How Does a Bestseller Happen? A Case Study in Hitting #1 on the New York Times

Last Friday, the impossible happened and a lifelong dream came true: The 4-Hour Workweek hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list! Thank you all for your incredible encouragement and support.

More unbelievable, this week 4HWW is simultaneously #1 on the NY Times and #1 on the Wall Street Journal business bestseller lists.

How is this possible? How could a book from a first-time author — with no offline advertising or PR — hit both of these lists and stick for three months and counting?

The book was turned down by 13 of 14 editors, and the president of one large book wholesaler even sent me PDFs on historical stats to “reset my expectations”–it could never be a bestseller. The odds seem impossible: there are more than 200,000 books published each year in the US, and less than 5% ever sell more than 5,000 copies. On a given bestseller list, more than 5 spots could be occupied by unbeatable bestsellers like Good to Great or The Tipping Point, which have been on the lists for years.

On a related note, how could a blog that didn’t exist six months ago now be #2,835 on Technorati with 874 incoming links and an Alexa ranking of 9,615?

Is it all luck? I don’t think so. Luck and timing play a (sometimes big) part, but it seems to me that one can still analyze the game and tilt the odds in their favor. I don’t claim to have all of the answers–I still know very little about publishing–but I’ve done enough micro-testing in the last year to fill a lifetime.

The conclusion, in retrospect, is simple… It all came down to learning how to spread a “meme“, an idea virus that captures imaginations and takes on a life of its own.

First, let’s looks at how the bestseller status unfolded. Here are the stats and timing for all of the bestseller lists the 4HWW has hit since release date on April 24, 2007. Skip below the numbers to the how-to bits, if you like:

Barnes & Noble

Hardcover Non-fiction

List date #

July 26, 2007 10

Aug. 2, 2007 7

BookSense

Hardcover Non-fiction

List date #

July 5, 2007 43

July 12, 2007 34

July 19, 2007 45

July 26, 2007 39

Aug. 2, 2007 24

NCIBA

Hardcover Non-fiction

List date #

July 14, 2007 13

Aug. 4, 2007 12

New York Times

Hardcover Advice

List date #

May 13, 2007 15

May 20, 2007 8

May 27, 2007 10

June 3, 2007 12

June 10, 2007 10

June 17, 2007 4

June 24, 2007 6

July 1, 2007 9

July 8, 2007 5

July 15, 2007 5

July 22, 2007 5

July 29, 2007 7

Aug. 5, 2007 5

Aug. 12, 2007 5

New York Times

Hardcover Business

List date #

July 2007 2

August 2007 1

Publishers Weekly

Hardcover Non-fiction

List date #

June 11, 2007 15

July 9, 2007 14

July 16, 2007 13

Aug. 6, 2007 12

San Francisco Chronicle

Hardcover Non-fiction

List date #

July 15, 2007 6

USA Today

General

List date #

May 10, 2007 126

May 17, 2007 134

May 24, 2007 136

May 31, 2007 115

June 7, 2007 102

June 14, 2007 123

June 21, 2007 144

June 28, 2007 134

July 5, 2007 100

July 12, 2007 114

July 19, 2007 99

July 26, 2007 96

Aug. 2, 2007 63

Wall Street Journal

Business

List date #

May 4, 2007 9

May 11, 2007 3

May 18, 2007 7

May 25, 2007 12

June 1, 2007 7

June 8, 2007 1

June 15, 2007 3

June 22, 2007 5

June 29, 2007 3

July 6, 2007 1

July 13, 2007 1

July 20, 2007 3

July 27, 2007 4

Aug. 3, 2007 1

Wall Street Journal

Hardcover Non-fiction

List date #

June 8, 2007 9

June 29, 2007 14

July 6, 2007 9

July 13, 2007 11

July 20, 2007 14

July 27, 2007 7

Aug. 3, 2007 8

Those of you who have been here for a while know that I’m fanatical about analytics and imitating good models (in the business sense, not the Naomi Campbell sense).

Before I began writing 4HWW (I sold it before I wrote it, which I explain here), I cold-contacted and interviewed close to a dozen best-writing authors about their writing processes, followed by close to a dozen best-selling authors about their marketing and PR campaigns.

I asked several questions of the latter group, but one of the assumption-busting homeruns was:

“What were the 1-3 biggest wastes of time and money?”

This led me to create a “not-to-do” list. Number one was no book touring or bookstore signings whatsoever. Not a one. All of the best-selling authors warned against this author rite of passage. I instead focused on the most efficient word-of-mouth networks in the world at the time–blogs. The path to seeding the ideas of 4HWW was then straight-forward:

* Go where bloggers go

* Be there with a message and a story that will appeal to their interests, not yours

* Build and maintain those relationships through your own blog too

These three observations are from PR pundit Steve Rubel’s excellent summary of the 4HWW launch on Micro-Persuasion, titled “The 4-Hour Workweek – Behind the Meme.” Interested to know which events I chose and what the Amazon and Technorati numbers looked like at each step? Check it all out here.

For a good take on my blogging approaches, both as a book author and blog writer, see my multi-part interviews with Darren Rowse over at Problogger.net:

Part 1 – from the day prior to the official publication date (good for seeing how I prepped the market)

Part 2 – from about one weeks ago, after hitting the big lists (good for learning how I’ve built traffic)

4HWW created enough noise online that it was then picked up by offline media ranging from Wired and Outside magazines to Martha Stewart radio and The Today Show. To create a fast-acting meme, I’ve come to believe that you need to do a few things well. Here are the highlights, ordered to recreate the familiar acronym PPC with a certain Don King-esque flavor:

1. Phenomenize:

Identify and name a legitimate societal shift or new phenomenon. To best spread a message or product, sell around it by discussing larger issues surrounding its creation: the person (me in this case), the changing social landscape, and emerging trends. No one cares about your new software, but the reasons it needs to exist might make for a great TV segment on 20/20. Naturally, the software would be mentioned. Mission accomplished without the hard sell.

2. Polarize:

Good stories and trend-spotting, told unapologetically, will create both supporters (“That’s the solution!”) and attackers (“It’s a fraud!”). The battle and ongoing debate this generates is the fuel needed for word-of-mouth wildfire. Don’t piss people off for the sake of offending, but don’t sacrifice the edge of your message to avoid offending. My discussion of personal outsourcing, as one example, gets people hot and bothered. Good. I just want as many people as possible asking the important questions I believe can change the world. Love me or hate me, I just want a strong unadulterated response.

3. Communitize:

Help create base camps for believers. Organic communities grow fastest when natural leaders are identified and encouraged to become leaders. I fostered reader-only communities on the forums of the official book site, but I also encouraged readers (see the bottom of the post here) to create their own tribes on the social networking site Ning. This is how more than 22 demographic tribes (I call them “demotribes”) came to be, including “4HWW for Programmers,” “4HWW for Families,” and “4HWW for Students.”

Do you want to create your own bestseller, whether a book or a product? Here are a few closing thoughts:

1. To make a bestseller, there are more customers than just your customers:

Selling to the end-user is just one piece of the puzzle. In my case, I needed to first sell myself to the publisher to get marketing support and national retail distribution. I then learned that a mention from an A-list blogger might sell thrice as much on Amazon as a national TV appearance, but the latter is what drives book chains to purchase more books and give better placement.

2. Distribution can make you a juggernaut… or it can kill the best product:

The more books there are on shelves, the more will be sold. Once you get to the level of The Secret and have 40-100 copies in many stores, managers have almost no choice but to put them in prime real estate like front-of-store, end caps, or front window. If the top chains increase prime placement of 4HWW this month, I can virtually guarantee that sales will at least double in the next 3 months (especially with some of the crazier things I have planned). No exaggeration. For my next book, if I write one, I’ll spend much more time strategizing distribution and placement upfront. Could you offer an exclusive to the 800-lb. gorilla distributor in your industry in exchange for favorable payment terms, prime placement nationwide, and in-store merchandising?

3. Marketing can grab customers, but product multiplies them:

Clever marketing and PR stunts can get customers… but only for so long. It’s the product that will create long-term word-of-mouth and the groundswell needed for a global phenomenon. Don’t save your best for volume two. I asked myself the following while writing the 4HWW: “If I were hit by a bus the day after I turned in the manuscript, would I be happy with this as my legacy?” I held nothing back and spared no details. I’m no Tolstoy, but I did my best. The manuscript was cut from about 420 pages to the 300 in the final product. One editor who turned the book down looked at the planned table of contents and said “You have five books here. Why not split it up?” Because of the bus. Have a focus, but don’t save the best for later. There is only one chance to make a publishing first impression. Remember: marketing might be important, but product is ultimately king.

###

Last but not least, remember: Just because they say it can’t be done doesn’t make it so. Just because it’s labeled “impossible” doesn’t make it even remotely impossible. Do your homework, micro-test like a mother, and trust your conclusions. You could be wrong, and you often will be, but… what if you’re right?

lemon1.jpg

But what if you’re right?

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The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 500 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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197 Replies to “How Does a Bestseller Happen? A Case Study in Hitting #1 on the New York Times”

  1. Tim,

    I’m from the Netherlands and I almost finshed reading your book (in english)… This book is a real eye opener. Thank’s for inspiring me.

    Can’t wait to read it again when the dutch translation comes out.

    Keep up the good work.

    Camiel

  2. Great Book!

    I just hired a VA for $6 per hour. I said read the book cover to cover and do all that stuff for me. Now that’s efficient.

    Seriously, I think we will all agree that the book has some great ideas; consistent implementation however, is something all on it’s own.

    Kim Curtis

    California Mortgage Broker

  3. ###

    Hey

    Let me start by saying I love the website. Since I have discovered it(thank Ryan Holiday). I have read pretty much everything to do with, relating and concerning you and the book. I would love to get a copy of the book but unfortunately I live in England. Is there any avenues? Amazon.co.uk are not releasing the book until February next year, and I would love to get one before!

    Let me know Tim, or readers from UK how you can or have purchased a copy of the 4HWW

  4. Tim I am perplexed by the survey poll. Most of the people said it if they could choose one money would be first. I am mystified because you make it clear that happiness is the core of your philosophy. Of course money plays a role. However, I would think people would want power more so than money. History shows that people with power have been able to obtain far more than a man with just money.

  5. Tim,

    You are a true pioneer. Simplification is the key. Indeed, Einstien’s most profound equations are only an inch long. I only wish there were more like you both.

    Hope to run into you one day. FYI my next trip is a motorcycle diaries-like trip throughout S.A.

    ciao hermano

  6. Hello Tim,

    I purchased your book earlier in the week. I find it quite fascinating and am about to put it to the test, publicly. I have launched this blog just today: http://fourhourtrial.blogspot.com/

    I have also added a few tools to help add some value. I’m going to add a few more as well, and anything I come up with along the way of this journey.

    Thank you for writing your book. It’s great. It has over 500 reviews on Amazon, mostly positive. Let’s give the nay-sayers something to eat for dinner.

    The Four Hour Trial

  7. Tim,

    Why go with a traditional publisher instead of just marketing the book with some materials on your own?

    Oh, and I love the book.

    Thanks,

    Jon.

  8. Hi Tim

    How i saw your book was just a miracle. I spent over an hour looking for a book that would stimulate my interest in a UK store and just as i was about to read i saw your book.

    I am also a first time author. Born in the same year as you are. And as you stated in your book, i am have a well paying job that insults my creativity and capacity. I have spent 2 hours reading up your blog and links and wont ask you any stupid questions i can google out.

    however, i have a book being printed as we speak in USA, self-published (yeah, i know. had i read ur book a year ago, i would have been more daring). Well, i intend to use my book as a testimonial of my capacity to open doors for my next book with traditional publishers.

    I noticed you had the previlege of having an A-list author referring you to editors. Without sounding too predictible, can you be my A-list author referring me?

    You have my email address.

    Dan

    P.S. Did you really have to do a 96-page book proposal? Yikes!

    ###

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks so much for the comment. I suggest getting A-list authors to refer you to good agents, as the agents know the editors. I don’t know any of them! My agent, alas, is not taking any more clients, but that is the process I recommend 🙂

    Good luck with all!

    Tim

  9. Hi Tim,

    Not only do ‘big people’ totally dig your concept but ALL of my young renegade ceo’s love it as well. I have many of my teen proteges reading the book aloud with their peers so they can help each other to understand concepts and terms that might be unfamiliar. It is a beautiful thing when they get an OMG moment! LOL. When they reach a certain point in our coaching program I extend use of my personal VA team pro bono for several months so they can truly understand and unleash the power.

    Keep doing the good things that you do…every day in every way.

    Love it, love it, love it!

    We are happy for you and your success and very grateful that were so generous to share all this valuable information with us.

    Wishing you continued love and laughter,

    Shonika Proctor aka The Nika’Nator

    ‘demolishing doubt and building dreams for young aspring and emerging entrepreneurs’

  10. Tim Im interested in knowing

    1. Did you keep a list of your questions you asked those best selling authors?

    2. Did you keep a list of the answers?

    3. Were they best selling authors in the business market ( i.e specific to the type of book you planned writing? )

  11. Hey Tim…

    I learned a few things from this blog post back when I was planning an Amazon.com bestseller campaign for the Foundation I’m a volunteer at. Now that the campaign has hit and the book has hit #1 overall at Amazon and stayed there for nearly 24-hours, I wanted to send along my thanks.

    The book we promoted is “The Essential Laws of Fearless Living.” Here’s the campaign landing page in case you or the folks interested in this post want to have a look.

    http://www.essentiallaws.org/special/bestseller/

    Thanks again!

    Tim

  12. Hi Tim

    This is my first email to you. I find you brilliant and the entire concept of doing a lot of things well really interests me. I am a gynecological surgeon. But I do professional magic, corporate training, origami etc. Now its time to automate. By the way, how could I send my short resume upto you? I think you would really find it interesting….

    Regards

    Abhijit ( My nick name’s Raj)

  13. Hi, Tim

    Thank you for writing this book. You have literally changed my life. Your info is so direct and to the point. I have used some of your ideas and has also spread the word to friends.Please recommend additional readings. I love your work.

    Thanks in Advance,

    Mike McGhee

  14. Pingback: Author Promotion
  15. Tim,

    I have to say I have learned a lot from 4HWW and your blog. I have put a lot of your ideas to use in my own real estate business, and they have made a difference. Keep up the good work, and watch for my book on property flipping to be out soon. I appreciate the advice on not worrying too much about who you may upset, there will be people that love what you are doing, and those that hate it. I have to admit I used to take it very personal when some of the people that attended my seminars, or purchased my education material gave me bad reviews, but I realize my brand of business ideas is not for everyone, but works for me and all of my top clients.

    Anyway, thanks for the advice, and keep up the good work. I’ll be one of the first to pick up your new book if you decide tor write it.

  16. Your My Boy Tim. I’m Going to use the tools I learned in the book God Willingly You’ll Know About Me In The Future. Congrats Tim And Thanks.

  17. Tim,

    This information is absolutely great! My second book “Winning Back our Boys” will be released in April and I plan to use as many of the strategies you provided as I can. My goal like yours, is to leave a lasting impression on the world that truly helps and impacts the lives of others.

    PS, the bus that missed you, if it hit me, I’d be satisfied with the legacy I would leave.

    To your continued success!

    Chris Cannon

  18. Tim,

    Congratulations on all of your hard work and success. I too have a book in me and is currently roughly half written. I expect something of an uphill battle promoting it and you have given be the inspiration to continue. I am also an OCD tester and love to do research.

    I have been attempting a study of the most successful (top selling) non-fiction books over the last 10 years and I have found that the information is not readily available.

    I have also found that Nielson Book Scan is the only reliable method to determine book sales data as it tracks point of sale information for most retail outlets. The subscription price to Nielsen Book Scan is far beyond the reach of any average Joe like myself.

    The reason I am asking is that most of the information on books sales is private information that is closely guarded by the publishing world. I think that most of the sales data for the best sellers that is available on the Internet MAY be wholly inaccurate or artificially inflated by the publishers to garner new sales.

    I would love to find some one that might have access to Nielson Book scan so I can compile more accurate date for my study. I am willing to pay for the access to the information if the information can be verified as accurate.

    If anyone out there can help me with my study I would love to hear from them. … never hurts to ask!

    Would you be willing to talk to me about some of the authors and publishers you spoke to while doing your research? Any info would be of great help.

    Mike Carpenter

    mcarpen@mac.com

    mike@mikethemoneyman.com

  19. Alot of people get put down in life when they try and accomplish something but your persistance certainly paid off for you.

    I reckon if you would of released it now you would have even more demand then you did back in 2007.

    I too hope I can write my own book when Ive got the chance but only one person in a million can hit the number one spot like you did.

    Ive read your profile Ferriss on bodybuilding, could you please recommend me some supplements here in Australia.

  20. Hi Tim,

    Besides the “what are the 1-3 biggest wastes of time and money” question, I am curious as to what were some of the several additional questions you asked to both the best-selling and best-writing authors as well as some of their answers? Hope you don’t mind sharing some.

    Thanks in advance,

    Ricardo

  21. congratulations! this is very useful advice. I always thought it almost impossible to write a book, it seems everyone has one, so why should anyone buy mine. A little bit of self belief and everything is possible it seems 🙂 good job!

  22. I am in awe. This info is spectacular. YOU are spectacular. I am stalking you now. Question: What did you do leading up to this? What were your previous accomplishments.

    dotJenna

  23. Your post is inspirational. I’m a firm believer in tell me it can’t be done and I will show you it can be done. Thanks for the post.

  24. I have always been a firm believer in fate.

    Usually you can only play the hand that you are dealt.

    But occasionally you can go for something knowing deep down it won’t work and every body telling you it will never work but a gut feeling says it will.

    And guess what it does work.

    Life is what you make it some you win, some you don’t.

    But if you don’t try how will you ever know…..

  25. Very Inspirational! I really liked your closing thoughts! Guess Im going to have to check out more of your work now!! p/s..Capoeira is awesome!

  26. It’s hard to believe you’ve achieved this much success. As someone with ambitions of their own, your story is a total inspiration. Reading your blog honestly makes me feel like some of the dreams I’ve had on the shelf for a while might not be so far-fetched. Thanks.

  27. I must admit that this book brought in a big revolution. I found myself astonished seeing the number of personal assistant services companies cropping up after the release of this book.

  28. I helped write a best seller last year. Best sellers are not really best sellers. We bought 50,000 copies of our own book. The “bestsellers” lists are a sham – I know first hand.

    1. Not everyone buys 50,000 copies of their own book. There are book that are bought onto the list, yes. There are also books that sell perennially without author purchases. The 4HWW will be 4 years straight on the NY Times within the next three months.

      Best,

      Tim

      1. Yeah, buying 50,000 of my own book just to get it on a list? Come on….this serves no purpose. You then have to sell that 50K cvopies just to get back to ground zero.

        If you have followed Tim’s rise and history over the last 4 years you would see that there is much more than the proverbial ‘flash’ of making it on a best seller list. However, the list is not the destination…it is only a stop on the journey to free yourself from the traditional binds that exist in our world.

        I read the book 3-4 times. I am due again.

        Tim…congrats on 4 years on top…..I bet the view up there looks great. If you come down from the mountain-top and land in Atlanta GA, would love to hook up for a beer…..I’m a stay at home dad….I subscribe to some of the ideology presented in your book. Being a Dad, Husband, Entrepreneur you have to be the master of efficiency and you have to be creative on how to find free-time where none previously existed.

        I have shared your book, my copy, with a few friends too….and they all claimed to receive benefit from it.

        Either way…..take care!

  29. You dont get it if you think the list is the goal. That is only a ‘stop’ on the journey to the final destination…which is freedom from the binds and constraints that this technologically advanced world can place on you. From cubicles, to email, to the phone growing out of your ear and or hand. It is a guide on how one man successfully did it….

    It provides the ability to both unplug AND stay up with your business without worrying that something fell between the proverbial cracks.

    I am a stay-at-home dad, an entrepreneur, a husband, are part time bartender and etc…..I have 0 time to waste. This is a guide on how you can find time where there is none….and then you should be a proper steward of that time by doing something you have always wanted to do but didn’t have the time or guts.

    Get your life back….remember those dreams you had when you were younger? Go find them…

    Tim…if you find yourself in Atlanta lets grab a beer.

    Ciao

  30. Tim – Just saw this a few minutes ago, almost 4 years after you wrote it!

    Great stuff. (You’ve probably heard this several million times over)

    i liked every bit of it, your post and all the comments, including the buying 50,000 copies of your own book comment!

    By the way, I was trying to get a hold of you on Facebook but it said you’ve gotten too many requests. I was wondering if I may have the honor to have a 1-on-1 interview with you and have you share your story.

    Let me know (you have my email).

  31. Great article!! I am going to selfpublish my first book, “How to Avoid Murdering Your Mother-in-Law”, and have been trying to figure out what the most effective marketing techniques would be. Your information is great.

    Thanks,

    Victoria Pressley

  32. I actually thought that best seller lists were a real measure of sales, so it is a bit shocking to hear that one comment about them being a scam. I am going to do some searching on that because I have never heard that before.

  33. I’m done reading the book myself a week ago and it has help me out stir up parts of myself that’d been undeveloped for a long time.

    My life’s been a spell of doing things as then and I can’t consider being at an advantage.

  34. Hi Tim,

    Bonjour, de France ! 🙂

    Je suis actuellement en train de lire le “Write the Perfect Proposal” et je me demandais si tu pouvais – pourquoi pas – nous mettre à disposition (dans un post, ou autre) TON PROPOSAL pour la Semaine de 4 Heures.

    J’imagine que comme d’habitude, tes travaux sont de véritables modèles du genre. J’ai hâte de voir ça ! 😉

    Ps : If you come un France, i suggest you to visit Aix-en-Provence : it’s like “le paradis sur Terre !!” 🙂

    @+

  35. OMG! That was phenomenal advice! I’m a self-published author and it has been such a struggle. I appreciate you sharing your heart. I’ve been trying to so hard to get my book in the best shape possible, it takes money to get professional help. I would love your comments on my book. I can give you access to it for free if you have the time. This is my first book and I really want it to be a great blessing for people suffering from the recession. I appreciate your help in advance. Thank you. Michele Beauvoir.

  36. Hi Tim, I’ve just discovered your article/blog in my search for information on how to become a NYT #1 best seller.

    It was great to read about your publishing/marketing process. The information you provide is valuable to me as I’m finishing off my first book and am standing at the threshold of publishing and marketing.

    I was happy to learn about the idea of a meme – that was new to me. I have one too, but it’ll be the content of my second book.

    This is going to be an exciting adventure:)

    Wishing you all the very best in all things!!

    Gabrielle Holmefjord

  37. The book was turned down by 13 of 14 editors, and the president of one large book wholesaler even sent me PDFs on historical stats to “reset my expectations”–it could never be a bestseller. The odds seem impossible: there are more than 200,000 books published each year in the US, and less than 5% ever sell more than 5,000 copies. On a given bestseller list, more than 5 spots could be occupied by unbeatable bestsellers like Good to Great or The Tipping Point, which have been on the lists for years.

  38. The book that first launched Knut Hamsun in the European literary scene was Hunger. When asked about the book, he told a friend, “What interests me are my little soul’s endless emotions, the special, strange life of the mind, the mysteries of the nerves in a hungry body.” And that is exactly what the book is about. An extremely strange book, and a literary revolution in the making when it was written – a lit torch thrown right in the face of the predominantly social-realist European literary establishment of the time. Its refreshing viewpoint and impulsive, lyrical style had an electrifying effect on European writers.

  39. Very helpful stuff, Tim! I am finding the whole process of ‘publish to Kindle and be your own marketing expert’ both interesting and time-consuming. Sometimes, disheartening. It is harder with a fiction work that a non-fiction as self-help stories seem to race off the virtual bookshelves despite being swamped with competitors. My book, ‘Calandra’s Spring’ has done well in the free promo days, certainly, but that won’t be paying my rent! I like your succinct style. So many of these ‘how to’ books waffle on to fill their pages. Thanks for sharing your ideas so generously.

  40. Thank you Tim for the encouragement.

    I have a book I’m doing my part to push to bestseller status.

    LIFE: AS FRAGILE AS DUST will become a bestseller. Period!

  41. What’s Taking place i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It positively helpful and it has aided me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & help different users like its aided me. Good job.

  42. Great write up and I enjoyed the book tremendously. In fact, upon graduation it helped me test, start, and automate a business which grossed nearly $1,000,000 in its second year. However, due to the nature of the business, it being a fad, I see the writing on the wall. That being said, last year, after reading the ‘One Minute Millionaire’ I started an investment group which at the present time is moving forward quite well. Thank you.

    In your opinion, at the present time would you suggest going the traditional route when publishing a book -that being via a Literary Agent- or would you recommend self-publishing via Amazon as you have recently done. My goal for the book would be the have a very strong concentrated following and of course make money.

  43. One thing I cannot seem to find on your site: In the book you tell about the dehydration technique you used in China, and that you posted before and after pictures on this site. I cannot seem to find them?

  44. Hi, I’m an aspiring childrens book writer. I’ve recently been working on my second edit of a manuscript that a large publisher is somewhat interested in. Where/how do I begin as far asa blog goes? No idea really how I could get my book out there! Thx for any advice.

  45. Hi, Tim

    Thanks for your post.

    I’m a first-time author in Taiwan and I have bought your book and have been your fan since 2009.

    After reading your book, I always think you are so cool to make the films for your books – especially the one for the book ” 4 hour body”.

    As a result, I also make one small film for my new book (you can check it in my website).

    Although it is not so professional as yours and I am still not a bestselling author since my book just published 1 week ago, I know I love my book and so are some friends.

    I don’t know whether you will see this letter, but I really appreciate what you have written while it keeps on inspiring me.

    Next time , if you come to Taiwan and want to find a local guide, please feel free to let me know.

    I would be more than happy to see you.

    Your fan,

    Thomas Lin

  46. This book, you and the story behind it will stay in the history of publishing, creating best-sellers and unconventional ideas.

    I’m reading this article again now, almost 8 years after it was written, and it still has priceless lessons in it and motivates me to keep doing what I do and to have a strong belief in the results I can achieve.

    Decided to read the post again (plus the book itself, and thank God I had what was most useful to me underlined, so I just went through it and it didn’t take such a long time) because I recently become a huge fan of the guys from Tropical MBA and just couldn’t be more encouraged to stop by here again as Dan, for example, started working on his actual business ideas a few weeks after finishing the 4HWW.

    And nothing boosts my motivation like reading about extraordinary people like you and them, who are not afraid to get out there, to try something new, to ditch the mundane lifestyle and do something every single day that gets you closer to your vision.

    So I just wanted to say a huge thanks once again. And to let you know that to this day your book and blog help people all the time. You put so much passion, hard work and belief in your work that it somehow goes through your writing and gets directly to the reader.

    So cheers, Tim, for being who you are and doing what you do. Because from now on you legacy can only become greater.

  47. Could you, please, Tim, share with us the answers of that dozen best-writing authors and what important clues did you find of that dozen best-selling about their marketing and PR campaigns?

    It would be great! Some of us are not from US and maybe contact with those celebrities might be very difficult. Thanks a lot!

  48. The Tim Ferriss episode of the By The Book podcast was awesome. They replaced the worst parts of Tim with down to earth thoughtfulness and intelligence.

    A huge shout out to Jolenta for quitting smoking, both my brother and my Mom were smokers and died of smoker’s lung cancer.

    This podcast is the best review of The Four Hour Workweek I’ve found in any media.

    https://player.fm/series/series-2300989/the-4-hour-workweek