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Summary

How did the movie The Shawshank Redemption fail at the box office but go on to gross more than $100 million as a cult classic?

How did The 48 Laws of Power miss the best-seller lists for more than a decade and still sell more than a million copies?

How is Iron Maiden still filling stadiums worldwide without radio or TV exposure 40 years after the band was founded?

Best-selling author and marketer Ryan Holiday calls such works and artists perennial sellers. How do they endure and thrive while most books, movies, songs, video games, and pieces of art disappear quickly after initial success? How can we create and market creative works that achieve longevity?

Holiday explores this mystery by drawing on his extensive experience working with businesses and creators such as Google, American Apparel, and the author John Grisham as well as his interviews with the minds behind some of the greatest perennial sellers of our time. His fascinating examples include:

  • Rick Rubin, producer for Adele, Jay-Z, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who teaches his artists to push past short-term thinking and root their work in long-term inspiration.
  • Tim Ferriss, whose books have sold millions of copies, in part because he rigorously tests every element of his work to see what generates the strongest response.
  • Seinfeld, which managed to capture both the essence of the '90s and timeless themes to become a modern classic.
  • Harper Lee, who transformed a muddled manuscript into To Kill a Mockingbird with the help of the right editor and feedback.
  • Winston Churchill, Stefan Zweig, and Lady Gaga, who each learned the essential tenets of building a platform of loyal, dedicated supporters.

Holiday reveals that the key to success for many perennial sellers is that their creators don't distinguish between the making and the marketing. The product's purpose and audience are in the creator's mind from day one. By thinking holistically about the relationship between their audience and their work, creators of all kinds improve the chances that their offerings will stand the test of time.

©2017 Ryan Holiday (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What members say

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If you're a creative, GET THIS!

A really good insight into the effort needed to create a product / service that will stand the test of time :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not Ryan’s best work

First Audio I have stopped listening to before it has finished.

It might just be me, but I found it slow, boring and geared to much towards writing a best seller .

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Found it dull!

Read past books of his and enjoyed, but got 2 hours in and ditched it - yes his voice and narration is one paced, but so far the message is "create something that people will want to watch/visit again" .... aye I get that!

Really slow burner and congrats if you make it through to the end, but felt I had more credits and books to listen to !

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the best creative and marketing advise I've read!

This is the best creative and marketing advise I've read in one place.

This is also the first review I've given after reading and listening to hundreds of books

@ryanholiday thank you. A new fan!

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Already a massive Ryan Holiday fan

I find Ryan's style of writing not just informing and thought provoking but hugely entertaining and enjoyable. As a result I plan on sinking my teeth straight into the hard copy of the 'Daily Stoic' during my train ride home. That will have made an entire weekend in his company and I feel all the richer for it. Thank you

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Outstanding!

This exceptional book should come as no surprise to readers of Ryan's previous works; the quality of his writing and the immense value he brings the reader, and to any would be practitioner, will be measured in a very positive R.O.I. This new release is destined to become a classic..... A Perennial for sure ( No need for the afterword or conclusion in their current form, Ryan).
Having absorbed this in one sitting as an audiobook, I'll be buying a hardback version to sit on my bookshelf.... After a good while getting dog-eared as desk companion.... And between the bookends that guard David Meerman Scott, Anne Handley, Dee Blick, Daniel Priestley, Seth Godin... Ryan Holiday is one of The Greats in marketing. This book will save you YEARS.

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  • Luke
  • 29-10-17

Another Holiday marketing success, ironically .

Toward the end of the book I realized two things: there is little value to me in this book and the formula seemed extremely familiar. I looked up the author and saw other books of his I’ve listened to on audible. This book (even more than the others) irked me. Like the Obstacle is the Way and other interest peaking titles, this book is mostly one good idea (and not his own) that can be explained in one or two pages which has been fluffed up by literally hundreds of quotes and self aggrandizing anecdotes. This is a common formula in the nonfiction-self improvement genre, which makes finding an actual “masterpiece” in this genre very difficult. But the very success of his use of this formula is based on his skill at marketing and knowing his audience could not be more annoying hahaha. The audacity for this book to tell us the keys to creating a ‘perennial best seller’ are focusing on originality, quality, and timeless content, not just marketing tricks... when all his books are selling mostly as a result of the later and and none of the former! I hope these books result in motivation and empowerment in enough of its readers to warrant the high sales numbers (hopefully not pricing tricks as he outlined) and phony sounding reviews. Maybe if this is true it would offset the number of people that get duped into following the herd down another meaningless book of researched quotes and eye-rolling-ly obvious advice.
I appreciate the effort the research took and the success of his formula, but his books are good for people who have not read or intend to read the many truly good books and literature the from which the quotes and anecdotes are sourced.
The wisest use of this book might be to take down a list of the works and people it references and then read those and some good biographies instead.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Spencer Perry
  • 18-07-17

The Most Comprehensive Book on Making Things, Ever

Without a doubt, future-you will be grateful to present-you for buying, listening, and re-listening to this book.

Engaging the reader with concrete examples and stories for each claim and strategy, Ryan quickly covers every base you can currently imagine regarding how to create and present important work.

One of my favorite things about Ryan's writing is he doesn't just tell you what you want to hear, he tells you what you need to hear. His writing makes you want to be a better person, and he presents constructive and applicable ways to do the work this endeavor requires.

Whether you've read/listened to his work before, or you're coming into this world of media stunts, stoicism, and creativity for the first time, you'll certainly learn valuable lessons from this book, and enjoy every second of his fast-paced, story-rich presentation.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Jim
  • 09-08-17

Ok, but...

Good concepts and good ideas, however the author goes off topic several times and brags about things he's done, or said to manipulate others which is less than stellar. Focus on purpose. It's not about you, it's about others!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • C. Singer
  • 28-07-17

Another Home Run

I didn't think this book was going to pertain to me because I am an Innkeeper of a little historic (perennial) lodge in the mountains of California. I gleaned many gems and even made a significant change to allocating advertising dollars. Thank you Ryan for writing such a useful & entertaining book. I have every one of yours and my favorite is The Obstacle Is the Way but this is a close 2nd. I am one of your "Iron Maiden" fans & I had never e en heard of them before your book. Thanks Ryan.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathi Laughman
  • 01-05-18

Contemporary and timeless

Another exceptional work from Ryan Holiday. I suspect it will itself be a perennial seller.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-04-18

Another success from Ryan Holiday

I listened to this book because Ryan Holiday wrote it. He consistently delivers value and his books will truly stand the test of time.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-02-18

Absolutely Amazing

Ryan never fails to deliver. He performs and thinks on a different level. His insight on the market is so strategic and well thought out that his work is an absolutely piece of art.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-02-18

Ryan is Amazing!

What made the experience of listening to Perennial Seller the most enjoyable?

As an author and a fan of all types of art, this book really spoke to me.
I have a desire to leave behind a legacy for my family and the world. Not only something to remember me by but also to make leave the world a little better than when i arrived.

This book really help encourage that and give me some information on how to create the thing that last. Thanks Ryan for your time spent creating this masterpiece.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

That which last forever

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  • @insurancebillvj
  • 12-01-18

As good as a business and life book as I've ever

This was so good I just started to listen to it again. Excellent, practical information from a master practitioner

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  • Raghu Nandy
  • 23-12-17

interesting, informational and inspiring!

when I started with this book wasn't sure what it's about but as I started listening to the audiobook it gave me a lot of inspiration and insight into the way Classics are made must read.