How I Work

TED2019 Interview Series: Penguin Random House's Adrian Zackheim on how he decides what to publish

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Episode notes

Have you ever wanted to write a book and get it published? Or maybe you have already done so? If you have any interest in this field, I think you’ll like today’s interview which is with Adrian Zackheim. Adrian is the founder and publisher of Portfolio, a business book imprint at Penguin Random House.

At Portfolio, Adrian has published bestselling books, such as Purple Cow by Seth Godin, Start With Why by Simon Sinek, and The Smartest Guys in the Room by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind. More recently, he published Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport, who I had on the show recently, and they have also published many of Ryan Holiday’s books, one of my favourite writers.

I feel like every second great business book I read is published by Portfolio, so I was very keen to talk to Adrian about his approach to book pitching and making decisions.

This is a shortish interview episode, and I think it’s a really relevant one to current and aspiring writers. I hope you enjoy it.

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