Slaying Substack, Writing Books & Embracing Failure(s)


In this episode of Build Momentum, Sarah and Katie are joined by Carl Hooker and Kevin Hogan. Carl is a speaker and consultant for HookerTech in Austin, Texas. He is also the co-founder of K12Leaders, a social network built for educators by educators, and a seasoned author whose latest work is “Ready, Set, FAIL! Using Failure & Risk-Taking to Unlock Creativity.” He hosts the UnDisrupted podcast and the Learning UnLeashed podcast.

Kevin is an acclaimed writer and editor for The Hogan Report and eSchool News, respectively. He is the host of the podcasts Innovations in Education, which focuses on K-12, and Getting There: Innovations in Education for higher ed.

Some Questions We Ask:

  • Carl, could you tell us about your new podcast and Substack? (1:48)
  • What is your new book about? (6:41)
  • What do you think about self-publishing versus using a publishing house? (8:30)
  • Any advice for book marketing? (13:26)
  • Will you share the story from your book about creating a recipe? (14:49)
  • What is the key to a successful thought leadership? (21:53)
  • Do you have any final thoughts? (33:55)

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Kevin’s professional background and Substack (2:18)
  • Carl’s book (6:55)
  • The pros and cons of self-publishing vs a publishing house (8:35)
  • Tips for book marketing (13:39)
  • Snippets from Carl’s book (14:57)
  • Kevin’s and Carl’s thoughts on leadership (22:12)
  • Final thoughts and upcoming projects (34:11)


“I can write all day, but I need editors to help clean it up. And if you read any of my blogs, which are not edited, you can see sometimes I kind of go off down tangents and I have to pull myself back in.”

“I want kids to always have the opportunity to know what's most important. Is it about following directions? Or is it about showing your understanding of a topic and demonstrating your learning?”

“For exhibiting thought leadership, authenticity is going to be key.”

“As a leader, you don't have to say you have failed or you're a failure, but you have to be real. And I think that's a hugely important aspect that may not have been in place before [the pandemic].”

Connect with Carl Hooker:

Connect with Kevin Hogan:

Stay in touch with Sarah Williamson:

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About "The Secret to Transformational Leadership," which Sarah co-authored with Dr. Quintin Shepherd: