Meanwhile, YouTubers use it to great effect

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James Patterson’s business model has made him the second richest author in the world. Only J.K. Rowling tops him. But while Rowling depends on a single franchise to carry her, Patterson continues making hit after hit. Of the two, Patterson is the model that novelists can more reliably duplicate, to some degree.

How much does James Patterson make? A whopping $90,000,000 a year! His business model should set the standard for novelists, and YouTubers are proving that it’s effective, but few would ever consider it.

The benefits of James Patterson’s business model

1. Being awesome by association

The first thing a YouTuber does once they’ve reached a worthwhile subscriber level is message…


Not by following conventional wisdom

Commissioned from Conrad Javier — Rights owned by Author

Every author’s dream is for their first book to be a breakout bestseller. Unfortunately, that happened to me.

It’s unfortunate because if I had produced ten more just like it, I might be rich today. But when you have a bestseller, you compare everything else you make to it. If it’s your first book, that can cripple you, as it did me.

How did that book become a bestseller?

Before we get into what I did, let’s talk about what I didn’t do.

I did not:

  • Spend money on advertising
  • Have 10,000 followers on social media to spam it to

Retro Rewind

A Star Wars story

Art by FanFare. Original Image: Lucasfilm
Retro Rewind is a weekly series that reconsiders pre-2000 pop culture. More here.

Almost everybody grew up with Star Wars in some fashion. Whether it was Luke, Anakin, or Rey, you watched someone lost in a galaxy far, far away learn the ways of the Jedi and struggle with the temptations of the Dark Side of the Force.

Well, I didn’t. Not really. Not right away. I was seventeen before I gave Star Wars a definite shot. It’s not that Star Wars didn’t exist when I was a youngling. The original trilogy ended the year after I was born. …

Everything before prepared you for your real life.

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When you’re a teenager, the idea of turning thirty before getting married is the scariest thing imaginable. And when you’re in your twenties and thirties, you feel like your life will be over at forty.

I have found the opposite to be true.

As someone who just turned thirty-nine, I feel like I haven’t even begun to live yet. Looking back, there is so much I’ve done, but it all pales in comparison to what I’m about to do.

Life Before Forty

The first two decades of your life are the years you grow up. Some of it is extremely basic, like learning…


Don’t overthink the easy things

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Newsletters are one of those necessary evils for modern business. They’re also a bit confusing.

Entrepreneur coaches say that you need one, yet the ones you’re subscribed to sit unopened in your inbox for a week until you delete it because the next installment already came out — no point in reading old material. You’ll catch up on the next one, which, of course, you never do.

If you don’t open newsletters you're interested in, why should you have one? I think a better question is: what’s so special about the newsletters you do open?


Identifying who you should be selling to

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When I began blogging, I was told to write to a specific person in my life, as that would resonate with more readers. Stephen King calls this person his “ideal reader.” In business school, they called it your “target demographic,” which has been changed in recent years to be “target audience” — I’m not sure why, maybe for broader appeal.

They all mean pretty much the same thing, but there are many techniques for finding them. Here are a few that I’ve tried:

  • Data-mining other people’s audiences: looking at the followers, frequent commenters, etc., …


Use daily visions to finally get what you want

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Like me, you followed the usual advice and created a vision board, didn’t you? You thought it would help keep you on track, keep you motivated, but you still wasted too much time on video games, social media, and Netflix binging.

This was me for almost a decade, but no longer. I’ve figured out how to use vision boards, or rather how having a clear and relevant vision can be effective in achieving your goals. I’ve tested this. It works. Let me show you how.

You need a vision for your life

Nothing will tank your aspirations faster than not having a clear idea of what you…


When to stop and enjoy the view

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You’ve been burning the candle at both ends chasing those goals, haven’t you? I know what it’s like. When I get into something that inspires me, I become a machine.

Eventually, though, I crash and burn on the side of the road. It’s epic when it happens, often involving bar hopping and binge-watching Netflix until I forget what I even wanted out of this life.

Everything that burns will eventually burn out.

There is life between those extremes — a middle road between hustle and burnout. It’s important to find this road because everything that burns will eventually burn out.


What I was too ashamed to admit

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“What the hell are you doing watching TV and drinking every night? You have a fucking book to write! Are you a writer or are you a fucking child asking others to provide for your goddamn dream?”

That’s what I heard Gordon Ramsay screaming at me as I watched him tear apart restauranteurs’ dreams on his show Kitchen Nightmares.

The leadership

One thing I will say: Gordon Ramsay is a helluva leader. He tore apart head chefs in front of their employees and customers at the beginning of the episodes. Near the end, however, he said how much they acted as a…


Don’t be afraid to get started

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You sit at the keyboard, pick up a paintbrush, or turn on your mic, and then you freeze. The icy grip around your heart is oppressive.

What if no one likes it?

Maybe if you were a trained professional. That’s it. Professionals go to school, right? Even creative ones. After all, Mozart perfected his craft at a university, didn’t he?

On the first day of your new classes, Art Appreciation because prereqs, the instructor makes fun of Noah and his building of the ark. Crude tools, zero expertise. …

Ryan M. Danks

Content Writer • Fiction Author • Martial Artist • Lover of coffee and good stories /

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