How Tucker Max Got Rejected by Publishing and Still Hit #1 New York Times

The infamous Tucker Max, self-proclaimed asshole. (Photo: Randy Stewart/

Preface: I’ve debated doing this post for a long while. Today I bite the bullet. Part of my job is introducing you to valuable lessons and interesting people you might not find otherwise. “Interesting” takes many forms. Keep that in mind, and keep an open mind, as you read on.

I rolled over in bed to grab my cell phone. This time, I didn’t mind being woken up. The text message read:

“You hit the list. I $%&#ing said you would.”

Just after 9am PST meant the newest New York Times list had been received by publishing’s insiders. The insiders and one other person: Tucker Max.

He was the only person who, play-for-play, predicted how I would hit the printed list of the New York Times.

I first met Tucker in 2007 at a panel (he’ll explain), where he greeted me with “Who the fuck are you?” Usually, this is a conversation killer, but — instead — I answered him and we ended up drinking later. Why did I brush it off and make the effort? First of all, I expected him to respond like that. Second, Tucker is a veritable genius.

He made his first book, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, a #1 New York Times bestseller with no outside support. Furthermore, a large proportion of the English-speaking world hates Tucker, which is reflected in media mentions and reader reviews. To wit…

“I find it truly appalling that there are people in the world like you. You are a disgusting, vile, repulsive, repugnant, foul creature. Because of you, I don’t believe in God anymore. No just God would allow someone like you to exist.”

But, then there’s the flip side: Tucker graduated summa cum laude from the University of Chicago and went to Duke Law School on an academic scholarship. He’s smart. Last but not least, though I’d think hard before inviting him to a dinner party, he is 100% honest to everyone and 100% loyal to his friends. I’ll take 1,000 Tuckers over the multitudes of false friends who walk on egg shells in polite company but pull out the claws when it serves their short-term interests.

This won’t be the last time you hear me say this about Tucker, so I’ll cut the preamble short.

This post is on book marketing and building an online following. There are many resources listed. The conduit for it all is a rude misogynist named Tucker Max, but don’t confuse the message with the messenger.

I’ll add notes in a few places, as well as an afterword. If you are easily offended, you should absolutely skip this post. I’m serious about this. If midgets, sex, the two together, or far worse will bother you, it’s a good idea to stop here. Hold off a week and we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Otherwise, you’ve been forewarned, so no complaints in the comments if you choose to set foot in the Tuckerdome. If I lose you as a reader forever, it’s been very nice knowing you.

Enter Tucker Max.

Tucker Max

I first met Tim when he came to my SXSW presentation (about turning a blog into a book) to pick my brain about what had worked for me. I explained to him everything I did, and he loved the advice so much he bought me a coffee. Thanks, big spender.

[Tim: my very first encounter with Tucker is captured here on film. And, Tucker, you’re most welcome.]

We stayed in touch, and Tim called me up the other day and asked me to write a post for his blog that would outline to his readers all the things I explained to him years ago at SXSW. I told Tim that there was no need for a long post; in fact, my success could be explained in a Tweet: “Because Tucker is really fucking awesome.”

Tim politely laughed, took a deep breath, and explained to me–in the least ego-crushing way possible–that that would make a crappy blog post. He asked me to dissect and analyze what I did, and then write about it in a way his readers could utilize for their own writing.

I still think my awesomeness plays the key role in my success, but since my second book (Assholes Finish First) is coming out and I like lots of people to know this fact, I agreed to do this post.

Why I’m Qualified to Write This Post:

Tim told me to start with some background, so readers could understand the basis of my expertise. I told Tim that if they didn’t already know who I was, they were beyond my help. He was silent until I agreed to lay out my qualifications:

-Early 2002: Tried to get my book, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell, published. Sent the core stories from the book to every publisher, literary agent, magazine and newspaper in the country. At least 500 query letters, maybe closer to 1000. I was rejected by 100% of them. Literally every single one, without exception.

-Late 2002: With no other option, I learned HTML and put my stories up on a website,

-May 2003: The site’s popularity exploded (on the internet), and the publishers came back to me, asking to publish my book.

-January 2006: Book came out, got zero media coverage and zero advertising support, but still hit the NY Times Bestseller List immediately because of the support of the fan base I’d cultivated through my website.

-October 2009: Reached #1 on the list, more than three years after it came out.

-Current day: Been on NY Times Best Seller List every year since it came out, over 180 weeks total, and currently in its 150th consecutive week. Sold over 1.5 million copies (and counting), and translated into 15 languages.

Now you know how fancy and important I am, so on to the marketing secrets:

1. Give your content away for free, and keep it free:

I started doing this in 2002, long before the word “freemium” existed. Granted, I stumbled onto this idea by accident and had no idea what I was doing, but what I learned quickly was that giving content away works really well. It allows you to find an audience at no cost to you, and allows huge numbers of people to test your material out for no cost to them. Everyone wins.

This does NOT mean you should never make money from your content. Of course you should. If you are providing value to people, you should be able to capture some of that value back. But how will anyone know they want to buy your book or magazine or whatever until they have tried it and liked it? Not only that, but giving things away for free doesn’t indelibly stain them with worthlessness forever. Take my midget story for example; it was originally put up for free on my site, and is still there. Then published by Hustler, for which they paid handsomely. Then it was sold as part of a screenplay. And now, it’s part of my new book.

And here’s the thing about free: It’s not a short term strategy. I’ve kept some of my best stuff on my website for free going on 8 years now. That’s the coolest thing about having a bulwark of good free material out there: it passively gives people an easy and permanent way to be introduced to you and your writing. Plainly put, free is the best kind of marketing: constant, cheap, effective, and meaningful to the user.

Here are my four best free stories up on my site, the ones that have led to tens of thousands of people to buy my book [WARNING: My writing is not for everyone. I curse a lot, I am graphic in my thoughts and descriptions, and I drink to excess and just generally write about all the stupid, assholish stuff I do. You have been warned]:

1.The Famous Sushi Pants Story

3. The Midget Story

2. The Hockey Story

4. The Austin Road Trip

[Tim: This list was actually five items long, but I couldn’t bring myself to include one of them. If you want the missing link, look for “Hilarity Does Not Ensue” in “The Stories” section on his site. You will lose a piece of your soul if you read it. Then again, if you want to see a post with 2,200+ Facebook likes, march onward.]

2. Make your content easily shareable:

This ties into free, but is not exactly the same thing. If you stand on a street corner handing out free books, that’s great, but even if people love them, it’s highly inefficient to share a hard copy with someone else. The beauty of digital media is that additional copies (after the first) have a zero transaction cost. This means people who like your content can easily share it with lots of other people, promoting your free content for you, especially when you make the sharing process effortless for them.

There’s millions of ways to do this, and the specific ones you want to pick will vary depending on your content. For example, one thing I did was format my stories so that they could easily be printed out and taken somewhere else to read. This worked wonders; apparently a ton of people who worked in offices couldn’t just read my stuff on the screen, but could easily print it out to read later, and hand those print out to their friends. [This is basically what newspapers do, with their “Print” button that takes you to a plain text screen with just the story, formatted to print on 8×11 paper.]

There are so many other ways to make sharing easy; free ebooks, links to social media sites, etc. Shit, you can just look at my site, or even better, copy Tim’s blog, he does everything but click the mouse for you to make it easy for you to share his content. Check out these resources on where you can get started:

* Facebook plugins (e.g. “Like” buttons, Recommendations, “Facepile”) that you can add to your site.

* Twitter widgets, including the “Tweet” button.

* Embeddable “share this” button that allows easy sharing across multiple channels (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

* Delicious bookmarking badges.

3. Promote your content in places that make sense, but DO NOT spam:

I remember at the SXSW panel that Tim came and saw, when I talked about how early on I submitted my website to places like CollegeHumor and Fark and other “link dump” sites, people actually hissed at me. They tried to shame me for promoting my writing to places that ASK PEOPLE TO SUBMIT LINKS!

There is this notion that some people have that artists must toil in obscurity and never search for an audience, but wait to be discovered. Fuck that. A creator’s job is not just to make something useful; it’s also to get it to people who can use it. And if you are a writer, you’d better understand that you’re competing for attention with so much other media, you can’t afford to just sit on your ass and pray. Actively put your material in front of as many people as you can who you think will like it.

But that’s the key phrase so many people miss when making their promotional efforts, “who will like it.” I didn’t promote my writing to fundamentalist Christian sites or Mommy blogs, because it doesn’t make sense. Spam is just promoting something to someone who has no interest in it. But people love finding new things that interest them, so go out and find audiences who might like your stuff and the places where they congregate. Then interact with them not as a huckster, but in a way that potentially benefits you both: You find the audience, they find new entertainment (or information, or whatever value your writing provides).

The top 5 sites that worked for me when promoting my website (this was 2002-2004, remember):


2. [Tim: this was true for me as well]


4. (NOT suitable for work)


4. Build relationships with people who can help you, and vice versa:

This is something I’ve never been big on. Mainly because my style of writing doesn’t lend itself to this strategy, and, of course, I hate most people. But it is a strategy that can work for a lot of people, and Tim did this amazingly well prior to the release of his book.

Basically what he did was go to every conference and meet-up he could in the year or so before his book came out, made it a point to meet and befriend everyone who had an online audience that he thought might like his book–diverse groups, ranging from people like Robert Scoble to me–gave them all copies of his book, established relationships with them, and learned everything he could from them. Then when his book came out, he had all their knowledge at his disposal, and had hundreds of very influential friends who were willing to talk about it to their specific audiences, both because they thought their audience would like it, and because they liked Tim as a person.

I know a lot of you people are thinking about how you can do this online, like through email or something. That misses the point. The brilliance of Tim’s strategy was that he met these people FACE-TO-FACE and created real human bonds with them. It was something no one was doing at the time, and he did it very well.

[Tim: How did I go from Tucker’s “Who the fuck are you?” to drinking with him an hour later and having lunch with him the following day? Out of 40 people lined up, why did I make the cut? Simple: I made an educated guess and used language to reflect it. Here’s how it happened: I noticed Tucker had a big neck when he walked up to the panel seats. I therefore guessed he either 1) had trained in jiu-jitsu or wrestling, or 2) was a former football player who at least watched UFC. In response to “Who the fuck are you?” I answered “My name is Tim Ferriss. I’m writing my first book for Random House and used to compete as a fighter.” That was the lure. Tucker responded: “What, MMA?” Bingo. “I competed mostly in wrestling and kickboxing, but I train at AKA in San Jose with Dave Camarillo. Swick, John Fitch, and a bunch of the UFC pros train there.” A few minutes later, Tucker grabbed me to go drinking. Once again, it pays to know your audience, and being different is often more effective than being better.]

5. Engage your fans, but only in the ways that are authentic and provide value:

It’s quite the vogue for self-proclaimed social media experts to breathlessly inform companies they HAVE to blog and be on Facebook and be on Twitter and manage communities and all that.

Bullshit. When people ask me what social media tools they should use to promote their writing, I ask them a question in return, “Which ones do you like using? Which ones do other people like reading?” Then they look at me as if they never even considered that angle. That’s the thing that’s cool about the internet: You get to define how you interact with people, and you can pick and choose the tools and mediums that work best for you. Instead of using everything just because, you’re better off picking only the things you like, will engage in a meaningful way, and use to provide value to your readers. Ignore the rest.

I use my personal website,, I use Facebook (personal profile and fan page), and Twitter. That’s pretty much it. No LinkedIn, no YouTube, none of the myriad other ways to engage people online.

But here’s the thing: I enjoy using those sites.

I am on them a lot, and I manage them in such a way as to bring value to the people who follow me on them. Go look at my Twitter feed–there is nothing on there about what I had for breakfast or what my favorite color is. Pretty much every tweet is either informative or funny–i.e., they are entertaining, which is the added value my fans expect. Same with Facebook; it’s information about things my fans care about, or me bantering with people (and yes, that’s actually me writing everything on there, my assistant doesn’t do it. You can’t outsource funny).

6. Find the fulcrum of attention for your specific content:

When I decided to pursue writing as a career, it never occurred to me that people would find my subject matter to be controversial or incendiary. I thought they’d find it funny and entertaining, maybe a bit outlandish, but that’s it; after all, this was the same stuff all my friends were doing; I was just the dude who wrote it down.

Well, that’s not the way it played out. I have become an extremely polarizing, controversial figure in media. But instead of running from this, or trying to redirect it, I decided to embrace it. There are even times I played it up to some extent. Why would I do this? Why would I court negative attention in a way that most people try so hard to avoid?

Because it made sense with who I was as a person and a writer, and quite frankly, this was the pretty much the only avenue through which I was going to get mainstream attention, so I took it. Without that negative attention, there would be zero attention, and in a digital media world, attention is the main scarcity you are fighting for.

Now, I would NOT recommend my specific path for most people, simply because it doesn’t make sense for them. If you’re writing about knitting, courting negative attention is a ridiculous strategy. But what might make sense for knitting would be a strategy to write about or engage the topic in a new or novel way, something that the knitting world has never seen (I have no clue what that would be).

The general lesson is that you need to find the fulcrum of attention for your specific writing, and then use it to leverage yourself attention that you can turn into new readers. If you’re unsure how to do this, ask yourself, “What is interesting or engaging about my writing to other people? What about my writing are people responding to? How can I use that to get more attention?”

7. Permission marketing:

This is a phrase invented by Seth Godin (the god of 21st century marketing, I recommend you read his books and blog), but what it basically means is that you don’t carpet-bomb everyone with your ads; you actually ask your fans for permission to tell them about the things you are doing. The most obvious permission marketing tool is an email list, and I use one. I think I have about 100,000 subscribers to mine, and it works great, because I only send out something like two emails a year, and they are always highly relevant. I use my Facebook fan pages in the same way; people “like” them in order to get info about me and things I am doing, and I only post when it’s highly relevant. This is a pretty simple but powerful concept, and you can read more about it from Seth here.

And here are five of my favorite posts about either permission marketing, or similar tactics being discussed here:

Secrets of the Biggest Selling Launch Ever

1,000 True Fans [Tim: If you only read one article on marketing in your life, this is my pick.]

A User’s Guide to 21st Century Economics

So What’s All This New Marketing Stuff, Anyway?

Earning Your Media

8. Word of mouth is key:

Have you begun to see a pattern in the way I marketed my book and writing? If not, I’ll spell it out clearly: WORD OF MOUTH.

Every single piece of advice above is essentially a different way to create and facilitate word of mouth. Why that strategy? Because it’s the one that works best. Have you noticed I haven’t written one word about book reviews or magazine interviews or radio or any of that bullshit? Because for the most part, I’ve found that they don’t really matter. I can tell you from very extensive experience that my book has done so well ONLY because people who read it recommended it to other people, and they went out and bought it. Word of mouth. Nothing else.

But here’s the thing: Lasting, real word of mouth can only come from one source: Creating value.

And thus leads us to the reversal…

9. Everything you just read about effective marketing doesn’t matter…unless you have content that people like.

Everything I wrote is true, and will work, and is relatively easy to do. But Tim has written about it before, Seth Godin has written about it, Jeff Jarvis has, Gary Vaynerchuk has, etc. It’s well known, at least to people who care about this stuff. But smart marketing only explains about 10% of my success. The most important point, the thing that trumps all the rest, is this:

CREATE AMAZING AND COMPELLING CONTENT THAT PEOPLE LOVE AND VALUE. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, flows from that central principle.

That’s the thing; there is no secret to being a successful writer. We all know what it takes: You have to write something lots of other people want to read. Sounds obvious, right? Well, it is obvious, but it’s also difficult to do. And there definitely isn’t a shortcut. It is HARD to create compelling content. It takes work, passion, creativity, and determination.

Take someone like Maddox, whose book The Alphabet of Manliness spent four months on the best seller list. He maybe does two things I talk about above–he gives his content away and uses an email list. His best marketing is just writing another post. Or Paul Graham. He doesn’t even have an RSS feed in his blog, but people created one to get his essays, because they are that good.

People like to focus on all this other stuff for a simple reason: it’s easy to do. And probably because they assume that their writing is already great, but that no one is reading it because of some secret that they don’t know yet.

Nope, sorry.

If you’ve done most everything above and still no one is reading your stuff, you need to go back and look at it. Ask yourself an honest question: Is your writing providing value to other people? If yes, you’ll find success in using the marketing tips I gave you. If no, you won’t. Plain and simple.

What I’m Doing To Promote My Second Book

I know I’m going to sound glib, but it’s truth: I’m not really doing much of anything to promote my second book. No big press push, no huge book reviews, no major TV appearances, no magazine cover profiles, none of that crap.

What I am doing is everything I discussed above. My site is still up, still with all the free stories that have always been there and I still use my Twitter, my Facebook fan pages, and my email list to promote to my fans. I will be doing a 33-city book tour, but again, that’s only being promoted through my permission assets. I am doing a little bit of local press for some of the book tour stops, but only because my publisher insisted on it; no “major” media stuff really at all.

Why not? I don’t need it. That’s a game you have to play only if you haven’t already created a loyal fan base by doing all the things I talk about above that that create value for your fans.



To second Tucker’s conclusion: good marketing can grab readers, but good content is what keeps readers.

How is it possible that Tucker has become so popular? There are many contributing factors, but I believe one of the largest is overlooked: he has a clear voice. Good writing does not mean becoming a grammarian or using big words. It means telling stories worth telling (in Tucker’s case) or sharing lessons worth learning (in my case), and doing it with a compelling and consistent voice. Tucker wrote many of his best stories while pretending to write an email to his closest friends. He knew that if he drifted or postured as a “writer” for even one paragraph, they’d hit delete and move on. It was this believable (and authentic) intimacy that hooked people.

The first four chapters I wrote of The 4-Hour Workweek went straight into the garbage. I started off writing like a Princeton-trained pompous ass, which I, of course, was. Huge vocab for no reason, and semicolons galore. Scrapped. Then, I swung too far in the opposite direction and wrote a few chapters like Three Stooges slapstick. It was breezy, which is different from casual, without being particularly funny. Into the recycling bin it went.

Then it was nervous breakdown time. After all, I’d already sold the book and was contractually obligated to write it. Before having a complete implosion, I took a deep breath and tried an experiment. Rather than writing for my “audience,” I wrote as if I were writing an e-mail to two close friends, one trapped in investment banking and the other trapped in his own start-up. That marked the turning point.

To be a best-writing author, you don’t need to win a Pulitzer. You need to have experiences that make good stories, and you need to be yourself on paper. It’s that simple and that hard.

To be a best-selling author, you need to take being a “best-writing” author (as I’ve defined it) seriously.

The “marketing” is then finding people who most resemble the friends you wrote for in the first place. Get specific enough so that this “audience” comprises no more than 2,000,000 people nationwide. Next, find the few curators for this niche audience, much like the bloggers I met at SXSW, and only talk about your book content if you’d be willing to bet $1,000 on “fit”. Fit = they’d definitely read a specific recommended chapter in the subsequent 24 hours. Anything less is, in my opinion, just in-person spamming.

Know thy audience.


Tucker’s second book, Assholes Finish First, is now out in stores. If you want to laugh outloud and hate yourself for doing it, this might be your poison of choice.

Related and Recommended:

How Authors Really Make Money: The Rebirth of Seth Godin and Death of Traditional Publishing

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 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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210 Replies to “How Tucker Max Got Rejected by Publishing and Still Hit #1 New York Times”

  1. Speaking of profanity, an excerpt from a Patton speech:

    “We’ll win this war, but we’ll win it only by fighting and by showing the Germans that we’ve got more guts than they have; or ever will have. We’re not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, we’re going to rip out their living Goddamned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We’re going to murder those lousy Hun cocksuckers by the bushel-fucking-basket. War is a bloody, killing business. You’ve got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts. When shells are hitting all around you and you wipe the dirt off your face and realize that instead of dirt it’s the blood and guts of what once was your best friend beside you, you’ll know what to do!”

    Memorable, to say the least! 🙂

  2. The content of this post may well be an example of genius marketing, but it is the person (not the persona) behind it which is of cultural interest to me. When I was much younger (I’m 66) I was convinced that my generation was the first to discover sex, satire and honesty. That conviction was not a consequence of stupidity, as much as it was an inability to recognize my own lack of experience. After all, yound people know everything. Right?

    For example, if you are old enough to remember the movies made in the 1950’s by Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, you realize that the physical comedy of Jim Carrey is recycled stuff. I suspect that when Jerry Lewis was doing it, he was recycling the routines of people who were in vaudeville in the 20’s. I wouldn’t have known that at the time because I wasn’t alive in the 1920’s. See how this works?

    If most of the readers commenting on this post had been alive in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s (and I am assuming that this is not the case) they would be familiar with the Gonzo Journalism movement as exemplified by people like Hunter Thompson or Ken Kesey. Trust me, Tucker Max is recycled Hunter Thompson. Moreover, there is a decided difference between “honesty” and feigned honesty, particularly if “honesty” is your schtick. Additionally, if you are unfamiliar with Hunter Thompson I will bet the farm that Tucker Max is VERY familiar with Hunter Thompson. If true, that is where the DISHONESTY is revealed.

    There is a difference between honesty and shock value. Writers who emphasize the latter usually lack the former.

  3. Hey Tim,

    I need your help. What do you suggest? I want to write a book regarding “7 Reasons Why you will Fail day trading stocks”.

    I started day trading stocks 3 years ago. 18 months into it, I was broke. I now am a profitable trader. I think I have enough information for a book, but, after reading this article, if I give all the information away free on a blog, how can I make some $$ by helping people avoid the mistakes I made and they will make as well?

  4. “I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell” is on my bookshelf between Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama. I’m not sure what that says about me… 🙂

    Tucker is an great example of savvy (and early!) leveraging the power of viral marketing using the internet. As well as of knowing your audience and giving them exactly what they want, while letting the haters… hate.

    Love him or hate him, you know exactly what you’re going to get with Tucker Max, and he delivers as promised.

  5. I’m an avid reader and bought Tucker’s book because I found the title and cover art interesting. I’ve never (never!) laughed so hard in my life and been so totally unable to tell anyone about the book…what would my friends think?! I’m churchy and the book is not, but it IS well written, hilarious, and ridiculous all rolled into one.

    Thanks for the step-by-step plan…us newbies appreciate it!

  6. I remember reading Tucker’s stories a while back, interesting to see how far he’s come, not been on his website in a while.

    This post did inspire me to check the movie out though which I had but never watched and noticed a certain Tim Ferriss starring in it as a cop 😉

  7. “He made his first book, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, a #1 New York Times bestseller with no outside support.”

    I’m a Tucker fan, but it needs to be pointed out that he only made the #1 NTY bestseller after he got $12,000,000 to make a publicize a movie based on the book.

    The movie only made a million or two, so the rest of the $10,000,000 leavse a big hole.

    But the $12,000,000 did propel his book to #1, with the bus and all.

    I would consider $12,000,000 a “bit of help” in promoting the book.

    Seems that AFF isn’t doing as well/won’t do as well as it will be hard to get another outside party to invest $12,000,000, but good luck!

    Rock on Tim & Tucker!

  8. hilarity does not ensue, I believe that was prefaced with “Tucker tries anal for the first time and … ” That story was the SINGLE reason I purchased the book … in fact, I didn’t read any story BUT that one (sorry for capitalizing ‘but’) before purchasing the book.

    Tucker may be a crass asshole, but I’ll vouch for what Tim says here — I don’t know Tucker, but I can guarantee you anyone who puts themselves out there THAT much, is one honest fucking guy. I second Tim’s idea of preferring 1,000 Tuckers to 1,000 ‘fake’ friends.

    Great post Tim. I started your 20lbs of fat in 30 days plan about two weeks ago — I’m throwing the Korean fighting style of Kuk Sool Won in on top of 2 miles of walking ever day. I started at 285, I’ll let you know what that number is when the 30 days are up.

  9. Did anyone else notice how is a porn site?????? Just saying, I didn’t read the “Not suitable for work” disclaimer

    Man, was MY face RED

  10. Hi,

    Is the new book available from any outlets in the UK? I want to buy it but don’t fancy getting it posted from the states. Are Easons or WHSmith stocking it?

  11. I wrote a ‘reality blog’ in 2005 that attracted 350.000+ visits in 7 months. I rewrote that into a book that I’ve recently self published and which I’m now marketing since, like Tucker, I didn’t get any response from the traditional publishing industry. But from what I’m getting here, maybe I should revive that old blog…

  12. Wow really Tucker Max! (and yes, I do have and have read his book, interesting enough.) Amazing insight into the mind of the male species. After reading his book I vowed to lock my girls up forever, and was ever so thankful that I was out of the “dating” scene.

    In reading through the above post (I’m in a rush to go educate young minds), I was wondering if you would recommend the above strategies for children’s books as well? I’ve looked into publishing, don’t really know where to begin, and frightened by all the posts that basically state children’s books are one in a million. Any thought would be appreciated.

  13. i am always bumping into people who want to write a kids book,and know someone who has published 2 on the ipad so that would defo be a good blog idea !

  14. Tucker Max may be a master marketer, but let’s be clear about what else he is: a guy who preys upon sexually vulnerable women and then brags about it in writing, destroying the women’s privacy and exposing them to public shame and ridicule.

    Tim, wasn’t one of your recent posts all about kindess? What could be less kind than Tucker and his exploits? Or has your entrepreneurial philosophy morphed into one where it doesn’t matter what you are selling, kindness or exploitation, as long as the tactics work?

    By promoting Tucker and his peculiar “brand,” I’m afraid you’ve slipped to the dark side and abandoned what first attracted many of us to your writings – namely, your ethical principles. Count me among those who are now bidding you a fond farewell.

  15. I already left a comment, but I’m back again because I think there is so much honest wisdom in both Tucker and Tim that I want to burn their posts into my brain. I have been a hack writer for decades now, ghostwriting for other people, and it has hit me like a bolt of lightning that what I REALLY want to do is find my own writing voice, stop submerging my personality under all this bland BS that I do for a living, and rock out. I’m going to start a blog with my own writing on it, my own personality shining through, and maybe it will resonate with readers the way Tucker’s stuff does.

  16. As a general ‘constructive critical’ comment – please check out the difference between perceived (or ideally wanted) wealth distributions and actual wealth distributions in the US here.

    Could it be said that your overall ‘anarchic autonomy’ and ‘self actualization’ philosophy is actually speaking to those who have already made the top 20% or less who possess 85% or more of the wealth (the ones who can afford to say ‘who the fuck are you?’, and that these ‘self-help’ messages simply cannot do more than offer ‘stardom’ fantasies (dreams of freedom) to the vast majority of people? Could it be said that all this mutual support between successful entrepreneurs is a type of self-promotion, and that it’s fun for the rest of us but – in fact – impractical. It just APPEARS to be eminently practical. I’m talking specifically about the ‘get rich’ and ‘make it’ stuff. Some of the other stuff about boiling eggs or body design is great. But the ‘get wealthy’ stuff seems like it might be a big marketing exercise among the already wealthy.

  17. Hey Ferriss, I noticed that you were on and then noticed that Tucker Max was not. I guess it turns out your the better of the As*holes… LOL Keep up the good work. Your a great inspiration.

  18. I’ve been a Tucker Max fan since way before the book was published – somehow I’m not surprised you two know each other! Saw you mentioned Farmstead on Twitter – I just moved to St. Helena and next time you come out you should go to Cook, all the chef-types I know love it.

  19. I’m a fan of both Tim and Tucker, and this article has, as always, been useful not just for what you might call the main audience (writers hoping to sell books) but also for me and anybody who’s ever written. Tim, I remember reading the post by Cal Newport and was wondering if you’ve ever considered creating a post about the college application process. How can a high schooler (or college student looking at grad school) apply 4HWW principles and beat the rest of the application pool at competitive institutions like UChicago, Harvard, and so on?

  20. Gold! Truly. I like to think I have two personalities: motivational and kind, and supreme asshole. It’s wonderful because I get to work with clients on their obstacles and dreams with absolute kindness and understanding, but also hit them with the hard truth… in such a “Tucker” kind of way.

    This gives me more ideas about how to write on my site. Maybe it’s time I turn up the heat on my content. I can’t wait for your new book, Tim; and I can’t wait for Tucker’s either. It’s going to be a busy holiday season!

    Great, great post!


  21. Tim:

    You are not correct, this post is not offensive. It is, however, potentially dangerous. I have just read the sushi pants story. I may have damaged myself by laughing so hard. I may have wet mayself also. I am appalled that I laughed at behavior that sophomoric.

    I will ration myself to one of the remaining stories every two days, or at least until my sides stop hurting.

  22. Tim,

    I am sure these marketing ideas are in every e-marketing book. You could have listed them without mentioning Tucker Max and how he marketed his horse manure bullshit book. You mentioned he is smart and genius. I believe you should apologize to the smart and genius peoples of the world for describing this lazy, promiscuous and drunkard good for nothing Fucker Maxer dude as smart and genius.

    What value does Tucker Max add in human development about discussing his dirty laundry? I call genius and smart people like Howard Florey who invented antibiotics. I call genius and smart Alec Jeffreys the man who invented DNA finger printing. What did Tucker Max contributed to human betterment? He did nothing but list his sexual tryst in a poorly written tabloid language. And you Mr. Ferris are promoting him as the greatest thing that happened since Nichloi Tesla!

    He is coming to our campuses promoting laziness, promiscuity, drunkard and nonsense that do not benefit our student population. I am disappointed as avid reader of your helpful blog. I am saddened America is reading Tucker Max’s Hell but never read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Ali.

      For what it’s worth, I do think Tesla was greater than Tucker Max, and I am also sad people haven’t read The Great Gatsby.


  23. Hi Tim,

    I enjoyed reading your post and will implement many of the strategies you suggest. You have some great resources listed. Your story offers hope to those who believe in themselves and in their writing. I think that having persistance with a “you’ll win if you don’t quit ” attitude, as Les Brown often speaks about, is the key to success in any endeavor.. Your story and Tucker’s really embody these philosophies. On a side note, I’m listening to a second helping of “The 4 Hour Workweek” via audiobook, and really enjoying it. You have a great sense of humor, and provide valuable content to help transistion to the 4 hour workweek. You have definately given “going outside your comfort zone” a new meaning! Talk to you soon.


  24. P.S. I look forward to hearing from a celebrity like you….Just practicing what you taught me grasshopper!

  25. I like having the book around, I have marked certain corners, so can flip through and remind myself of key points, now and then.

    btw…the great gatsby is a superb book, but beware of calling everyone ‘sport’ after reading it, tee hee

  26. one of the most USEFUL posts i’ve read in a loooong time guys! lots to take note of, esp relevant for information marketers/publishers!

    you’re highly regarded in our mastermind, tim.. and well deserved I must say! 🙂

    keep it up!!

  27. Why is it OK when he’s states his a misogynist – would you feel the same if he said “I’m such a bad person, I’m just so racist”.

    He’s a great marketer – no doubt.

    You have power through recommendation and the audience you have built.

    Just because you can play a game doesn’t make something worthy.

    Personally feel this was misjudged – but I’m commenting right! 😉 Not hating and will still recommend the blog.

  28. Congratulations on losing the respect of any female reader you may have had who is familiar with Tucker Max and his so-called writing.

    I frankly couldn’t care less where Max went to school. He is:

    (a) a terrible writer;

    (b) not just a self-proclaimed asshole – which most of your readers seem to think gives him some sort of cred – but an obvious misogynist, and as Daniel’s comment above points out, I’m pretty sure that if it were blacks or Latinos he hated instead of women, you would not be so quick to align yourself with him;

    (c) from what I can see, saying very little in this post that hasn’t been said elsewhere by many others in marketing. I’m sorry, but “create amazing content” is not a revolutionary suggestion.

    Tim, I’d very much like to hear what you have to say about (b) above.

    1. Hi Miranda,

      Thank you for the comment. I think “align” is a strong word, as it implies that I condone Tucker’s behavior, which I don’t. I simply think he is smart and that people can learn from him, even if they find him utterly distasteful. I almost completely disagree with Karl Rove’s politics, for example, and I think he’s an evil human being. BUT, do I think you should study him if you want to learn about the trench warfare that is political campaigning and propaganda? Absolutely.

      The same can be said of some people who hate me, hate whites, hate blacks, hate gays, or otherwise unjustly generalize and hate. I wouldn’t invite them to a dinner party, but if they’re very good at something, I won’t discount learning what I can.

      Hope that helps somehow,


  29. “He is coming to our campuses promoting laziness, promiscuity, drunkard and nonsense that do not benefit our student population.”

    That stuff existed at colleges long before Tucker and will exist long after Tucker. Plenty of sober people have read and enjoyed that book without feeling the need to leave the house and drunkenly ‘prey’ on women who choose to make themselves readily available for debauchery. If he’s promoting anything, it’s himself and a hilarious book.

    Whether you like his writing, his stories, or him shouldn’t even matter. It is advice from someone who will go down in history as a unique success story.

    Where does anyone get the idea he hates women? He might hate stupid, annoying women, but I never got the idea he hated all women.

    I feel like people who dump all over him and make broad statements like that are the same as people who dump on Howard Stern without ever listening to the Stern show in its entirety.

    Anyway, thank you Tim for encouraging him to write this!

  30. I think Tim makes a good point, Miranda. I have a friend who lives AND writes the lifestyle of Tucker. He is not famous. There are lessons to be learned beyond “great content”. These lessons are out there, but Tim and Tucker put them together in an entertaining way.

  31. Hey Tim,

    There’s a female Max Tucker out there now!

    Check Karen Owen, a 2010 Duke grad. She wrote kind of a … special thesis.. eeeuh. Just google it.

    The (unwanted..) internet publicity already got her book and movie deals, never underestimate the power of the internet…



  32. Tim-

    THANK YOU! I’ve been reading this blog for about a year and a half, and have taken and put into use a lot of great info. You’re a revolutionary and a genius yourself, especially when it comes to not just learning, but actually APPLYING knowledge. While I’ve never commented on anything on the blog, I feel the need to here because the negative, close-minded attitudes of a lot of other posters are not on par with what I thought your readership consisted of, and I think a couple of points need to be made.

    *Whether or not you agree with Tucker’s stories, he is deserving of an enormous amount of credit for his achievements. The fact is, nobody sells 1.5 million books without amazing content, a hungry, devoted fan base, and a very savvy and up-to-date marketing skillset. Likewise, many of you may not like that he is proud to have often been drunk, rude, and promiscuous, yet you fail to see how the qualities of confidence, a healthy and strong ego, and placing an emphasis on self-value are qualities of leaders and successes.

    *For everyone who says Tucker Max is not a talented and skilled author: HE IS NOT TRYING TO BE FITZGERALD, FROST, OR SHAKESPEARE; he speaks to readers in a simpler, non-convoluted contextual format which works VERY well with his overall storytelling style. Like its already been acknowledged, most of his stories CAME FROM E-MAILS; How “highbrow” are your emails? Do you need him to throw in some more 6-syllable words and maybe a Faulkner reference for good measure? His words are effective, and are written in a format of one buddy simply passing on a funny story to another, something millions of people obviously loved. His book is enormously entertaining and hooks you right from the get-go. Tucker Max is a hell of an author.

    *Lastly, while Tucker’s tips in this article may not have been brand new or revolutionary, it should mean something to you that someone with as much success as he has created for himself is giving them to you(and Tim is presenting!) because it gives even more credibility and weight to the advice. Maybe its not the first time you’ve heard it, but you’ve probably heard a lot of great advice repeated throughout your life. You should be thankful, rather than cry “I already heard that, be original”. Stop waiting for someone with a “Magic Bullet” and praise the guys like Tim and Tucker who realize that fundamentals win the game, not the wild trick shots.

    Tim, again I can’t thank you enough for the great help and inspiration. Please keep the posts coming, I and many others look forward to them a great deal.

    Cheers, Peter

  33. Tim,

    I read Tucker’s stories a few years ago and they were definitely entertaining. Some of the stuff we’ve done only at our funniest (and drunkest) but most of it which we would never admit to doing.

    I never imagined you two would hit it off. I can only imagine what much of the hip tech crowd would think about shit stories from some nutjob, but most of them are still hillarious nonetheless.

    One story in particular I remember hearing about, but never got a full explanation – Tucker did a full semester in Cancun while in law school. Can you elaborate on that ?

  34. This is a great post. I am a personal development blogger and I feel like whenever I write what I feel like writing I get more visitors coming to my website. Life is all about connecting with everyone at a authentic level. I am sure you have read this book called The Art of Happiness. I learnt so much about how to connect with people better and thats what I do when I blog.

    After reading The Four Hour Work Week and a few pages of Tucker Max I realized that you guys weren’t afraid to express what you wanted to say and express. This is what makes writing fun. College teaches you how to THINK and write but writing is expressing and if you THINK too much than you won’t say what you feel like saying.

    I had a question for you Tim if you can help me answer it. I have been spending too much time distributing my content on a million social bookmarking sites. Is it worth spending time getting out to as many as you can or should I just focus on writing better content and let the readers distribute it for me?

    Very motivating post. Keep in touch



    1. Hey Nabil,

      Better content and a few outlets. I use Twitter, FB, and the blog. That’s about it. Hope that helps!


      1. Thanks Tim. I totally agree….How about blog carnivals? Is that old school or is that still alive.?lol

        By the way I went to this buddhist temple in Fremont. You have probably been there. You should check it out. I will send you across the address when I get a chance.



  35. I’m not familiar with Tucker Max and I haven’t read his stories, but I didn’t get a good impression from what I saw by googling him, especially when it comes to respect to women (..but again, there are female readers who enjoyed his book, so I guess it’s a matter of perspective..and I haven’t read a book myself and not planning to, so my opinion isn’t based on it).

    I’m familiar with your work though ( I’m really impressed with 4 hour work week and your way of thinking in general 😉 ).

    I see there are quite a few readers who were surprised in a bad way that you’re promoting Tucker on your blog (and I think there are many people who didn’t comment on this post but had the same impression), so would you mind explaining your perspective on Tucker and his work a little bit more?

    I understand the idea of not agreeing with someone on certain points, sometimes critical values, but it gets me questioning where is the line between being open minded and non judgemental and losing your integrity?

    You mentioned you don’t agree with Tuckers values, but the question is, if you don’t agree with his values, why would you promote him on your blog, knowing you have loads and loads of raving fans on who you have a huge impact? You know you’re not only showing off his talents and his ideas which I believe many people can find useful and learn from, you’re unavoidably promoting him as a person, and therefore, you’re promoting his values. Is that something you feel comfortable with?

    For example, google told me that Tucker doesn’t mind hitting girls or calling them whores or sluts. Is that acceptable for you?

    The question would be, if you would have a sister (do you have a sister? I don’t know. I guess I’m not a proper raving fan 😀 ), and Tucker would have sex with her and write about it and call her a whore, would you be okay with that and still be friends with him? What about any other female you care about?

    Because if you wouldn’t be okay with that, and you wouldn’t promote him on your blog after that, well.. What is the difference between the girl who you love and some random girl, when you think about it?

    Because if it’s not acceptable with people you care about, why would it be acceptable with people you don’t even know?

    I really hope you will be kind enough to answer, because I believe that quite a lot of your readers have the same questions.

    And when it’s in writing, you don’t hear the intonation I’d be speaking in and sometimes that might cause misunderstandings – I’m not attacking you or trying to offend you (obviously, many people found this post useful and had no problems with it, both male and female, so that’s all about the angle you look at it..and that’s your blog anyway 😀 ), I’m simply calling you out on integrity in a friendly manner, and I believe that your answer would be interesting not only for me but for many other people who are your readers 😉

    Hope to hear from you and congrats on your new book! 😀

  36. Absolutely killer post Tim & Tucker… A bit off topic here Tim, but kinda-sorta in the MMA vein – Is it common in training to use a liniment or dit da jow or hit wine for bruises, sprains, etc. or to minimize injury to the hands and joints? There is a product I use that I absolutely love and works great for all kinds of injuries, but I would love to rebrand it and market it to people training MMA and/or some other niches. It would be awesome to get a little feedback and know if it is common for people training MMA to use anything like that on their hands, elbows, shins, etc. Is it possible that we could talk or email briefly about it sometime soon or do you have any ideas of other people I could talk to to get some feedback?



  37. Nice Post. I enjoyed your blog and Tuckers book & movie.

    “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”

    Albert Einstein

  38. I think this is great for understanding how to represent yourself. I mean I think Tucker is a bit of an asshole, but thats the point. He wants me to think that hes an asshole, if he had some sort of credibility as nice guy or “good human being” his stories would all be about how he was trying to be nice and not work, its important to know what you are selling and sell it through yourself, the same way that the Situation would be worthless if he didn’t play up his guido persona or if Stephen Fry wasn’t a quirky and intellectual homosexual.

  39. I think its all great and fun, and we have many comparable stories of assfoolery that would yield more criticism, and would probably attract more chicks too, but i /we were not smart enough or dumb enough to publish and blog about it. Brilliant / Stupid, have you been beaten to an inch of your life yet? This country has many anger challenged folks. hope not.

    i just want to be party to his sobering up and going to meetings, because that too will be great book content/movie material. IT will also prolong his ability to move forward with earnings and be viable and change his content from sophmoric assclownery to more realistic sober/trying to be sober, storylines.

  40. Great piece, and the disclaimer does a great job of summing up everything I’ve always thought about Tucker Max.

    As a former University of Chicago student, also, I talked to Tucker once or twice online years later. Much to my surprise, he was polite and friendly without an ounce of disrespect or rudeness. I can’t say I like or condone all the actions in the stories, but his writing has great comedic structure and timing. As a woman, I prefer to keep a healthy distance from guys like Tucker, but I still have a lot of respect for the fact that he was able to strike out on his own and find success. We can all learn from that aspect of his story.

  41. Tim:

    Read your blog for over a year. I must say the quality of the commenting has gone down quite a bit. Average words per comments seem up massively vs. 6 months ago (not in value-added ways, rather, in rambling soapbox-esque ways) and the “off topic” posting is really, really bad.

    There’s no consequence for a low or negative value comment.

    Your reader comments were always a quality that put you in the top 3% of bloggers, but I feel it’s sliding hard.

    Do you agree, and would you give thought to comment voting or heavier moderation?

  42. Tucker, what the hell? You wrote the timeline in a way that seems that you had put up the website as a way of promoting your stories. Your website became notorious because of the date application thing, and only after that you started posting your funny emails.

  43. I’ve enjoyed a lot of Tucker’s stories – although it was years ago that I visited his website, its fair to say I’ve been a “fan.”

    I thought it was a bit deceptive and dishonest to intentionally omit the several epic failures in Tucker’s time line specifically related to marketing, both directly correlated to publishing. He started ‘Rudius Media’ as a self-proclaimed next generation publishing / content company, which of course failed and quietly folded. The idea as I recall it was to create a new platform based on a similar premise to what is outlined here, turning a blog into profit by licensing content for publishing or film etc. It didn’t work. Some of the talented blog’s on his platform still exist on their own, and at least one of the dozen or so I can think of did get a publishing deal ( albeit after Rudius. A failed publishing / content startup is nothing to be ashamed of, but its dishonest to pretend it didn’t occur.

    The second epic failure of course is well documented online – the best selling book ‘I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell’ became one of the worst received films of the year. It grossed something like $1 million back on a budget that was multiples of the return, and this was based off of Tucker being the driving force behind everything related to the film. I remember Tucker’s blame-game posts after the film with some Monday morning quarterback routines, but right up until the giant flop of public release he was claiming it could do 50 million+ etc.

    Again I don’t take any credit away from someone who was able to write, produce and find financing for their film concept based on a book that sold well, but it seems really odd and dishonest to pretend it never occurred. It felt like the elephant in the room when I read this post.

    Tucker its OK to discuss the things that didn’t work, in fact it helps your credibility, especially for a guy that totes brutal honestly and fan loyalty. Tim, well, I expected better.

  44. Tim,

    Here is the interview Tucker Max had with Opie and Anthony that you were asking about.

    Tucker Max is clearly a liar. It is very disappointing to see you associate with him.

    1. Hi Andy,

      Thanks for this and the comment. I’d actually seen this one, as Tucker sent me a link a while back. Here’s my take:

      1) I can’t verify the truthfulness of Tucker’s stories, but

      2) People accuse me of similar lying due to lack of tapes for some things (like the kickboxing, even though I have posted clips on YouTube, etc.), and

      3) This video proves he doesn’t have a tape, but I’m not sure it proves he’s lying about it.

      All that said, might it be untruthful? Sure. I have no way of telling. But, in my dealing with Tucker, he’s been nothing but a straight shooter. I can’t speak beyond that.

      Thanks again for the comment and link,



  45. Tim,

    Thanks for replying. I have never thought you were lying but have always thought Tucker Max is lying. So many of his stories are so obviously fabricated or exaggerated it is shocking to me that anyone could believe they are authentic.

    You wrote that you don’t condone Tucker’s behavior and you don’t know if he is telling the truth or not. If those two statements are true I really don’t understand why you would want to be friends with him and post articles about him on your blog.

    I understand where you are coming from when you say that you can learn from anyone no matter who they are but I think associating with a guy like Tucker hurts your image. It has definitely made me look at you differently.

    1. Hi Andy,

      Thanks again for the comment, and I’m sorry to hear that. I’m just doing my best to share what works, and sometimes the messenger doesn’t agree with the audience. I understand why you’d feel that way.



  46. @Steve:

    I’ve never had the impression Tucker was trying to cover up his failures. I’m not sure why you feel that way. As you just said in your own comment, he acknowledged the film didn’t do the numbers he hoped. In fact, here’s an interview where he discusses where things went wrong: So how is he being dishonest and pretending it didn’t happen?

    I thought the point of Tucker’s post was to discuss marketing a blog and how it can turn into a springboard for other opportunities, such as book deals and movies, and I think it accomplished that.

  47. I recently published a small book and had no idea how to promote it. This post is great, I’ll have to check out Tucker Max… Never heard of him.

    Thanks for the post

  48. “If Tim Ferriss and Tucker Max had a love child… this would be it…”

    That could be the title of a book I’m writing.

    I’ve been following your blog for a long time (first post) and have enjoyed the content. I’ve been developing muse’s for the past few years, but I’m a perfectionist… blessing and a curse.

    Anyway, I think this article is interesting because I’m writing a book that relates the sales (the Tim Ferriss side) to the first sale that every boy makes… the sale of his virginity (the Tucker Max side). The awkwardness makes for a good laugh.

    “A girl on the rebound is no different than letting a fox in the hen house… it’s going to go after every “cock” (rooster, that is) in sight…”

    You’re an inspiration…

  49. “To be a best-writing author, you don’t need to win a Pulitzer. You need to have experiences that make good stories, and you need to be yourself on paper. It’s that simple and that hard.”

    I don’t have a good story to tell… 🙁

    My life is so damn senseless and useless, sometimes I think, in an attempt to comfort myself: if my life is a joke, I’ll make it the most laughable possible. Maybe that is the turning point to write about it?

    1. I think a ton more people can relate to you than to those with fabulous lifestyles.

      Maybe you can conduct life experiments in an attempt to turn your self-proclaimed “useless” life around so other people can follow suit and turn their own boring lives around =)

      Doesn’t matter if you see your glass as half-empty or half-full. Just drink it! Just my 2-Baht (Thai money). Good luck!

  50. It’s been quite a while since I posted my comment and I’m still interested in how you would answer my questions, Tim.

    ..and I’m wondering if you have enough courage to answer.


    The question would be, if you would have a sister (do you have a sister? I don’t know. I guess I’m not a proper raving fan 😀 ), and Tucker would have sex with her and write about it and call her a whore, would you be okay with that and still be friends with him? What about any other female you care about?

    Because if you wouldn’t be okay with that, and you wouldn’t promote him on your blog after that, well.. What is the difference between the girl who you love and some random girl, when you think about it?

    Because if it’s not acceptable with people you care about, why would it be acceptable with people you don’t even know?

    ..I do hope that you can answer questions like this, so thank you for your answers!

    1. Agota,

      First, forgive me, I’ve been sick the past day and have been altogether miserable but the phrasing of your comment struck a chord as I’ve had this happen all too often on my blog.

      So I ask you this, why must women, or in this case, you, always challenge how a man chooses to live his life and make decisions. Almost as if you know how HE can be a real man? And I’m referring to your specific comment “..and I’m wondering if you have enough courage to answer.” The implications being that if he does not answer, that he is a coward. Yet if he DOES answer, he is stooping to your level. Sounds like a lose/lose situation for him.

      Tim is one man. Tucker is another. Despite WHAT you think about Tucker’s content, Tim is not in any way endorsing his actions. He IS allowing Tucker to discuss the marketing tactics that he [Tucker] used to turn his blog, into a book, which later became a movie. Whether you love him or hate him, you have to respect that he was able to do these things on his own and for lack of a better term, is a self-made man. For everyone out there who blogs, Tucker’s story is a success. Plain and simple.

      What have YOU done?

      People go to Tiger Woods to learn how to play GOLF, not to seek marriage advice, why don’t people focus on what he KNOWS how to do. It would be one thing if Tim deferred to Tucker for “How to Pick Up Women” but he’s not. Focus on the message, not the messenger.

      Feel free to contact me personally at my e-mail address: if you have enough courage to do so.

      End of rant.

  51. Whether or not Tucker is telling the truth is almost not important. He’s a brilliant marketer, and an excellent storyteller – if you can handle the profanity and self-love.

    I ran into Tucker’s site several years ago and laughed my way through all of his stories. I appreciate his spirit and think it cool that you give him props here!

    Cheers Tim.

  52. The word God says,’ In the last days, there will be difficult times and people will be proud of what they should be ashamed of because their god is their bodily desires.’And this appears be to Tucker’s portion as far his immoral stories are concerned..I have no problems with his marketing ideas but some of writings are verging dangerous’moral insanity’.

    1. Steve, I have had a few such comments, like yours here, for my work and website. How do you know that Hell is not a Heaven for sinners? You have a biased vision and point of view! Yes there is evil in the world but laughter will always be the best medicine. If one cannot laugh at himself or others, what are we here for? The stink of negativity never goes far!

  53. Love it. I hadn’t heard of this guy until you started writing and talking about him.

    This explains the world most people don’t believe is out there.. the real one.

    Awesome post,


  54. Boy was I wrong about Tim Ferriss. I guess I was one of the first to check out his book, that was when I heard Tim on live web broadcast. It was right before The Four Hour Work Week went off. I did as many men before me. I had a closed, critical mindset to the way he wrote!

    Especially hard, when it was about a book and a man I didn’t know anything about, he was totally green. I went on to read the first chapters from the book, as they were free. I thought they had no meat on “how to do” all those things. Just imaginary pictures he painted in my mind. No A-B-C.

    Later I visited his blog, and I thought that it was an okay blog. Nothing else.

    Then, just reasontly, I decided to take a trip back to this blog, now years later… He has grown with cult like followers! What his book seems to do best: Inspire people.

    Now when I read about Tucker Max I went, No WAY! That’s when I remembered why I detested Tim years ago, He seemed too polished. But now I understand that Tim is buddy with a man far extremer than myself. That is, when it comes to being an complete cocky, loud mouthed Assh*le.

    Good to see that swear words are part of Tim’s life. Becayse that’s my type of people.

    Tim. I have just become a lifetime fan of yours, and I’m going to buy your four hour work week book, and I could need a new body too. Thanks.

    1. Thanks, Max! It’s a pretty common first response to me 🙂

      Much appreciate the comment and change of mind,


  55. I LOVE Tim Ferriss because he’s honest. Maybe I even love “I-love-to-fuck-midgets” tuckermax.

    It’s very refreshing to have these dudes out there producing stuff and talking about it. As a kid I loved Dan Millman and such, but when I learned that they all made up their stories – BUT pretended them to be true, my love faded and I stopped buying their bible-rewrites.

    Keep it up Tim, honesty goes a long way!

  56. Haaha this dude is my hero! I watched the movie first then had to get the book. Can you believe this guy?

    Tim thanks for the 4hour work week it helped a lot in life. You are the man, even a bigger man because you know tucker !

  57. This article has hit a home run for me. I can totally agree on Tucker’s word of mouth advice, as this is how I was convinced to buy his first book. I was travelling across country for work and my Driller told me it was not an option to not buy it and that I would not complain. It took me two days on the Drill to read it and it was passed around to just about every person on the job site.

    I found myself in a position, I laughed so hard because I was just like him. In an inspirational way, I started to write down some of my own adventures. I kept at it day after day for two weeks and ended up writing around 16,000 words. In no way did I think I would write that much material or even have enough to continue on to write over 60,000 words. I am also in no way trying to copy Tucker’s work or style, I am just trying to be true to my life experiences and how I convey them on paper.

    I was pleased to stumble onto this blog as I have been having the same issues with either finding an agent for my book or ways to market it. I recently created a website for my material with a catchy domain. The stats are looking good but what would really work is the FREE approach. You have given me the tools to take my head out of my butt and think about the people who would read my stuff rather than myself and making a buck. Thanks Tim for sharing your advice in a not so selfish way when the world seems to be demanding the opposite, and thanks Tucker for pioneering a new genre that is part of our culture in the first place and not to be frowned on….

  58. Hate him or love him, the dudes brilliant. I was working for Disney at the time and overheard somebody talking about Tucker’s book. I purchased it and was shocked with the content that was inside. After reading it in a week, I made sure all my co-workers knew who Tucker Max was. Since then, I have been a fan and an avid follower. Although he is an ass, He owns it and doesn’t care what anybody says. Great post!

  59. This is the correct weblog for anyone who needs to find out about this topic. You notice a lot its virtually exhausting to argue with you (not that I truly would want…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

  60. Tim, in the afterword you are discussing good clear writing, and write: “Then, I swung to far in the opposite direction”. You’ll see the mistake when you re-read that.

    One of the disadvantages of the internet publishing age we live in in the absence of sub-editing, which is presumably cost-prohibitive in the modern media landscape. I see schoolboy errors all the time in articles on the websites of reputable newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic.

    I’d be interested to know what process you follow in self-proofreading your posts (which are mainly error free).

    By the way, I enjoyed and appreciate the insights from both you and TC in this piece.

  61. Hi Tim,

    I have been reading allot of your stuff lately although I’ve been a fan for quite a while. This is actually a great post because most people believe you cannot be yourself if you want to become successful. They believe you have to be fake or be liked to succeed. Tucker proves that you don’t. You do need a good story and an audience but not much else.

    Good post. Keep it coming!

  62. Great article. Love the tip about email – I wrote a travel blog last year which I’m now trying to turn into a book and it was beginning to feel a bit stodgy. I shall now revisit it and get back to writing it like I wrote my blog which was essentially a very long email to my friends! Thanks!

  63. Awesome post, happy I wasn’t at a public place when I clicked one of the four links Tucker listed. But i’m glad i decided to read this post because I been killing myself on information searching for the past few months and Tucker seems like an alright guy, i’ll definitely bookmark his site to take a look at later when I get the chance

    Thanks again Tim and keep up the great work!

  64. I saw the 5 places that tucker submitted his stories to in 2002, and it looks like only College Humour might still be applicable. Can anyone tell me a good place for me to submit my Service Industry stories? They are themed rants from waiters and waitresses.

  65. I love and respect women. I am a supporter of and similar campaigns. I like Tucker Max and don’t have a problem with his form of entertainment. He’s got a wife and child and I doubt that he would have gone as far as he has in life if he were as terrible as some of these commenters might suggest. I find his marketing strategies to be fantastic, especially as outlined in this video:

    Also… Fuck the haters 😉

    1. Tim, let me start off by saying I love your work. The podcast, the blog, your overall experimental mindset. With that said I’ve lost a bit of respect for you finding out you’re friends with this chode. The guy is a grade A liar that doesn’t do any good beyond promoting his own infantile agenda. He’s a mediocre writer that brings nothing to the table beyond destroying women. If he ever wrote about my daughter the way he has hundreds of (most of these women are probably not even real) I would absolutely beat his as$ Word of advice I would never invite him on the podcast. It’s an insult to all of the great guests you’ve had on up until now.

  66. I think this is the second most valuable post that you have. The first one being the micro podcast that breaks down your process. I hope people realize that if you substitute writing/getting published with any other endeavor, this is pure gold. Process. Thanks man. Keep doing your thing.