The news in brief: Google has come to a special arrangement with The 4-Hour Workweek to help readers test and improve the book’s core ideas. Before I give the details, let me explain why this is significant.
From Printing Press to Oligarchy to Digital Democracy
The dead-tree world is no more. Digital word-of-mouth — the most efficient and diffusive in history — fundamentally changes not only the marketing of books but their purpose altogether.
The publishing oligarchy has long had a top-down (guru endorses, minions purchase) push (paid advertising) model of information dissemination. The book was a self-contained product, and small offline communities were paid lip service but but viewed as consumers, not contributors.
In Publishing 2.0, books are manifestos — big idea seeds that pair naturally with global online communities that grow organically, not only spreading the “big idea” but improving upon it.
These distributed think tanks will want tools to test and explore their own variations, and it will be one of the forward-thinking author’s new responsibilities to find the best partners to cultivate this innovation. Harnessing the massive intellectual power of this “army of Davids” (quoting Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.com) will allow authors to initiate massive business and social change with speed and precision impossible even three years ago.
Here is the first set of tools to experiment with.
Google will provide a free $25 Google AdWords trial offer to all readers of The 4-Hour Workweek, allowing each person to experiment with the ideas and concepts in the book. I do not receive any commission or compensation for this. [NOTE: This offer is now expired]
“We’re excited by this arrangement because it allows 4-Hour Workweek readers to apply the ideas in the book immediately — and even improve them. This is really a glimpse into the future of book publishing,” says Trevor Claiborne, Associate Product Marketing Manager at Google. “Ideas are no longer confined to the printed page, and it’s the communities of readers who individualize the idea, repurpose it, and grow it.”
Google AdWords allows you to test any business idea (indeed, any idea) in a matter of days, even hours. Can you see where this could go?
There is some fine print (e.g. this offer is only good for new Google AdWords users, and you need to sign up by 6/30), so be sure to read it completely. To begin exploring the infinite options of immediate online micro-testing, re-read Chapter 10 “Testing the Muse”, log in to the reader-only section of the main 4HWW site, and click on the Google AdWords link at the bottom. [NOTE: This offer is now expired]
Test small but think big. Much more to come.
Other Important Extras and News:
Do you have stories or questions for the growing 4HWW community? Hundreds of readers have asked me if I have plans to create “4HWW for Mothers,” “4HWW for Employees,” “4HWW for Families,” and related extensions of 4HWW. My answer? Don’t wait for me! Create your own social network on www.ning.com â€” just name it “4-Hour Workweek for X” (note the spelling of the title, which is often misspelled), X being whatever community you want to create. Be sure to include the tag “4HWW” so people can find it. Take a few minutes to create your own group, and leave a link to it in the comments of this post so the world can find you. Before you know it, you could have a few thousand members! Just take a minute to search for a pre-existing social network before creating your own, so we can avoid duplicates.
4HWW has hit #1 on the Wall Street Journal and #4 on The New York Times bestseller lists! I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of my friends, supporters, and — most of all — readers for helping to spread the anti-deferred-life-plan movement. I’m on a mission, and there will be much more to report, ranging from organized social movements to even legislation. Thank you all! This launch has been one example of how the critical mass of many points of input can overshadow even mainstream media. Amazing.
If you’d like to learn how some of the world’s best headlines are created and tested, I highly recommend reading the work of copywriting legend Joseph Sugarman. His testimonials include everyone from the Founder of Sharper Image to Former Vice-President, Al Gore, and his most recent compendium, The Adweek Copywriting Handbook, includes critiques and reviews of real-life advertising campaigns. I have a Sugarman anecdote in the 4HWW, and for those readers who are familiar with my “finding Yoda” approaches, I am now spending early July with Joseph himself on a tropical island!