How a First-Time Author Got a 7-Figure Book Deal


John Roman Romaniello

This man was paid $1,000,000+ for a book…and he’s dressed like a cow. Pic from a 4-Hour Chef sidebar that sadly had to be cut due to space constraints.

[This is a companion post to “How to (Really) Make $1,000,000 Selling E-Books – Real-World Case Studies“]

This guest post by John Romaniello will explain exactly how a first-time author can get a 7-figure book advance, as he did. He’ll also explain how he got Arnold Schwarzenegger to write the foreword to his book (!!!), which you can read here.

This post demonstrates how to sell yourself effectively and–more importantly–how to be yourself effectively.  I’ve added my own recommendations in brackets after “TIM”.  In a few instances, I’ve also corroborated specifics (e.g. dollar amounts mid-negotiation) from sources other than John, as he rightly didn’t want to earn bad blood.

Before we get started, a few statistics:

  • Less than 6% of all reported deals get an advance of more than $100k (as of 2011, and it’s gone down since)
  • On average, fewer than 100 Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers in any year sell more than 100,000 copies, and usually only one or two top 1 million sold.

In 2009, John “Roman” Romaniello might have been another casualty of these sobering stats. He launched his blog in 2009 with 0 readers.  Roman had effectively no Internet presence. By 2011, he was ranked as one of the top 100 most influential people in health & fitness, sharing space with Jillian Michaels and Dr. Oz.  He used that platform to help him build a company that has grossed as much as $240,000+ per month, with a six-figure net.  We’ll cover a lot of how he did all this and more.

But here’s the punchline: Roman’s first book deal for Man 2.0: Engineering the Alpha (with a co-author, much more on this later) fetched more than $1,000,000 in advance.  

This is practically unheard of, unless you’re a president. So, how did he do it? This post explores the answers and tactics…

Enter Roman

There’s a scene in the Adam Sandler film Happy Gilmore that could help you discover—as I did—“the secret” to landing a 7-figure book deal.

At the final hole of the final tournament in the movie—the one that the titular character has to win to save his grandmother’s house—Happy needs to sink his final putt to beat his nemesis, Shooter McGavin, by a single stroke and win the day. (Trust me, this is going somewhere.)

Suddenly, a large camera tower (previously damaged by one of Shooter’s henchmen) falls onto the green, blocking Happy’s shot. The rule is play it as it lays, meaning Happy needs to putt (uh oh). He’s advised to putt around the tower, sinking his ball in two strokes and bringing about a tie. This would extend the tournament into sudden death. Gilmore, briefly considers the idea and then decides, “Nah, I’ll just beat him now.”

Without completely spoiling the beauty of the putt, Happy makes the shot and wins the tournament. Before I share what this has to do with landing a major publishing deal, I want to touch on another story that’s equally important.

We’ve all heard about how The 4-Hour Workweek was turned down by 26 out of 27 publishers. It went on to be a runaway success, hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and launched Tim’s brand.

Tim went on to have two more bestsellers using the same formula from his first go-round. And I knew that if we did things the right way, we could come close to replicating it.

Which leads us back to Happy Gilmore. My publishing philosophy was direct: I’d rather just win now.

First, I partnered with a co-author.  There are many good reasons for this, which I’ll explain later, but here’s the short version: I specifically sought out Adam Bornstein.

Roughly 4 years ago, Adam Bornstein (founder of Born Fitness and Pen Name Consulting) was an editor at Men’s Health making $30,000 a year. But he was involved in much more than his salary would suggest. He positioned himself as the editor’s editor, and was poached by They moved him from Pennsylvania to Santa Monica, and increased his salary by a factor of five. He built his network there, and increased’s traffic by nearly 300% in 18 months and made it the largest health site on the internet. During a 12-month period, he also tripled the open rate of newsletters (from 10% to 30%), increased click-through rate (CTR) to 60%, and generated 7-figure revenue. This is impressive for a list of any size, but practically unheard of for a list of nearly 2 million people.

Adam now commands 5-figures a day with his consulting agency, has been hired by companies like Microsoft, Equinox, Beachbody, and Dollar Shave Club, and specializes in branding, web traffic, conversions, and monetization of content, with an expertise in fitness and nutrition companies. Clearly, he was the perfect partner for a plethora of reasons.

Adam had previously written several books, all of them published by his former employer, Men’s Health‘s parent company Rodale, for advances of around $20,000-$40,000. Those advances are nothing to sneeze at, and are absolutely in line with the advances typically offered by big publishing companies.  This time around, we modeled Tim’s success (skipping the getting turned down 26 times part), added our own flair, and came out swinging.

The first publisher we met with offered us a $400,000 “preempt” (preemptive offer).  This is an “exploding offer” that you have a short time to consider and that usually prevents you from meeting with other publishers. We considered it but decided to turn it down. (We’ll cover the “why” of both events later on in this post.)

The gambit (and gamble) paid off. Our proposal — and, I have to imagine, our refusal of the preempt — made quite a splash. Publishers who hadn’t seemed interested the week before suddenly clamored to set up meetings. In the end, the proposal went to auction, and was eventually acquired by HarperOne for a “major deal.” This is part of the secret language that publishing insiders use to communicate the size of a deal to each other without having to specify a dollar amount to outsiders. I’m not big on secret languages, so let’s translate it: we inked a 7-figure, 2-book deal, an impressive feat, especially in the fitness industry where great offers normally net $50,000-$100,000 for their first foray into the world of traditional publishing.

If I may quote Tim, I say none of this to impress you, but rather to impress upon you what is possible.

The goal of this post is to give you a complete insider’s look into exactly how and why my co-author and I were offered a deal valued at roughly 10-20X the average—and how this is a replicable achievement, in nearly any industry. How anyone can become a millionaire author; how, with the right proposal that highlights their skills in the right way, anyone can pull a Happy Gilmore, and just win now.

Below, you’ll find an account of exactly how Adam and I approached both the writing of our proposal and the pitching of it, complete with the detailed examples we presented to our publisher. You’ll learn about the process itself, how to manage expectations and outcomes, and, in short, how you can (potentially) get a 7-figure advance as a first-time author.

Others have done it, we did it, and there are lessons you can borrow. There are techniques you can copy.

The Proposal Process


First thing’s first: All book deals—at least the type that don’t revolve around tell-all stories by famous people—depend on the strength of your book proposal.

There are many conflicting opinions on the best way to go about writing a proposal. My suggestion? Don’t start with writing. First, hire a really good agent. Book agents write and sell proposals for a living, and have dozens of proposals crossing their desk every week. They see what works and what doesn’t. The insight of a good agent will be invaluable, and so the obvious recommendation is to join forces with a pro, and write together.

[TIM: Finding a good agent seems mysterious, so I’ll suggest one effective method. Look at the “Acknowledgments” of authors you like, then look up those agents’ contact information on Publisher’s Marketplace, where you can also look at their sales track record.]

Of course, you can operate without an agent, write your proposal, and set up meetings with a publisher on your own. This, to me, seems unwise; agents know how to deal with publishers, and they know how to make deals. I’m only speculating here, but it’s probable that if you don’t have an agent, you’re not going to be taken as seriously—meaning you won’t get nearly as many meetings. A great piece of advice came from Gary Vaynerchuk, which I’ll pass on to you: “partner with a good agency that has had success with multiple books in your niche.” (That advice, by the way, holds true for selecting a publishing house.)

[TIM:  I can sell books without an agent, so why do I still have one?  I gladly pay 15% to my agent to fight battles after the book is sold (editorial, covers, distribution, etc.), not simply to sell books on the front end.  Not everyone agrees with this, such as multiple-time NYT bestselling author Tucker Max, who operates independently.  See “How Tucker Max Got Rejected by Publishing and Still Hit #1 New York Times” for more on his approach.]

As to how to find the right agent, it’s like dating: there are a lot of ways to do it. You can either be introduced, or go out of your way to find a date (by which I mean calling the agency to set up an appointment to pitch your idea). And, like relationships of any kind, sometimes they happen serendipitously: for example, I met my agent, the incomparable Scott Hoffman, at Tim’s Opening the Kimono event in 2011. Scott and I got to talking, and topics ranged from fitness to bourbon to life in NYC. He liked my book idea, we got a good vibe from one another, and, strangely, it turns out his agency’s office was three blocks from my apartment. And just like that, we were in business.

[TIM: I was introduced to my agent, Steve Hanselman, by Jack Canfield (co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul), who had Steve as an editor.]

When it comes to finding an agent, there’s one piece of advice I feel confident giving you: only sign with someone who believes in your project as much as you do.



One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given was from Tim, at his Kimono event in 2011. During his presentation, he stressed thinking of your proposal like a business plan—because, really, that’s what it is. And as a business plan, it will need to have a strong focus on how the business is going to make money.

Think of your prospective publisher like a bank; you’re a small business seeking a loan. In such a situation, you’d be asked about your business and what sets it apart, of course—but I assure you that bank would be far more interested in your projections for making money. The size of the loan—and, indeed, whether you even get—is predicated on the bank’s confidence that they’ll get their money back. If your business fails, that isn’t going to happen.

When a publisher considers the acquisition of a proposal, they need to appraise not only the idea itself, but also the salability of the idea, as well as the business acumen and marketing skill of the author. The long and short of it is that your proposal serves two purposes: to sell the idea, and explain how publishers will recoup their investment. The more time you spend on the latter piece, the easier it will be to do the former.

A good rule of thumb is that at least 50% of your proposal should focus on the business stuff (including marketing plan, previous successes, proof of concept, and details of your platform), and the rest should be devoted to the idea itself.

[TIM:  It’s not a bad idea to learn how successful start-ups pitch venture capitalists (“VCs”).  They are even more comparable to publishers than banks.  See examples here and here.  Also see Author 101: Bestselling Book Proposals. Roman’s agent Scott also added a few thoughts to proper positioning. Note the language; you have to learn to “talk the talk” (use familiar frameworks/terms) to sell effectively:

“People buy nonfiction books for four main reasons: 1) To solve a problem they know they have; 2) To take advantage of an opportunity they believe exists; 3) To learn more about a subject they’re fascinated by; or 4) To live vicariously through the lives of other people. Man 2.0: Engineering the Alpha fits all four of these categories. That’s one of the things publishers found most attractive about it. Movie producers are constantly looking for a “four quadrant” film–one that appeals to men and women, and people over and under 25.”]



As we get into the nitty-gritty of actually writing your proposal, the first thing I’d like to stress is the importance of separating yourself from everyone else. In any niche, most people at the top are offering similar services and similar results, even if the methodology differs. What customers or readers react to and how they decide what to invest in is not based on the 99% of what we have in common, but the 1% that makes us different.

To use myself as an example, people follow me because I’m Alpha–unapologetically me, unafraid to offend people or be polarizing. I’m not shy about talking about sex or dropping F-bombs, or waxing poetic about Dungeons & Dragons and comic books. Those things aren’t necessarily unique to me, but taken all together they do make me a rarity in the fitness space; muscle-bound über-nerds are not common, and in an industry where everyone can seem vanilla, it stands out.

Here’s how this is relevant to you: you need to realize that publishers are customers, and they react to they same triggers as everyone else. Like any customer, they make a purchase because of the promise of immediate benefit or the threat of missing out.

And remember that, in a very real way, publishers aren’t buying just the idea.  They’re buying your “platform” (blog readers, Twitter followers, Facebook fans, etc.). Remember this term and use it.

A great example of this is Tucker Max: he had a very large and very responsive audience, and so his first book, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, was acquired in a noteworthy deal: despite the fact that much of the content in the book was available for free on his website, Citadel Press chose not only to publish the book, but also give him a modest advance. These decisions were based on Tucker’s assumed ability to move units. It turned out to be a good move for the publisher, as the book eventually hit #1 on the New York Times best-seller list.

The lesson: the importance of your platform cannot be overstated, for both the sale of the proposal and sales of the book itself. Highlight it repeatedly in your draft.

[TIM: But what if you don’t have a platform?!  You can build a world-class platform quickly if you mimic people who’ve done it already. Here’s how to create a global phenomenon for less than $10,000, step by step.]

On Credibility and the Metrics of Awesomeness

When it comes to standing out from the crowd, establishing your credibility early on is important; now that you got the publishers attention by being different, you need to drive home the fact that you’re better. There are 4 primary ways to prove credibility:

Credibility Method #1: Established influencer

Our proposal highlighted these things dramatically, focusing mostly on the below. Don’t be intimidated. I’ll explain how I achieved the most important bullets in this post:

  • I’ve been published in both fitness and tech magazines (crossing industries), including Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Fast Company, T-Nation, SHAPE, Oxygen, yadda yadda yadda.
  • I’m a blogger on a few high traffic sites (most notably LIVESTRONG and HuffPo),
  • I’ve trained professional athletes and a few celebrities,
  • I’ve had several successful information products (more on this below),
  • I’ve been featured on TV a few times,
  • I serve on the advisory board of more than a dozen fitness and tech companies,
  • I’m the lead fitness advisor for Arnold Schwarzenegger.  How this happened is explained below.

As an added feather in the cap, it didn’t hurt that I was featured in both The 4-Hour Chef (Vermonster section), and the teaser app for the book (iOS, Android/Kindle Fire) that was released during the holidays.


Credibility Method #2: Media Reach

We also focused on the fact that between my co-author and myself, we’d have a dual platform. Adam served as the fitness editor of Men’s Health, and then the Editorial Director of His network is more extensive than my own, and includes editors from every magazine in our niche, as well as actors and professional athletes he met working in various publications. We used this to prove how many eyeballs we could reach in print and digital media, which was a very valuable asset. (More on this later)


Credibility Method #3: Third-Party Endorsement

You can also “borrow” someone else’s credibility, with an endorsement of some kind from people better known than you.

Our proposal had quotes from a few big name people in the industry; the most notable of these was Arnold Schwarzenegger—and when you’ve got the Terminator on your side, it grabs publishers’ attention. In that specific case, it lent a lot more weight to our implication (not promise) that we could get Arnold to write the foreword to the book—and, thankfully, we delivered, as the Gov was happy to write a few pages for us.

For those interested, here’s how my association with Arnold came to be: about two years ago, I got this email from a young guy named Daniel (hit Cmd and “+” to enlarge):

Roman Email

After a few email exchanges over the course of a week, I decided, in a moment of idle curiosity, to Google him.

The first result that came back was his Twitter account; the second was the Wikipedia page for the term “Body Man.” I learned two things reading that page: the first was that a body man is a politician’s closest personal assistant, who travels with said politician and generally provides whatever is necessary. The second was that my pen pal with all the great questions was listed under “notable body men” –as one of the special assistants to Arnold Schwarzenegger.

[TIM: The “body man” connection is powerful. Here’s how a few 20-somethings networked with Obama’s body man to play basketball with the President.]


Daniel was going to receive priority email response going forward. I didn’t think anything was going to come of our interaction, but as a meathead, it was just cool to be talking with someone who had such intimate access to the Oak. After a month or so of communication, he signed up for my coaching program (essentially, online personal training delivered by email). Daniel became a client—and a great one, at that—and we began to build a friendship.

During our time working together, he’d be traveling with Arnold, and they’d be in the gym together; occasionally, Arnold would jump in and do his workouts with him. One of the most surreal moments of my life was when I got an email from Daniel after a chest workout saying that “the Boss” was curious about why I’d selected a squeeze press instead of a traditional DB fly, and asking how to explain the workout to him. In essence, I was being asked to justify and explain the design of a chest workout to the man with arguably the greatest chest development in the history of chests. No pressure.

Anyway, the upshot is that Daniel came to rely on me as the primary source of fitness information, as well as someone who had a good read on the pulse of the industry. When Arnie finished his final term as governor, he decided he wanted to get back into the fitness game, and re-launch his website with some high quality fitness content—but of course, he wasn’t going to be writing all of it himself. Given my relationship with Daniel, and his relationship with Arnold (who, I came to learn, liked my fitness content quite a bit), I was the logical choice to start contributing to the site. That evolved into recruiting other experts and writers to the site, and the eventual formation of Arnold’s Fitness Advisory Board. My co-author Adam and I lead the advisory board, and help out with the site quite a bit—which put us in a pretty good position to ask Arnold to write the foreword and feel confident that it would at least be considered.

The lesson I learned here was that the Internet is as small as it is big. You never know who’s listening, and relationships can be built from the simplest communications.  Google names.


Credibility Method #4: Strategic Partnership or Platform

You also have the option of creating a partnership, as I did with Adam. Although I’m a fine writer and expert, this was my first book, and that’s bound to give some publishers pause.  Who knew if I’d finish the damn thing? In contrast, Adam had written four books previously, and is one of the respected fitness authors in the world. In addition to making the book better than I could have on my own, I knew having a veteran author on board made the publishers feel at ease. If you decide to partner with another writer (as a co-author or even a ghost writer), the obvious choice is to work with someone who will make the project better, and who brings assets to the table that you do not.

[TIM:  This is just like finding a co-founder or CEO before seeking VC funding. You’ll get better pricing and better terms.]

Keep in mind that publishers are primarily interested in selling books. If publishers see that you have a relationship with magazines and TV shows, they feel more confident in your ability to get press for the book, and make sales. Done correctly, it will lead to them giving you more money.


Substance: Sizzle is Nice, Steak is Better

To this point, I’ve discussed a lot of the general aspects of how to make your proposal stand out—but, of course, marketing is pretty pointless unless you have something to market. Which is to say, you need to actually have a good idea.

[TIM: Put another way, you can use marketing to hit the bestseller lists or Amazon top-100 for one week, but you need a good product (and distribution) to stay there. The word-of-mouth verdict in a digital age comes quickly.]

“Positioning” the idea is hugely important.  It helps define the lens through which both prospective publishers and readers view the book. In the literary world, it’s common to take two well-known books or people and have them “meet” to describe your concept. For example, The 4-Hour Chef could be described, conceptually, as The Joy of Cooking meets Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. This works for authors as well as books: “If you crossed Jason Bourne with Julia Child, you’d end up with Tim Ferriss.”  That was one of Tim’s cover quotes for 4HC.

See how well that works? Just take two things that most people know about, each of which relates to your idea in someway, and sandwich them together in a way that immediately creates context.

For us, it was “The 4-Hour Body meets The Hero With a Thousand Faces with a dash of Fight Club.” This immediately helps people understand what your idea is, or at least how to frame it, before you even begin.

[TIM:  Pro tip: Have your agent check Nielsen BookScan to ensure the titles you use don’t suck from a tallied sales perspective. Rest assured that curious editors will do this, so you should do it first.]



Once you have identified the personality of your book, you must identify why the book needs to be written. When you’re writing a book with a service approach (like a fitness book) your best bet for landing a big deal is making sure your content solves a problem with mass appeal. Adam made it clear that one of the greatest lessons he ever learned was from billionaire Mark Cuban. Cuban firmly believed that the reason so many businesses fail is because they never truly address or identify a real, specific problem. And no, saying “people are fat” is not specific enough. Once identified, the goal is to fix that problem in ways that currently don’t exist or suggesting something more efficient or effective.

As an editor, Adam had seen the typical fitness book approach. And as a voracious reader, I knew that most fitness books all read the same and few every stray from the typical information. That is, you might find different workouts or diets, but fitness books are formulaic. And more importantly, they all address symptoms and rarely search for underlying problems. Books like The Omnivore’s Dilemma or Born to Run—both best sellers—didn’t fall prey to the approach of 99 percent of all health and fitness books. They were innovative and sought to understand why problems exist; from that launching point, the authors then attacked the problem at its foundation.

We took the same approach and started with the big picture: What problems plagues men the most? We made lists of issues in an attempt to filter our specific approach. Our list ranged from fat loss and muscle gain (obvious choices), to dwindling sex life, stress, lack of success, unfulfilled potential, and not “feeling like the man.” From there we created charts and tried to determine the various causes of these problems. Obviously, there were many unrelated concepts. But after we mapped out all the issues, there was one common denominator: Hormones.

We started with testosterone, but also looked at others, such as growth hormone, insulin, cortisol, leptin, and ghrelin. Once we began to investigate hormone levels in men, everything became clear and our foundational idea was established.

Men are becoming less manly. That’s not an opinion; it’s a scientific fact. It’s so bad that researchers from Massachusetts found that the average man’s testosterone (not just older men) has dropped 22% in the last 20 years. And ¼ men have below “normal” range testosterone.



[TIM: I asked Roman to add a bit more personal backstory to this post, as I think it can make or break a book (it’s described in his book). As my agent has said, “First, the message, then the movement.”  Making a book personal is the best way to build a category killer in prescriptive nonfiction…Roman’s going from his own problem to the wider societal issue will be the ground on which the book fails or succeeds.  If people connect with that message, as they did with 4HWW or Will Bowen’s in A Complaint-Free World, it will be a long-running bestseller, and one that might travel around the world too. Now, back to Roman…]

The hormone angle wasn’t just number crunching or market research for me. It was intensely personal.

Here’s an abridged version of the story: I was 25-years old and had spent the majority of my adolescent and young adult life as a very sexual being. Like most young guys, to an extent, I defined myself by my aspects of sexuality—virility, desirability, performance… every part. And then one day, it was gone.

My lack of sex drive infiltrated every area of my life; it affected my assessment of my manhood, which crushed my confidence. Sex drive is strongly tied to all drive. When it drops, so too does your ambition, and your motivation to achieve. I suffered from depression and barely slept. My physique went to hell, and I just couldn’t muster up the energy to fix it. Without exaggeration, ever part of my life was negatively affected: my relationships, my sleep patterns, my body, and even my mind, as productivity and business were all hampered.

In short, I suffered all of symptoms of low testosterone, as well as the consequences of those symptoms. The worst part of it all was that, since I was so young, it never occurred to me to consider testosterone as a cause. That was a problem for the older men, or so I thought. So, I’d become a different person, a lesser man, all seemingly without reason.

Eventually, I spoke to a friend of mine who was a disciple of Charles Poliquin, a Canadian strength coach and hormone expert. Based on my symptoms, my friend suggested I get my testosterone levels checked. They were low–not incredibly low, but right around the level where, according to research, the trouble begins. Despite having tests confirm my suspicions, I couldn’t fix it medically. Because the range of “average” is so vast, I was low enough to be experiencing negative effects, but not low enough to qualify for treatment. I had to take matters into my own hands.

Thus began my research, and my journey down the rabbit hole. I read everything I could find, and came to realize that this wasn’t just an issue facing “older guys”–it was happening to men in their 20’s. The more I researched, the scarier it became–things that reduce testosterone pervade our lives. Plastics. Shampoos. Beer. Things we all use, every day.

Over the course of the next several months, I dove into all the literature I could find and started making a lifestyle overhaul. I doubled my intake of saturated fat. I used high doses of fish oil. I cut carbohydrate intake to virtually 0 for close to two months. I was draconian about the times I went to bed and woke up.

My sex drive returned rather rapidly. In 6 weeks, I felt different. After 12, I got tested again, and my testosterone levels had literally doubled–doubled! I was productive again. I started dating. I reclaimed my physique and liked the way I looked again. I felt alive again.

From my perspective, the book had to be written. As a side-effect, the book would also contain a personal narrative that would make the science easy to digest.


The Business of Business Plans


Probably the single most important question a publisher needs to answer about a prospective author is, “can s/he sell books?” Their number one priority is making sales; or, since you’ll be dealing with the acquisitions department, making purchases that will eventually make sales.

At the risk of stating the obvious, famous people make more money than non-famous people. If you’re not quite sold, consider the advances celebrities get for their books; Lena Dunham’s highly publicized advance of $3.5M is nothing compared to the $15M deal Bill Clinton got in 2004. It’s very simple math: Bill Clinton is far more famous than Lena Dunham—or, to use marketing parlance, has an far larger platform—and therefore got far more money.

These things don’t just apply to celebrities, of course; they apply to you. The more “famous” you are, both in general, and specifically in your industry, the more desirable you are to a publisher. Fortunately, in the age of social media, you can be micro-famous and quantify your influence. Whether on Klout or Quantcast, Facebook or Twitter, the numbers are right there in front of you.

[TIM:  If you’re still relatively unknown, don’t despair.  Getting national media can be easy — here’s a step-by-step guide with real-world examples from Wired Magazine to Dr. Oz.]

Using our deal as an example, to demonstrate that we had an impressive platform from which we could sell books, Adam and I simply laid out our numbers for them. That looked a little something like this:


  • 51,000 newsletter subscribers (now 65,000). Of those subscribers, 18,000+ were customers. Of those customers, 16,000+ were people who had bought products twice or more.
  • 9,000+ Facebook fans (now 16,000)
  • 5,000+ Twitter followers (now 8,000)
  • ~10,000 hits per day to main website (now ~12,000)

For his part, Adam’s effective control of LIVESTRONG certainly helped—he was able to show the success metrics of their newsletters, and guarantee placement in it. (Note: Adam has since stepped down from his position as Editorial Director and now serves as Editor-at-Large.)


  • 3,000 newsletter subscribers (now 6,000)
  • 5,000 Facebook fans (now 7,500)
  • 29,000 Twitter followers (now 35,000)
  • Control of the newsletter list of 1.5M subscribers
  • Control of all content on, getting 40M unique visitors per month

While our social media numbers aren’t staggering, they’re still enough to move the needle.

Our fan bases are very engaged, and tend to take action quickly. More to the point, my newsletter list—the lifeblood of my business—isn’t huge by Internet marketing standards, but generates high-5- to low-six figures per month. In other words, I have three years worth of data quantifying my ability to sell. Given that the products I create are generally priced at $47-$97, it wasn’t overly difficult for prospective publishers to imagine that we could sell a $16 hardcover book to our audiences.

Your platform isn’t quite everything, but it’s extremely important; the more time you spend developing it, the easier it will be to leverage. Publishers look for this, and are willing to invest quite in it.

As to how to build a platform, or increase your existing platform: I’m certainly not the expert, and I’ve learned a lot from watching the bigger guys and asking questions. My main plan of attack has always been, “just say enough random, funny shit on your blog, and people will either love you or hate you for it.” It’s worked out well; as I alluded to earlier, being me is what’s allowed me to build my platform.

Having said that, there are a few tips that I’ve learned. Most of these come from Gary Vaynerchuk, who is full of wisdom that he dispenses between sets of push-ups during our training sessions.

  • Makes declarative, absolute statements. These get retweeted more than questions or links or pieces of content. Gary told me, “you can literally take any message from a fortune cookie and people will retweet it; absolute statements make people feel like they’re passing on a strong message.” Seriously. Fortune cookies are better than content? I’ve tested this. It’s frightening how true it is.
  • Use hashtags. Getting new Twitter/Instagram followers is all about getting in front of new people. There are a few ways to do that, but the simplest is hashtagging; anyone who is searching through hashtags is actively looking to follow and interact with new people.

One thing that’s well known about Gary is his belief in being hyper-responsive; that’s his shtick–respond to every email, tweet, etc. This is very helpful, particularly when you first start out, and it’s a strategy that I used with great success. As your success and platform builds, you may find that you’re too busy to do that.

Sci-Fi author Neil Gaiman touched on this in a commencement speech at the University of the Arts in May, 2012. He said, “[…]the biggest problem of success is that the world conspires to stop you doing the thing that you do, because you are successful. There was a day when I looked up and realized that I had become someone who professionally replied to email, and who wrote as a hobby. I started answering fewer emails, and was relieved to find I was writing much more.”

I’ve taken that to heart, and currently, I respond to email as often as I can, but I probably only get to about 10% of what I receive.



This is a quote of Tim’s, once again from his Opening the Kimono event in Napa.

Writing a book proposal is one of the few times when being a name dropper makes you look desirable instead of douchey. Part of you platform is whom you know—and more importantly, who’ll promote you. If you have relationships with other industry leaders, outline them.

Because of our relationships with the editors at various magazines and websites, we were able to guarantee placement in the following places:

  • Men’s Health
  • Men’s Fitness
  • Muscle & Fitness
  • HuffPo
  • AskMen
  • Yahoo

There are several dozen more outlets that were part of the list showing that we could reach 70 million impressions. And for a publisher, that is value with big dollar signs.

This, of course, begs the question: how does one go about guaranteeing placement in magazines and on sites? How could we make absolutely certain? Simply put, the editors of many of these magazines owed me a few favors—because I saw to it by making their lives easier.

One thing I’ve learned writing for magazines is that editors experience the same stress as any blogger: they need content, they need it now, and it has to be good. They’re always on the lookout for new writers, but the bread-and-butter of any magazine are the established experts. The experienced experts make things easier on both the editors and fact checkers, as they know how to write in the voice of the publication, and generally site sources up front. The problem is experienced and established generally translate to expensive—and too that can strain the budget of a magazine. This is the problem that editors deal with every month; I made it my goal to solve it.

My primary way of doing this was to stop accepting payment for articles.

Starting about 8-9 months out from the publication of the book, I told the editors of most of the major magazines that I wanted to contribute to the magazine as much, but I understood that my involvement could get expensive, given my asking price for an article ($1000-$3000, depending on length). I decided to generate a lot of content gratis. Sometimes, this meant I would contribute a full article for free; I did this with Men’s Fitness. Other times, I’d let editors to email me questions about a prospective article–I’d give full content and then allow them to quote me as an expert, rather than giving me a byline; this was my primary method with Men’s Health. Still others, I’d allow a website to simply re-publish articles from my blog for free; I did this a lot with AskMen.

If you’re looking for a single tip to guarantee placement, the most useful is this: always have people owe you more favors than you owe them. (Hat tip to Tucker Max for that particular phrasing.)

[TIM: On a related note, Roman’s now A-list agent Scott also got his start by offering to work for free:

“I go to conferences and see writers obsess about whether their query letters should be in Helvetica or Times New Roman. Do you know how many of my most successful authors of the past four years have found me through a query letter? Zero. If you don’t know what to do at any given step of the process, the answer is simple: build more relationships [or do something for free]… I’ve never had a job that existed before I walked into the room– I got started in this business by telling someone established that I would work for free just to be in the room. Once you’re in the room, all things are possible.”]

Of course, we weren’t just focusing on established media outlets. Just as valuable to me personally—especially in a changing book environment—was the affiliate world. We made it very clear from the outset that when a publisher bought us, they were also buying our network, which is vast.

Further, the above strategy for collecting favors applies here, as well; the proposal outlined the top 20 most effective online fitness marketers, the approximate size of their mailing lists/social media presence, and—where applicable—a list of the favors they owed me. In other words, a list of people we could guarantee would promote the book.

Overall, we were able to promise that between our own networks, our affiliates, and our media connections, we would have hundreds of thousand—if not millions—of people guaranteed to see our book upon publication. Eyeballs are everything.



We came to the table with what we felt was a bulletproof marketing plan; it was a hybrid model that combined a traditional internet marketing launch (affiliate-based, hat tip to Jeff Walker), Tim’s “Land Rush” concept of incentivizing multiple purchases, and the age-old media blitz that publishing companies seem to be so fond of.

[TIM: I’ve never used affiliate sales to drive a book launch, as I have nothing to up-sell/cross-sell, but the numbers can be truly staggering.]

Our confidence wasn’t due only to our egos, but also to a history of success. Remember, I had never published a traditional book before. But that didn’t mean I didn’t have a proven history of moving products. Although we’d never done a “Land Rush,” Adam was old hat at leveraging traditional media, and I have a lot of experience running affiliate-based launches. Publishers tend to take the perspective that there’s no better way to predict the future than by looking at that past—so we very clearly outlined our previous victories.

I was sure to underscore the fact that my affiliates and I had previously sold nearly 11,000 copies of an eBook priced at $67 (plus several thousand more upsell transactions) in a single week.  The per-week sales rate is critical, as that’s how bestseller lists are calculated.



All stories need a climax, and ours was pretty exciting.

After a week straight of pitch meetings—sometimes as many as eight per day—we’d met with several imprints from all of the major publishing houses, as well as a few of the boutique firms. As I mentioned earlier, we turned down a $400,000 preempt, and then started fielding offers in the half-million range. Of course, there was temptation to take one of the early offers.

This is where having an agent comes in.  Scott understood how get editors and agents excited, build stories on single sentences, and play houses and imprints against one another. (If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, Scott would be Littlefinger.)

Our proposal went to auction, and towards the final stages, we had to decide between an advance of $750,000 for a single book deal, or a larger advance (in the low 7-figures) for two books. Despite what you might think, it wasn’t a no-brainer; we spent a few hours discussing what we thought about the chances of the first book were for being a big enough success to allow an even larger deal for a second book. This time, we decided not to gamble.

The largest offer came from Harper Collins (HC), but the story didn’t end there. Three separate HC imprints were offering identical deals. What differed was the general perception of each imprint, respectively, and the staff. While all three imprints were appealing in their own way, we eventually settled on HarperOne. This decision mainly had to do with our meeting with HarperOne editor Nancy Hancock; we certainly liked a number of the books she worked on, but ultimately, we just clicked right away, and felt she would be a great boon to the project. We were right.

And so the final lesson is this: writing and selling a book proposal is both science and art. The numbers are important—the metrics, the proof of concept, the wheeling and dealing with various houses are all integral parts of getting the best deal. But when it comes to people you’re going to work with, you need to use your gut as much as your head.



Getting a 7-figure book deal as a first time author is a strange concept.

If you had asked me two years ago if it was possible, I would have said no. Now, things have changed. I’ve seen that there’s a method, and that the method is replicable. The publishing game is complex, but like any game, it’s built on rules; as long as you know what they are and how to work them to your advantage, you have the potential to make a huge splash.

If you want to understand how to get a 7-figure advance in just a few lines, try this: understand how to explain your uniqueness; develop a compelling pitch around a single break-out concept; build and exhibit your massive network and platform; painstakingly detail your previous successes; present all of these things with an Alpha veneer of knowing that your stuff is awesome.

Follow those rules and you will garner an advance far above the norm for your industry—even as a first timer.


Afterword from Tim

I love Roman’s story.  For most people in the world, getting an advance of that size changes your life forever. Truly. Financially, you are now free.

But there is no free lunch: it comes with responsibilities.

My most successful book in terms of earnings is still the one with the smallest advance (The 4-Hour Workweek), and that massive over-performance made everything that followed possible. Sure, it had a 3-year head start on my second book, and The 4-Hour Body will eventually pull even or perhaps squeak ahead, but it brings up a few interesting questions.

Although I personally fought for maximum advances on my second and third books, there are authors who never–as a principle–want a maximum advance.  What?!?  I know this might seem odd, but there are world-class writers and bestselling authors like Neil Strauss (6x New York Times bestselling author of Emergency [see “How to Become Jason Bourne“], The Game, etc.) who actually prefer to take smaller advances.

This ensures that all of their books are financial “winners” for their publishers, even in a worst-case scenario. This ensures future book deals.  After all, Neil would reason, if the book succeeds, the advance is irrelevant.  If the book doesn’t “earn out” the advance, you might have created a rope for hanging yourself… professionally, that is.

Advances can be a double-edged sword.  On one hand, higher advances tend to ensure more publisher support in terms of print runs, marketing, and PR.  On the other hand, if you bite off more $$$ than you can chew, it can backfire with a vengeance.

Which would you choose?



Read more about Man 2.0: Engineering the Alpha here.

Read the other approach to 7 figures in “How to (Really) Make $1,000,000 Selling E-Books – Real-World Case Studies.”


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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129 Replies to “How a First-Time Author Got a 7-Figure Book Deal”

  1. While I already knew a lot of this story being fortunate to consider both Born and Roman friends, it’s astonishing to me to read it all in one go.

    Both of these guys are two of the best fitness writers around today, but it doesn’t end there. They both tirelessly network and attempt to give 100x more than they ever hope to receive.

    To me, the success of the book deal and, I’ll assume for a minute that it’s a foregone conclusion, the success of the book itself could not have happened to two more deserving guys.

    So congratulations, and I’m proud to call you both friends.

    1. Nice to see you on here Jon! You have a great blog yourself and I read every post given through email. You’ve built something really special.

  2. This is basically the go-to guilde in building a business plan as a book proposal.

    As someone who was at Tim’s Kimono event (and sat next to Roman there) I’ve been able to witness a lot of the behind the scenes work that has been done to reach the 1 million+ advance.

    Let me start with this: Roman and Adam have worked their butts off to build the platform and prove their worth before they wrote one word on their proposal.

    They can back up everything they talk about with the content of their book, AND the marketing behind their book.

    That’s the mistake most people make when wanting to get an advance, and these guys did an amazing job.

    Great post, can’t wait to see the entire launch!

  3. Another great post and more insight into an arena I hope to be a part of someday.

    Tim, I appreciate all the information and just thoughts on life that you provide. I especially enjoy listening to you on various podcast. Keep it coming!

  4. Wow…That might have been one of the best blog posts I’ve read in a long time. Thanks Tim for letting Roman write this up! I’ve been contemplating writing a book, and have close to the same numbers as he did – so this is even more valuable. A seven-figure book deal would be amazing, but honestly I’d be happy just to see my name on the shelf in a Barnes and Noble 🙂

    I wonder if publishers will pay just as well for a book on real estate investments? I use to think that the niche was too over-crowded for that kind of thing… but I think the fitness realm is even more crowded, so I guess it might work out.

    Great stuff. I’m gonna go read this again. And then maybe again.

    Thanks guys! See you on the Best Seller’s list soon 🙂

  5. This is just awesome to see. As a buddy of Roman’s I’m just excited for him and also just the fantastic example of hard work behind-the-scenes.

    Folks are going to come to this article for the headline, but then be amazed about the work, effort and awesomeness that went into the story.

  6. My man Roman (and Tim) thanks for this. I’m going for a book deal for Social Triggers towards the end of this year, and this is a great resource for just that.

    That said, a few years ago, I read the book Made to Stick by the Heath Brothers, and they were talking about how an agent convinced a movie producer to produce the movie Speed. They said, “Speed is Die Hard on a Bus.” Interesting, but not surprising, to hear that it works for books too.

    Anyway, Roman, here’s to hoping you kill it. I got the book coming my way, and look forward to the book launch party later this week!

    1. Glad to see you on here. Looking forward to your book.

      Completely redesigned my site based off your recommendations during Lewis Howes’ Creative Live event. Great, great stuff.

    2. My man… good to see you here. I’ll definitely be checking out that book. Your post have helped me setting up my blog tremendously. Thanks for all your work at social trigger.

  7. Wow, so much content in this article. I read all of it, now it’s time to digest and strategize. Thanks Tim and Roman for sharing your experience with everyone.

  8. Amazing Insight. I still think that the big publishing paydays are in the digital publishing space, but this makes me more interested in the “traditional publishing” space nevertheless.

    Plz more, Tim.

    1. Hahaha… nice to see you, Joel. For those not aware, Joel is one of Roman’s close friends. He can also eat more food than any human being I’ve ever seen (including Roman).

      1. Joel is the only person who has ever out eaten me.

        Wait, that came out wrong. Like, really wrong. Lemme try again:

        Joel is the only person to have ever consumed more food than me in one sitting.

      2. Can’t wait to read the book. I know buddy once I pick up that book I will not be able to put it down lol. Quick question Roman: If you’re born with a learning disability is it possible to outsource someone to make your ideas into a book and then go through this process? Would be an honor to treat you lunch sometime.

  9. Hey Tim, in the few weeks I’ve been a subscriber to your blog – I’ve learned a lot and gained confidence in my self-starter goals. I’ve beens sharing you posts with everyone from family members in Ohio to LA celebs. (just shared “How To Get Local Media” article with my FB Hosts of LA group). So thanks for all the awesome insight!

    I’m also posting here ’cause I figure it might be a faster way to reach you than via email – I wanted to give you a head’s up that your amazon links in the upper right hand corner are not working properly – they link only to the 4 Hour Chef book, rather than to each book individually. If you want to maintain it as a single link – you should probably have it link to a main page on amazon with a listing of all your publications (or simply break it up into three links – with each book linking to its respective page on Amazon). That is unless you’d like to focus on promoting The Four Hour Chef – in which case I would change up the graphic and its text. I’m hoping my little comment can help you – as you’ve really helped me!

      1. Hi Tim et al.

        I’m a bit late to the this post, but Google being what it is knows where to look.

        I love first time author stories, especially this one. Great stuff.

        Mine is a wee bit different – I was recently (last week) contacted by one of the “Big 10” publishers to see if I like to publish a book with them. I have a fairly substantial platform in the corporate world, not as much in the general audience world, but still pretty good. The editor liked my personal story, focus, topic, prospects for distribution, etc. I have a terrific writing partner which her own networks and distribution lines.

        This would be my first book, so I don’t have an agent and don’t intend on getting one for this project. My writing-partner has a great deal of experience in publishing though and I’m pretty good at negotiations.


        I’m inclined to go with a smaller, rather than a larger advance. Something to cover all the writing expenses, ancillary fees, promotions, etc.but one that keeps the relationship intact. The editor has expressed interest in future books. All this is assuming the proposal is accepted by the publishing team, of course.


        Also, without knowing the specific analytics of my platform and reach, what would you think a ball park, advance figure would be?


  10. Wow, talk about opening the kimono. Thank you, Roman (and Tim).

    In addition to the incredibly clear, logical breakdown and pithy insider info, it’s inspiring to see how these non-linear leaps of success happen. Evernoting this…

  11. So much value, what an amazing story – thank you. Writing my first book with a very small platform, and a touchy subject like sex, I decided to publish independently. However, everything presented here is helpful regardless of advances, as the fundamentals the publishers look for are what they are for a reason. Thanks again for the inspiration and insights, here’s a cheers to your book’s success!

    1. Great point, Drew. Yes, the principles of positioning any product — book or otherwise — are the same.



  12. Another Great Post!

    Gee Tim, I think I can cut down on my spending at Amazon and just read your blog posts!! 😉

  13. Wow what a post! So many great tips. I’m so happy for you John and Adam. Super proud to have you as Ambassadors for our little brand. 🙂

    Side note, it’s true, John is the king of favors. I’d say one of his signature lines is “how can I help you” in the most genuine way. He goes out of his way to help people, which makes people want to help him.

  14. Thanks Tim and Roman for sharing this. It reads like a series of beautiful chess moves. Well played.

    Looking forward to reading the book.


  15. A 7 figure advance is unreal, however, this story is not.

    What an inspiring story to share with the community. The fitness niche is very unique, but the principles could apply to all environments.

    Can’t really top this accomplishment in the publishing space, congrats to everyone involved – many lessons noted here.

  16. This is by far one of the best (and valuable) blog post’s I’ve read a long time.

    Tim, thanks for commenting, great ideas!

    And, yes, will to have byu the Man 2.0 as well … 😉

    Thanks guys

    Greetings from the sun


    1. Thanks for the support, Markus. Glad you enjoyed the post! Hope you get a lot out of it and can use it to further your career.

  17. I’m currently building a “wall of inspiration” on which I will have, once finished, my 15 most influential “Gurus”. Basically 3 rows of 5 gurus, the top 5 being the ones for which I never miss a youtube interview, blog post, email, etc and for each one of them a representative picture of them and what they did that impressed me, a important quote, and some anecdotes or key concepts about them. And of course, Tim is in the top row. Since I’ve read the 4 hour workweek and a few other jewels like that it slowly started making changes in my head and steering the ship away from the iceberg. I love how Tim always analyze and try to understand everything and I think this is what fascinate me the most. I was surrounded with “normal” people and it seems that was slowly was killing me, so finding such an inspiration literally changed my life. Although I still have lots of work to do, everything in the past 2 years, but especially the past 2 months have started accelerating in an exponential way. I had much information but now the dots are being connected. So maybe I’ll be featured soon as a case story on Tim post, but for now, all I can say is thank you for being such an inspiration to all of us. Joel

  18. Great Post. Sound game plan for anyone willing to put some work in and Not dream about it.

    Congrats Roman, like I said in the text message, You Deserve everything you attract becuase you keep it real bro.

    You’re about to make history Meng!

  19. This article came to me just like a parachute from the sky. I’m currently writing an e-book and even though we’re going electronic I found lots of good advices in it!

    In the e-book we’ve identified the problem to which we bring a solution, although as a start up and first time authors, we can’t afford not to bring even more precision to this valuable rule that is «a big problem = a great idea.»

    Sending this article to the main man…and bookmarked for me too!

    Great work!

    Thanks to both of you Tim and Roman!

  20. Good post and good thoughts all around.

    I’ve started to pay more attention to Roman’s book as I find it interesting to see the media and blog blitz around the release happen in full-time.

    First, I saw the Q&A with Ramit’s followers, then the post by James Altucher yesterday… and now this post. And, I’m sure there’s quite a bit I’ve probably missed as well.

    It’s almost like watching a case study of how to promote a new book release play out in real time. I find it fascinating. Thanks guys.

    1. Hey William,

      Ah, the promo blitzkrieg! It certainly does get attention. I’ll be doing a breakdown of the launch in a week or so, including all of the placements with links to every article, podcast, blog, Q&A etc. Sure to be interesting to see what performs the best.

      I do want to point out what you sort of alluded to: I’ve been really aggressive with getting placement on blogs that are not fitness related. I believe that being introduced to peripheral industries is absolutely critical for a large scale success.

      Hope you enjoy the book!

  21. Future book deals might not be important for someone who is a ‘one trick pony’ writing ‘their’ book and then building it into a steady, if not spectacular business.

    1. That’s a good point. And, I think for a lot authors, that might be the thought process.

      We actually signed a 2-book deal, and I have ideas for a 3rd, so I’m definitely interested in future books. I want this to be a win for my publisher, so the only way to have the best of both worlds–the big advance and earning it out–is to dedicate myself completely to making it a success.

      Which is why I haven’t slept in a week =)

      1. Wow Great post Roman! And I can vouch for your commitment to hard work & earning it out & not sleeping….having just had 1 20 min FB IM chat with you about the book, my order, Alpha Brain, BUlletproof Coffee, etc! CONGRATS bro, very inspiring!!

  22. It would seem that the more influence and prior success you have, the more sense it would make to ask for a large advance. Also, if your book requires significant funding to actually write (and you don’t currently have the means to fund all of it), a larger advance could potentially create a better book. Asking for a smaller advance would limit potential damage on the publisher’s side, though.

    It seems like the formula to calculate your asking advance is: Value of your content + Proven successes + Risk Assessment = Advance dollar amount

    Having a decent royalty percentage would be something to consider too. At the end of the day though; just write a really kick-ass book.

  23. Great post, but a minor quibble – I’m not sure the Schwarzeneggar story really hits home. Wait for someone close to someone famous to randomly email you and then develop the relationship? That’s really the secret?

    Also, that’s basically the converse of Tim’s method (from 4HWW, I think) – randomly email someone famous (or lots of someones) and then develop the relationship (of the few who reply).

    Again, great post; just one thought that jumped out at me.

    1. Hi Joshua,

      I think Roman’s point it paying attention to your readers, even if you have a small audience.

      If you’d like to see how I prepped and planned to pitch Warren Buffett, here it is:

      Here’s how some friends got to play b-ball with Obama:

      Hope that helps,


    2. I’ll add to Tim’s comment and say this: certainly, the points made in 4HWW with regard to going after powerful people are really valid, and I did that with a number of the people I mentioned in the blog post.

      For example, the way Gary Vaynerchuk became a client: He was giving a talk at the Apple store in Soho. I saw this on Twitter, cancelled a meeting I had, and went down there wearing a Jets hat (I sadly suffer from the same affliction), an RFS tshirt, and a general bro attitude. We chatted and I let him know if he ever needed a trainer to look me up.

      A few weeks later, he’d forgotten my name but remembered my offer; he’d decided he wanted to start training. He put up a blog post asking “Who’s the best trainer in NYC?” So, I simply leveraged my FB/Twitter following and had them bombard his page with recommendations for me. Now he’s a client and good friend.

      Similarly, Tim and I met because I paid to go to a conference where he was speaking, just to thank him for being an inspiration. We hit it off, and here we are.

      So, while the Arnold story is really fun, my primary method of networking is not “wait till they come to you.” Having said that, it does illustrate one thing: the more noise you make in your industry, the more people outside will hear it.

  24. “And ¼ men have below average testosterone”

    Er, how dat?

    Either 50% of men have below average testosterone, or you’re using some entirely new concept of “average”

    1. Ah, good catch. I think that’s simply a typo. Most likely should be “below normal” where “normal” is defined blood-concentration range. I’ll edit to “normal” and Roman can correct me as needed.



    2. Actually, you’re confusing “average” with “median” (a common mistake). The median is the point where 50% of a population are above and 50% below; the average is the expected value of the statistic any random individual. Hence, the median household income in the U.S. is around $50,000, but the average income is almost $70,000, since the distribution is skewed by those with extremely high incomes.

      In other words, the statement here would be true if some men had such debilitatingly low testoterone levels that it skewed the average much lower than the median. Personally, I think Justin Bieber might be singlehandedly responsible. Or maybe Tim’s right and it was just a mix-up of terminology.

  25. Amazing story! I see lean startup methodology being hinted in some parts of the discussion. I’ve yet read any of the books mentioned in this article. Where would you guys recommend to start?

  26. Ok, that was cool and all but what I really want to know is how your trip to thepeemart went the other day. I want to know it went well so I can fly the flag of being Tim’s p consultant. Yeh that’s the USP I’m going after. 😉


    But seriously…love this post and the inside view of how this went down.

    Esp since I’m working on authoring a book as well. Not on previously mentioned topic however.

      1. I guess you really can find anything on the Internet these days. (I’m trying to think of a “Long Tail” joke but it just isn’t coming to me.)

      2. That rocks! Let us know if it takes care of those critters on the roof. I’m going to get a batch to see if it keeps the deer away from the garden on the side of the house. And yes, I was also blown away that a site like that existed as well. Ahh, the interwebs…I’m still in love with it all these years later.

  27. What a brilliant story. So many takeaways from that, especially about building that platform. We forget how powerful that is especially when all those social media tools are so easily available today.

  28. WOW! Read this post back to back, EverNote’d it, printed it, shared it, opened all links, took notes, started the planning. Full of testosterone but applicable to all genders, race and age groups. Brilliance! Thank you Tim and Roman for being so generous with your how-to’s + the added encouragement.

    This is it!! 🙂



  29. Yet another fantastic piece. Thanks, Tim! I love the Arnie story. It just goes to show that however successful you are in a particular field, you can still learn from others. I also like the fortune cookies revelation. I might try that. haha Despite certain subject areas already being jam-packed with books and content, it is good to know that you can still do well if you come at it from a unique or different angle. As an ex-athlete and current gym nut I wouldn’t have thought there was much more that could be written about health & fitness. Very well done, guys! After writing three “pocket money” books, I think I now need to move it up a gear.

    1. Solution: write another book.

      Given your rate of content production, it will probably take you about a week.

  30. Great Cinderella story! If you are a risk-taker and determined, you can achieve just about anything… I have many great ideas, but the four kids and two jobs impede my creativity and time! Best to you!

  31. Wow, this was a fantastic article.

    I just listened to Roman and Adam’s interview with Craig Ballantyne on this subject, but MAN did Roman ever go into detail in this article.

    I found it interesting when talking about the double edged sword of advances and was surprised that Neil doesn’t look for larger ones. Not a bad strategy if you plan on writing multiple books.

  32. Great article!

    Sorry if I missed it.

    Does Roman actually cover how he makes $240,000 per month? When he initially mentions it he says he’ll cover further in the article.

    Thanks again

  33. Thank you, Roman and Tim, for inspiring me today.

    I enjoyed reading about your success – and what I enjoyed even more is your generosity of spirit in sharing the inside scoop, which shines through the article.

    I write and blog about heroes and the hero’s journey. You are heroes.



  34. Great to see the back story here. I’m fortunate enough to have talked to both Roman (in person) and Adam (via email) before.

    This is all fine and dandy, but — trust me when I say this — you’d be hard pressed to find a savvier person than Roman. Not surprised at all with his advance.

  35. Wow! Tim these last few entries have been incredible. Inspirational, educational, and impressively candid.

    I cannot thank you enough for putting these thogether.

  36. All the fitness bros have been arguing how this was possible since it was announced. Moreover, will it earn out?

    At the end of the day, X% of your followers, subscribers, etc. are going to buy and these guys have put together a much larger network than anyone else in the industry. This article being a perfect example.

    Even if you’re base isn’t that large, with enough of the right affiliates, it can be.

    1. Also, a quick protip everyone should learn from Tim. Drive some book reviews to amazon, ideally with advanced copies. You’ve only got two this morning.

  37. Great post!

    While the advice from Roman is pretty incredible I loved the fact that you threw Gary Vee in there.

    1. He’s been a big influence on me, and helped a lot. I’m all about giving credit where it’s due.

      1. John,

        I did see where you laid out how you make $240,000 a month. Did I miss that some where in the article?

      2. Hey Jason,

        It was in the original post, but cut for length. It’s Tim’s call what we do with it, but, basically:

        Digital product launches with a lot of affiliate support. I’ve covered some stuff in other publications, if you’re interested.

  38. As the saying goes, “If you want to be the best, you must learn from the best.” Some of the names that were dropped in this post are nothing short of the best – Tim, Gary V, Jack Canfield, etc. Stellar advice as I’m in the process of self-publishing my first book the platform insight is priceless and have me a few ideas for myself. Thanks Tim for being the rockstar that you are and sharing great content. Best of luck to all your readers as we are truly “rocking with the best.” 😉

  39. I pre-ordered the book over a month ago, and can’t wait for it to arrive so that I can read it! I found out about Roman, originally, from Tim’s iPad app – tried the workout on there and then sought out Roman’s site (RFS).

    Do Adam and Roman know (or have an idea) of what the second book would be about?

    And, also – how much did the ability to say “Sign a 7 figure book deal” work into the thought process of deciding to go with that million dollar 2 book deal instead of the $750k offer for 1 book? It seems that tagline has a LOT of value in it – not just for this blog post, but for building up their credibility in several different areas.

    1. This is a really great question. Two things factored in heavily.

      1) From the outset, we really wanted to write two books–one for men, and one for women. (The women’s one comes out in 2014.). We felt it was important to split the message to drive the point home so much. Because we’re talking about sex so much, the language is just very different.

      2) Yeah, we wanted to be able to say 7 figure advance. It become part of the marketing and helps the book succeed.

      All of that said, at the end of it, money wouldn’t have mattered, unless the differences are in the multiple hundreds of thousands. We wanted to wind up with a publisher/editor that we connected with the most.

  40. Tim I just want to say all 3 of your books have really opened up my mind with what is possible and making the impossible become possible. I love them all but especially the 4 hour body. Nothing like becoming a polar bear to loose body fat. Are you planning on doing a part 2 of the 4 hour body?

    If you need someone to be a Ginny pig I’d be happy to volunteer :).

  41. Roman and Tim,

    You guys are the bomb! Outstanding article – Roman/Born — super proud of you guys this week. You deserve all the success and happiness in front of you.


  42. Great article. I can’t wait to see both Roman and Adam’s names in the best sellers list. You guys deserve it.

  43. Wow. Just reading this tires this old man out. Not sure how I missed the pre-order window, (law enforcement) but I’m getting into your site. I’m going to apply your advice in the book to my 47 year old carcass and see what shakes and bakes. Thanks for the post and the hard work.

    I also want to take note of the special emphasis you give to giving first. Even though you’re building favors, it gives a great perspective on delayed gratification. Do the work first, play later. Thanks for everything.

  44. I love this.

    Someday Tim, you’ll have to put all these super amazing useful blogs in a book, and call it The Ferris Wheel — a how to book on just about everything.

    I would totally buy it. (I give the 4 hour work week as a gift for every occasion.)

  45. I dont believe I’ve ever read something so informative in my life! This also comes at a very good moment for me to read this. This article was informative, useful and positive. I enjoyed reading all of it even the pointers, I will say what most stood out to me was the research on testosterone. Its very concerning how this affects males and there sex drive. A big complaint women have nowadays is how unmanly men are these days, from sex drive to their emotions and lack of action! It is a great job what your doing in reviving men not just for mens sake but for the women to enjoy them too!

  46. Thanks for sharing this Tim.

    I know a lot of what you write (as well as other bloggers, experts, and authors is mostly written with an Entrepreneurial bent to it.

    What I am curious about though, have any musicians, artists, fiction writers, etc. been able to use these same techniques successfully?

    If so, do you have any case studies.

  47. Some great information here! I have been in the publishing business for years and this information is invaluable.

  48. Thanks so much Tim,

    Your articles are always helpful and inspiring to us young entrepreneurs.

    I wonder if you have any plans of writing a post about the details of getting products (or a muse) into retailers. Course the 4 hour work week covers a lot of that but, more so directed to finding a distributor weather it be through a broker or on your own?

    My first book was self published but with your help and these tips I’ll definitely look to have the next published.

    Thanks again!

  49. Hey Tim, great post! Congrats to Roman and Adam on their success too.

    This book looks incredible and I loved the post but more than that I was really sold on the book! So I went to and but there weren’t kindle versions available? Is there a strategic reason for this? Will there ever be one? Unfortunately I can’t buy hard cover books, I live in Thailand for the moment and change countries often. Kindle is perfect for me. Please tell me that I’m just getting stupid rather than left out 🙂

    As for the Happy Gilmore comment, loved it! I need to figure out how to “win now” in all areas of my life.

    Thanks for such a great post.

  50. Amazing read, that means there’s still hope for us young writers! Love the post Tim. Also wondering what “4-Hour _____” you’ll come up with next….


  51. Tim, this is a great post about writing/publishing/personal brand. Based on my long held respect for you, I ordered John and Adam’s book. I read through 80% of it yesterday and I was frankly disappointed. I think they have a great marketing story, but the content is, well… rough. I enjoy your recommendations and guest blog posts, (even this one to learn about the journey to getting the book published) but ultimately this was a miss for me, and I am surprised you would have endorsed the book so whole-heartedly. Lastly John espouses several different fitness/weight-loss techniques that you, so again, color me surprised. I am returning the book today.

    1. Hey jaquesto,

      Just wanted to chime in and say thank you for the feedback.

      I won’t make any comments regarding your assessment of the content, other than to say that I’m sorry it was a miss for you. It’s not for everyone, of course.

      What I would like to comment on is the differences between my approach to programming and Tim’s. Very simply, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Just because we have differing recommendations that we give as a first approach doesn’t mean that I don’t like his approach, or that he doesn’t think mine has merit.

      One thing to remember is that the methods in 4HB are about minimal effective dose; getting 80% of the benefits with 20% of the work. It’s choose your own adventure, and the success of the programming is not predicated on following things in a specific order.

      On the other hand, Alpha is a more cohesive program that is intended to be done in order. And it’s not really about MED – it’s about getting the best results possible, without a consideration for doing the minimal work. My readers and clients aren’t interested in 80/20. They’re willing to go 100/100.

      Tim and I have different audiences, and therefore different approaches.

      Hope that makes sense.

      1. Hi John.. thanks for the detailed reply. Much appreciated. Also I appreciate the fact that you are embracing the feedback even when it leans toward the negative. I have much respect for people who handle comments that way. I am sure many people will get a ton out of the book and I wish you continued success. Jaq

  52. This is probably the most epic blog post I have ever read anywhere. Bravo.

    Seriously. Badass, I read a TON of blogs, and I mean what I just said.

    I’ve been working on my own book lately, over 50,000 words in, and have been wondering whether to go self-published or use a publisher. I know plenty about information marketing in terms of digital products, like ebooks and membership sites and stuff, but VERY little about publishing a book… ya know, like a real book

    This blueprint helps a ton

    I gotta say, both Tim and John, you dudes are fucking inspirations man.

    I knew Man 2.0 was gonna be big, but I had no idea it got a 7-Figure advance deal from the publisher. HOLY MOLY

    It’s been super cool to follow the launch and see so many people promote it, the give aways, John’s writings via the launch and pre-launch, super cool stuff

    In fact, at an event recently when giving fitness trainers a short list of writers to follow so they themselves could be better writers, John’s name was on the list alongside Gary Halbert, and about 3 other names.

    Love the personal touch and storytelling that goes into the email newsletters, blog posts, sales copy and now the book.

    Keep up the good work boys, like I said , both you dudes are total inspirations

    Big Chris

    P.S And Tim, I heard Onnit is coming out with Battle Robes… look what you started

  53. Hi Tim, I just wanted to say that my husband just bought us all three of your books, and we are absolutely loving them! My husband is a chiropractor, and we’ve been working on growing his business for 3 years. We are reportedly the “go-to” chiropractic office in our area (feels great to hear that)! I get to be the business manager and stay-at-home-mom to our two little girls,and I have to say, I am anxiously waiting for you to become a DAD so you can write “The 4-hour Stay-At-Home Parent”…just an idea 😉

  54. Really digging these last few articles on writing and publishing. There’s a lot of good information in this post, but I feel like it’s quite misleading nonetheless. Getting a seven figure advance is phenomenal, no doubt about it, though it becomes a lot clearer how it happened when you break it down.

    John has clearly put in a lot of hard work since 2009 in building his blog, network, and overall business. In effect, that’s why a seven figure advance was possible in the first place. He spoke of getting an advance as being like selling any business plan where you need to have your idea, show off your network, and finally present your past success to show you know what you’re talking about.

    Having built a business generating $240,000+ a month and being a featured in a lot of prominent places like Ask Men, Men’s Health, and means you’re pretty damn successful and therefore a safe bet for a publisher. Without successes like those you’re certainly resigned to the 94% of people getting less than $100k for an advance, regardless of how groundbreaking your book idea could be.

    I don’t mean to detract from John’s accomplishments as they’re astounding and I wish I could be fractionally as successful. However, to achieve a seven figure advance you need to be a runaway success like John, but at that point you could just as well write the book for free since you already have a healthy revenue stream.

    Maybe the outline for getting a seven figure advance may not have necessarily been aimed at people who don’t have a successful business and large network, however I still think everyone can grab some inspiration from John’s story and what is ultimately achievable in such a short timespan as 4 years. Despite my criticisms, I’m still glad you took the time to share your incredible story with us, John.

    1. Hey man! This is actually a really great point.

      What I always tell people that my story starts way before 2009 – my blog was able to grow so quickly because I had been writing for mags for a while and getting some attention wasn’t that hard.

      My training career starts in 2002; so, really, it took 10 years to be an overnight success.

      Ultimately, I’m not sure “anyone” can get an advance quite so large, but what I would say is that following the advice above will get you an advance larger than the one you’d get if you didn’t have the above insight.

      As Tim says, 4HWW isn’t actually about working for literal hours per week – it’s about teaching people how to drastically reduce the amount of time spent working. Going from 80 hours per week to 40 hours per week is still a huge win.

      Along similar lines, the point of this post isn’t to help everyone get a 7-figure advance; it’s to put people in the best position to get the highest advance possible.

      Getting an advance of 50K instead of 30K is a win; going from 100 to 250 or so is massive.

      Does that make sense?

  55. Editorial success and purchase decisions aside (I have ordered the book), what do you (Tim) and others think of Roman’s basic premises of fat loss as presented in the free PDF? Some things are opposites of what the 4HB recommends. For me 4HB was very useful and I followed the eating + exercise habits with great results.

    Lately I let myself go (12% BF overweight) and will test out his methods. I would like to know your opinions regarding 4HB vs RFL. I’m a relatively fit 55yr old male.

  56. What a great post. The level of detail was excellent. I have added this one to my Evernote and will be referencing it often. You should have posted a link to the cow briefs. Just remember “60% of the time, they work every time.”

    Charles Poliquin keeps popping up everywhere. I remember when I would read articles by him in the late 90’s when he wrote for Muscle Media. I became addicted to DB Snatches, best lift ever for a D lineman. I will be adding you to Twitter and checking your book out after this post. Thanks again for a top notch post.

  57. A truly inspirational story.

    It goes to show that anything is possible when you do things the right way.

    Congratulations on your success guys.

    Cheers, Tim

  58. To know this book got a $1M book deal is encouraging, because it is literally the weakest fitness book I have ever read. It reads like 1 huge blog post with very limited useful information.

    This is a great roadmap to selling big on your first book – but leaves out that it needs to be at least a decent text to have a shot of selling a second.

    1. Hey Scott,

      Truly sorry you feel that way. Please get in touch with my support staff and we’ll make it right.

      Are you looking to write a fitness book? I’m excited to hear your ideas and to read it, and look forward to you using this information to get a large book deal of your own.

      Let me know if you have any questions, and good luck!

  59. An epic post!

    Truly inspirational for someone like me who hopes to write a detailed book soon.

    Thanks a lot

  60. Tim, thank you for your video blog 2 weeks ago on Facebook and for answering my questions live on the Feed. My questions was about pitching to Shark Tank. Your answer directed me to the correct blog on your site. We have been pitching our TV show “Warrior Island” to the Venture Capitalists at Shark Tank Prep at NextFab in Philadelphia all week. We received a phone call at 6:30pm tonight letting us know that the VC’s loved our pitch and have awarded us a VIP Wrist band for this Saturday to pitch directly to the Producers of Shark Tank. It looks like we are getting a chance to swim with the sharks. Thank you again for all of the help that you give us hard working entrepeneurs. Sometimes all someone needs is a chance at reaching their goals and dreams and you help that. We have put everything into this business and have worked so hard. Thank you again.

  61. Has anyone had the chance to actually read John’s book? I’d be curious to know what you think of it…

    Great post Tim. This is one that I’ll have to come back to a few more times!

  62. Great blog post with so much useful content. While it won’t all apply to everyone there are many areas that we can use. I’ll be bookmarking this and coming back again. Many thanks.

  63. Hey guys, I went before the Producers from ABC Shark tank yesterday in Philly. It was a battle, I gave them our Pitch about our Reality TV show and Anti Bullying Program and they started to give me some push back about Disney owning ABC and they really don’t back fighting and blood etc, Then I pushed back and said we would be very happy on ESPN and you know Disney has a lot of violence and blood in their movies. I then told them about our 500 Fighter Contracts, Licensed Products and Royalty Deals we have. We were supposed to only have 1 minute pitch but ended up being about 10 minutes because i fought for it. They tell us we will here something by this Friday. When I first walked in I handed them a folder with our Complete Business Plan, Marketing Deck, Promotional Material and some worldwide press coverage. Heck what more could I of done. I feel good about the Pitch and our Battle for our Concept. If we get on Great if we do not I want to start pitching Venture Capitalists in Philly and New York until we get the funding for “Warrior Island” . Our Fight league is cash flow positive and making money each week so that will continue to grow. We are very excited about our Anti Bullying Child Safety program that our Celebrity Warriors “Hero’s” will give back to the communities that supported them to go to the Reality Show. Hey anyone out there that wants to jump on board with GPG let me know I have put everything, all my time and heart into this company. I have personally put $150,000.00 of my own money from my Personal Training business. I am exhausted but I will not give up NEVER! Thanks TIm and Team.

  64. Wow…a heart-felt “thank you” doesn’t seem to cover my gratitude for this post. The info is extraordinary and my two pages of notes gives me a great starting point. I am deeply grateful.

  65. Reading your four hour chef chapter on meta learning I realized I had come across a learning method for Drawing and Art that was close to what you has done for Kanji its called Monart and the inventer has written several books. The book includes a chart of basic curves to memorize and practice deconstructs objects into combos of these shapes. Check it out!

  66. Are you or your publishers actively looking for new proposals. I have what I think is a very unique and dark life story and would like help in all areas related to publishing and marketing my book. Is there a private email I could send more info to or ask more direct questions with specific information. Your story besides being amazing, allows every else to dream the (im)possible.

  67. I stopped reading at “I met my agent at Tim’s event…” because the bottom line is (as in anything) it’s all about who you know. Connections are everything.

    1. Hi Samantha,

      I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to this; I missed it in my email notifications.

      I just wanted to point out: while connections are certainly important, simplifying things to “it’s all about who you know” is both unfair, and very limiting.

      Even if we assume that it IS all about who you know, the fact is, who you know is totally within your control. You can put yourself into position to meet and connect with almost anyone. Tim has published several posts and stories about individuals who put themselves in position to meet everyone from athletes to Obama.

      With regard to meeting my agent at Tim’s event. Yes, that was fortuitous. But, how did I get to Tim’s event?

      Firstly, I spent 2+ years building my relationship with Tim. I went to an event in Austin specifically to meet him, changed my flight specifically to have a chance to sit next to him, and basically made myself as helpful as I could be to him.

      Secondly, I had to pay to get into the event, and that cost me $10,000.

      To this day, I maintain it was the best investment I’ve ever made. Not only did the content shared at the event have a direct impact on me and my ability to write and market a bestseller (as outlined above), but the connections I made there have been invaluable.

      More or less, I’m trying to tell you that there is a lot to be said for the pay-to-play method of network building. “Who you know” is all about who you meet, and you CAN put yourself into position to meet just about anyone.

      I hope that perspective helps, and I truly hope you read and get some value from the rest of the post.

  68. Tim, and John, First off, thank you for sharing your successful experiences with us and love your great writing skills. As a first time author embarking on my first book “The Tax Dave Story” (5yr biographical, an Inspiring and entertaining story) your post had more than just gold nuggets to employ, it had the charisma of a champion. I have read many books on self-publishing, and how to write a book proposal but most were 5% motivational and 95% technical. Your post was more than informative it was inspiring and arming me for the big but rewarding challenges at hand. Being a celebrity will help me but it is no replacement for a winning business plan. Thanks again for a bold professional book proposal game plan and the inspiration. Now I must go and seek a good Book Agent. – Dave Rivera ( AKA – Sacramento’s Taxi Dave)

  69. Tim– excellent article. Would all of the advice in this article apply to memoirists and fiction writers, too? I’m turning my blog into an expanded book version. It’s about what happened when my boomer husband found out he was dying and decided we should have one last adventure—- so we went to Goa, India and unexpectedly he became a celebrity over there, we met and partied with Bob Marley’s son, and he lived a year instead of the 2 months his doctors foretold due to having this amazing trip of a lifetime. Without much publicizing at all I got the blog up to 1800 subscribers during the trip and have continued to blog about my grieving process and life without Scott. Thanks for any additional direction you can point me in.

    1. Great post – I am attempting to get an agent/publisher for my own book – a ‘how to’ guide to publishing an indie magazine. I have made it personal with my own (mis)adventures in the magazine world, as well as 40 interviews with editors/designers/publishers and printers (everyone from the design director of the NYT magazine to advertising legend, George Lois). It’s an A-Z to getting a magazine published, from idea to execution. So far, the main feedback is: nice idea, but too niche.

      I will rejig the marketing section of the synopsis along the lines suggested above. Happy to hear any other suggestions – some great comments on here so far..

  70. Dark clouds-there was a girl called engie mahlo.she live in the rural area called ga sefako.she lived with her mother and two brothers.they don’t have a father.engie when she was little young,she like to avoid many people.she like to be alone,even when she played with other children she likes to own them and she like fighting so’nt like a girl the way she played.she played rough all the time.she have her own moods.that’s why many children don’t want to play with her.she was so sturborn,she don’t want to listen anything that she must told to do.her parents think that she learnt all her action from her brothers,because she was only one girl in the they were teach her to be very clever like manytime they teach her to fight.they told her that if we are so far from her and she makes a fight with other girls from our village she have to stand to herself don’t trust she learnt a leason to her brothers.she was so smart and intelligent.when she were gone to school,her teachers love her a lot.she was smart and she is so beautiful.she was so tall but not ugly.she hate a gossing and more friend.when she was at school she related with friends are like to focuss on study.she don’t like to make noise at her class.many people don’t understand the way she live.she hating the irritating people and that were so annoing to her.she don’t like the people who were talkative.her teachers wishes her all the best to done a good job at her school-work.and her mother too.she wishes to see her daughter being graduated and end up as an educator person one day even when she still day her daughter went out with her friend.they invited each other to go to the party.she ask her mother for a permission.she agreed with them but in one condition(no boys no love affairs)she told her friend that not teach her daugter some boys.they agree with her both of them.she sweared from her ancestors at the grave that she don’t play near to the boys.they went to the was during afternoon when we go to the party.they were happy with other people drinking some cooldrinks and beers.they enjoy to be there ,it is time to go back home.when the two girls get thier way back home.they hear some voices that are clearly to be some was two boys one of them was a visitor at our village.but still he visited his grandmother,her mother was born there but she married with her father and they live at his father s that’s why many people when we seen him we called him a visitor .many girls like him a lot because he don’t live in our area and he don’t speak a pure sepedi like engie was so interested on him like them.she asked her friend to be waited for them.her friend sefused because she remember all angie’s mother’s words.she warned her that if they were going to wait for a boys it is going to be late and her mother going to shouted them.angie make our conversation as our argurment.she waited for a boys until they be closer to her.that boy who was a visitor(his name is thabiso).he asked her to walk with her just two of them she agree.when he asked her to be in love with him ,she accept his love they walk together for a moment after we have a deal that they were going to meet each other where? They go to meet each other.and angie ‘s mother don’t be gappy with that she knows that boy will going to ruin her daugter’s future.after few months he went back home.when angie don’t reseve anything from him,she was worried about him and ignore her book.when she found out that thabiso have another girlfriend at his home and that girl was pregnant by him.she get lost for while,she seemed like is the end of the world.she hated all pedi boys and have in love with the foreigners

  71. I publish my own books, and sales of my paperback books are over 6 figures, per year, through Amazon. I would be interested in finding out how to do even better than that. Any tips on who I should contact? I enjoy the Four Hour Work Week, it’s been a perfect match for our family.

  72. The above article helps to get the best book deal for the writers and the author. Thanks for the article.

  73. I think I’d take the security of the 2 book deal.

    I’ve been a huge fan of your work for about 8 years. I’ve read all the books, am approaching finishing 200 of the podcasts and I dibble in 5 bullet Fridays. A lot of your advice lead to my first 6 figure business in 2013.

    I’m almost finished with a book written in the same style as Tools of Titans or Tribe of Mentors but with entirely different subject matter. I’m afraid I’m going to have trouble finding a literary agent that gets the work. I wanted your agent Steve Hanselman but he doesn’t accept submissions. Any thoughts?