What Authors Can Learn from Silicon Valley

Sramana Mitra of Forbes.com sees parallels between author Elle Newmark’s grassroots audience development and Silicon Valley’s software process:

In Silicon Valley, we do alpha and beta products — small prototypes of our vision — and recruit a small number of customers to gain early validation of the products’ viability. These alpha and beta products, along with early customer validation, help us sell our ventures to investors and raise millions of dollars in venture money.

In Newmark’s case, she spent less than $10,000 of her own money to “bootstrap” her self-publishing effort, she found customers online, and then she recruited William Morris agent Dorian Karchmar as her “investment banker,” who then got her Simon & Schuster as a “venture investor.” Newmark’s deal with Simon & Schuster is widely rumored to include a seven-figure advance.

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