Authorpreneurs Almanac

Authors and innovators Sean Platt & Johnny B. Truant reveal the inner workings of indie publishing company Sterling & Stone, in a real time look at what works, what doesn't, and what they learn along the way.

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Authors and innovators Sean Platt & Johnny B. Truant reveal the inner workings of indie publishing company Sterling & Stone, in a real time look at what works, what doesn’t, and what they learn along the way.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-09-07 19:45
last episode published
2017-04-10 09:00
publication frequency
7.52 days
Sterling & Stone author (Sterling & Stone) managing editor  
Sterling & Stone owner  
Number of Episodes
Detail page
Literature Arts



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

AA77 Building the Monarch

Building the monarch isn’t the best description for building a site that actually works, but hey. It’s creative! Today, Johnny and Sean discuss what the monarch actually is, how our site developer can use it to create a cohesive customer journey, and h...
Sterling & Stone author

AA76 Improving Our Stone Table Mastermind

Sean and Johnny have been a part of masterminds for a long time, but it wasn’t until recently that they started their own, the Stone Table. While it’s been an incredible success, they’ve got their eye on making it even better. From bringing in storytel...
Sterling & Stone author

AA75 How We Handle Speaking and Consulting

When asked to list their fears, people will often list death AFTER public speaking. Dave can’t stand it, Sean likes it when it’s over, and Johnny can’t get enough of it. Today, the guys talk about the challenges of speaking careers, including the hidde...
Sterling & Stone author

AA74 How Our Self Publishing Course is Different

Course has become a dirty word, at least in the online world. Too many ‘teachers’ have thrown together some information and packaged it as a course, but the truth is they’re terrible. That’s why we’ve decided to (after a lot of internal resistance) cre...
Sterling & Stone author

AA73 Doing Experiential Education the Right Way

If you’ve spent any amount of time online, you know everyone wants to sell you a course. If we’re honest, they just want to sell you information and be done with it. But that doesn’t lead to a great experience for the student. Johnny and Sean talk abou...
Sterling & Stone author

AA72 The Development of StoryShop

The StoryShop app project is one we’re stupidly excited about, and one that’s been frustrating and rewarding at the same time. It started as something much simpler, and despite of, or because of, the obstacles we’ve faced, it’s grown into something muc...
Sterling & Stone author

AA71 Systems and Staffing

One of the challenges of a growing company is implementing new and efficient systems that will both support growth and also be flexible enough to work through that growth. Today, Sean and Johnny talk about Sterling and Stone’s strategy for creating sys...
Sterling & Stone author

AA70 Silo Businesses and Standalone Products

Every growing business struggles with sustainability at some point, and today, Sean and Johnny talk about how silo businesses and products can help fund that growth. From the partnership model to products for our audience, the guys have a strategy that...
Sterling & Stone author

AA69 Scaling Our Fiction

Today’s discussion around Sterling and Stone’s big goals is how to scale the fiction titles we have. Johnny and Sean talk about how they will take the massive amounts of high quality content and give it the exposure it deserves. They started with a dev...
Sterling & Stone author

AA68 How We Will Explode the Sterling and Stone Brand

Sterling and Stone has some ambitious goals for 2017, and the biggest is exploding the brand. Sean and Johnny discuss how this macro goal will play out, especially when they are now more than just writers. S&S is still a story studio, but also a so...
Sterling & Stone author

AA67 All About the Avalanche

Last year, Sterling and Stone held its first annual Avalanche, a company-wide meeting where we discuss the long-term vision of the company. Sean and Johnny share our Sterling and Stone Story Studio goals for 2017 and 2018, so make sure to take notes. W...
Sterling & Stone author

AA66 The Brand New Authorpreneur’s Almanac

We’re big fans of trying new things here at Sterling and Stone, and one of those things is a new format for Authorpreneur’s Alamanac. As you know, we don’t just half-ass it; we go all the way. Since Sean and Johnny are now BOTH in Austin, they’re meeti...
Sterling & Stone author

AA65 Teams and Team Leaders

The previous year saw Sterling and Stone’s first Avalanche, a company retreat where we plan for the next year. Sean is the ‘big idea’ person, and Johnny has stepped into the Operations role, to help implement those ideas. Today, he talks about what tha...
Sterling & Stone author

AA64 Final 1.0 Episode

Today’s episode is a wrap-up of 2016, and what you can look forward to in 2017. Sean talks about the changes coming to Sterling and Stone FM, new shows, some shows that aren’t going to make the cut, and the future of video podcasts for S&S. Want to...
Sterling & Stone author

AA63 Why We’re Rebranding Dead City

Some people say that books are forever, but that’s not exactly true. Today, Johnny talks about Sterling and Stone’s book Dead City, why it didn’t do nearly as well as we thought it would, and what we’re doing about it. This less-than-stellar release wa...
Sterling & Stone author

AA62 Thinking in Terms of Roles Instead of People

In the beginning of Sterling in Stone, we made the common mistake of looking at tasks and people. However, as we grow, we realize that a far more logical way to look at things in terms of roles. For one reason, it provides a roadmap of growth for the c...
Sterling & Stone author

AA61 How We Are Iterating our Book Writing Process

As we learn and grow as authors, we are always tweaking and changing things. Anything we can optimize or improve, we do. Today, Johnny talks about how Sterling and Stone changed their writing process, especially the way they handle beats in collaborati...
Sterling & Stone author

AA60 The 2017 Avalanche

How many times have you wished you could watch successful people and learn from them? We call those ‘work retreats,’ and we just had the first, company only retreat where we planned out most of 2017 and part of 2018. Get the inside scoop on what Sterli...
Sterling & Stone author

AA59 One Year of S&S FM Lessons

We launched the Sterling and Stone FM Podcast network with high hopes, and some of them went exceptionally well. Some things, though, were less than stellar. Today, Sean talks about the future of the network, some of the changes you can expect, and the...
Sterling & Stone author

AA58 Advertising for Ourselves

99Designs was a long-time sponsor for the Self Publishing Podcast, but like many things in business, it’s time has come and gone. Today, Sean talks about how having a sponsor was great, and what the Sterling and Stone FM Network intends to do instead. ...
Sterling & Stone author

AA57 Sean’s Trip to Montreal

Sean isn’t a fan of traveling – UNTIL he’s done it. Then it’s the best thing ever. Today, Sean talks about his recent international trip to Montreal, Canada, and the experience he had at the Mastermind there. He shares some of the new perspectives he g...
Sterling & Stone author

AA56 Three New People Join the Sterling and Stone Family

Sterling and Stone is in super-growth mode right now, and has recently brought on three new people. Today, Sean talks about each of the new team members, their roles, and some of the very exciting things that are coming up in the next year. If you’re i...
Sterling & Stone author

AA55 Deciding Sterling and Stone’s Brand and Positioning

Every company needs to decide what it wants to BE. Every event, product, and experience the customer has needs to represent that. Johnny talks about the mistakes they’ve made and how they’re now working to present themselves better. From company events...
Sterling & Stone author

AA54 Speaking Events and Interacting with the Indie Community

Sean and Johnny have recently redefined their roles within Sterling and Stone, with Sean acting as CEO and Johnny as COO. It’s changed the company from the top down. Today, Johnny talks about some very specific goals they have about being a more active...
Sterling & Stone author

AA53 An Update on Legendary

It’s not always easy parting ways with one of your team members. Legendary was a collaboration where all parties decided it was best for everyone to go their own directions. Today, Sean talks about how the changes have affected Sterling and Stone’s fut...
Sterling & Stone author

AA52 We Sold Our First Script!

It’s a common dream among many authors: the silver screen. It’s an amazing opportunity to make a movie, and it’s one of Sterling and Stone’s end games. Today, Sean talks about learning the scriptwriting craft, what optioning a script means, and how col...
Sterling & Stone author

AA51 Update on Our Indie Fiction Podcast Experiment

As usual, Sterling and Stone is forging new paths in indie fiction, including our latest experiment, the Indie Fiction Podcast. Today, Johnny talks about this season, Dead City, and whether or not the podcast is working. He also talks about the possibl...
Sterling & Stone author

AA50 Redefining Johnny’s and Sean’s Roles

Today is a sequel of an episode Johnny recorded a while back about how he became an owner of S&S instead of just an imprint. In this episode, he talks about the roles have changed over time, the challenges and shortfalls they’ve encountered, and ho...
Sterling & Stone author

AA49 Getting Our Launch Flows in Order

Launches can be very daunting, especially when you’ve got the mindset of creator rather than businessperson. Today, Johnny talks about how Sterling and Stone thinks about its launches, and how they’ve failed brilliantly in the past. He explains how the...
Sterling & Stone author

AA48 StoryShop Update

We’ve explored the history of StoryShop, from a simple planning tool all the way to becoming an entire platform for authors. Today, Johnny dives into some of the latest developments, especially how the game has changed with all of the parts being well-...
Sterling & Stone author

AA47 How Having a Marketing Manager Has Completely Changed Sterling and Stone

Christine is one of the most recent additions to Sterling and Stone, and she’s been a driving force in some of the company-wide changes. In addition to StoryShop, StorySeller’s Apprentice, countless books, and the Indie Fiction Podcast, she’s been an i...
Sterling & Stone author

AA46 Iterating Our Systems

A growing company suffers growing pains, and in no small part due to scaling up systems. In Sterling and Stone’s case, it was a LACK of systems. Today, Johnny talks about how they were guilty of magical thinking, and the problems it created. He talks a...
Sterling & Stone author

AA45 Knowing Your Why

Think about where you spend the biggest chunk of your time. Then ask yourself why you do it. Today, Johnny talks about knowing your why, and how Sterling and Stone has been guided not by money, but the deeper mission of being storytellers and community...
Sterling & Stone author

AA44 Post-Bootcamp Followup

Sterling and Stone’s StorySeller’s Bootcamp was the first event of its kind for the company, and today Sean talks about how it went, what he learned, and the goals for similar events that are coming next year. More importantly, he talks about why they ...
Sterling & Stone author

AA43 How We Find Time to Do More Stuff

Sterling and Stone does a LOT of stuff, but they manage to do it all a small group of people. Today, Johnny talks about how they can do so much, so successfully. With the spectrum between Sean’s enthusiasm and Dave’s low tolerance, Johnny shares how th...
Sterling & Stone author

AA42 Goals Update Part Two

Goals are moving targets, especially for younger, more flexible companies. Today, Johnny brings you the part two of a Sterling and Stone goals checkup. There is THE goal, which was more efficient systems. He also covers screenplays, Fiction Unboxed, co...
Sterling & Stone author

AA41 Goals Update Part One

Goals are moving targets, especially for younger, more flexible companies. Today, Johnny checks in with Sterling and Stone’s goals. There is THE goal, which was more efficient systems. And he goes through staffing, writing, editing, social media, websi...
Sterling & Stone author

AA40 Why We Are Building StoryShop Writer

While Scrivener has helped Sterling and Stone build their careers, the guys have outgrown it, especially in terms of collaboration. Today, Sean takes you through the evolution of what began as a simple story planning tool, and what the future holds for...
Sterling & Stone author

AA39 How Sterling and Stone Looks at Money

Every business looks at money a little differently. A great month might entice the owner to spend too freely. On the other hand, some owners are too selfless and take no salary for themselves. Today, Johnny explains Sterling and Stone’s newly-balanced ...
Sterling & Stone author

AA38 All About the StorySeller Apprentice

You’ve heard a lot about the StorySeller Bootcamp and the StorySeller Apprentice programs. Today, Sean talks about what it is, what it isn’t (a ‘course’), and why Sterling and Stone as a company finally feels comfortable with a program like this. He ta...
Sterling & Stone author

AA37 Our New Imprint Manager and Our Next Level Production Systems

Sterling and Stone is growing! Over the last few episodes, we’ve introduced new team members. Today, Johnny introduces the newest Sterling and Stone team member, which happens to be his wife. While there’s the potential for things to go wrong with mixi...
Sterling & Stone author

AA36 An Update on All of Our Projects

We don’t usually take readers’ question on this podcast, but today’s questions are perfect: “In the old days, each new book was precious, and you talked at length about your projects. Now I don’t hear much about them. Which series are still open, which...
Sterling & Stone author

AA34 Johnny Moves to Austin and Supercharges the Company

Johnny recently moved to Sterling and Stone headquarters in Austin, and as he records, it’s been two weeks since his exodus. Today, he talks about how his move went, and more importantly, how it’s supercharged what Sterling and Stone can do as a compan...
Sterling & Stone author

AA33 Meeting the Two New Members of the Sterling and Stone Family

Today Sean talks about how the company has grown. He takes you through why the team has grown, and Sean’s mindset when bringing in new people. From book compiles to copywriting and marketing, everyone who’s brought onto the S&S team is considered f...
Sterling & Stone author

AA32 Learning from Some of Our Most Expensive Mistakes

Every entrepreneur makes mistakes, and some are more expensive than others. Today, Sean talks about some of Sterling and Stone’s biggest mistakes, but why it’s okay they made them. Being timid about making mistakes can keep you from really making a dif...
Sterling & Stone author

AA31 Sean Gives a Post Summit Wrap Up

Johnny gave his thoughts on the recent Smarter Artist Summit that took place in Austin, and now Sean shares his sometimes overly-optimistic view of how it went. He talks about the ways the company won even if the event landed them in the red financiall...
Sterling & Stone author

AA30 Smarter Artist Summit Wrap Up

Sterling and Stone held their first event, the Smarter Artist Summit, which was a huge success, despite losing money. Johnny talks about how they decided to hold the event, how they relied completely on their studio manager, Amy, and the success of the...
Sterling & Stone author

AA29 Push Your Art to Move Your Business Forward

Good business isn’t JUST business. Today Sean talks about what business means in the creative, collaborative business called Sterling and Stone Story Studio. Numbers aren’t everything; things like creativity, passion, and going against what seems like ...
Sterling & Stone author

AA28 Why We Hired a Controller

Once your business reaches a particular size and there’s more than you can handle on your own, you need a controller. Today, Sean talks about when you should hire a controller, the reasons why you should, and the strategy behind it when it comes to pro...
Sterling & Stone author

AA27 Working Through the Suck

Running an indie publishing company isn’t all unicorns and rainbows. There are periods of time where things get really hard – when nothing seems to be going well. Sometimes your personal life can creep up and really effect your business life, and that ...
Sterling & Stone author