Sex/Life with BB Easton, Episode #68

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Today’s guest on Mitlin Money Mindset™ is best-selling author BB Easton. BB never intended to become an author. She was a full-time school psychologist and new mom when inspiration struck. BB began writing down her own stories just for fun, no one was supposed to read them. She took the events that followed and turned them into her hilarious, heart-warming, hot-as-hell comedic memoir, 44 Chapters About 4 Men: A Memoir! Within weeks, it hit the Amazon Top 100 Bestseller list and received a glowing review from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover. 44 Chapters About 4 Men: A Memoir also won the After Dark Book Lovers Shortie Award for Best Debut of 2016.

Ultimately the book was the inspiration for the Sex/Life series on Netflix and quickly skyrocketed to one of their most-watched original series of all time. Due to the book’s success and BB’s desire to keep writing, she quit her stressful job, dyed her hair pink, and went on to publish four more wickedly funny, shockingly steamy, and heartwarmingly honest books. Listen in for some great takeaways about how BB made the transition from school psychologist to full-time author.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • Who is BB Easton and how did she get here? [2:59]
  • Self-publishing “44 Chapters About 4 Men” [6:08]
  • Support from Colleen Hoover [9:32]
  • BB’s husband Ken’s reaction when he read her journals [12:49]
  • The transition from school psychologist to full-time author [15:01]
  • How “44 Chapters About 4 Men” became the Netflix series Sex/Life [18:14]
  • How involved was BB with the adaptation of the book to the series? [24:13]
  • What BB hopes women will take away from the book and the series [31:53]
  • What BB Easton did today that put her in the right mindset for success? [35:20]

From journal jotting school psychologist to bonafide author

It all began after having children when BB was home on maternity leave. She’s started to write these spicy journals. To keep herself awake at night while feeding the babies BB had been reading a lot of romance novels. She thought, “I can write these books.” BB explains how she went through a pretty extensive, bad boy phase and she had dated all these guys she was reading about. It got her thinking about some of the wild times she’d had, so BB started writing them down. To her horror, her husband read some of her writings and she braced herself for the incoming divorce papers. Instead, he started taking her on dates and spicing things up a little.

BB realized that some of the things that were happening in her marriage were starting to mirror some of the things that she had written about in her journal. She kept going and milked it as much as possible! For about a year she’d write these journals and then watch her husband’s behavior to see where he would go with it. She was a psychologist after all. BB says one of her psychologist friends is like the devil on her shoulder, the evil therapist if you will, and she suggested to BB that she just start making things up. Makeup things that exes did. Write about whatever it is BB dreamed her husband would do. It became the holy grail of marital behavior modification. BB started writing these outlandish journals that were Harlequin romance novel-worthy. BB’s husband is a very straight-laced introverted accountant so the results were pretty funny, she turned it into a book and hasn’t looked back.

Self-publishing when your genre is outside of the box

BB started out trying to get published. In fact, she spent a year trying. Her part-time job was writing query letters and researching agents, publishers, and editors. Over the course of that year, she learned that there are very few literary agents in America and only about five big noteworthy publishers and they want to see an established platform, a track record of book sales, a huge podcast following, or that you’re great on social media and you have an army of readers ready to go. BB had none of that.

She did see interest from a few agents and editors and the thing that encouraged BB was that they all said the same thing. They said we love it. We love your voice. It’s hilarious. The whole office was cracking up, but we don’t know what shelf to put you on. BB was too steamy for comedic memoir and too real for nonfiction. They just didn’t know how to market her and the publishing industry lives, breaths, and dies by genre. Since she didn’t fit into the box she spent the next year learning how to self publish.

In the acknowledgments, BB listed a couple of her favorite authors who inspired her and she emailed them e-book copies. Colleen Hoover was the only one who actually opened it. She flipped to the acknowledgments and then she started reading the book. The book had been out for maybe two weeks and people started just blowing up BB’s phone. Evidently, Colleen had gone on social media and posted everywhere about BB’s book. Within hours it hit the Amazon top 100 bestseller list!

From book to series—Luck by design

BB used to say she just got lucky. It was just a fluke. But the more she looks back on it, she realizes there was some luck, but it was also relentless networking and a good product. You have to have something that is different or that people want to read. It was a combination of all of those things, but luck by design really fits it.

As BB was hustling and trying to find an agent or an editor or somebody to help her publish this book she was networking. Talking to all of her friends to see if anybody knew anybody. A friend of BB’s, Sasha on the show, Sarah in the book, said “I’m gonna find you a literary agent. I know everybody.” So she ended up schmoozing with some people at a wedding and a girl she was talking to was an editor who knew an agent and gave me a number and was like call this guy. So BB just cold calls this poor man who turns out to be a talent manager in LA, not a literary agent. But, he wants to hear about BB’s project. Check out the episode to hear how that cold call led to one of Netflix’s most popular original series of all time.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with BB Easton

Bio

BB Easton lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, with her long-suffering husband, Ken, and two adorable children. She recently quit her job as a school psychologist to write books about her punk rock past and deviant sexual history full-time. Ken is suuuper excited about that.

BB’s debut memoir, 44 CHAPTERS ABOUT 4 MEN, is the inspiration for the Netflix Original Series SEX/LIFE. Because she had so much fun writing it, she decided to give each of her four men his own backstory novel: SKIN, SPEED, STAR, and SUIT.

THE RAIN TRILOGY, an epic, immersive, end-of-the-world romance, is BB’s first work of fiction. Or at least, that’s what she thought when she wrote it in 2019. Then 2020 hit and all of her dystopian plot points started coming true. If you need her, she’ll be busy writing a feel-good utopian rom-com to see if that fixes everything.

Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative of CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.

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