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Michael Levin, CEO
New York Times best selling author Michael Levin has written, co-written or ghostwritten an astonishing 90+ books, of which eight are national best sellers. He is the nationally acknowledged thought leader in the delivery of the next generation of business books.
He has also published three of his own novels--three with Simon & Schuster and two with Putnam/Berkley. Five of Michael’s five published works have been optioned for film or TV, by Steven Soderbergh/Paramount, HBO, Disney, ABC, and others. One of his own novels became Model Behavior, an ABC Sunday night Disney movie of the week. He has cowritten with Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, football broadcasting legend Pat Summerall, NBA star Doug Christie, Hollywood publicist Howard Bragman, three-time Super Bowl winner Chad Hennings of the Dallas Cowboys, and FBI undercover agent Joaquin Garcia. As a publishing consultant, Michael numbers among his many bestselling clients Zig Ziglar, Michael Gerber, and Jay Abraham.
Michael has published with Simon & Schuster (five books), Random House (twice), St. Martin’s Press, Beacon Press, Penguin (five books), Putnam/Berkley (two novels), Wiley, BenBella, and many other houses.
He has also contributed to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Jerusalem Post, Writers Digest, and CBS News.
Michael’s books have received outstanding reviews in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the New Yorker, People Magazine, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Examiner, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, the Boston Globe, Esquire, and Booklist, and other leading publications.
He is an Amherst College graduate, a Columbia Law School-trained attorney and a non-practicing member of the Massachusetts bar. He served for many years as a member of the prestigious Authors Guild Council and as Treasurer of the Authors Guild Foundation.
Some of his titles include:
ROCK YOUR DREAMS! Turning Your Idea Into Reality…Satisfaction…And A Whole Lot Of Cold, Hard Cash, with David Fishof, founder of the Rock ‘N Roll Fantasy Camp, to be published in 2012 by BenBella Books.
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, SELL!, with David Oliphant, a “business fable” about a Marine who leaves the service and makes a career for himself in sales...without compromising his integrity. To be published in Fall, 2011 by Readers Digest Books.
NASCAR IS AMERICA: HOW RACING’S VALUES MIRROR THE NATION’S, with Fox Broadcaster Chris Myers, to be published in Spring, 2011 by Nanosecond Books.
GIANTS, with Pat Summerall, published in October, 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, detailing Summerall’s experiences when he was coached by Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi in the same 1958 season with the New York Giants.
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT, with Chad Hennings, 3-time Super Bowl winner with the Dallas Cowboys and a fighter pilot in the first Gulf War, who flew 45 humanitarian missions to the Kurds, published in January, 2010 by FaithWorks.
WHERE’S MY FIFTEEN MINUTES? HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE IN THE MEDIA AGE, with famed Hollywood publicist Howard Bragman, published in 2009 by Penguin/Portfolio Books. Howard Bragman has represented everyone in Hollywood from Sinatra to Madonna and is a frequent guest on Larry King Live, CNN, and throughout the media. The book reached #10 on the national Barnes&Nobel.com best sellers list.
THE STICKING POINT, with Jay Abraham, America’s leading marketing guru, published in 2009 by Vanguard Books; the book reached number 2 on several amazon.com business best seller lists.
PERSONAL FOUL, by Tim Donaghy, the NBA referee convicted of feeding information about NBA games to the Mafia; a Barnes and Nobel.com best seller.
GHOSTWRITTEN NOVEL, published by a leading socialite, which reached number two on the BN.com best seller list and was optioned by HBO.
MAKING JACK FALCONE with Joaquin Garcia, the true story of the FBI agent who infiltrated the Mafia and took down the top 32 members of the Gambino crime family, published by Simon and Schuster/Touchstone in 2008. This book was optioned in 2007 by Paramount for Steven Soderbergh, director of Traffic, Erin Brockovich and Ocean’s 11. It was featured on 60 Minutes in October, 2008 and is a New York Times bestseller.
DROPPING THE BALL with Hall-of-Fame baseball player Dave Winfield, published with Scribner in March, 2007, currently in its second printing, and reached number 2 on the Los Angeles Times nonfiction best seller list. The New York Times called it “unusually thoughtful;” the Boston Globe called it “eloquent,” and it was deemed “recommended reading” in Esquire Magazine.
NO ORDINARY LOVE, with NBA star Doug Christie and his wife Jackie Christie, published in 2007.
Other leading clients: Michael is currently working on projects with business leader Michael Gerber, creator of the E-Myth concept, which has sold more than 5 million books; broadcaster Leeza Gibbons; broadcaster Pat O’Brien, sports broadcasting legend Jim Lampley; and Dancing With The Stars host Bruno Tonioli.
Leading Ghostwriter: Michael is one of the most accomplished ghostwriters in the nation, having written dozens of books for private clients focusing on biography, business, sports, healthcare, body/mind/spirit, and social issues. His client list includes a member of the Forbes 400, five individuals with net worths of over half a billion dollars, and business leaders on four continents (North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia).
Recognizing his work: One of his New York Times opinion pieces was anthologized in a college textbook on writing. He has presented seminars on creativity for the NBC and WB Television Networks and to the largest law firm in Los Angeles, Loeb & Loeb; and as a faculty member at UCLA (1990-2001) and New York University (1997-2000).
Public Speaking: In 2008, Michael shared the speakers’ platform with four legendary figures: Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People; Mark Victor Hansen, originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series; quarterback and business leader Fran Tarkenton; and marketing guru Jay Abraham at Jay’s Reunion 2008 event at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Personal Life: Michael and his wife Suzanne have been married for ten years and are raising their four children in Orange County, California. A distance athlete, Michael has completed more than two dozen triathlons, marathons, and half-marathons since his 44th birthday and has completed three of the last six Boston Marathons. He ran as a guide runner for a disabled runner in the 2010 New York City Marathon and will do that again in the 2011 Los Angeles and San Diego Rock N Roll Marathons. He is also an “11-gallon man”, having donated more than 88 units of blood to the American Red Cross over the past 20 years.
Reviews of Michael’s Books:
Outrageous...passionate...funny...entertaining...satirically engaging...so amusingly complex that one can't help getting caught up by its machinery."
The New York Times, Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
"Levin's verbal humor glistens."
The New Yorker
"Lively with the indignation of a bright young man whose time has been wasted."
The Washington Post
"You needn't have attended law school to fall in love with The Socratic Method."
San Francisco Chronicle
"Levin satirizes as effectively as Calvin Trillin and Kingsley Amis."
"A marvelously complex plot...A thoroughly good time."
The New York Times Book Review
"Irresistible...It's hard not to get caught up in the frenzy."
Los Angeles Times
"The plot lines are ingeniously and meticulously drawn."
Cleveland Plain Dealer
"A master of complex plotting"
People frequently ask me whether I started BusinessGhost.com deliberately or whether I fell into it. I’d like to tell you that I had a master plan, but that’s not exactly how things happened.
I received my J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1985 and went to work as an attorney in Boston. There were only two problems—I didn’t like being a lawyer, and I kept failing the Bar. And this is in Massachusetts, where the only people who regularly fail the Bar aside from me…are the Kennedys.
Two years after graduating from Columbia, I was all but unemployable in Boston’s tight-knit legal community. No matter—I was in my late twenties, had minimal financial responsibilities (aside from student loans, of course), and had already sold three books, including two novels to Simon & Schuster. I figured that if I didn’t try to make it as a writer now, I never would.
Unfortunately, within four years, at the same time that my Columbia classmates were making partners at their firms, I was a starving writer literally. I was dead broke, and actually qualified for heating assistance in Massachusetts, because my annual income was so low.
Sixteen years ago, I met a man who became my business mentor and one of my best friends to this day. A highly successful restaurant owner, he told me that he had mentored a lot of creative people and that “You can’t do your best creative work when you’re wondering about how you’re going to pay your rent or put food on the table.”
He sat me down in the Dunkin’ Donuts in Cleveland Circle and showed me how to value my time in a business sense. He suggested that I offer private writing classes, because that would keep me involved with what I loved, writing, and would also bring in enough money to pay for my life so that I could keep on pursuing my dream with making it as a published author.
I rented space in a yoga studio, bought a white board and chairs, created fliers, and traipsed around the city of Boston, sticking my fliers in every store that would let me, while listening to Steven Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People” on my Walkman. I initially offered two six-week classes at $150 per student. I filled the classes, taught them, and the two classes became four, and then six, and then eight, and I was now running a successful teaching business. The best news of all was that I still had time to write, and I wasn’t starving anymore!
In addition to teaching my own private classes, I was flying out to Southern California three times a year to teach writing classes at UCLA, and before long, I received an invitation to teach writing at New York University as well. My students began to ask me to consult with them on their manuscripts, and before long, they also invited me to co-write or ghostwrite their books for them.
At the same time, my own writing career took off, and over the years, I have published a total of six novels, including three with Simon & Schuster and two with Putnam/Berkley, and nonfiction books with a variety of other publishers. My own work has been published by Simon & Schuster, Random House, St. Martin’s Press, Beacon Press, and a variety of other top publishers. Over the years, I have also written for The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CBS News, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and a variety of other top outlets.
I ghostwrote my first book in 1986 while still in “starving writer” phase. Since then, the writers on the BusinessGhost team, myself included, have ghostwritten more than forty books for our clients, who come from the fields of finance, entrepreneurship, consulting, health care, technology, real estate, psychology, body/mind/spirit, and other fields.
Along the way, Disney optioned and made one of my novels into an ABC Sunday Night TV movie, Model Behavior. My wife and I were on our honeymoon in Hawaii when the movie was being shot in Toronto, so we cut short our time in Hawaii, flew to Toronto, and became extras in the movie. We only appear for a couple of seconds, but it’s long enough for our kids to get a big kick out of seeing us. (It’s only ten years ago, but we look so young!)
I’ve also had the privilege of working with many celebrities, top athletes, and extraordinary individuals, including FBI super agent Joaquin Garcia, with whom I wrote the New York Times bestseller, Making Jack Falcone.
That book tells the true story of Garcia’s experiences of spending two and a half years undercover with the Mafia while working four other major undercover cases at the same time. While juggling five different identities, as well as his marriage and family, my coauthor was only two weeks away from being proposed for full membership in the Mafia when the FBI pulled him off the case, mostly for bureaucratic reasons. Steven Soderbergh and Paramount bought the film rights to Garcia’s story, and
So that’s where things stand today. BusinessGhost, Inc. has come a long way from those starving writer days back in Brookline, Massachusetts. Today, I have the unique privilege of serving a fascinating variety of highly successful, deeply knowledgeable individuals. Like you!
on June 14, 2011 :
This book is extremely informative, entertaining and easy to read. The information in it is invaluable to anyone who wants to write, edit, publish or otherwise work with words for a living. The majority if it is geared toward nonfiction, but it contains important advice for fiction writers as well, and will leave you feeling more confident about navigating the world of publishing.
Also, make sure you read the endnotes. They're hilarious.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on May 18, 2011 :
I bought this book only today and, once I started reading it, I could not put it down. It carries such a profound message that, in my view, it should be compulsory reading for all aspiring writers. Others already involved in the world of publishing might benefit from it, too, if they have an open mind.
The writer conveys plenty of gloom about the future of literacy - and learning in general - but provides an avenue of hope in the non-fiction world. He seems less worried about the future of fiction, devoting just one chapter to this area which I found comparatively reassuring.
I have absolutely no connection with the author. But, if you are writing a book, or trying to get one published, I urge you to read this. It opened new windows in my mind, and was well worth my time.
(reviewed the day of purchase)