If you want to write a bestselling book, don’t reinvent the wheel.
I get at least a dozen email a week from friends who want to write books.
After three #1 bestsellers from 2007 to 2012, and publishing in 35+ countries, I’ve tried a lot. Having experimented with everything from “traditional” (Random House) to Amazon Publishing, from BitTorrent Bundles to self-publishing audiobooks, I’ve developed strong opinions about…
- What works and what doesn’t.
- What sucks and what doesn’t.
- What makes the most money and what doesn’t.
This post is intended to answer all of the most common questions I get, including:
- “Should I publish traditionally or self-publish?”
- “How does a first-time author get a 7-figure book advance?”
- “How do I get a good agent or publisher? Do I even need an agent?”
- “What does the ‘bestseller list’ really mean? How do you get on one?”
- “What are your top marketing tips if I have little or no budget?”
- “What are the biggest wastes of time? The things to avoid?”
- And so on… Read More
How do you build a multi-million dollar global business?
Well, you might start by visiting Israel and negotiating the rights to an unknown brand (Yes To Carrots)…found in 16 stores. Then, you might use cold calling artistry and Jedi mind tricks to get carried by Walgreen’s in its 7,000+ stores. Next, you might get your product into 25,000+ stories internationally and smile when you see Rosario Dawson using your goods publicly. Now, as the happy ending (of sorts), every 6 seconds in the US, someone buys a Yes To product!
But that’s leaving out the details, isn’t it? I hate business articles and books that do that.
I’ve known Ido Leffler, Yes To’s co-founder, for ages. I met him at a Summit Series event in Miami. His trademark hug was the first thing that caught my attention: inexplicably slow-motion and super gentle, as if he were cradling a baby panda. Of course, there’s his subtle Australian accent and persuasive (and deliberately less subtle) Israeli chutzpah. Who the hell was this guy? I’ve come to love him, but perhaps more important to you, I’ve come to love his methods. He deconstructs problems like Sherlock Holmes with a twist of Richard Branson… Read More
The dream is simple: get your product in the hands of celebrities or “influencers,” and they create a ripple effect that skyrockets you to fame and fortune.
What if Kim Kardashian tweets about you?
What if Hugh Jackman wears your custom shirts on the red carpet?
What if a top blogger includes you in a top-10 list?
What if you got a mention on The Office or another primetime show?
Sadly, sampling to “stars” seldom works out.
People who move the needle get a TON of stuff sent to them. The pic below is just part of my mail, and I’m not even a real celeb! Blurb and blog promotion requests received in one day, with the exception of one book:
So…how do YOU break through the noise?
This guest post will teach you. It’s written by Marc Ecko, founder of Marc Ecko Enterprises, a global fashion and lifestyle company. I wanted Marc to write this post because — in my opinion — he’s an expert at selling yourself without selling out. As CNBC put it, “Marc is living proof that you can be a marketing and business whiz and still be a true artist.”
Once a graffiti artist with no connections, Marc left the safety net of pharmacy school to start his own clothing company. Using hustle and creativity, he turned a $5,000 bag of cash into a global corporation worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
He created a lot of this success by repeatedly getting his products to impossible-to-reach icons (e.g. Spike Lee, Chuck D) and planning elaborate PR stunts (e.g. Air Force One graffiti hoax; buying Barry Bonds’ homerun record baseball and letting online votes determine its fate).
This post will explain his 10 rules — the do’s and don’ts — of his unique “swag bomb” approach to getting influencer attention. I agree with all of them.
This is the second post by Alexis Ohanian for Entrepreneurship Week on this blog. Here is the first post, which covers his founding of reddit, which he later sold for millions of dollars.
This post covers a critical topic: how to get massive attention for your company from national media. How do you pitch press? Develop relationships with influential journalists? The real answers might surprise you.
Most books and articles on this subject are pure BS. Speaking as someone who’s been on magazine covers (Outside, Inc. Magazine) and section covers (NYT Style Section, Travel Section), I can tell you: there is a science to this.
Alexis is a master. Enjoy.
Tim very kindly invited me back to give you another excerpt from my book that draws from all my experience over six years as a Y Combinator advisor and startup investor (70+ companies).
I want to help you do what Steve and I did (not in costume) to grow reddit into the top-50 website it is today… with a total advertising budget of a few hundred dollars. I spent that all on stickers… Read More
If so, sign up for the new Secrets from Silicon Valley series, a week of free classes taught by luminaries like LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman. Check out a partial list of teachers here — you’ll recognize a lot of them.
Debbie Sterling’s GoldieBlox is now grossing $300,000+ per month.
My specialty is modeling success. I analyze what works and ask: what recipe can I find that others can use?
In this post, we’ll look at five successful online businesses. Some of them (e.g. GoldieBlox) are now grossing $300,000+ per month…and it’s the founder’s first company! One (Fresh-Tops) has gone from 1 to 20 employees in six months. Some of the other stats are even more impressive.
Who will be the JK Rowling of self-publishing? Better still: who will be the legions who make an extra $1,000-$1,000,000 per year? (Photo: The Telegraph, UK)
This is a guest post by Ryan Buckley and the team at Scripted. I have added my own tools and recommendations after “TIM” throughout the piece.
Enter Ryan Buckley and Team
Barry Eisler writes thrillers about a half-Japanese, half-American freelance assassin named John Rain. John Rain is the consummate anti-hero, a whiskey swilling, jazz-loving former CIA agent battling crippling paranoia as he adventures around the globe. Readers love John Rain, so much so that they’ve landed Barry Eisler and seven of his John Rain books on the New York Times Bestseller list. [TIM: Here's how the different bestseller lists work.]
Having conquered all that needs to be conquered in the world of commercial publishing, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Eisler’s publisher offered him $500,000 deal for a new two-book deal.
“I know it’ll seem crazy to a lot of people, but based on what’s happening in the industry, and based on the kind of experience writers like you are having in self-publishing, I think I can do better in the long term on my own.”
We asked Eisler for a current update, and he told us that this month (March 2013), he expects to sell 8,000 copies of his 10 self-published novels and stories, which are priced $1-5 each. Despite self-publishing his first story only two years ago, it appears he’s made the right decision. With roughly $300,000 in royalties per year, he already beat his publisher’s offer… Read More
Many of you have been asking me for the audiobook version of The 4-Hour Chef. Now that I control the rights, I’d like to offer it to you… for free.
The offer is at the end of this post, but first…
Who should join me?
I’ll record a lot myself, but I’d like to involve other voice actors for small bits and pieces.
Who would you vote for? Here are some of my favorites. If you like any other them, please Tweet at them using the following format:
“Request! @[insert name] Please narrate a piece of The 4-Hour Chef audiobook! http://amzn.to/LQjLlm @tferriss is a fan.”
“Request! @SamuelLJackson Please narrate a piece of The 4-Hour Chef audiobook! http://amzn.to/LQjLlm @tferriss is a fan.”
Here are a few I think would be incredible, even for just a few lines:
- Samuel L. Jackson – @SamuelLJackson
- Patton Oswalt (played “Remy” in Ratatouille) – @PattonOswalt
- Ben Stiller – @RedHourBen
- Morgan Freeman – I’m unsure which Twitter account is real, if any.
- Chuck Norris – Not on Twitter?
- Tony Robbins – @TonyRobbins
- Neil Gaiman – @NeilHimself
- Brad Garrett (played “Gusteau” in Ratatouille) – Not on Twitter?
Who am I missing? Any requests?
Here’s the offer, good only until tomorrow (Saturday) at 10AM PST (1pm EST):
I just received confirmation from Amazon that a Lightning Deal tomorrow (1/24) is for The 4-Hour Chef.
This means that the hardcover will be 65% off for 4 hours only, from 9am – 1pm ET. Just click here.
To sweeten the deal — $299 course as bonus
For those interested… If you purchase 3 hardcover copies of The 4-Hour Chef OR The 4-Hour Body, I will give you a $299 video course I filmed with CreativeLIVE… for free.
This is two days of actionable content, filmed in HD with multiple cameras, including in-depth material from:
- Me (key concepts from all three books: The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, and The 4-Hour Chef)
- Neil Strauss, 6x New York Times bestselling author (on creative process and successful writing)
- Noah Kagan, CEO of AppSumo (testing and creating businesses or “muses”)
- Dave Camarillo, UFC grappling trainer (real-world self-defense training and jiu-jitsu — I get thrown a lot)
- Philippe von Borries, Co-Founder of Refinery29 (start-up funding, founding, and growth strategy)
- Leila Janah, CEO of Samasource (maximizing social good, hacking the non-profit world)
- Mark Bell, world-class powerlifter, top-10 totals of all-time (power training)
- Kelly Starrett, founder of SF CrossFit (crossfit, mobility training, undoing physical damage)
- Rick Torbett, founder of Better Basketball (keys to better shooting, better learning/coaching)
- John Jackson, founder of ArcheryTag (archery, shooting an apple off of my head — really)
…and much more.
Here are two reviews:
“I skipped work to watch this. Completely worth it so far. The session with Neil [Strauss] and Tim riffing about writing is gold-dust. The fact that there’s several more hours of great content is just brilliant. I’ve got about 30 pages of notes that I wrote as I was watching…”
“Thank you so much for hosting this event. It was amazing to learn in such an informal environment from people who are the best in their field and are completely approachable. The passion, know how and encouragement this course provided me with is invaluable and has inspired me to push myself further. Thank you!”
Here’s What To Do…
If interested, just do the followingno later than 5pm PST this Friday, 1/25/13:
- For 3 books, this means you’ll have to buy one copy at 65% off and two copies at 40% off.
- First, if you’ve already bought a copy of one of the books, you can just buy two (2) new copies. Simply attach both screenshots. That said, I’d really appreciate you buying three copies if you can, and you must buy at least two new copies.