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Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  2,513 ratings  ·  289 reviews

Bestselling author and marketing strategist Ryan Holiday reveals to creatives of all stripes-authors, entrepreneurs, musicians, filmmakers, fine artists-how a classic work is made and marketed.

Classic. Evergreen. Cult. Backlist. We can all identify with products that seem to last forever and just keep selling. But how can we create things that can and should last, espe

Kindle Edition, 257 pages
Published July 13th 2017 by Profile Books (first published 2017)
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Daniel Rodic
Ryan Holiday’s latest book - Perennial Seller — walks readers through Ryan’s views on what it takes to build a creative work that lasts. It’s one part product, and one part marketing.

Here’s my key takeaways from the book:
> Most perennial sellers weren’t hits out of the gate when they launched. While nailing a good launch is important, when you have a long-term view of how you market and grow your product, the initial reaction by the market doesn’t always determine it’s long term success.

Take fo
Gretchen Rubin
Someone told me that this was one of the best books they'd ever read about how to engage with an audience, so I had to read it. Practical, very useful. I did several of the exercises to help clarify my thinking about my next book project. ...more
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marketing
Just because you've created something doesn't mean someone will want it.
Whether it's a book, art, music or some other product of your imagination, your job is to make others want it. Some will be satisfied with a quick payoff and move on to another project.
In this book, Ryan Holiday offers strategies for making your creation a lasting--a perennial--seller, a project with an unlimited lifetime of reward. His blueprint is practical and filled with examples of artists in many fields who have achie
E.M. Epps
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2010s
This is one of those books that's a brilliant condensation of wisdom pertaining to X thing (in this case, see the subtitle for the value of X). The use you get out of it will be proportional to how *few* books you've read on surrounding topics. I've probably got it covered 7/10, so my reactions were mostly along the lines of "oh, that's a good reminder." However, if you are a creative person who wants to get a good, bullshit-free understanding the commercial/marketing aspects of art, you should ...more
Perennial Seller comic

In one part of Perennial Seller, Ryan Holiday shares advice he got from an unnamed successful author who said that the key to success in non-fiction is to be “very entertaining” or “extremely practical.” Holiday definitely chose plan B.

Perennial Seller is full of practical, timeless advice. It's well written, flows smoothly, and is easy to digest. While there are no groundbreaking new strategies here, what’s new (to me at least) is its argument to shift to a longer term focus. Perennial Sell
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been working in publishing for over three decades and have become a little jaded when someone wants to explain the book business, especially when giving advice on how to be successful at it. And so I was surprised when I found myself nodding vigorously with everything Ryan Holiday says in PERENNIAL SELLER, from how to conceive of the project to the role of the editor to how to think about and do marketing for the project. I won't summarize his main points since there are so many, but I wi ...more
W. Whalin
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Get These Insights about How to Make a Book Which is Different

Every day thousands of new books enter the market. Which books become continual sellers? Bestselling author Ryan Holiday has studied these details with his own books and with other books. PERENNIAL SELLER is loaded with the details for every author or would-be author to read. Ryan has a keen sense of what it takes to create an excellent book and each of his sections includes gems of information for the writer.

While many writers belie
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's fine. I enjoy Ryan's storytelling / style and like his approach in general. I feel that's where it remains though, being very general even though the book is filled with examples and stories.

I'm missing something, and as holiday quotes Neil gaiman, your reader is most often right if he feels a work lacks something. I wouldn't really recommend this book to be honest even though it's all right. I wouldn't know what to recommend it for.
Lone Wong
"They are the kind of art or products that we return to more than once, that we recommend to others, even if they're no longer trendy or brand-new. In this way, they are timeless, dependable resources and unsung moneymakers, paying like annuities to their owners. Like gold or land, they increase in value over time because they are always of value to someone, somewhere."

This is not a typical marketing tactic book that you're looking for. If you're looking for a marketing book or any tactic to sel
Jonatan Billiau
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I believe, quite strongly, that Perennial Seller wil not be, in fact, a Perennial Seller.

I am a big fan of Ryan Holiday's work, and enjoyed all his other books, most notably his work on Stoicism; Ego is the Enemy and The Obstacle is the Way. This book felt a whole different level of quality. In sheer defiance of his own advice in this very book, the writing felt rushed and without substance. Creation for the sake of creation.
The entire time while reading this I imagined a Holiday pushed by pub
Charlotte Dann
How has it taken me so long to read this? Ryan Holiday’s ‘The Obstacle Is The Way’ has become my bible on how to approach life. I didn’t think he’d be able to produce another book that so shook me to my core, but wow. He teeters on being contradictory every now and then, but overall this was extremely inspiring with lots of practical advice.
Ariel Curry
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is absolutely essential for writers, editors, marketers and publishers, seeking to think outside the box and make work that lasts.
David Wogahn
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. This review is from my blog, which has better formatting and links (

I like the idea of publishing a book that becomes a classic. A book that once bought, is not resold. A book recommended by experts—the people who could have written a book just like it, but haven’t. It sells, year after year. There is no real competition because it’s considered one-of-a-kind.

Trouble is, how do you create such a book? Or any classic for that matter?

Ryan Holiday has taken a shot at
Jason Pettus
I have a complicated relationship with the work of former douchebag marketer turned full-time author Ryan Holiday, who to remind you first made his fame and fortune by being the driving force behind the infamous kiddie-porn ads that got American Apparel in so much trouble, as well as the entire career of professional rapist and human monster Tucker Max; and while I've ended up loving the more philosophical writing he's done since on topics like Stoicism, I've also been intensely disappointed to ...more
Sairam Krishnan
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a marketing book for writers. I work in marketing and I write, so I guess I can say this: This is a brilliant book, and every creative should read it, preferably before they are attempting to embark on a project. The marketing advice is phenomenal, and I would be surprised if I found a better marketing book for creatives packaged as well as this one is.

But it's not just advice. It's actually entertaining, and I loved the examples, the writing, and the evident passion in Holiday's words,
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, business, marketing
Was very much looking forward to reading this since it's release. Since I've finally gotten to it, I have to say it did not disappoint. Specifically as my goal is to become an entrepreneur I'll admit, not everything seemed practical at first, but in the end I realized how being an entrepreneur and writing a book have very similar processes and can sometimes take the same amount of time to create.

Conveniently, one of my businesses I am partnered with a creative and so this knowledge has become in
Niklas Laninge
Didn't find anything that stuck and resonated with me. Sure, the tips are great, the examples well known but this could really have been reduced to a listicle than some +200 pages. Also, if you've read zero to one, heard some pod episodes of Tim ferriss and ever visited a growth hacking forum this book won't bring you anything new. Just a lot of goes with nothing that ties them together. ...more
Jon Hinderliter
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perennial Seller will likely be Ryan Holiday's longest-lasting contribution to literary non-fiction well beyond his books on media and stoic philosophy. Sharing his expertise from years running creative agency Brasscheck helping authors, media companies, and startups but not wanting to give away the secret sauce Ryan weaves a contemporary look on creative art, marketing, and building platforms. The only criticism I have is the relative order of creating, marketing, and then building a platform. ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work, non-fiction
Super interesting and highly readable.

(Note to self: Had to return to library; stopped reading at p147)
Max Nova
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In my 2013 personal annual review, I wrote that I wanted to build something that would last 100 years. I have made no progress over the last four years. It is such a large and intimidating goal that it seems impossible to begin. Where to start? What are the steps along the path? Ryan Holiday's "Perennial Seller" promises to help us "make something that can stand the test of time," and he delivers.

The book surprised me with its focus on the marketing side of things. A quarter of the book is about
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I learned a ton--especially as it's about marketing books and I've got one coming out here shortly (what I learned is that I'm doing everything wrong), but on the other hand, I feel like Holiday has a hammer and everything is a nail. He comes from marketing and it seems to him that that's the most important thing about the book. And having read his other books, it's clear he cares more about marketing than content. Or maybe I'm jealous beca ...more
May 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Reading this is what I imagine descending into Dante’s hell must be like: not too bad at the start, but filled with squirm and demons towards the end. The question is a great one—what makes a perennial seller, sell? Initial chapters on the creative process dovetail well with great writers in the field: creating value and quality is hard, so crack down and do it. As it moves to positioning, it weakens, but only slightly, until the reader finds him/herself in the Marketing and Platform chapters, r ...more
Eliot Peper
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday dissects the process of making and marketing classics. Drawing on examples ranging from To Kill a Mockingbird to Craigslist and Iron Maiden, Holiday distills the timeless principles shared by Winston Churchill, Lady Gaga, and Stefan Zweig (whose biography of Magellan I recommended in a previous edition of this newsletter). I have a shortlist of resources I share with writers, entrepreneurs, or creators who reach out asking for advice. Perennial Seller just shot t ...more
Li Li
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another master piece from Ryan Holiday.

Perennial Seller is full of practical, timeless advice. It's very well written, flows smoothly, and easy to digest.

No groundbreaking new strategies here, but his entire focus on shifting short-term gain to a long lasting focus dramatically changed one's viewpoint and definition of 'Value'.

He reinforced me to shift my short term to a much longer view. I found this to be compelling and much-needed advice, and is why I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone w
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Felt very much like he wanted to have a book so he made the material stretch to book length. I would much rather have had it condensed to 1/4 or 1/3 the length—everything of value could certainly have been fit into a much smaller format. Hell, the primary points could probably be fit onto a marketing poster.
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An important read for anyone interested in creating something remarkable.

Plus, as an Entrepreneur who's described building businesses as "my art", I appreciate how he lumped creatives and entrepreneurs in the same basic category.

Dan Connors
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-books
This book is tailored toward creative types and artists, so if you fit that category it hits all the right notes. Obviously there is only a tiny minority of creators who will reach the zenith and see their creations live on after them.
This book gives some insight into how that kind of immortality is possible for more of us. Ryan Holiday, as a best-selling writer, has some experience with how to create something that lasts.
Fittingly, he splits the book into two parts- creating and selling. There
Ronel Janse van Vuuren
The tagline is: “The art of making and marketing work that lasts”. And it delivers.

Though I had a blast reading this book – seriously, what’s better to do than to read something fast-paced and witty to distract you from the horrors of life? – I do have a few issues with it. The author uses a lot of anecdotes of bands, musicians, TV shows, etc. that, if you’re not familiar with them, won’t help you at all. (I’m looking at everyone younger than thirty that missed the time of Seinfeld and Friends b
Ramesh Thampi
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Starting from its husky sounding title, the beautiful classic-styled cover design, and the well-crafted contents, I liked the book. It talks about the actual creative process, rightly positioning the work on the market, marketing the product until it reaches its audience, and on the final part, about creating a platform to constantly showcase one's creations.

Books like 'Perennial Seller' are not one-time reads. They need to be kept by the side and the marginalia should be referenced often until
Joe Long
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're building or creating something or are ready to get that thing into the hands of others, this is a valuable resource. ...more
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Ryan Holiday is media strategist for notorious clients like Tucker Max and Dov Charney. After dropping out of college at 19 to apprentice under the strategist Robert Greene, he went on to advise many bestselling authors and multi-platinum musicians. He is the Director of Marketing at American Apparel, where his work in advertising was internationally known. His strategies are used as case studies ...more

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10 likes · 6 comments
“People claim to want to do something that matters, yet they measure themselves against things that don’t, and track their progress not in years but in microseconds. They want to make something timeless, but they focus instead on immediate payoffs and instant gratification.” 5 likes
“A critical test of any product: Does it have a purpose? Does it add value to the world? How will it improve the lives of the people who buy it?” 5 likes
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