Podcast 3: Venture Funding a Novel with Michelle Miller - Craftsman Founder

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:

Show Notes

  • 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
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Lucas Carlson

About the Author

Lucas Carlson

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.

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