183: Jason Feifer & Jennifer Miller | Entrepreneur Magazine and Writing a Novel

Authors and power couple Jennifer Miller and Jason Feifer. Jennifer has written several novels and Jason is a journalist, editor, and author of several well-known publications, websites, and books. Jennifer and Jason speak with your host Travis Chappell about their new book Mr. Nice Guy, how to balance business and relationships, how to talk to a publisher and how to network..”

Here’s what Travis, Jennifer, and Jason discuss in this episode:

  • Jason and Jennifer talk about their childhood and how they were raised individually.
  • Both of their parents encouraged them to pursue their creativity in writing.
    • Jennifer did a Master’s in journalism after publishing her first book.
    • Jason went to college but never liked structured education.
  • What did you do college and into your careers?
    • Jason got into community newspapers because he wanted to do journalism.
      • What moved his career forward was to pitch his stuff out into the world.
    • Jennifer talks about how she and Jason met and where they were in their careers.
      • They both moved to New York separately but for different reasons.
      • They met on Ok Cupid after having been in long-term relationships.
    • What does it take to sell a book to a publisher?
      • First, you need the novel or at least part of it.
      • You then need an agent and they’ll sell it to the publisher.
      • When you write the book, you’ve only done a small part of the work.
    • What do publishers look for, what separates you from the pack?
      • Your agent needs to send your material to the right editors and know what they like.
      • In their case, it was a great idea written by a married couple and infusing the book with their own stories.
    • Talk about what it was like to go from editorship to novel writing?
      • He had the idea for the novel when he was in his early 20’s.
      • He knew he wasn’t a fiction writer, so his relationship with Jen pushed him.
    • How would you summarize the book in 30 seconds?
      • It’s a book about ambition and relationships and honesty and balancing all of them.
    • What’s your advice on navigating entrepreneurship and relationships?
      • It’s really important that each person has defined roles and there’s respect.
    • Talk about how important it was to cultivate good, strong relationships in the magazine world.
      • He recognized that all of the cool writers at big magazines knew each other.
      • He found that he related most to people who were just as driven as him.
      • He never feels competitive with his successful friends, just motivated by them.
    • Jen shares two stories about how crucial surrounding yourself with the right people is.
    • Final networking tips
      • Following up with people is critically important.
      • The #1 thing people want is to feel heard.

The Random Round:

  • What profession other than your own do you think it would be fun to attempt?
    • Jen: An Actor
    • Jason: Musician
  • If you could sit on a park bench with anyone for an hour who would it be, and why?
    • Jen: Her grandmother who passed away
    • Jason: Someone from the dawn of writing.
  • How do you like to consume content?
    • Jen: A mix – lots of podcasts, lots of books.
    • Jason: Podcasts
  • What’s a podcast you’d recommend?
    • Jen: The Nod – about African American culture, narrative-based.
    • Jason: Everything is Alive
  • Give us a glimpse of your morning routine.
    • One of them gets up with their 3.5-year-old and the other sleeps in.
    • They get themselves together.
    • Jason gets their son out the door to school.
    • Jen does pilates or gets to work.
  • What is something that you are not very good at?
    • Jen: Algebra, Drawing
    • Jason: Home improvement
  • What is your go-to pump up song?
    • Jen: Chain of Fools by Aretha Franklin
    • Jason: Underdog by Spoon
  • What is one place where we can find you the most?
    • Find their book on Amazon or wherever you find books.
    • mrniceguynovel.com
    • @heyfeifer on Twitter or Instagram
    • jasonfeifer.com

3 Key Points:

  1. You have to be patient while holding onto your impatience and pushing yourself.
  2. In publishing, your connections are important inasmuch it can make a sale.
  3. When you have a community that supports each other good things happen.

Tweetable Quotes:

  • “The mistakes actually help you figure out where you’re going.”
  • “It was a three-year process of writing Mr. Nice Guy before we got a deal.”
  • “The key to working together with anybody is distinct roles and responsibilities.”

Resources Mentioned:

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