Podcast 3: Venture Funding a Novel with Michelle Miller
If you got a Standford MBA and then worked as an investment banker… what would be your next career move?
Michelle Miller decided to write a novel called The Underwriting. But she didn’t just write a novel and hope to get traditionally published, she treated her novel as a startup:
- She raised investment
- Secured brand sponsorships
- Created screen savers and playlists
- Made a video trailer
- Serialized her novel (like a modern Charles Dickens)
This week, I interviewed Michelle in the Craftsman Founder Podcast. Here is just the audio podcast for those who are interested in listening on:
- What is The Underwriting? A weekly serialized novel that is free from the website the underwriting.com for 24 hours and then and distributed on Amazon and other bookstores for $1.50
- What’s worked and what hasn’t worked well in promoting your novel? Probably the most popular thing has been the screensavers and the audio playlists
- What can entrepreneurs learn from authors and vise-versa? I have always been fascinated by the fine line between art and business. See Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson and Jim Henson: The Biography for more about this topic.
- What can entrepreneurs learn from authors? It’s all about story and the stories of how customers find your startup.
- Who inspires you? Working on wall street during the occupy movement was really fascinating to have empathy for both sides and understand both arguments
- Is fiction a viable investment for venture capitalists? I think that in many ways the big traditional publishers are some of the original venture capitalists
- Should more fiction authors consider trying to raise venture capital for their novels? I am not sure. Raising money is very hard, but for a variety of reasons, it was the right choice for me at the time.
- So what’s next for the Underwriting? We’re in conversations about development into television, and are about to announce a traditional print deal with a major publisher for The Underwriting and it’s sequel, both of which will be release in 2015
About the Author
Lucas Carlson is a hands-on consultant, author and entrepreneur. He helps founders discover opportunities for growth, both for their companies and for themselves. He was the CEO and founder of AppFog, a popular startup acquired in 2013 after signing up over 100,000 developers and raising nearly $10M in venture funding from top angels and VCs.