Your writing is an art—but if you want to sell books and make a living from your stories, it’s also a business. How do you balance nurturing your creativity with the demands of the market? And how do you do that while also telling stories that connect with readers in powerful ways?

How to Connect With Readers: Marianne Richmond

In this episode of Character Test, I talk with a children’s book author about the personal challenges she faced growing up and how they’ve impacted her storytelling today. 

Marianne Richmond is the author of sixty books for children, including If I Could Keep You Little and Be Brave, Little One. Together with her husband, she built a multi-million dollar business selling her books and cards. She’s a champion of creativity and connection, and her books capture universal emotions.

Listen to our conversation on the podcast on Apple PodcastsAndroidSpotifyStitcherSimpleCast, or here below:

Great characters capture our empathy, and Marianne is an expert at evoking emotion in her readers. In this episode, we talk about her own journey through book publishing, including:

  • The medical mystery that left her feeling isolated and afraid throughout her childhood.
  • How she self-published her books—in 1997, long before Amazon, IngramSpark, Draft2Digital, and dozens of other services made self-publishing widely accessible.
  • Her multi-million dollar business’s most catastrophic failure, how she nearly went bankrupt, and what she did instead.
  • How she writes for the “unique everybody.”
  • Why her children’s books can bring me to tears—and why that’s a good thing.
  • How to write about a character in the story when the character is you, the reader.

You can find Marianne and her books at

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.

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