Michael Levin

BusinessGhost Founder & CEO

As one of the most established ghostwriters in the nation, New York Times best-selling author Michael Levin has written, co-written or ghostwritten more than 550 books, of which eighteen are national best sellers. He appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank in January of 2012.

In the past, Michael has published with Simon & Schuster, Random House, St. Martin’s Press, Putnam/Berkley, and many other houses.  His works have been optioned for film and 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 also made contributions to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes.com, Politico, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Jerusalem Post, Writers Digest, CBS News.  Michael has had the experience to teach writing classes at the University of California – Los Angeles and New York University.

As an Amherst College and Columbia Law School graduate, Michael served for many years as a member of the prestigious Authors Guild Council and as Treasurer of the Authors Guild Foundation.

Michael currently resides with his wife and four children in Boston, Massachusetts.

He is a weekly columnist for the New York Daily News and a regular contributor to Huffington Post.

Michael appeared on the first episode of Season Three of ABC’s Shark Tank, is a regular contributor to Huffington Post, and is most proud of having edited Zig Ziglar’s final book, Born To Win.

He has spoken on BBC worldwide radio and TV, discussing the Random House/Penguin merger and has been quoted in Inc. Magazine (April, 2016 and in a BloombergBusiness piece on ghostwriting.

He appeared twice on Fox News, in an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox & Friends, and on Fox Business, discussing the 2016 election, and was the subject of an interview in July, 2016 on Forbes.com.

Co-written with

  • Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield
  • Football broadcasting legend Pat Summerall
  • Hollywood publicist Howard Bragman
  • Former Schwab CEO David Pottruck
  • E-Myth creator Michael Gerber
  • Three-time Super Bowl winner Chad Hennings of the Dallas Cowboys
  • Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp founder David Fishof
  • Fox Sports Broadcaster Chris Myers
  • NBA star Doug Christie
  • FBI undercover agent Joaquin Garcia
  • Marketing legend Jay Abraham
  • NFL star running back Maurice Jones-Drew

He has also published five of his own novels–three with Simon & Schuster and two with Putnam/Berkley.

Work Optioned And/Or Made For Film and TV by

  • Steven Soderbergh/Paramount
  • HBO
  • Disney (became Model Behavior, a Sunday Night ABC Disney Movie of the Week)
  • ABC (a novel Michael ghostwrote became an ABC network series)
  • Frank Perry
  • Various independent producers.

Michael has published with

  • Simon & Schuster/Scribner/Touchstone (five books)
  • Random House (three books)
  • Readers Digest Books (two books)
  • Regnery
  • Martin’s Press
  • Beacon Press
  • Hay House
  • Penguin (five books)
  • Putnam/Berkley (two novels)
  • John Wiley & Sons
  • BenBella Books

Michael has also contributed to

  • The New York Times
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Washington Times
  • The Boston Globe
  • Huffington Post
  • Jerusalem Post
  • Writers Digest
  • CBS News
  • ESPN New York
  • Orange County Register
  • California Political Review
  • Buzz Magazine
  • Human Events

Michael’s books have received outstanding reviews in these top outlets:

  • The New York Times (daily and Sunday)
  • Los Angeles Times
  • The New Yorker
  • People Magazine
  • Fortune/CNN Money
  • Washington Post
  • Boston Globe
  • Esquire
  • Newsweek
  • San Francisco Examiner
  • Publishers Weekly
  • Library Journal
  • Booklist

Archives And Special Pages

Michael on: Wikipedia     Amazon     NY Daily News     Huffington Post

Education and Public Service

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.

Selected Titles

2016

HOW TO BE AN ALL-PRO FATHER (EVEN IF IT’S YOUR FIRST TIME BEING A DAD), with NFL star Benjamin Watson

ROOM SERVICE CAN’T SHOOT, a young adult novel with Jack Pannell, Morgan James

2013

WELCOME HOME, BORIS AND MAMA, with Carey Neesley, a story of a sister’s struggle to reclaim her late brother’s dogs from his military base in Iraq, Readers Digest Books, August, 2013. The book was excerpted in Readers Digest Magazine in September, 2013.

2012

ROCK YOUR BUSINESS! 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. Published in October, 2012 by BenBella Books. National best seller and number one Amazon Kindle business best seller.

THE REAL RULES OF LIFE with Ken Druck. (developmental editor). Ken is a nationally recognized authority on recovering from grief and loss and has worked with the 9/11 firefighters’ widows, the Flight 800 families, and countless families who underwent tragic and sudden loss. Published by Hay House, Spring, 2012.

NASCAR NATION How Racing’s Value’s Mirror The Nation’s, with Fox Sports Reporter Chris Myers, Published by Random House in October, 2012.

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, SELL!, with David Oliphant, a business fable about a Marine who makes a career for himself in sales…without compromising his integrity. Published in Spring, 2012 by Readers Digest Books.

2010

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.

2009

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 barnesandnoble.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. National best seller.

GHOSTWRITTEN NOVEL, which became a hit TV series on ABC.

2008

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 & 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. Soderbergh most recently renewed the option on the book in April, 2013.

2007

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. National bestseller.

NO ORDINARY LOVE, with NBA star Doug Christie and his wife Jackie Christie.

2002

BANKING ON OUR FUTURE, with Operation Hope founder Ambassador John Bryant. Beacon Press.

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.” People Magazine

“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” Booklist

One of Michael’s New York Times opinion pieces was anthologized in a college textbook on writing.

Public Speaking and Teaching

  • UCLA Writers Program Instructor, 1990-2001
  • New York University Writers Program Instructor, 1997-2000
  • Disney Executives conference at Walt Disney World, 2012.
  • Taught day-long writing seminars for Continuing Legal Education around the United States, 2003-2005
  • Harv Eker’s “Never Work Again” event in Sydney, Australia in July, 2011.
  • 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.
  • Seminars on creativity for the NBC and WB Television Networks
  • Seminar on creativity, Loeb & Loeb law firm, Los Angeles

Media Appearances

  • Good Morning, America
  • BBC
  • Fox News
  • Howard Cosell: Speaking of Everything
  • WGN Chicago
  • WBZ Boston
  • New York Public Radio (Leonard Lopate show)
  • Dozens of radio programs around the country

Personal Life

Michael and his wife Suzanne have been married for sixteen years and are raising their four children in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Athletics

A distance athlete, Michael has completed 34 long distance races – 14 marathons, six triathlons, 12 half marathons, and two duathlons — since his 44th birthday. He ran his seventh Boston Marathon in 2016 (including the disrupted marathon in 2013). In his Boston Marathon runs, he has raised more than $75,000 for Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

He ran as a guide runner for disabled runners for Achilles International in the 2010, 2011, 2014, and 2015 New York City Marathons and in the 2013 Los Angeles Marathon.

He won his black belt in tae kwan do at age 54.

Music

Michael performs with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Boston’s Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Tanglewood. He has also performed with many chamber groups, including Musica Sacra of Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Zamir Chorale of Newton, Mass. In 2015, he also took part in a performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, the Ode to Joy, at Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, California.

Michael adds:

People frequently ask me how I started BusinessGhost.com. 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, Regnery, 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/television rights to Garcia’s story, and Soderbergh has twice renewed the option, most recently in March, 2016.

Along the way, I appeared on Shark Tank, the BBC and Fox News, worked with Pat Summerall on a book about being coached by Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi in the 1958 NFL season, edited Zig Ziglar’s final book and got to have lunch with him, and have done a lot of really cool things as a book guy.

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!