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Jan 29, 2020

In Part Two of this file we return with an exclusive look into the process behind not only how a writer gets paid to ghostwrite a title for a celebrity, but also the writing, researching, and indie publishing of a book that has sat on top of the Amazon charts for over a year.

“If you’re struggling to figure out what to write, it means you don’t know what you want to say." – Adam Skolnick

Note: We had to get special permission from the incredible human and author, David Goggins, to share this story – so this is truly an exclusive – but it’s no secret that the book was written by my good friend. A huge thank you to Mr. Goggins and his spirit, generosity, and ethos.

From ideation of his bestselling book Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds – by Author David Goggins – to publishing with Lioncrest, and the experimental new media formats like an audiobook/podcast and beyond, this is a glimpse behind the camouflage curtain.

“... Can't Hurt Me, shares [Goggins's] astonishing life story and reveals that most of us tap into only 40% of our capabilities. He calls this The 40% Rule, and his story illuminates a path that anyone can follow to push past pain, demolish fear, and reach their full potential.”

The writer (or ghostwriter) is an award-winning international journalist, author, serial pundit, and “bad penny” Adam Skolnick, our own international correspondent.

Adam’s narrative nonfiction book is available in paperback — One Breath: Freediving, Death, and the Quest to Shatter Human Limits — is based on his award-winning New York Times sports coverage of the death of the greatest American freediver of all time.

The book has been compared to other classics of extreme sports journalism — like Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, and National Geographic Traveller called it “A vicarious thrill that you can enjoy in a little over 300 pages ... unless you read it in the bath...”

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This episode of The Writer Files is brought to you by the team at Author Accelerator. Author Accelerator book coaches give writers feedback, accountability, and support while you write, so you can get that your idea out of your head and onto the page.

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If you missed the first half of this show you can find it right here. And if you’ve missed previous episodes of The Writer Files you can find them all in the show notes, in the archives at, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you tune in.

In Part Two of this file Adam Skolnick and I discussed:

  • The importance of a large social following for non-fiction authors
  • How timing plays such a big role in self-publishing success
  • Why an audiobook/podcast hybrid might be the next big thing for authors
  • The Golden Age for ghostwriting opportunities
  • How David Goggins's inspiring message goes beyond cookie cutter self-help
  • And why "there is no finish line"

Show Notes: