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April 10, 2024 38 mins

Jo Piazza joins us this week to talk about her latest book, “The Sicilian Inheritance” that is sure to be the book of the summer. As a journalist, author, and fellow podcast host, Jo has learned to adapt to the growing influencer economy, pulling inspiration from women like the Kardashians to master the art of self-promotion. Emily and Jo chat about her new book (out now!) and how Jo may or may not have started the “mob wife” aesthetic. They also explore actionable ways women can uplift one another as they shamelessly self promote themselves. 

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She Pivots was created by host Emily Tisch Sussman to highlight women, their stories, and how their pivot became their success. To learn more about Jo, follow us on Instagram @ShePivotsThePodcast or visit shepivotsthepodcast.com.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome back to Sheep Pivots. I'm Joe Piazza.

Speaker 2 (00:08):
Welcome back to Sheep Pivots. I'm your host, Emily Tish Sussman.
When I was planning this season, I wanted to make
sure she pivots was a means for building connections. I
said during our season launch party that we are the
generation of women who build bridges and don't tear each
other down. And she pivots as a way to empower
women to look inward to find success for themselves and

(00:30):
not by society standards. And it's working. We're seeing a
substantial change in the way women think about and talk
about their lives and their careers. I'm so excited to
dig deeper into these pivotal moments through these shorter, more conversational,
candid conbos this season. Let's jump right in. I am

(00:52):
delighted to share today's episode with the Joe Piazza, best
selling author, fellow podcast creator and host, and an award
winning journalist. Her new book, The Sicilian Inheritance is out everywhere,
so be sure to go snag a copy wherever you
get your books, and snag a pick of you reading it.

(01:13):
In this episode, we dive into what it takes to
stay relevant in the influencer economy. How Joe's early experience
as a tabloid writer established skills that now help her
today and actionable easy ways women can support one another. Thus,
we just generally have fun. Hope you enjoy. Do you
know that chair in your bedroom? Yes, you do. We

(01:35):
all have one, the one that was meant to be decorative.
We all love the look, but in reality it's become
a catch all for all the clothes we wear in
constant rotation. The pieces are so intertwined into our daily
lives that they seldom make it to the laundry basket,
back to the closet, or to the dry cleaner. That
is the category where duster lives. My friend Melissa and

(02:00):
mag say say look to her Filipino heritage when searching
for a piece that would address the void for the
comfortable daily clothes that weren't quite at leisure wear. Traditionally,
a duster is a simple and simple, loose fitting house
dress worn by Filipino women while doing housework. But the
look of work for women has changed, and I love
that duster allows me to run from drop off to

(02:21):
meetings to interviews while I may still lovingly toss it
into the chair. It is truly the perfect item to
simply experience life with my kids in. You can shop
all their adorable styles at shopduster dot com and follow
them on Instagram at shop Duster.

Speaker 1 (02:41):
I am Joe Piazza, and I guess I have to
call myself a media multi hyphen it these days.

Speaker 3 (02:48):
I run my own.

Speaker 1 (02:50):
Podcast production company. I'm the host and creator of the
podcasts Under the Influence and Committed, and I'm the author
of what is now being called the Book of the Summer,
Sicilian Inheritance.

Speaker 2 (03:02):
Yes it is. I'm so excited to find out if
I am still literate by reading your book. I'm not
one hundred percent sure, It's been a while since I've
actually read, yes, but I'm thrilled to get into your book.

Speaker 1 (03:13):
Okay, here is what people keep telling me, because I've
been giving it to a lot of women who are
in a reading slump, and they say it's an easy read,
it's a fun read, but you also feel smarter when
you finish it. And so a lot of people have
told me Sicilian Inheritance has gotten them out of their
reading slump, which is a nice compliment.

Speaker 2 (03:33):
Like the highest of compliments, the highest.

Speaker 1 (03:36):
I mean, I kind of like my publisher doesn't agree
with anything that I say. But I'm like, could you
actually put that as a quote on the front of
the book, the best book to get you out of
your reading slump? Because I'm like, that's good advertising.

Speaker 2 (03:48):
Yeah, what's possibly not good about that? Like what's their pushback?

Speaker 1 (03:51):
They're like, well, don't you want some famous author on
the front. And I'm like, yeah, I love other famous authors.
But also people want to know that this book is
going to get them out of their reading slump.

Speaker 2 (03:59):
Okay, right Exactly. It turns out that people are going
like they want to know if they're going to read,
like they're actually.

Speaker 3 (04:04):
They want to know if they're going to read.

Speaker 2 (04:05):
Yeah, yeah, they're gonna read it. So it sounds like
actually a huge way to sell it to me.

Speaker 1 (04:09):
Don't worry when we get off, I'm going to make
the ad and I'm just gonna do it myself.

Speaker 2 (04:13):
Okay, I mean, isn't that what we're all doing these days?
Like we're all just diying it ourselves, like you're publishing.

Speaker 3 (04:19):
We all do.

Speaker 1 (04:20):
We all do all the things all the time because
we are women and we are the greatest multitaskers on
the planet, is what we are.

Speaker 2 (04:27):
And I didn't realize how much of a multitasker I
could be until I had three children.

Speaker 3 (04:33):
No, my, that just.

Speaker 2 (04:34):
Set me on another level of multitasking.

Speaker 1 (04:37):
I had no idea. I genuinely believe that having kids
wakes up this part of your brain that is dormant
sometimes that is maybe dormant before you have kids, and
you are it's almost a superpower. Multi My ability to
multitask is now a superpower. Yeah, on another level level.

(05:00):
So I love your podcasts. I love your books, like
I love everything you put out into the world. You've
got a great article out right now, Like I just
I love everything that you put out into the world.
And I think that we're in an age where well
I think, I know, we are in an age where
media is redefining itself and what it means to be
a publisher, a journalist, a host, like any of this.

(05:22):
Like we're reformatting all these jobs and how we make
work out of it and how we define it. You
are a journalist, like that is where you started that
and you have been able to make this transition. I
think in a way that a lot of journalists have
not been able to. So can you talk us through
a little bit of that, like you started in like journalism,
like the way that people of our age like are journalists. Yes, totally.

(05:45):
And I have a lot to say on this because
I do sit down with young women or women in
middle age who are looking to pivot their careers, who
ask me, oh, my gosh, how do I become a writer?
And my answer is, there is no one path anymore,
and there used to be one path. So when I
started out, I went to journalism school, I wrote for

(06:06):
the school paper, I interned at the New York Times,
and then my first journalism job, which I don't talk
about that much, is I write about municipal bonds for
a newspaper called The Bond Buyer, perhaps the least sexy
journalism job. And then I bounced to the most sexy
journalism job, which is I was a gossip columnist for
the New York Daily News, and then a staff writer

(06:26):
and a columnist and an editor for the New York
Daily News. I assumed I would be in magazines and
newspapers for the rest of my life, Like that's what
I thought my trajectory was going to be, and then
the Internet came along and that industry started to both
die and to pivot and to change and evolve. And

(06:47):
I've been evolving my career now for the past fifteen years.
And you know, I had watched the editors before me
have twenty thirty forty year careers in print at one place,
and that no longer exists anymore. So I did think,
I'm like, Okay, I'm going to embrace these new formats.
I'm doing this right, I'm doing social, I'm doing digital.

(07:07):
And then podcasts came along, and I was like, well,
here we are, and now influencer media and having to
make yourself a brand is where I think all writers
and journalists are at. And though it is not something
I enjoy, it is something I have embraced in order
to be able to continue this career as a journalist

(07:30):
and as an author. And so I think that the
best advice I have for anyone right now is that
you have to turn yourself into a brand, and you
have to be intensely nimble. And the journalists that I
know that I have left the industry, they didn't want
to be nimble. They didn't want to leave the old
ways behind, and I get it because it sucks and

(07:52):
it's hard, and there are days when I am filled
with constant, constant anxiety. In fact, tomorrow's episode of Under
the Influence podcast is entitled I'm just a high functioning mess.
But I did it, and I'm happy I did it
because I think it has prepared me for what is
a very uncertain media future.

Speaker 2 (08:12):
Yeah, I think it's It feels incredibly uncertain. Even I
feel like podcasting as an industry is like turning over
every six months. It's like entirely the landscape is entirely
changing every six months. I mean, I kind of I
agree that. I think the journalists who are doing well
now are basically making their money off substack because they've
and so they have a big funnel to bring readers
into it, and now everyone's doing a podcast to go

(08:35):
along with it. But I actually think it's not sustainable,
Like I don't think it's sustainable for people to put
so much of themselves out all the time, Like you
can't put all I struggle with this, like there are
some vulnerabilities and some insecurities that I have that I'm
incredibly open about, like the fact that I had no
identity after my political career entirely tanked. But there's some

(08:57):
things like I'm still working through and I'm not comfortable
talking about them. And I think that's true for everybody.
But I think that if everybody's a brand and everyone's
supposed to be like projecting their lived experience at all time,
I just don't think that's sustainable. Don't think it's realistic.
I don't think it's sustainable.

Speaker 1 (09:11):
I think the two things you just said are not sustainable. One,
I don't know how sustainable it is to do substack
and to keep creating, creating more and more content when
the world is just filled with so much content. At
this point, I can't even find things that I would
like to read because there's just so much out there.

(09:32):
And I also don't think everybody being a brand and
everyone being a micro celebrity is sustainable. I know it's
not sustainable for me. There's a lot that I talk about.
I just wrote a substack on my over the Influence
newsletter where I showed pictures of my butt in a bikini,
my big my mom butt, and my mom belly in
a bathing suit. Because I do know, I genuinely believe

(09:54):
that moms are hungry for images of real human beings,
and I'm very passionate about that. So I share about that.
I share about my anxiety, I share about my family.
But I'm running out of things to share.

Speaker 2 (10:07):
No, I feel that. I feel like people are like, oh, well,
I was just talking to Rebecca MinC Off the other
day and she's like, oh, well, I'm starting on my substack.
I'm going to share like my morning routines and what
I use. And I was like, well, she was like,
you should do that too, and I was like, well,
but I don't change anything like that would be one
really short column from me.

Speaker 1 (10:24):
And kind of boring, kind of boring thing. Yeah, I
will say, it's so interesting because my morning routine newsletter
is still like one of the biggest red ones that
I did, which is so funny because my morning routine
is chaos, Like I don't get up and do a
freaking skincare routine. Like you were looking at me pretty
much how I got out of bed, except I put

(10:46):
on a jumpsuit and a furry vest because until Sicilian
inheritance comes out, I'm very committed to the mob wife aesthetic.

Speaker 2 (10:54):
Oh this is all I worked out for you.

Speaker 1 (10:56):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, no it has. It's as if the
mob wife aesthetic on TikTok happened just for me. Right, well,
did you start it? I didn't start it that I mean,
I wish I had, but I still don't understand TikTok.
That is like that, I mean talking about embracing new mediums,
that is something I just I'm confounded by. I try,

(11:16):
I try and try, but I it just it hasn't
worked out for me.

Speaker 2 (11:22):
And you've been very helpful to me as I started
this show and figuring out like how I format it,
what phase I've gone through, And I so appreciate that,
Like I feel like the way that women now are
helping one another, it is so the opposite of the
narratives that we had heard we were entering the workforce
about women being competitive and holding one another down. That's

(11:42):
actually not the experience that I've had. Like my experience
has been women really helping me and not being competitive.
And you have been incredible. You have been incredibly helpful
to me. So I just wanted to thank you for that.

Speaker 3 (11:53):
Thank you.

Speaker 1 (11:54):
I mean, I think like one of our goals as
women has to be to uplift other women and to
help other women and to just be there as a
support system.

Speaker 2 (12:04):
You know.

Speaker 1 (12:05):
I came up in newspapers which were very male dominated,
very misogynistic and patriarchal. And I had incredible mentors Joanna
Maloy who wrote the Russian Malloy column, Colleen Curtis, who
was our features editor. But I also had the worst
boss of my life at that newspaper, who was vicious
and abusive and competitive and mean. And I hate saying

(12:28):
that because it's about another woman, but it does define
what a certain generation of women learned in the workplace,
and I think that we're unlearning that and trying to
pass that on to the next generation.

Speaker 2 (12:39):
Yeah, I think that's absolutely true. And I think something
that's helped me in this space is that podcasts actually
aren't really competitive with one another, but it's kind of
only additive, Like if someone likes your podcast, there's a
similar one, then they'll probably like the other one too.
And like you, no one can listen to twenty yet
when no one can publish twenty hours of podcasts a.

Speaker 3 (12:59):
Week, no, I've tried, I've tried.

Speaker 2 (13:02):
I feel like if anyone can do it, you're getting
very close. So like the audience is only additive, and
I do feel like there's a little bit of a
hanging on of the previous generation that feels that it
should be competitive because everything else was competitive. But I
do think for the most part, people are are very
generous with helping each other with stories, with guests, with

(13:24):
cross promotion, like I do find I think that's why
I like it. I like being in spaces that feel
really positive, Like I think I spent so much of
my career just trying to eat everyone else around me.

Speaker 3 (13:34):
Yeah.

Speaker 1 (13:34):
Yeah, now you you were in what I think is
one of the worst spaces to be in. I mean,
I covered politics for a while too, and I worked
at a little liberal experiment called Current TV.

Speaker 2 (13:45):
Oh yes, I recall Current TV. Wasn't that the Al
Gore station?

Speaker 1 (13:49):
Uh huh, yeah, I worked with I worked with Al
and Gavin. This lineup is fucking bananas. Okay, it was
Al Gavin Newsome Elliott spits sir.

Speaker 3 (14:01):
Yeah.

Speaker 1 (14:02):
After By the way, I was one of the reporters
that like helped to break his hooker scandal, and then
I was like his digital news editor.

Speaker 2 (14:11):
Wait say more about breaking that story?

Speaker 1 (14:14):
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, I mean that was a huge,
huge story for us.

Speaker 3 (14:18):
At the New York Daily News, and.

Speaker 1 (14:20):
I was working on the gossip beat. I was also
working on the political beat at the same time, because
that was when, you know, the lines between gossip and
politics really started to get blurry. And frankly, our beat
had the most access to people who could get us
access to high end escorts, and so we were really

(14:43):
the ones that helped to get a lot of information
about that story. And don't I don't think that he
I mean, you know, he was on such a power trip.
I don't think he knew that I was one of
those reporters. But yeah, so then I'm working at Current
TV like as his digital news editor, and it was
just it was bananas, kind of beautiful and also just

(15:03):
very male dominated, progressive experiment.

Speaker 2 (15:07):
Yeah, there was a lot of that.

Speaker 3 (15:09):
There was a lot of that. There was a lot
of that.

Speaker 1 (15:11):
But yeah, I mean politics is just the I mean
it's nasty. You think celebrity like gossip is nasty, The
political world is nasty. And kudos to you for surviving
an intact girlfriend.

Speaker 2 (15:20):
Well, some would say I survived it intact. I also
just walked right out the door. So I also walked
right out the door of the New York Daily News.

Speaker 3 (15:28):
I like Jerry Maguire out of that shit.

Speaker 2 (15:30):
So you moved to podcasting As an early podcast, it
was committed. Your Committed was your first show, right.

Speaker 3 (15:36):
Yeah, Committed.

Speaker 1 (15:37):
The guys from How Stuff Works approached me seven years
ago and said, hey, Piazza, you've written a lot of books.
Do you want to turn any of them into a podcast.
We're trying to make smarter podcasts. And I was like, yeah, totally.
I've got this one about nuns and they were like,
maybe something else, and I'm like, okay, great, I've also
got this one about interviewing people around the world about
how to be married and how does marriage work? Because

(15:58):
I got married as a thirty five year old's potential
spinster and I'm so curious about how relationships work. And
they're like, yes, that one, And so we created the
Committed podcast, which was one of their biggest podcasts, one
of Iheart's biggest podcasts for a very long time after
iHeart acquired How Stuff Works. And it's just it's a

(16:20):
beautiful exploration of like real marriage and real relationships, and
I'm very excited to bring it back. The first episode
is actually about a couple where the guy suffered from
porn addiction and how they got over that.

Speaker 2 (16:31):
You really do find the stories. We're going to take
a short break for some ads. Now back to the show.
I mean, how do you come up with so many
interesting and distinct ideas so rapidly? This has really been

(16:52):
a point of fascination for me, Like I've had one
good idea here, right, Like I'm just I've had one
and I'm sticking with it. But like in the couple
of years that I've known you, every one of your
ideas is so different, Like she wants more fascinating, Like
how do you come up with all these different ideas
and then execute them at the same time.

Speaker 1 (17:09):
I genuinely credit my early career as a tabloid daily
newspaper writer for my intense idea generation, because you.

Speaker 3 (17:21):
Got to fill that newspaper.

Speaker 1 (17:23):
And if you don't have an idea, and if you
are not constantly constantly busting your ass every day and
handing in that copy by five o'clock, then you're useless
to them.

Speaker 3 (17:33):
Right.

Speaker 1 (17:33):
And I was young, and I was hungry, and so
I've always had that work ethic. I think it's also
why I don't get writer's block, because I'm like, if
I got writer's block, you know, my drunken Australian British
editor or whatever he was going to like throw a
muggle whiskey in my freaking head talk about toxic workplaces
in the early two thousands. But I got excited about
constantly having new and innovative ideas. My agents hate it.

(17:57):
My agents fucking hate it because they're like my agents
now actually don't hate it as much. My first agent
despised it. She's like, you know, you don't really have
a lane and it's hard to sell, and you know,
if you had a lane, then you know, we could
build an audience. And I'm like, I think if you
create good shit, the audience is going to come. And
I think that's that's true now more than ever. An

(18:18):
audience is coming for you, not necessarily what type of
thing you're making. But I will say the Sicilian Inheritance
is a departure from the other books that I've written,
which have been more contemporary fiction. You set in the
modern day, and this is set in the modern day,
but it also has a historical aspect, and it's a thriller,
which I've never written, and some publishing houses were real nervous.

(18:39):
They're like, how do we market this? And I'm like, oh,
as a book, that's how you do that? Yeah, you
just it's a book written by someone who's already sold
a lot of books, so I think it'll be okay.

Speaker 2 (18:52):
How do you as you go through the marketing for
every book that you've done, every podcast that you've done, Like,
as you go through each of them, no one's I
mean I find this more and more with publishing that
no one's the same with podcasts, and like, no one's
going to do as marketing for you, Like you have
to do it on your own. And I agree with
you that I think that people will come if it's interesting,
but you do have to figure out how to appeal

(19:13):
to a new audience. They don't know you yet. How
you have you been thinking about that?

Speaker 1 (19:18):
Hustle, hustle, hustle, And I mean so much of marketing
falls on content creators themselves these days. Little things from
I'm trying to pitch stories that will appeal to a
new audience. Sicilian Inheritance has some steamy sex scenes that
are steamier than the things I've written before. So I
just did I just pitched a personal essay to New

(19:40):
York Magazine about how do I write steamy sex scenes
when my real sex life is super vanilla? And that's
how I like it.

Speaker 2 (19:46):
It incredible.

Speaker 1 (19:48):
It is to please let us know and that will run.
I like boring sex, and I'm not afraid to talk.

Speaker 2 (19:55):
About it, okay, and opening the taboo of boring sex
right life. Hey, just like making it acceptable to just
like regular people sex, okay, just regular Just it's the
next frontier. It's it is the next frontier. Actually, you know,
they're like the most popular books on TikTok right now
are all about like fairies having crazy wild.

Speaker 1 (20:16):
Sex and you know, and like everyone should have all
of the sex that they want to have. But you know,
with polyamory so hot and fairy fucking so hot, you know,
my missionary penis vagina sex.

Speaker 3 (20:27):
Is so boring for people.

Speaker 1 (20:30):
Yeah, I'm interviewing Molly Winter, who just wrote that book
more about her polyamorous experience as a mom. I believe
in Park Slope and she's coming on under the influence
and where we're dropping it into the she wants More feed.
Actually that is a perfect crossover. Totally, totally, I love
a crossover. I love a crossover, and I'm a marketing

(20:50):
monster for Sicilian Inheritance right now, and I mean to
go back to the marketing yep. I think we all
have to be our own marketers. I've learned a lot
from covering celebrities and now covering influencers about how we
have to put ourselves out there. I've been covering the
Kardashians since Kim was a freaking closet organizer who was
begging us to cover her fake relationship with Nick Lache. Okay,

(21:14):
and I in the beginning, no one took the Kardashians seriously.
They left no money on the table.

Speaker 3 (21:22):
They would do.

Speaker 1 (21:23):
Everything and anything it took to get their brands out there.
And I think authors have always thought they were a
little precious for that. Yeah, and I'm not doing that anymore.
I'm screaming from the rooftops by the freaking Sicilian Inheritance.
I've made flyers that I just put up around the
neighborhood and like on the backs of bathroom doors. I
will say it over and over again, because we were

(21:44):
being sold to all the time by things that are
not nearly as good as our books or our podcast.
Club Monaco emails me every day, and I haven't shopped
at Clem Monaco in five fucking years. So if Club
Monaco can still email me every day, I can send
a message out to my audience to be like, hey,
buy this book that you're really going to like.

Speaker 2 (22:00):
Yeah, well, I think that's right. I feel like sometimes
I do feel a little self promotional, but I believe
in the products, like I believe in what I'm putting
out there. I believe that it's important, so then it
feels okay for me to put it out there and
make hard asks totally.

Speaker 1 (22:12):
And you know, I did used to feel self promotional,
and now I don't because I think that we're so
inundated with content all the time that someone has to
see something about twenty times for it to sink in.
And I just I want this book to sink in
because I love it and my goal is for it
to become an instant New York Times bestseller. And I'm
just putting that out into the universe. We're manifesting it.

(22:33):
We're putting it out, We're manifesting things.

Speaker 2 (22:35):
Now it will happen. I love it. Yeah, I feel
like the I definitely see it on the pitch side
of it that like I get pitched so many books
and particularly people who are writing books like around pivoting
and around women pivoting, because it's coming up much more now,
like post pandemic, which I love, Like I love the
category growing for this podcast, it wouldn't make a ton

(22:55):
of sense because it would sound really repetitive for me
just to have more people on that say the same thing.

Speaker 3 (22:59):
Truth totally.

Speaker 2 (23:00):
Yeah, but in the vein of like rising tides, like
I'm you know, we're all helping one another, Like I
do try to find other ways to anyone who's like
putting a book out there, putting a podcast at the
putting it speaking out there. So like maybe we'll put
it in our lose other or we'll put it on
our social or something like that, because I know that
it's hard to put yourself out there. And like if
someone is willing to make an ask to promote themselves,

(23:22):
like I can just feel how vulnerable that is. Yeah,
I want to give them something back, one hundred person,
even if it doesn't fit what we're doing, Like, I
want to give them something back.

Speaker 1 (23:30):
Do you want to give them you want to give
them something? You know, it's so funny. I think about
that in terms of book blurbing. You know, the whole
process of getting other authors to say they say nice
things about about your book and then put it on
your book. And it's solable, vulnerable, and also such a
weird ask, and as an author you have to do
most of it yourself. I blurb almost every book that

(23:52):
comes my way, and if I don't have time to blurb,
I'm like, send it to me. I'll promote it in
some way. There are authors who just ignore you, or
who say I'm on blurb hiatus, which is a weird
fucking thing to say. But I get it that everyone
is busy, but I'm intensely busy. I'm working nine jobs.
I think you find time for the literary community and

(24:15):
to support other authors, especially women authors. So I'm with you, Like,
just putting yourself out there is vulnerable.

Speaker 3 (24:22):
It sucks.

Speaker 1 (24:22):
I hate asking other authors for blurbs. I feel like
someone just saw me naked. And the best ones are
so kind about it, and there's some real assholes that
are on my shit list.

Speaker 2 (24:32):
That kind of stuff you don't forget, like when you
when you're vulnerable and you put yourself out there, and
it's like a major part of publishing a book now, right,
Like I feel like I hear this from authors that like,
when you go to pitch a book, it's like you
have to have an outline of the book, how big
your social following is and who will blurb it?

Speaker 3 (24:47):
Right? Totally, totally.

Speaker 1 (24:48):
I mean it's huge And the fact that you know
publishers do rely on a large social following bums me
out so much because I also know that social followings
don't always translate to book sales. Can but it's a
lot of work to make it translate to book sales.
Same with a substack following. I mean I have been
offering free subscriptions to my substack whenever anyone orders Sicilian

(25:11):
Inheritance and sends me a receipt, but that audience wasn't
automatically going to convert. I had to do something and
step in there. And it's the same with with social media.
Just posting your book on your site isn't going to
do anything now unless you're like really selling it. So
I think it's short sighted of publishers to buy books
based off large social media.

Speaker 2 (25:31):
Yeah, well, I think that's true of anyone who's trying
to market anything right now, they're like, it's all short sighted.
I mean, as the landscape is evolving. You cover this
so much in Under the Influence, your podcast about women
who are social media influencers, and you're going through it yourself,
Like where we are right now, what do you think converts? Like,
we're so bombarded with direct to consumer, whether it's you know,

(25:53):
user generating content or companies it direct to consumer, Like,
what does actually convert now?

Speaker 1 (25:58):
I mean, I think that genuine win recommendations from people
that you have an actual relationship with and trust they
do work. I mean I take book recommendations from other authors.

Speaker 3 (26:10):
That I follow that I really like.

Speaker 1 (26:12):
I take makeup recommendations mostly from my friends, not really
from influencers, although there are things I follow some influencers
that do, like Toddler Food. Jenny Mallin, who is great
and one of my favorite writers and is also gonna
do my Sicilian inheritance, launch It books or magic with me.

Speaker 3 (26:33):
She had an Instagram.

Speaker 1 (26:34):
About Toddler Food for a while and I would just
make it for my kids, right. But I think that
you need like a real connection to someone and have
to really like them as a human being. To take
their recommendations these days, and we're seeing influencer marketing shift
to be that people take recommendations from more micro influencers
than people with say eight point five million followers.

Speaker 2 (26:57):
Oh well, that really bodes well for me then, because
I am not be more micro. In fact, I'm still private.

Speaker 1 (27:02):
Right well, and you know, I mean I would also
like I would love to be private, but the biggest
marketing for my book is now happening on my social
media accounts, and so I can't be private.

Speaker 3 (27:15):
I just I can't be.

Speaker 1 (27:16):
But I do know for a fact that being on
social media more, which I am leading up to the
book launch, I'm more and more depressed and more and
more anxious, and I would love to not be on
it yet.

Speaker 2 (27:27):
Say more about that.

Speaker 1 (27:29):
Oh, I think the we know that social media is addicting.
We know that it's making the brain, it's making the
brain release serotonin and all kinds of chemicals that drugs do,
and so even just being on it and scrolling when
you stop will like leave you feeling a little bit lower.
For me, I follow so many other authors and it's

(27:53):
a it does feel even I mean, if you're very
confident in yourself feels like a comparison game, which sucks.
You know, I want other authors to succeed, but because
we're human beings with egos, you know, you see someone
hitting a bestseller list, or you see someone getting chosen
as an Indie next Book or a book of the month,

(28:14):
and if that doesn't happen for your book, you feel
bad about yourself and then you feel bad all day long.
And all of that information was not available in real
time to us before, and I don't think we need
to be seeing it in real time. I think it
is generally bad for us. So yeah, I'm just I'm
definitely more anxious and more depressed. And I'm also not

(28:35):
going to get off until you know, the end of April,
after this book has made its debut into the world.

Speaker 2 (28:41):
Yeah, well, I am sorry that it makes me more depressed,
but you are one of my favorite people to follow,
and I think it's because of that honesty that like
you're putting it out there, like I actually don't. I
think the comparison got really old for me of like
the perfect looking influencers, Like now I want to see
people who just feel chaotic, like I feel.

Speaker 1 (29:01):
Chaotic, totally totally exactly And the thing is, I love posting,
like I really, I really do, because I like sharing
sharing parts of my life. I like sharing the chaos
in my house, the fact that I'm staring at my
bed right now because my podcast studio is in my bedroom.
I have like a you know, like lovely like echo
chamber in here, but it's an alcove in my bedroom.

(29:22):
And my bed is unmade because I had a four
year old sleeping in it last night with an earache
and just you know, got out of bed and came
over here. So yeah, like that is real life and
the messiness of life. And I do like those parts
of social media. I just I think that there is
also a lot on there that we don't need to see.

Speaker 2 (29:43):
I have so much to say about that thing. More about it,
But but I want to talk about your media company.
We're going to take a short break for some ads.
Now back to the show. This is a big deal,
Like launching your own media company is a big deal.
So tell I mean, how did you come to it?

(30:05):
How are you seeing the boundaries of it now? Like
world domination is obviously the goal. How are we going
to get there?

Speaker 3 (30:11):
World domination is always the goal? Man?

Speaker 1 (30:13):
You know, it's so funny how I got here, and
I got here because of a pivot. Let's bring it
back to the fucking name of the show man. I
got here because I parted. I parted ways with my
distribution and production company and started producing my podcasts on
my own, started selling my podcasts on my own. And

(30:35):
what I realized is, oh, my god, I am a
production company. Like that's what came first. And the more
I thought about it, I'm like, oh, if I were
a man, I already would have announced that I am
a production and media company.

Speaker 3 (30:47):
But as women, I think.

Speaker 1 (30:49):
We believe, oh, we're just doing the work, you know,
we're just putting in the work and getting it done.
And I'm like, no, this is a production company. You
make media on your own, you make podcasts on your own.
You are creating a brand for yourself. You're a fucking
media company. And so yeah, influence media and still still
getting it up and running. You know, I'm declaring myself

(31:11):
that you'd and CEO of it, and that's what it is,
because you know, more and more we are self publishing.
Substack is a version of self publishing. I make more
money off of substack than I do freelancing for magazines now.
So now that is essentially my own website, my own
magazine website, and going forward, you know, I work with

(31:34):
traditional publishers. I've worked with every single traditional publishing house
at this point because I've done so many books and
co authored books and stuff, and I love them. But
I also think that book publishing is going to change,
and so if I'm going there may be a world
where I'm creating some of that content on my own
as well. And I want to also be here for

(31:56):
other women who want to amplify their voices and their stories.
And so the next phase of this will be bringing
in more female centric podcasts and content.

Speaker 2 (32:07):
There's literally nothing I love more on Earth, I know.

Speaker 1 (32:10):
Right, I think it's just yeah, exactly exactly, but yeah,
to your point, like, I just I feel like I'm
trying to do also what the Kardashians would do. Like
the Kardashians would say they had a media company before
they even had one, right, And so I'm like, yeah,
just like put it out there own what the hell
you're doing, Own your labor, own your work. And I
think as women we have taught have we been taught

(32:30):
not to do that?

Speaker 2 (32:31):
Yeah, I went through a sort of similar evolution. And
at the first podcast that I did at the Political Show,
when I was still working in politics, I worked with
a publishing company and fortunately you touched this a little bit.
But like fortunately at that time, I had the foresight
to know that I needed to own the intellectual property
and that they wouldn't own it, which meant that I
made financial trade offs, like we had to structure the

(32:53):
way the money flowed differently because so I couldn't get
paid immediately, but I would own the intellectual property. And
that relationship did not end particularly well. And it was
only because I had the intellectual property that I was
and I needed them at the beginning, like I absolutely
needed them for confidence. Yeah, but then when the relationship

(33:13):
ended abruptly and I thought, oh my god, can I
keep doing any of this on my own? I'm not
sure that I can. I actually realized that I could,
and it was only because I owned the show that
I was able to continue on. And so when I
started this show, I said, I'm not going to make
a deal with anybody else, like I'm going to build
it myself and we'll see where it goes. But like
I it made me realize it was slower, like it

(33:36):
was a slower build, and I had to keep reordering
the steps that I went in. But because I prioritized
owning the show in the intellectual property myself, I was
able to have more choices as we've been growing.

Speaker 3 (33:46):
Yeah.

Speaker 1 (33:47):
Absolutely, And this is advice that I give to other
women all the time too. And I feel like I
can say this at this point in my career because
in addition to working with all of these publishing houses,
I've worked with every media company that exists, and a
lot of them that I don't exist anymore, rip Yahoo
and I no longer There are amazing people at these companies,

(34:09):
but we can never trust a company, Okay, like we
just can't. They are out for themselves. They're out to
make money for themselves, and they will have amazing producers
and editors and wonderful people you will stay in touch
with for the rest of your life. But make sure
you are always negotiating what is best for you because
the company is and they may not be around. Half

(34:31):
of the companies I've worked with are no longer around,
but they still may weirdly own my IP right, and
so we have to be putting ourselves first in all
of these negotiations.

Speaker 2 (34:41):
Yes, I love that. Okay, wait, tell me what you
want us to know about the book?

Speaker 1 (34:47):
Oh my god? All right, well, yes, the Sicilian Inheritance
is the book of the summer. It is a book
that will get you out of out of your reading slump.
It's an adventure first of all. It is dual Timeline,
a woman from the present day chef and a butcher
named Sarah, who goes back to Sicily to maybe reclaim

(35:07):
an inheritance and some land that has been left for her.
And while she is there, she unravels the potential murder
of her own great grandmother, Sarah Fina, who we learn
about in the past. Timeline is just like a young
girl who gets pregnant and married way too soon, and
she is so ambitious and wants to break out of

(35:30):
all of the molds of what a young woman in
Sicily is, and the women of that village come together
to help each other. Both of the stories are so juicy.
It is filled with like amazing landscapes and food and
not vanilla.

Speaker 3 (35:45):
But also not gross sex.

Speaker 1 (35:47):
And yeah, I mean Cicily Inheritance is the best book
I've ever written. It's also loosely based on my own
great great grandmother's murder in Sicily, and which the fun
the fun part, I mean, murders not fun. But you know,
we've got a lot of true crime fans out there.
After I finished the novel, I started reporting out the
real life murder of my great great grandmother, and we're

(36:09):
doing a true crime podcast that will also be coming
out called you know what, we may change the name
right now, it's called The Sicily Inheritance. But I'm trying
to solve the murder. I'm going back to Sicily in
two weeks to finish solving it.

Speaker 2 (36:22):
And really, yeah, what do you think you're going to
find in Sicily?

Speaker 3 (36:27):
Well, we went last summer.

Speaker 1 (36:28):
I took three of my children and we lived in
Sicily for part of the summer, and we found a
ton of stuff. We went through a bunch of documents.
We found her death record, where there was a big,
big bombshell in that death record, and now we're working
with prosecutors to find the police reports and to go
through land records. We've found a lot of land disputes

(36:50):
between her and other families, and there's just a lot
of threads of how she was murdered in my family
because we're Italian Americans and we like to tell stories
and also make shit up. And so some people think
that she was murdered.

Speaker 3 (37:03):
By the mafia.

Speaker 1 (37:04):
Some people think she was a witch, and she was
murdered because she was a witch.

Speaker 2 (37:07):
And I'm going to put my money on witch. I mean,
I feel like, I feel like you're a descendant of
a witch.

Speaker 1 (37:12):
I am one hundred percent of Sicilian witch. Okay, so yeah,
I mean I think she was a witch. I don't
know if that's why she was killed, but there is
like a whole witch storyline in the Sicilian Inheritance of
the book, and so yeah, it's great. I think this
is going to be, like I said, the Book of
the Summer, and it's so it's so fun and so
personal and yeah, I just I can't wait to get

(37:34):
it in people's hands.

Speaker 2 (37:36):
Joe, thank you so much for coming on.

Speaker 3 (37:38):
Thank you for having me. I loved it.

Speaker 2 (37:44):
Thanks for listening to this candid convo. Be sure to
pick up a copy of The Sicilian Inheritance and tag
Joe on Instagram so she can see it. You can
find her at Joe Piazza Author, Talk to You next week.
Thanks for listening to this candid convo episode of she Pivots.
Check back in weekly for more conversations with inspiring women.

(38:06):
To learn more about our guests, follow us on Instagram
at she pivots the podcast. Leave us a rating and
comment if you enjoyed this episode to help others learn
about it. Talk to you next week. Special thanks to
the she pivots team. Executive producer Emily eda Velosik, Associate
producer and social media connoisseur Hannah Cousins, Research director Christine Dickinson,

(38:28):
Events and Logistics coordinator Madeline Sonoviak, and audio editor and
mixer Nina pollock I endorse she Pivots
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