Legends & Losers w/Christopher Lochhead

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025: How to Become a Best Selling Author - Playing Bigger with Newsweek’s Kevin Maney

April 27, 2017

Struggling to find inspiration for a new book? Feeling downtrodden after being rejected more than once? In this episode, best-selling author and award-winning columnist Kevin Maney discusses the geography of thought and how to deal with rejection when you have poured your heart, soul and time into a book. Kevin also shares his insight on how he thinks technology will revolutionise the healthcare industry, and how that will in turn completely change the economic landscape of the country.

Every novelist has to write two and a half books worth of sh*t before you can write one good book. –Kevin Maney


  1. Chances are the first thing you write is not going to be great and neither is the second. You have to understand that and not get put off by rejections.
  2. It is important to find new ways of looking at things and broaden your horizons, this way you can continue to grow as an author and a human being.
  3. Technology is going to revolutionise the healthcare industry and this will have a direct affect on the economics of the country.

We began this episode with Kevin discussing the geography of thought and how you need to learn to remember that what you think in that moment is the best thing ever might turn out to be rubbish and vice-versa. Following on from that Kevin spoke about how not to take rejection personally when you have poured your heart and time into writing a book that gets canned at the final hurdle. Later in the episode we discussed ‘Play Bigger’ and Kevin revealed how he was unsure that we would ever actually write the book and how his mind was opened up after having understood what we were talking about. We finished up talking about how technology is going to change the healthcare industry through the advent of things like Watson from IBM and how these things could totally change modern economics.

We also discussed;

  • The secrets to Kevin’s success.
  • What drives Kevin to find a new way of looking at things.
  • How you know whether authors and publishers are serious.
  • His past work with USA Today.

When you start out as an author you are not going to write best sellers straight away. Chances are, you are going to have to write two books worth of rubbish before you actually end up writing something good. If you send book proposals out and you get rejections back you have to understand that even though it might seem like the worst news ever, it usually isn’t. You just have to try and learn from it and not get downtrodden. It’s not easy being an author and you need to learn as much as you can and broaden your horizons so that you can grown as not only an author, but also as a human being.

Guest Bio

Kevin Maney is a best-selling author and award-winning columnist. Maney co-authored, with Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson and Christopher Lochhead, the 2015 book Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets, published by Harper Business.  Maney’s other books include The Two-Second Advantage: How We Succeed by Anticipating the Future...Just Enough, a 2011 New York Times bestseller. He also co-wrote the most widely distributed business book of 2011, Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped a Century and a Company, which marked IBM’s centennial. His other books are Trade-Off: Why Some Things Catch On, and Others Don't; The Maverick and His Machine: Thomas Watson Sr. and the Making of IBM; and Megamedia Shakeout. For more information about Kevin head over to his website; KevinManey.com