The 4-Hour Chef is Available 24 Hours Early… in Panera Bread?!?


Barnes & Noble is boycotting The 4-Hour Chef in its 723 or so retail locations nationwide.

That makes me cry a little, but… Panera Bread has nearly 1,500 bakery-cafes in the US. Starting today, Monday, November 19th, I’m running an experiment with my good friends at Panera.

24 hours before the official pub date of The 4-Hour Chef, you can get an advanced copy at one of Panera’s four downtown Manhattan locations. Books will be on-sale from 10am-6pm EST. Not only that, but you can now order 4-Hour Chef-approved Slow-Carb Diet® dishes in the same locations. Just tell them you’re ordering from the “hidden menu”.

Pay ’em a visit and check out the new set-up — it’s all a hint of things to come:

86th and Lexington Ave.

29th St. and 7th Ave.

10 Union Sq. East

39th St. and 5th Ave

For the official pub date — Tuesday, 11/20 — I’ll be signing and selling copies of The 4-Hour Chef at the 5th Avenue location from 3pm-6pm.  I’d love to see you and say hello in person!

Big things are afoot.  Plans are being schemed.  Old models shall be stress-tested.

A teaser:  If you order the hardcover of The 4-Hour Chef by 11:59pm PST tonight, you will get a $5 Amazon Gift Card automatically.  Then, the Kindle edition of The 4-Hour Chef will mysteriously drop from $9.99 to $4.99 at midnight (11/19) and remain that price until midnight 11/26.  This means:  If you order the full-color hardcover of The 4-Hour Chef  (the optimal reading experience, IMHO) before midnight tonight, you can get the Kindle edition for free!  Details here.

And not to worry: If you already ordered the hardcover, you’ll still get the $5 gift card. If you ordered the Kindle edition at a higher price, you’ll only be charged the $4.99.  Winning.

Much, much more to come.  BitTorrent and Panera partnerships are just the beginning.

Kia kaha,



If you missed the samples from every section, here they are again:

Front Matter:  (PDFblog post)

Introduction:  (PDFblog post)

Meta-Learning:  (PDFblog post)

The Domestic:  (PDFblog post)

The Wild:  (PDFblog post)

The Scientist:  (PDFblog post)

The Professional:  (PDFblog post)

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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106 Replies to “The 4-Hour Chef is Available 24 Hours Early… in Panera Bread?!?”

  1. Now, that’s what I call a good marketing strategy! Dude, you are rockin it!

    Who needs B&N ?? Boooohoooo for the boycotters

  2. Wow, all this is like a big showcase of the 4 Hour Workweek. Good luck Tim, I’m sure you’re gonna smack the traditional book houses. I publish without them and get rewarded much better when I don’t have someone having 70% cut before my proceedings :]

  3. I read the title of this post and thought: “Panera Bread??” That’s as un-slow carb as you can get. It even has “bread” in the name. Then I saw “hidden menu”. Love it.

  4. Hey Tim

    Can’t wait to get your new book, especially after the 4HB has been so amazing for me.

    Will the Amazon offer be exclusively for the US or will it be available on other Amazon sites too?


  5. I’m spanish and therefore I’ve pre-ordered the kindle version through

    If I now pre-order (through the hardcover version, will I still get the $5 gift card? And in any case, will I pay the current price for the kindle version ($12 on, €10 on or the lower one you talk about in this post ($4,99)?

  6. Hi, Tim. Very exciting news! Will you be giving any in-person talks in NYC later this week?

    By the way, awesome creativeLive course!


    ~ Joanne

  7. Hey Tim, is there a compact version of WHY they’re boycotting the book? I’m curious, but not enough to spend 20 minutes finding out. I’m buying it for my Kindle as soon as it’s available. Hope that’s OK… (i’m in Sweden, so whatever Barnes & Noble do is only a teeny weeny bit interesting)

    1. Barnes and Noble is banning the book because they are trying to send a message to Amazon, the books publisher. Amazon’s business model is a major threat to traditional “brick and mortar” booksellers like B&N because they can undercut prices and still turn a profit. So B&N is willing to forgo the revenue which would have been earned by selling the 4 Hour Chef in order to attempt hurting the books prospects, basically as payback.

      Amazon’s publishing future still look bright though, especially as ebooks soar in popularity.

      1. Well Amazon sure does know how to crush profit margins, with their pennies on the dollar profit mentality. Ive seen them take a very profitable product that was selling for around $50 on average, buy it wholesale and sell it at .25 cents higher than the wholesale cost and crush the market at $10.25.

      2. Why is that bad? If an institution is able to find a way to innovate and to deliver an identical product to consumers for 1/5th of the cost, why shouldn’t they?

        These questions are rhetorical because you and I have very different mindsets. Suffice to say that morals are a social (not natural) creation and that without our “evolve or die” wiring none of us would exist today. To me, that fact outweighs a publicly traded corporate bookstore conglomerate losing some revenue.

  8. At first I thought this was saying it would be available in all Paneras … dang it! But I’ve still gotta hand it to you — great idea for alternative distribution!

  9. Wow! Great idea!

    Did you already try to get Starbucks as well (get your coffee & book then lounge with the free wifi)?

    Having fun following your ‘battle!” Keep fighting the good fight!

  10. Hey Tim, I pre-ordered the hardcover last year. Am I going to receive the kindle version for free, or is there something additional I have to do in order to qualify? I clicked on the link that says “Details here” but only see information about the $5.00 gift card.

    Also, really interested to see what sort of dishes Panera will put together to accompany the book. Hope the testing goes well at those locations so that the chain will expand it to their other stores.

    1. Rick McClelland, from my understanding you will not be able to “receive the kindle version for free” straight away, but what he’s saying is that with the 5 dollar gift card, when the kindle version drops to 4.99 and midnight tonight, then you will be able to use the 5 dollar gift card to purchase the kindle version… therefore, free.

  11. Ordered! I thought I’d leave a comment on why I did:

    1. The discount ($5 credit) is a nice motivator

    2. Previous books gave enough quality information that I’ll take the risk again

    3. You consistently contribute good content on your blog—for free—which makes me think of this as much a vote of confidence in what you do as it is a purchase of something I feel has value.

    Keep up the good work.

  12. (First time posting on here)

    Your resolve and poise amazes me. A lesser man would have backed out by now. Thanks for the life lessons and the by proxy mentoring. I’m here on the sidelines in the Caribbean tracking your progress through online media outlets and taking notes.

    Cheers to success earned in its truest sense. Best Regards Tim.

  13. Hey Tim,

    I am loving the discounts on the book purchases, and the Panera angle. That is genuis, and I hope it pays off in a big way. Best of luck with the launch and wishing I was in NYC for the signing.

  14. Tim is goin’ H.A.M.!!!

    I pre-ordered three on Amazon and sent two out as Christmas gifts. Good luck my brother. The bittorrent thing is very interesting as well as Panera. I can’t wait to see the final results.



  15. A Ferriss-book-release is like Christmas time in my house. I love the hype, the excitement, and hatred from naysayers like B&N. Well done Tim! I’m so beyond excited to get this book!

  16. Go new marketing! Like with the Louis CK comedy model, I’m as excited to see how this direction with online marketing turns out as I am to get the actual book (will be reading the Kindle version while I wait for UPS).

    FYI looks like Amazon has the preorder Kindle version for hard copy buyers at $5.99.

  17. Hey Tim I saw advertising for the 4 hour chef on the MTA buses in Manhattan this morning. Great job on the advertising between that and Panera. Will there be any other signings or meet ups in NYC? Work keeps me away from tomorrow’s..

  18. I also ordered December 2011. Just saw Amazon billing my CC. I totally forgot about the order and started freaking out about possible ID theft.

    If I recall, this pre-order was supposed to be signed… or some other grand deal…?

    BTW Tim, you look funny in that apron.


  19. Hey Tim. So good news and bad news. Good news is I pre-ordered the 4 Hour Chef and it came in today, a day early! Awesome. Bad news, no $5 gift card from Amazon. I’m sure right now you’re likely too overwhelmed to respond but and idea on how/when I’m supposed to receive it? Thanks. Really looking forward to the new book.

  20. Hey Tim, I preordered for Kindle on Amazon Germany. Does the “magic price drop” happen there as well?

    Also I would love to preorder a physical copy but the estimated availability in Germany is in 4 to 6 weeks when I will be travelling and can’t receive the delivery.

    Anyway, I’m really really impressed by how you make this the biggest launch ever! I didn’t think that a book launch could get me this excited. Can’t wait!

  21. I dropped by the Union Square Panera and purchased a copy. The book looks great. It is evident, the massive amount of work and attention to detail that went into this. Thanks!

  22. You were great on the Joe Rogan podcast. You would think Barnes N’ Noble would carry every book they could to get every customer they can get inside their stores. Their boycott is silly. They should at least be able to say yeah we are equal to our competitors by carrying the same product, but no.

  23. I’m a fan and definitely want to buy the book, but I’m a little concerned I won’t be able to cook all of the meals. I live on a boat in the Berkeley Marina and only have a single burner and a toaster oven at my disposal. If I purchase the book will it be worth my while?

  24. I have spent much of the last six weeks of the UK’s bitterly cold November in a hammock.

    I have been able to do this almost exclusively thanks to what I learned from Tim Ferriss in his disruptive debut publication, The 4-Hour Workweek. Thanks to Tim, I was able to quit my job and travel while an automated source of income feeds my bank account. The hammock, from which I’m typing right now, is strung up in the exterior courtyard of a rented beach house in the Brazilian surf town of Itacaré.

    While the next book I read in this hammock will be The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life (out November 20th), the last was Page One: Inside the New York Times and the Future of Journalism; a collection of essays on the pressures facing journalism during the most tumultuous era for the industry since the invention of the printing press.

    And so, as the publishing industry readies itself for a book launch that will herald a seismic shift in the way books are made, marketed and distributed (in an uprising against publisher, The 4-Hour Chef has become the most banned book since Lady Chatterley’s Lover), I put it to you that Tim Ferriss, among his many other talents and accolades and as well as his status as a New York Times bestelling author, deserves to be recognised as the greatest journalist operating in the world today.

    He’s basically the Second Coming of Guttenberg.

    Kelly McBride is a senior faculty member at the Poynter Institute in California, where she specialises in ethics, writing and storytelling. She leads the Sense-Making Project, to help citizens choose among the dizzying array of sources and news information. If anyone’s in a position to tell us what constitutes journalism in a digital age, it’s her. The following are excerpts from Kelly McBride’s Page One essay, ‘What is WikiLeaks? That’s the Wrong Question’.

    In their book, “The Elements of Journalism,” Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel offer up what is, to my mind, the best working definition [of journalism]: “The primary purpose of journalism is to provide citizens with the information they need to be free and self-governing.”


    Give people the right kind of information about how the world around them works, and a place to voice their own thoughts about it, and power will shift to accommodate them.


    In order to become journalism, information must be organised into a coherent system for the intended recipient… to connect an audience directly with raw information, to enable them to take action.


    Journalists help the audience understand why certain information is important by selectively delivering all the most meaningful stuff. Then by amplification.


    The most successful journalism transforms raw information into an authoratitive narrative. That transformation can only occur when the individual crafting the narrative has an independent loyalty to the truth.

    Tim’s books and highly influential blog have done exactly as McBride defines, filtering the simple from the suffocating and giving readers the tools to create the lives they want to lead in a world they want to live in. In The 4-Hour Workweek, Ferriss shared the secret weapons he’d used to “Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich”. In The 4-Hour Body, he spliced through myths and smokescreen marketing to show the world the truths about fitness. And now, with The 4-Hour Chef, his stated aim is the grandest of all – to determine the future of food production in the United States.

    In the U.S., the last generation of career farmers is retiring. Specifically, more than 50% are set to retire in the next 10 years. Their farmland will be up for grabs. Will it go to an industrial agro-corp like Monsanto, and therefore most likely lead to monocrops (wheat, corn, soy, etc.) that decimate ecosystems? Will it be strip malls? Or might it become a collection of smaller food producers? The last option is the only one that’s environmentally sustainable. It’s also the tastiest. As Michael Pollan would say: how you vote three times a day (with the meals you eat) will determine the outcome.


    To dodge the submerged iceberg of industrial-scale food production and its side effects, to alter the course of this country and reinvigorate the economy, all I need to do is make you more interested in food. In total, we need to make 20 million people more aware of eating.

    It’s the noblest of ambitions, but with Ferriss’ stratospheric social media reach and talent for getting the most from the least, we’re dealing with a man who knows his numbers as well as his facts. In a world where the powers to distract and distort are more powerful than ever, if that’s not award-winning journalism then we need a new set of rules.

  25. Mr Ferriss, at what time can we expect our kindle deliveries? Midnight tonight? I also have a hard copy coming in the mail tomorrow. The kindle version is so that I can start reading right away while I wait for my hardcover.

  26. Tim, you’ve started me on a complete life change since I first heard about the SCD. Since then, I’ve lost 75 pounds and gained the courage and motivation to start my own business.

    You rock! Can’t wait to meet you tomorrow at Panera!

  27. Well done Tim! I’m very impressed with how much promotion your doing. Especially with all the prizes you announced in your earlier post. I know it may be difficult to track but it’d be great if you could graph the sales of your three books over time from launch so that they could be compared. I’m sure it’d provide interest insights.

    I’ve also give your book a mention on the new site I’m launching here:

    It’s still early stage but I thought I’d include your book up there as one of the first products.


  28. OMG, I think you’ve just crossed the line from “talent” into “genius”! Maybe Panera Bread should bake a 4HC-shaped loaf as a promotional tool?


  29. Pure Genius… I bow down to your creativity and resolve to beat Goliath and maintain the position of non-conformity.

    Book was ordered a few weeks back so looking forward to getting my grubby hands on it and leveraging my learning strategies.

    All the best


  30. I purchased the Kindle version after seeing that the price would be reduced to $4.99 in this blog post, but the book was just released (and downloaded to my Kindle) and I was charged $9.99. Am I mistaken to understand that this should have been $4.99?

    Either way it’s not a big deal to me and I’m happy to contribute what’s fair to your cause. Looking forward to reading this!

  31. Hey Tim,

    Not sure if you are aware, but the kindle version is being charged at $5.99. I pre-ordered long ago, when you first told us about it. And being an avid reader of your blog and a big fan of 4HWW book, i jumped at it.

    Just tot u should know abt the price of $5.99, since you been advertising that its gg to drop to $4.99…

    Sincerely hope you can get this rectified asap, o.w there might be some outburst from your critics 🙂


    1. The pre-order price is fixed and it won’t go down according to their refunds section. I got charged 5.99, returned it and used the coupon for the free book. So it was a win. I would really consider doing this.

  32. Tim, I’m in the UK. The postman just dropped off your book 5 mins ago. I immediately opened it up and flicked through it.

    It’s the most beautiful book I’ve ever seen. Even the new-book-smell is delicious.

    Thanks Tim for producing something as gorgeous as this!

  33. Is this happening to anyone else?

    The Amazon link to the Kindle version of the 4 Hour Chef has a banner with “Instant Order Update for D. You purchased this item on November 29, 2011.” Clicking on “view this order” takes me to an invoice ( showing I ordered it almost a year ago! I have no problem with this as I was intending to purchase it anyway, but I am wondering how this happened as I am fairly certain I did not pre-order.

  34. Hi Jaicidi/Tim,

    I’m also based in the UK and was wondering what the best way is to get my hands on a hardcover book while also enjoying the reduced cost Kindle edition.

    I can order the Paperback edition in the UK but would rather have this one in hardcover edition, but with Kindle back-up.

    The price of $21 in the US is an amazingly good deal, especially with all the little extras… Anything in the UK?

    Any tips?



    1. I ordered the paperback since the hardback isn’t offered by Amazon UK, neither is the kindle deal.

      Since Tim’s goal is to make a splash in the US book market (i.e. getting onto the bestseller lists) I can understand why there aren’t many international offers. But that’s cool with me.

      You can work around it by using 3rd party delivery service where you can order items from the US and have it shipped to you. Tim provided the url of a company in his previous book-bundle-purchase-offers post.

      1. Thanks Jaicidi for your feedback! Oh ok it is the paperback version…

        Did you see Tim’s latest post? About this also being the UK launch, well paperback it is then I guess? 😉

        And he’s coming over in Jan 2013, should be good!

  35. Hi Tim,

    Just had a look and I can obviously order on Amazon US (while based in the UK) but then when it comes to the Kindle edition I get the following message:

    “Kindle titles are available for UK customers on

    Continue shopping on the Kindle Store at”

    I assume that this means that UK customers won’t be able to buy the Kindle edition at $4.99 (or equivalent). shows me a standard Kindle price of $15.87 already compensating for the higher Pound Sterling price of £9.99

    Any suggestions? Will you organise an official UK launch later?

    Many thanks in advance for your feedback,



    1. Greg,

      You can change the country under “manage your kindle”. For US mailing address I used hopshopgo address and kept my billing address the UK one.

      Hope that helps.

      1. Hi Arif,

        Many thanks for your feedback. Just out of curiosity, are you paying import VAT on the goods you receive via HopShopGo? Books are not subject to an import Duty, but from my understanding you could be asked to pay 20% VAT.

        I am a bit late now anyhow to take advantage of the US offers, so I might just get the UK Kindle Edition for the time being. A hardcover copy is tempting though…

        Kind regards,


  36. Strange – I followed the instructions to the letter. Followed the link. Put the print version in my cart, ordered the book.

    Got confirmation that pre-order was in. Great.

    An hour later I got charged $9.99 for the Kindle version and was able to download that. Naturally this was minutes before the price drop on the website – odd that it shipped me the kindle version without me ever ordering it, or waiting until the price drop.

    $4 isn’t that big of a deal, but the process didn’t work quite as advertised.


    1. Just an update –

      First: I figured out why this happened – I had put in an advance order for the Kindle version so I got it without ordering it (duh!), it was just coincidence that the kindle order came through 2 minutes after I ordered the print version.

      Second, Amazon sent me the $5 gift card for ordering the print verison

      Third, Amazon also send me another $5 gift card (and auto-applied it to the 4HC kindle order) to adjust the Kindle version price.

      SO ALL IS GOOD, EVERTHING turned out as advertised!

  37. FYI I got my Kindle pre-order and they charged the full $9.99. I went to customer service to get the drop to $4.99 and they wouldn’t do it. I ended up returning the book (easily done through your Kindle Library) and repurchasing for $4.99.

  38. Tim,

    I think that you caught Amazon by surprise with your announcement of the price change and that existing orders would be honored at the lower price. I pre-ordered a Kindle copy of your newest book, but was charged full price. When I contacted an Amazon rep they seemed a bit surprised that I knew in advance that the price was going to change. I ended up getting a refund and have re-ordered. Just wanted to give you a heads up.


  39. I’m a tferriss fanboy, so I’ll pay whatever price you charge. I pre-ordered the kindle version and was charged $5.99 instead of the $4.99 mention in your post.

    Again, like a lot of people here, it’s not about the money. I find the value of your work to be priceless.

    Just wanted to make you aware of how widespread the issue is.

  40. Hello Tim & Team,

    Just to let you know, I pre-purchased the kindle edition of the 4-hour Chef a long time ago (a year or something), for US$5.99… Now that I’ve finally received it, I see Amazon has charged their regular price of US$9.99 to my card… Not that big of a deal, but many people may be in the same situation and some could feel ripped off, specially now that the ebook is on-sale for US$4.99.



  41. So, I got charged $5.99, not $4.99. Not a big deal when I was happy to pay 10, but still, I imagine you’re the sort of guy who would want to clear that up.

  42. I, like many others, also pre-ordered both the Kindle and Hardcover editions almost a year ago Tim. I also got an email saying that I was being billed the 5.99 original price. The way this is going so far, I would not pre-order next time you release a book.

    It’s been stated in the comments, but I hope something is being done to take care of the people who have been here from the beginning as far as these promotions go.

  43. Would those of you who are getting your books signed in Manhattan today let the rest of us know how things went? What was it like to meet Tim in person? Thanks!

    1. Hey Joanne,

      It was so great! I mean the guy is a bestselling author yet he’s so humble, friendly, and generous with his time.

      He genuinely looks forward to spending a few minutes chatting with his fans; and he is a wealth of advice, especially for an aspiring entrepreneur like myself.

      It was also wonderful being able to just tell him how much gratitude I have for his work. For me, things like getting in shape, starting a business, and following my dreams always seemed so impossible until reading Tim’s books.

      Definitely an inspiration and I’m so glad I made it out.

      FYI, I’ve been working remotely from Panera since noon to make sure I got to see him early. And I’m glad I did — this line keeps getting longer and longer..

  44. Book Error

    Don’t know where to post this, but this is the post I had open when I noticed it:

    On page 54 of the hard cover, left side under “Flavor profiles:” you have “Last, play with, which is based[…]”

    What is supposed to be there? It seems like something is missing.

    1. Hi Roland,

      The price depends on where you are based? adapts its $ pricing based on where the web site visitor is geographically located.

      If you were to go via a US proxy you would probably see $9.99.

      From the UK I am presented with $15.87 on



  45. Pre-ordered book. Amazon On-trac came to my “gated community” and said “F this!”. I call back and tell them to leave at the front office.

    Next day I go to font office… “Closed untill end of thanksgiving”

    🙁 Gotta wait another 3 daysto get my 4-hour chef!!! oy!


  46. Hey Tim – LOVE the book!! I bought mine as a pre-order in 2011 and for some reason the $5 gift card didn’t get hooked up to my Amazon.

    Fuckin great book though!!!


  47. Sheer awesomeness my bru! I’m lovin’ the outside the box, no-such-thing-as-an-obstacle approach. I’m keen to sink my teeth into this one brudda. I’m also lovin’ that you used “kia kaha”…Maori through and through.

  48. Hi Tim, all my boyfriend wants for Christmas is a hardback copy of the 4 hour chef. I’ve checked the bookstores in the UK and obviously they have supported the big boys. I’ve checked amazon UK, they only sell the paperback.

    Is it only available on hardback in the U.S.?


    1. Hi Abi,

      I experienced the same problem actually. But you can buy from Amazon US for delivery in the UK. I always wondered if you would end up paying Import VAT on this (20%)? There is no Import Duty on books luckily.

      In the end I will probably end up buying the Kindle edition, once Tim decides to also give the UK customers a good deal… not so subtle hint 😉

      All the best,


  49. I preordered by the time you mentioned, Tim, but didn’t get the $5 gift card or any notification of it in my email or receipt. How can I get it?

    Love the design of the book, BTW. Very intuitive.

    1. Thank you, Tristan! I’ll send your note and contact info to Amazon right now. My apologies for any mix-up. I’ll have them follow up with you.

      Thrilled you like the design!


    1. Hi Cain,

      If you ordered the book before midnight PST on 11/19 (I believe), you should have received a $5 Amazon coupon via email. This might’ve been limited to US residents, but I’m not 100% on Amazon’s fine print.

      Hope that helps!


  50. Along the same lines as Tristan a couple comments back, I pre-ordered the book last year and never saw a gift card come through in my email or Amazon account…

  51. Hello was very excited to begin the 4-hour Body/ 4-hour Chef regimen.

    Much to my chagrin I gained 5lbs……can’t figure out what i have been doing wrong. ???? No fruit No grains Eat every 4 hours meat and vegetables…I have had success in the past with low-carb lifestyle …. following the exercise ideas in the book. Eat protein first thing in the morning.

    The good news is I do FEEL better but am so disappointed with my weight-loss….I was expecting to loose at least 5lbs the first week. I weighed in at 200lbs 7 days ago and was shocked when I hopped on the scale this morning……205lbs!!!!!!!!!!!!! always weigh myself naked so….I must be doing something wrong??????

    Please help any wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

    With Best Regards Jimmylee

  52. Barnes and Nobles is on the way out anyways. I’d think getting it on (and having them stock it and ship it for you) would be way more important then in Barnes and Nobles stores. Don’t they only sell on consignment anyways? Why would you want that?