Book Launch 101: Media Hijinks, Amazon Timing, and VIP Treatment for You


The last 72 hours – that’s me on the right. (Source: AgentGenius)

I opened an appropriate fortune cookie last week: “A calm sea does not make a skilled sailor.”

It’s important to always have a Plan B.

Take, for instance, a book launch. It’s easy to miss the bestseller list if you don’t have a contingency plan for when things go wrong.

This is exactly what happened to me in the last 72 hours, and my Plan B involves giving away lots of goodies.

Today is December 15th, and the new Expanded and Updated 4-Hour Workweek is officially out!

It’s a vastly superior book, and new material includes:

• More than 50 practical tips and case studies from readers (including families) who have doubled income, overcome common sticking points, and reinvented themselves using the original book as a starting point.

• Real-world templates you can copy for eliminating e-mail, negotiating with bosses and clients, or getting a private chef for less than $8 a meal

• Fully revised resources – the latest tools and tricks, as well as high-tech shortcuts, for living like a diplomat or millionaire without being either.

I wanted the launch for this new expanded edition to be as elegant and effective as possible, as I’m also on deadline for the new Becoming Superhuman guide to hacking the human body.

Instead of the usual 4-week launch plan with extended marketing and media, I decided to compress almost all of it into one week. This week.

To make it all work, I would have to combine pre-orders and sales from this week. Weekly New York Times lists are tabulated from Sunday to Sunday.

Alas, that’s when things got all screwed up, hence Plan B.

– Late last week, readers began to tweet that the book was already shipping, despite the official on-sale date of today. I’ve seen a few friends screwed in the past when their pre-orders were split between two weeks. They missed the NYT lists, which is critical for any snowball effect.

– Three national media spots were canceled this week due to scheduling conflicts and producer mix-ups.

Time to reset and bring out the big guns.

Plan B

Sometimes, size matters.

Now is one of those times, and I’d like to ask you a favor. Please consider the following.

This is for the next 24 hours only. It expires 2pm PST on Wednesday, 12/16/09.

If you’ve ever wanted to give The 4-Hour Workweek as a gift, or if you think you will, I’ll offer the following, with goodies attached and important details at the end:

Buy 1 copy (or use your older edition) – Participate in a 2-hour live Q&A with me on 12/22. It will focus at least 50% new material. No email receipt needed, but familiarity with book will be important.

Buy 4 Copies – Free signed, advanced copy of Becoming Superhuman when it comes out later in 2010. It will be one of Random House’s biggest releases, and you will see it even before most media.

E-mail Amazon receipt to with subject line “4 copies”.

Buy 10 Copies – The above signed copy of Becoming Superhuman and 1 full year ($120) of DropBox’s 50GB back-up and synching service for free, which I use and which appears in the book.

This makes the ten copies, in effect, free.

E-mail Amazon receipt to with subject line “10 copies” (we will have to confirm quantities, of course).

Buy 100 Copies (limit 20 spots) – Buy 100 copies here and get all of the above (Superhuman, 1-year DropBox), as well as a VIP invitation to a private bash I will be throwing in San Francisco on Friday, Feb 26th.

Dine and hang out with me and my best friends from tech and all over the world. It will be an evening to remember much like this, which was hosted on a functioning WWII warship, but even cooler and crazier.

Buy 1,000 Copies (limit 1 spot) – Buy 1,000 copies here and get all of the above (Superhuman, 1-year DropBox, VIP dine/party) and a full day of consulting with me on whatever topics you desire. I will fly you from anywhere in the world to San Francisco, where I will cover all meals and entertainment for 24 hours. One friend or business partner is welcome to attend if they cover their own travel and hotel.

Again, the above are valid for the next 24 hours only, ending at 2pm PST, Wednesday.

Some Details

What if I already ordered the new book?

No problem. Just combine the Amazon/online receipts in one email to with “4 books” (for the 4-book bonuses) or “10 books” (for 10-book bonuses) in the subject line.

What if I want the bonuses but don’t need 100 or 1,000 books?

Also no problem.

I’ll find a home for them, or you can sell them, or you can give them to a non-profit. There may well be a tax write-off if you do the latter, but you’d need to chat with a real accountant first to get it right.

Do Kindle and audiobook versions count for the Plan B bonuses?

Unfortunately, not for anything other than the live 2-hour Q&A next week.

Kindle and audiobook sales do not count for the New York Times list (f*ing ridiculous, I know), and this is an emergency list-recovery measure to compensate for the Amazon mix-up and cancelled major media.

Obviously, if you buy one of the formats that don’t count towards the list, have ever bought the book, or even read the blog, I’m still thankful!

Un abrazo fuerte :)


Posted on: December 15, 2008.

Watch The Tim Ferriss Experiment, the new #1-rated TV show with "the world's best human guinea pig" (Newsweek), Tim Ferriss. It's Mythbusters meets Jackass. Shot and edited by the Emmy-award winning team behind Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Here's the trailer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)

162 comments on “Book Launch 101: Media Hijinks, Amazon Timing, and VIP Treatment for You

  1. Hey Tim,

    Just wanted to say congratulations on the launch. Sorry to hear that Plan A didn’t work out, but oftentimes it’s the Plan B that ends up working out far better in the end.

    My initial plan A was to move to California after college, get a job in corporate America, and surf every day. After moving out there and starting my job I realized this lifestyle wasn’t for me, I pulled together a plan B in a matter of weeks. Your first book helped me to be okay with taking a risk on Plan B, so I moved cross country again and haven’t stopped smiling since.

    Best of luck,



  2. great plan B!
    is there a reason my pre-order says it will ship Dec 21? (I ordered months ago)
    I assumed it’s just another f-up by amazon

    godspeed on the way to #1


  3. I was starting to wonder, because I saw a copy of the expanded edition already at the local bookstore.

    The best of luck to you. I can’t wait for Becoming Superhuman.


  4. is there an ebook version of the expanded edition available?

    I want to buy it right now and cannot find it. Maybe it is because im still in Argentina… :(.

    Anyway, if there is none I guess I’ll just have to wait until im In Dallas Airport on the 26th.


  5. Hi Tim,
    Translations will be availaible soon for this new version of your book ? (French transalation in my case).

    Thank you for your book, it changed, and continue to change my all life !