For those of you interested in how I sequence launches, or how punishing the last 7 days have been, or what’s required if you want a shot at #1 New York Times or BookScan, below is a very partial list of media coverage and partnerships. They are in rough chronological order. If I missed anyone, please let me know in the comments!
I’ve done more here than in my last two book launches combined, and reader results (Twitter examples here) have made it all worth it.
I was pleasantly surprised by how many bookstores are now stocking The 4-Hour Chef, which sat at Amazon #2 for most of this week (Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a juggernaut, but Ina Garten is my real competition). According to my readers on Facebook, stocking stores now include Tattered Cover, Copperfields, Powell’s, Elliot Bay, Vroman’s, Prairie Lights, Changing Hands, Boulder Bookstore, and even some Books Inc. (my local fave). Barnes & Noble continues to boycott nationwide, but indies are picking it up, which makes me very happy, of course. It’s exactly where I want a 600+-page full-color book!
Last but not least, sincere thanks to everyone who’s left Amazon reviews!
If you have read the book (or are reading), pretty please take 30 seconds to leave a short review — it would really mean the world to me. Just click here. I have read every review and commented on many of them. At the very least, if you take a look here, there are some great conspiracy theories in the 1-star reviews. Many folks don’t seem to grasp the idea of ADVANCED copies of books, which all authors send out, often in the hundreds. Doing the same doesn’t make me a Scooby-Doo villain or clever mastermind, alas.
Now, to an incomplete list of media from the past 168 hours or so, excluding national advertising…
The above video will give you an taste of why I love Richard Feynman. It was forwarded to me by Brew Johnson and J.R. Johnson, whom I owe huge thanks, as I’d somehow missed it. About the program, Professor Sir Harry Kroto, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, said:
“The 1981 Feynman Horizon is the best science program I have ever seen. This is not just my opinion – it is also the opinion of many of the best scientists that I know who have seen the program… It should be mandatory viewing for all students, whether they be science or arts students.”
Feynman’s makes me want to be a better teacher and, ultimately, a world-class parent (you’ll see what I mean). A few notes on the video:
- I first watched this in 10-minute bites before bed. There’s no need to watch it all at once.
- :30-:38 is fascinating physics, but physics nonetheless. He does a masterful job of getting lay people excited (his cadence helps a lot), but skip if needed, rather than missing what follows.
- :40+ explains part of his teaching philosophy, which greatly influenced how I outline my books.
- His concept of “active irresponsibility” is worth remembering.
May you all experience the pleasure of finding things out, starting here with a closer look at a most curious character: Richard Feynman.
If you could have dinner anyone from any time in history, who would you choose and why? Assume you can’t tell anyone about the dinner, so bragging rights don’t apply. What would you want to learn, know, or experience?
Paulo Coelho has long been one of my writing inspirations.
His work, of near universal appeal, spans from The Alchemist to the most recent Aleph and has been translated into more than 70 languages.
Few people know that The Alchemist, which has sold more than 65 million copies worldwide, was originally published by a small Brazilian publisher to the tune of… 900 copies. They declined to reprint it. It wasn’t until after his subsequent novel (Brida) that The Alchemist was revived and took off.
I, for one, have always been impressed with consistent writers. Paulo, who averages one book every two years, is staggeringly consistent. As I type this, I am under the pressure of book deadlines and often feel as Kurt Vonnegut did: “When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.”
My output is erratic at best, and I wondered: how does Paulo write? What is his process? How does he think about it?
I reached out to him, and he was kind enough to reply with the attached/linked audio. In it, he provides some gems and answers the following questions, which I posed to him (I provide my own abbreviated answers in brackets)… Read More
Once or twice in the past, I have referred to “someone” who has earned $5,000,000-$10,000,000 per year with e-books and cross promotion.
For that, I should apologize, as it’s not accurate: his numbers are now closer to $1,000,000 per month, and “e-book” doesn’t begin to explain what he does. That someone is named Mike Geary. He prefers to keep a low profile, skiing powder and refining his “muse,” or automated business, to a precise science. From strategic customer service in Germany, to testing for trending, it’s all piece of a well-planned puzzle and well-oiled machine.
For the first time, this post will explain how he built his business, some of the key lessons learned, and common mistakes with digital products.
As you read, keep in mind two things:
- He is, without a doubt, considered one of the smartest online marketers and traffic buyers (a key differentiator) in the world.
- He started off knowing nothing and got there through intelligent testing.
As Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM, is famous for saying: “Nothing happens until someone sells something.” Planning is valuable, but–long-term–it’s your ability to improvise and adjust that makes the difference.
It was sensory overload from the beginning: Olivia Munn was seated on my left, Mark Cuban was across the table, and everyone was drinking too much wine. Then, a Polaroid camera appeared in my hand (thank you, time travel) — in fact, multiple cameras were placed at every table — and creative chaos ensued.
Chase, as creative MC of that dinner, knew exactly what he was doing when he architected the bonding exercise. He’s become a superstar in the world of professional photography by showcasing his mastery of the craft (best known for sports and lifestyle pics), while using PR and branding to further his art instead of compromise it. He’ll go off-the-grid indie one week, and the next week, he’ll be the only person besides Lady Gaga to join the Polaroid creative team.
How does he do it?
How do you balance — nay, OPTIMIZE — artistic purity and commercial success as a “creative,” whether a photographer or otherwise? “Optimize,” in this context, for the best combination of lifestyle, integrity, and income?
Chase and I explore this topic and many others in his beautiful studio… and don’t miss his very Punk’d-like surprise for me at the end. It’s related to my first-ever photo shoot as photographer, which he walks me through.
Hint #1: Sweaty palms. Hint #2:
I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did. Here are some more of the pics from our little experiment.
Whom should Chase interview next, or whom should I interview next? Let us know in the comments.
Odds and Ends: Room to Read library names
I’m still blown away that you all helped raise more than $30,000 for a $20,000 project, which has therefore become $60,000 after matching. As promised, 30 of you will be thanked by name on plaques, 10 names on each of three schools. Here are the “winners” — generous contributors and fundraisers:
From the fundraising competition:
Grand prize: Melissa Rachel Black = Grand-prize winner of RT ticket anywhere in the world (watch your e-mail, Melissa!)
Second place: Rachel Rofe
Third place: David Turnbull
Thanks to all who competed! Every person made a difference, and you should be proud of your real-world karmic capitalism.
The top-30 most generous donors, in no particular order:
Hrag Richard Toutikian
Spiderhost, Inc – Dale Frohman
You all rock. More coming as soon as I start to get status updates on the school construction in Cambodia, Laos, and Nepal
The following is an interview with Daymond John, CEO of the clothing brand FUBU, whom I’ve come to know and respect. If there were one mantra I’d associate with him, it’s “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Can’t afford billboards? No problem — just pay retail store owners in key areas to let you spraypaint “FUBU” on their overnight roll-down security walls. His drive and improvisation has led him from sewing cloth in his kitchen to #15 on Details magazine’s list of “50 Most Influential Men.”
It would seem he’s just getting started, but I’ll let him tell the story… Read More
Kevin and I are at it again in this 2nd episode of what is still being called “Random”. Have a better name or topic suggestions? Tell us in the comments!
This time, we discuss recent discoveries and experimentation – from new internet apps and electronic gadgets to knives and functional MRI (fMRI). Looking for just the audio? Download or stream it here.
Last week, Ramit Sethi and I recorded a private videocast for a select group of readers. The three short videos below, all 2-8 minutes in length, describe our blogging tips and techniques, as well as an examination of traditional publishing vs. self-publishing.
He and I have both had the privilege and tactical experience of:
1) Building highly-trafficked blogs in a crowded blogosphere of more than 120 million blogs. More important, both of our blogs are well-known for action-oriented readers (For data on this blog’s readers — that’s you! — check this out).
2) Publishing books that reached The New York Times bestseller lists. Ramit’s experience is fresh and most up-to-date from his last three weeks with I Will Teach You To Be Rich, while I wrote The 4-Hour Workweek, which has been on the New York Times business bestseller list continually for 23 months, since its publication in April of 2007.
Here are some of the topics we cover in the a la carte videos:
Currencies Besides Royalties and Direct Income
Google Juice and SEO Misuse
Choosing Post Topics: From Google Keyword Tool to Stumble Upon
Post Length and Publishing Time
Tactical Redating of Posts
Regarding the plug-in I mention for keeping your best content on your homepage, the very smart Lloyd Budd at Automattic explains: