with dedication and hard work, yes, but the "you must be prepared for the hardest work of your life" and the concentration on how utterly hard it is — that I think the author could have scaled back.
Sometimes very creative people get exceptionally brilliant ideas that they are able to turn into truly lasting successes ... without brutally hard work. I know I run the risk of offering that up as a foil to the author's insistence of how hard this is and how hard it will be...but I thought it important to add this to the review.
Having said all that, I'm thinking this book may be odds on a perennial!
Holiday cites the sales patterns of books and other products with staying power and advocates editing, building a platform, and focusing on perfecting your craft.
While this book is partially a manifesto devoted to quality over quantity, it is also full of practical and actionable advice for authors, entrepreneurs, or makers of any kind. Well worth the price and the time to read.
1) Creating (and positioning and marketing and promoting) creative work that lasts is very hard…
2) But it is not impossible.
I also have the sinking suspicion that I now know how to start doing it—if I’m willing to put in the (immense) time and effort.
Using his characteristic approach combining deep research with rich personal experience, Ryan outlines every step of the process of bringing a meaningful project into the world and THEN doing the work to (maybe) make it last.
To some, his account may be discouraging because of how hard he makes it seem. He offers no shortcuts. There are no hacks and there are no tricks.
There is just the challenge to reach deep into oneself and produce the absolute best thing one can—and then to almost kill oneself in the attempt to deliver it to where it may be valued.
Sometimes I’d rather someone lie to me and tell me it will be easy. Then I go back to people like Ryan. Your reaction to this book will tell you how serious you really are.
I, for one, am still unsure. But at least I now know what serious looks like.
Maybe it was Holiday’s ability to reveal what marketing yourself as a creative could and should be, with an eye toward longevity instead of instant bestsellerdom.
Maybe it was the closing story about MxPx and the disclosure that _______ really does play a significant role in whether a book or other creative project becomes a perennial seller.
Maybe it was all of the above.
For those reasons, I’ll be following his advice.
And, as an editor and writer who’s worked with dozens of authors and will continue to do so, I will now be perennially recommending Perennial Seller to all my future clients.