Mary E. Rundlett, new Secretary for Coach Dutch Bergman. October 31, 1935. Via Library of Congress. Public Domain

Purple Shark interview with Art Kleiner, who is always interesting

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Art Kleiner did an interview with Purple Shark Transcriptions. It’s fascinating to read. In this part he discusses his career path.

If you’re a hidden high potential (2HiPo), his career path is fascinating. Of course, as someone who has been contracted to ghostwrite The Book for various older consultants, I find his comments on those jobs particularly interesting:

And when you’re struggling along as a freelance journalist in business, you look for the thing that’s going to get you the most income, and that’s a CEO biography. So, I decided I was going to get a CEO biography and I found one. He wanted to do a book on ethics and values in business and I signed up with him to ghostwrite it with him. At the end, I sort of said, “You know, the amount of money I quoted is not enough, I need to quote some more money.” and he backed away. And then I was really left struggling.

Calls to mind a project that I took on a few years back. I looked at the estimated page count, ran my own estimates, then went trawling for others’ heuristics on pricing. I flat-bid the job (a BIG mistake) for $X.

It didn’t turn out that well.

When I was in the throes of finishing my last draft, I met a fellow writer and complained about the project essentially turning out to be a money-loss.

“Wait — did you say $X?” he asked. “For the whole thing?”


“Man, I’d have bid that starting at $6X and then had contractual add-ons.”

Lesson well learned.

Mary E. Rundlett, new Secretary for Coach Dutch Bergman. Oct. 1935. Via Library of Congress. Public Domain.

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