Your backstage pass to the world’s most prolific authors

JD Barker
Christine Daigle
Kevin Tumlinson
Jena Brown

What does it take to succeed as a writer? Join hosts J.D. Barker, Christine Daigle, Kevin Tumlinson and Jena Brown as they pull back the curtain and gain rare insight from the household names found on bookshelves worldwide.

Want to ask your favorite author a question? Click here!

The Art of Simplicity with Derek Sivers

Derek Sivers is a master of keeping it simple. Whether he’s drafting in an ancient 70s terminal, writing concise newsletters, or living with a single minifridge, he uses simplicity as a method to stay calm, collected, and down-to-earth in his writing. Derek is well known as the founder of independent music website CD Baby. He was a musician for many years and currently publishes books independently. To purchase his latest book, How to Live, follow the link below.


After making a living as a professional musician, Derek Sivers went looking for ways to sell his own CD online and ended up creating CD Baby, once the largest seller of independent music on the web with over $100M in sales for over 150,000 musician clients. Since 2008, Derek has traveled the world and stayed busy creating and nurturing creative endeavors, like Muckwork, his newest company where teams of efficient assistants help musicians do their “uncreative dirty work.” Derek writes regularly on creativity, entrepreneurship, and music on his blog:

Whether you’re traditionally published or indie, writing a good book is only the first step in becoming a successful author. The days of just turning a manuscript into your editor and walking away are gone. If you want to succeed in today’s publishing world, you need to understand every aspect of the business – editing, formatting, marketing, contracts. It all starts with a good book, then the real work begins.

Join international bestselling author J.D. Barker and indie powerhouses, J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon, as they gain unique insight and valuable advice from the most prolific and accomplished authors in the business.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • How to stop getting angry
  • Why How to Live is the best book Derek’s ever written
  • How to cut 1,200 pages from your rough draft
  • How Derek developed his minimalistic writing style
  • Why brevity is key


J. D. Barker –

J. Thorn –

Zach Bohannon –

Derek Sivers – 

J.’s ZIGGURAT by Mike Shinoda – 

Story Rubric –  

Nonfic Rubric –  

Proudly sponsored by Kobo Writing Life –

Music by Nicorus – 

Voice Over by Rick Ganley – and recorded at Mill Pond Studio –

Contact – 

*Full disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links.

1 Comment

  1. Christopher Wills

    2 years ago  

    Interesting interview. Agree with Derek’s idea that too many words hide the message. I wish speech makers and NF writers would abide.
    Another great take away was J D’s novel-to-script process. So obvious but I’ve never heard it stated. And his takeaway about cutting the fat from writing. A lot of Indies could learn from this. Thanks.
    I understand the technology behind NFTs but I always thought things have value because people want them, irrespective of rarity. If President Obama, Taylor Swift, Greta Thunberg and Stephen King got together and created a sentence about peace that was converted into an NFT I can see how that might have value. But a blib created by an unknown in a dark room is never going to have any value.
    The NFT craze suggests to me the Dutch tulip bulb bubble in 1636.
    Great show.

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