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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enter Tucker Max.

Tucker Max

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

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

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

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

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

Why I’m Qualified to Write This Post:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.The Famous Sushi Pants Story
3.
The Midget Story
2. The Hockey Story
4. The Austin Road Trip

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

2. Make your content easily shareable:

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

There’s millions of ways to do this, and the specific ones you want to pick will vary depending on your content. For example, one thing I did was format my stories so that they could easily be printed out and taken somewhere else to read. This worked wonders; apparently a ton of people who worked in offices couldn’t just read my stuff on the screen, but could easily print it out to read later, and hand those print out to their friends. [This is basically what newspapers do, with their “Print” button that takes you to a plain text screen with just the story, formatted to print on 8x11 paper.]

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

* Facebook plugins (e.g. “Like” buttons, Recommendations, “Facepile”) that you can add to your site.
* Twitter widgets, including the “Tweet” button.
* Embeddable “share this” button that allows easy sharing across multiple channels (email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
* Delicious bookmarking badges.

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

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

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

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

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

1. GorillaMask.net
2. Fark.com [Tim: this was true for me as well]
3. BoredAtWork.com
4. Stileproject.com (NOT suitable for work)
5. CollegeHumor.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Permission marketing:

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

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

Secrets of the Biggest Selling Launch Ever
1,000 True Fans [Tim: If you only read one article on marketing in your life, this is my pick.]
A User’s Guide to 21st Century Economics
So What’s All This New Marketing Stuff, Anyway?
Earning Your Media

8. Word of mouth is key:

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

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

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

And thus leads us to the reversal…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nope, sorry.

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

What I’m Doing To Promote My Second Book

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

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

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

—-

Afterword

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Know thy audience.

###

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

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

Posted on: September 28, 2010.

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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)

204 comments on “How Tucker Max Got Rejected by Publishing and Still Hit #1 New York Times

  1. Tim, you never cease to amaze me. This is a brilliant post. Daring? Yes, but insanely informative. When I first read the title I didn’t think you’d be able to make this relevant, but then again, there’s a reason why people follow you.

    Thanks for continuing to help the rest of us.

    Alex

    Like

  2. LOL, Excellent. Indeed I like Tim’s better spoken manner but this total cockiness way of marketing/value adding has its uses. I wonder what is Tim’s versus Tucker’s audience on the female side of things.. ;)

    Also, I wonder about all this proliferation of blogs around the same subjects, it seems we are entering some kind of bubble where everyone links to everyone inside a closed circuit of sorts, sure its add to the SEO but it seems almost like a ponzy scheme where the content is getting shallow and the value is going up…!

    Anyway, nice insights. Thanks for sharing. Get that book out Tim!

    Like

  3. Hi Tim and Tucker,

    Thanks for the very informative post. New information and perspectives here even for someone who’s followed you both closely.

    I have a question. I put a good deal of credibility on Tim’s voucher for Tucker’s honesty. I also respect Vox Day’s reputation for honesty (3rd largest econ blogger IIRC). He stated he’d heard the “hidden guy videotaping and 3 people puking at once” story as an urban legend circulating well before Tucker ever came out.

    I read a forum post explaining that Tucker’s originally contained some poetic exaggeration, sort of a wink and a nod among friends, but after their basic veracity became a controversial subject, the stories had to be defended as absolute gospel truth. That sort of an evolution seems like the most plausible way of reconciling the above conflicts.

    Just wondering if anyone could shed additional light on the issue. It’s not hugely important, but I’m curious.

    Like

    • Hey Joseph,

      Thanks for the comment. I can’t verify all of his stories, but my take is based on what I’ve personally observed of Tucker. I can’t speak to the stories themselves, though I know Tucker strongly defends many of them.

      Best,

      Tim

      Like

  4. I can’t say this comes completely out of left field, I’ve seen Tim talk about Tucker before. But the value of this post is a grand slam home run.

    But Tucker, you left out one tip: don’t be afraid of criticism. Granted, most of us won’t actually be cultivating it, but we’ll get it, and Tim can vouch for that. (He’s had some of the most irrational haters I can think of.)

    Thanks both of you for an instant classic marketing post.

    Like

  5. I for one don’t hate Tucker Max. He reminds me of a friend of mine, outspoken and never afraid to act out loud in public, and who’s friendship is hard to win over (but once earned, you realize what true friendship is).

    Didn’t know about the ‘genius’ side of him though, but it’s a welcome surprise.

    Takes for this post… I’m not offended in any way.

    Like

  6. Tucker and Tim,

    Thanks for putting it all out there.

    Honesty and being yourself seems to be a trait shared by many successful people.

    Tim – are you still practicing Brad Blanton’s Radical Honesty?

    I’m also curious to know if you ever wound up meeting with Jim Kean of wellnessFX (I was fortunate enough to have met him briefly in Palo Alto) being as he told me he was planning on making complete biomarker analyses available to the general public for a fraction of current testing prices?

    Good Vibes~

    Like

  7. Tucker Max is awesome. Tim and Tucker both have such clear and distinct writing voices which makes every sentence personal and almost conversational. Great post Tim.

    Like

  8. Interesting stuff Tim. As an upcoming author with a release at the end of the year it is always enlightening to hear from success (you, Tucker).

    This article was great and as Seth always says, “building a community three years before you have a book” is key. I’m banking on that :)

    Like

  9. Just the inspiration I needed. The tip about changing one’s perspective when writing is priceless. I felt a block because I was trying to write to the world, not my friends who actually give a shit about what I am doing. Thanks for shifting my perspective and turning the eight into infinity…

    Like

  10. Awesome post! i’m bookmarking and keeping this stuff in mind as I work on my blog and next book.

    I think the simplicity of the Afterword is just gold – especially the bit about, “The “marketing” is then finding people who most resemble the friends you wrote for in the first place.”

    Great stuff – thanks for posting it

    Like

  11. Tim,

    One of the things that keeps me coming back to your blog is your ability to zero in on topics that are edgy and interesting. I am never bored here. Often stimulated, perhaps even provoked, occasionally amused, but never bored. And we can’t say that about very many blogs, can we?

    Thanks for the post.

    Like

  12. Tim
    Great post. Its true the more honest and true we are to each other the more people will respond to us. Even if it hurts or we dont like it. For some reason people listen to those how are willing to have those hard and difficult conversations. Even if it comes it the form of humor and a hard talk that You do like this or that.

    Tucker Max reminds me of a guy who stars in a television show called Dragons Den here in Canada. (aka Shark Tank in the US). His name is Kevin O’Leary and he can be one tough, honest man. Yet he is one of those guys you enjoy watching on the show. All the Dragons speak in some scale of Tucker Max. They tell newbie entrepreneurs if their product or service will sell or not. These people have been there done that and are HONEST with those who step into their Den. Some leave with money others with prides wounded or demolished. But all get an honest and fair assessment of their business idea.

    Side note: Kevin O;Leary’s honesty got him another show that debates with a financial reporter about the state of the Canadian economy and the world as he sees it. Where he would invest his money, opportunities that others can consider with their money. I hope this stays up as this guy and the other Dragons are real people who tell it like it is. The viewer can make their own choices about the value of their advice. Much like your audience does for this blog. You give real and interesting and practical content that people find interesting. So does the show Dragons Den it gives advice that someone like myself who is jumping into the startup business wants to hear and think about.

    I like the fact that intimate honest content, relevant to those who read it seems to be what the internet audience wants. There is too much hype and BS out there. One reason I keep getting your blog posts like this are for that very reason. You are honest and genuine. People can smell a fake even in cyberspace. Your the real deal and we your audience vote and support authors like you by reading your posts.

    You provided content that came at the right time. I was just thinking before opening up your blog page how can I promote my product and service? This came at the right time.
    Cheers
    Leonard

    Like

  13. My brother in law gave me tucker’s book b4 either of us ever knew there was a website. that turned me on to the fact that giving away content for free can be very profitable. I wonder how many people paid for and Read Tucker’s 1st book w/o ever seeing the free content on the net.

    Like

  14. Tucker, what have you learned about marketing when it pertains to the movie industry?

    I really enjoyed your book, but I never knew your movie was in theaters until it was too late. I did watch it on dvd though.

    Really great article guys. I love it when Tucker shows his brilliance and Tim’s side notes were also very beneficial

    Like

  15. This post rocks.

    One of the most helpful, informative, actionable and brief summaries of how to succeed on online marketing I’ve ever read.

    Tucker, it may not jive with your brand but I’m guessing you could have equal success in developing a site that explains in real simple terms how any company can apply the same principals you use, to their own business or brand. Maybe it could be an offshoot where you show step by step what you’re doing with your main content.

    Though truth be told, I guess you’ve already covered 95% of it in the 10 minute read above. Great work and big thanks to Tim and Tucker.

    Like

  16. It’s always interesting to find out who the people you admire…admire. I guess I should not be shocked to learn that the people who I study also study the people who I study. I started reading Tim, which led me to Vaynurchuk, who led to Tucker Max, who led to Pat Flynn and so on. Who will you introduce me to next Tim?

    Like

  17. I started reading Tucker’s site back in 2007, and I laughed so hard co-workers were wondering what the hell was going on.

    This post is exceptionally relevant to marketers, bloggers, and writers of all shades. Thanks Tim for tying it all together.

    Like

  18. Good morning, Tim,

    The site for the PX Method is no longer up and running. I read your book recently and wanted to look at that material as a testing example, but cannot access it.

    I am very inspired by your writing–thank you very much!

    Like

      • Great post Tim and Tucker.

        This is only my personal experience but I see it as proof of what Tim and Tucker are trying to teach here (although their book sales, online audience, and fans are proof enough).

        I stumbled on Maddox‘s site (someone referenced by Tucker in the post) through GorillaMask.net (points #1 and 3). From Maddox’s site I found a link to TuckerMax.com (#1 and 3 again). I read Tucker’s writing (#1), thought it was hilarious (#9), and bought his first book.

        Fast forward a bit and Tucker gives Tim’s then forthcoming book, The Four Hour Workweek, a shout out on his webpage (#3, 4, and 8). Tucker had already proven to me that I like his content and earned my trust to the point that I respected his recommendations (#5, 7). Or at least, a lot more than the noise that is mainstream advertising. This lead me to buy Tim’s book which I loved (#9 again).

        Obviously there is a selection bias going on as I wouldn’t be here without this process, and we will never know about all the people who got lost along the way who would disprove what they say.

        But the experience which led me to type this comment today mirrors Tucker’s breakdown so accurately that I can’t help but be convinced that Tim and Tucker’s analysis must have hit on some truth.

        Thanks for the post guys and keep up the great work.

        Like

    • I was also under the impression that you had a cameo in the movie :D Whether people like Tucker Max or not, he’s a masterful marketer — I say the same thing about Tim Ferriss. Love him, hate him, lust after him, no matter what you can’t ignore that his methods Work.

      Like

  19. Great post. I actually first heard of Tim through a post made by Tucker on his site right around the time that 4HWW was published. Still a loyal reader to this day!

    Like

  20. Dude this paragraph is the single best piece of online marketing advice I’ve seen for long time. @tucker, I’m stealing it to use with my own clients

    “Spam is just promoting something to someone who has no interest in it. But people love finding new things that interest them, so go out and find audiences who might like your stuff and the places where they congregate. Then interact with them not as a huckster, but in a way that potentially benefits you both: You find the audience, they find new entertainment (or information, or whatever value your writing provides).”

    Like

  21. I first saw Tucker’s book on the back of the toilet in my ex-boyfriend’s Chicago apartment four years ago. From a women’s perspective in this world of thought leaders, I respect and very much value Tucker’s content in this post. I wonder if his take on our gender has changed at all since he’s reaped all his success?

    Like

  22. Thanks for the constant blog posts on getting published, Tim. Although I (also) hate Tucker, people tend to compare my blog to his. He’s no slouch though with a Duke Law Degree.

    I went through your 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing and Bird by Bird recommendations and picked up another book on The New Rules of Marketing by David Meerman Scott. He has some great advice in there.

    If my blog ever makes it into print, I will be sure to give you credit in the acknowledgments! Your posts are invaluable.

    Like

  23. I’ve been long moving toward self publishing, but so far it was technical stuff for a specific (and very limited) audience, while keeping alive the dream of publishing stuff I actually like. While before, my work was an obstacle for me to start doing creative writing (and film making), thanks to Tim, I’ve separated work from “necessary” to “someone else is doing it now, and I don’t need to spend much time on it”.

    I actually like Tucker’s style (though I’ve never heard of him before, so I guess I’m beyond help), as it closely resembles how I think and act in real life – asshole style.

    Tim – I have a question for you.

    I have horrible grammar mix (I use wrong grammar from Russian and English), so the combination produces very long, run-on sentences that many people have problem with. I sometime get comments on my commercial website that it’s very poorly written and that I just lost a client :)… I really do hate breaking my sentences down.

    For my business, I am hiring someone to go over all that content and fix my grammatical and some spelling errors.

    For my personal blog – do you think I should hire some one to fix my mistakes, or post it as I write it?

    Like

    • Hi Leo,

      I’d suggest you read one of my favorite books, titled “On Writing Well,” by Zinsser. It’s priceless. One question I ask myself (as I like long sentences, too) is: is this sentence trying to do too much? If it seems long, I just break it into two short sentences. It almost always makes it better.

      Good luck!

      tim

      Like

  24. Excellent post and right on time for me. No, I don’t care for Tucker’s #1 bestseller, but I do appreciate the inside info on the process. Much of what he says is sweet affirmation of what I’m working on and what I have in the cooker to launch in the next months. I’ve been criticized and questioned for putting essays on my website as free content, but it’s been an invaluable tool for me to work on both my writing and marketing skills.

    It’s also important to see what my blog audience responds to. Ah yeah, they like my essays better than my posts on my love of the iphone (maybe that should have been obvious) or even my post on how the 4HWW works for me (that one perhaps not so obvious)—- but each step of the way is helpful as I communicate with readers on my twitter page, fan page, and blog. I’m learning. It’s a two way street. You give and you receive.

    Thanks for the post Tim. I understand and appreciate your reservations. When Tucker brought his bus tour for the film here, some people marched and I somewhat understood why. But guess what– the news covered each and every word. It’s the process we can focus on here, and I hope that comes through. Did for me. Have a good one!

    Like

  25. Tim and Tucker:

    This is one of the best marking articles I’ve ever read. There is more packed into this one article than in many entire books.

    Tim,

    no need for the excessive warnings. In the earlier days you said “I will be able speak more freely, the blog will be getting much, much more exciting and much, much more controversial.”

    http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2007/03/07/dozens-of-previous-posts-are-here/

    So be true to that and keep your honest, real, unfiltered opinions coming and your 1000 true fans will be even more loyal, even if you lose a few who didn’t really belong.

    Chuck

    Like

  26. Tim and Tucker:

    This is one of the best marking articles I’ve ever read. There is more packed into this one article than in many entire books.

    Tim,

    no need for the excessive warnings. In the earlier days you said “I will be able speak more freely, the blog will be getting much, much more exciting and much, much more controversial.”

    So be true to that and keep your honest, real, unfiltered opinions coming and your 1000 true fans will be even more loyal, even if you lose a few who didn’t really belong.

    Chuck

    Like

  27. Dude TIm, you read my mind bro.

    Just last night i was on LuLu starting to self-publish the book that I’m writing. Thanks to you and the 4HWW by the way, I’m writing it on the tropical island of Phuket, Thailand while living at a MMA and Muay Thai camp for 3 months.

    I did want to ask you though, what are your thoughts on self publishing on sites like LuLu? I want to market my book like an eBook but to prevent piracy and to add value, make it a paperback. LuLu prints on demand and ships for me so it’ll be just as hassle free.

    -Johnny

    Like

  28. I became a fan of Tucker Max when he blogged in detail for a year straight about his experience as an independent filmmaker. Value doesn’t seem a poweful enough word for what he gave during that time.

    I spent hours going through his entire blog and marveled that the guy was delivering his message with such precision and clarity. I guess I knew his topics would be viewed as controversial, but to me that wasn’t the point. He was real and raw.

    I never judged him because I know all the shit I’ve done in my own life… I simply learned from the brilliant lessons that he was sharing.

    ~Mike

    Like

  29. This is fantastic, thanks Tim and Tucker!! Important information.

    I had never heard of Tucker before, but since I am writing a book about our non-stop family world tour that we have been on for the last 5 years, seems the perfect time!

    Lots here….we head off for some serious RTW travel in a few days, but as soon as I have some free time, I will be back to dissect this carefully.

    Love it!

    Like

  30. I had already been introduced to Tucker Max by you through a brief mention in one of your videos, I think. I went to his blog. Absolutely hilarious in a most disgusting way. I about peed my pants from laughing. It’s hard to believe that people like Tucker really exist, and yet he claims that that’s what all his friends are like.

    A very foreign world to me, thank God. I’m one of those Christians who reads the occasional Mommy blog.

    But mostly I read blogs like yours. For exactly these kinds of posts. I learn a lot for my clients’ big projects.

    Thanks again, Tim.

    Like

  31. I read “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell” a couple of years ago and just saw the movie last week. I was surprised to see Tim in the movie as a cop!

    Tim, you have to tell the story of how you ended up in the movie, what it was like on the set during filiming, etc. . . .

    Like

  32. @Johnny Jen – My belief is that piracy WILL occur, regardless of your protective measures…if your ebook is any good that is. ;-) Not that you should forget trying to protect, you might consider inserting teasers throughout on where to go for additional VALUE on your topic. Attack the curiosity of the person who received a pirated version – compel him/her to spend money with you…money you otherwise would not have gotten. Who knows, your ebook might go viral. :)

    Tucker’s 9 Marketing Tips are awesome…brilliant. To separate ourselves from an increasingly loud crowd of “me-toos,” all of us have to create our unique voice, target our specific markets & blast our A+ content to the right people.

    Thanks, Tim.

    Mike

    Like

  33. Tim, I have to say — I’ve always been a fan, if not a fanboi. But this is in my opinion the best post/article/whatever I’ve read on blogging. Hands down. No bullshit. I’m totally guilty of reading marketing articles instead of improving the quality of my content. To have one post that distills the ABCs of word of mouth marketing so clearly, then drives home the point that all that doesn’t matter without awesome content, then tops it all with clear advice on how to achieve that awesome content… I’m blown away.

    Big thanks to you and Tucker. I’m off to go get my ass in gear.

    Like

  34. Thoughts from a woman/mother/grandma.

    Tucker is raunchy but definitely refreshingly honest. It’s way better to know what’s really on a person’s mind than having them just show you what they want the world/you to see/believe. (I read his midget story) When people reveal their true colors the Great Mystery unfolds, or you could say … things get real. That saves people a lot of time trying to second guess each other, and as you know time is what we all value these days. I’m not going to subscribe to his blog but I learned a lot from reading it.

    Tim, glad you finally took the risk, my hunch is it will pay off in ‘real’
    fans, and that beats a bunch of meaningless big numbers any day.

    Also your link to the video when you met Tucker didn’t work, it just went to a Tucker page.

    Like

  35. Keep it up Tucker. I know I am doing things right when I get my anti-fan mail. I cannot please everybody. I am not going to try. If you want my help I will give it to you. If you don’t then go away, don’t waste your time telling me what I am doing wrong.

    Josh Bulloc
    Kansas City, MO
    How can I help?

    Like

  36. This is a fuc@$*g epic post… thanks for sharing your honest insights Tucker.

    I love every point, except for the email list part.

    You have around 100,000 person list, and only send a message 2 times a year. The more I message my email list with stories, useful info, or just to stay in touch.. the more they spread my message and are reminded why they are on my list. Obviously in your case your list is getting messages from you all of the time on Facebook, Twitter, and updates on your blog… but getting updates via email are more personal for me (even if it’s a newsletter) and I’m sure your list would love to hear your honest stories via email and would love you even more.

    Just my thoughts :) Thanks for posting this Tim

    Like

  37. As a fan of his website, I was a little disappointed that his first book was copy/paste from his blog. I had read all his stuff previously and bought the book based on the brand he delivered. I won’t be buying his 2nd book for that reason.

    He is right about the word of mouth, during college everyone knew about him from their friends.

    Side note, I eventually threw the book out because I didn’t want any girlfriends finding it, haha.

    Like

  38. AWESOME.

    Two worlds collide and two of my favorite mini-celebrities (no offense) combine skill sets into the best post in a while. Huge fan of TM, and going off to get his new book today, but I’ve always been curious about his background. Really interesting to see it deconstructed in a Ferrissian way.

    Tim, I’m really glad you nutted-up to post this, it was incredibly insightful. I wondered at the extent of your relationship when TM came up in (I think?) your le web presentation.

    Tucker: You F**kin rock, and now in an entirely new additional way. Thanks for writing this.

    Like

  39. Excellent article. Brilliant. Seriously.

    I’d heard of Tucker before (hilarious stories), but this adds a whole ‘nother dimension to him, for me at least.

    And how cool was that, seeing Tim in the trailer for the movie? Good on you, mate.

    Like

  40. This is awesome. So awesome that the totally geeky side of me pulled up my mindmapping software on my second screen and went back through the whole post line by line mapping it out. Looking at it that way I’m pretty sure that each one of Tucker’s points could have been a post in itself!

    Seriously, I love your site and it’s one of the main reasons I started blogging myself. Your posts are just consistently epic!

    Like

  41. Tim,

    Did you remove the Hilarity Does Not Ensue story, and then add it just below the list with the exclaimer because you knew that story would now get the most attention and the most clicks out of the 5 stories?

    I would not have clicked any of the 5, but the “removal” and disclaimer for the last story really makes for a great type of call to action.

    Curious if you did this on purpose as a super slick marketing trick, or just by chance?

    Like

  42. Lewis, it might surprise you but a quick check reveals that Tucker has only updated his FB page eight times this year.

    I think the point in limiting your email exposure is to keep a healthy dose of mystery in the mix; you can keep hitting that button and get a thrill out of seeing your stats immediately go up but your audience will inevitably become numb over time.

    Like

  43. Hey, huge fan of Tucker’s,

    Great stuff. Would love for Tucker to comment on his movie — it obviously didn’t do exactly what he predicted. Any lessons learned or commentary? To only talk about old successes rather than more current failures has hints of bias.

    Also, Tucker used to have a very popular messageboard — why did he take it down? To point 5, did it not translate to value for him?

    Tucker created a whole web of bloggers that was called “Rudius” but after the movie, he shut it all down. Any takeaways from that? I really like some of those blogs, but never knew why they were all taken down.

    Seemed like it worked well for a while but then the whole community Tucker created just disappeared. It was that community that made me buy the first book.

    Like

  44. Tim, you should implement the making it easy to print bit – I always try to print your blog entries out, but end up having to copy/paste them into word.

    Like

  45. While I respect Tim, Tucker is far from a “veritable genius.” He’s someone who writes funny stories for teens. When he tried to parlay his genius to other ventures — that is, film — he failed miserably. From what I’m told, he told countless people how he was going to “revolutionize” the film industry with his movie based on the book. That he was going to “best” everyone.

    What happened? The movie received abysmal reviews, never went mainstream, and Tucker lost the extraordinary amount of money he invested. Broke, he was forced to leave LA for some random city in Texas and regurgitate more of his stories to scrape by. I’m not bashing him as a person. All of this is only as relevant to the extent that it shows any of his advice should be taken with great caution.

    Like

    • Hi Max,

      Thanks for the comment. Just a few clarifications, though, to be fair. Tucker didn’t go broke. He has plenty. He also left LA because he absolutely hates LA, and he was talking about that well before the movie. He moved to Austin, which is also one of my favorite cities in the US.

      Now, you are right on a few counts.

      The movie did not do as well as Tucker hoped or projected, but I’m referring specifically to his book-related marketing genius in this post. The movie adventures and lessons learned don’t detract from that.

      Hope that makes sense,

      Tim

      Like

      • You lose all credibility when you say, “The movie did not do as well as Tucker hoped or projected, but I’m referring specifically to his book-related marketing genius in this post.”

        Not only was the film horrible, the hubris aspect and watching that come crashing down added another level of painfulness.

        In addition to your extreme understatement, everyone knows you’re only as good as your last “project”. Who wants to read an article lauding the dominance of an .400 batter who is recently 0 for 18 in his last at bats.

        The guy’s got to lick his wounds and figure out another thing to do. These stories aren’t as funny from an aging dude. He is like the college kid who never moved out of the frat house and is now 31 years old and funneling beers. Not as funny as it was when he was 20.

        Like

  46. Tim,
    Didn’t know about Tucker and visited his site from this post. I’m not sure how but before he listed the articles, I’d already read the “unmentionable” one and was laughing pretty hard. Imagine the cast of “A Fish Called Wanda” acting that scene out. OMG! OMG!!!!

    Well as a teacher turned business consultant turned blogger and software designer, communication with others is of great importance to me. I found the post to be very useful in all respects.

    It was a good call to post this Tim and your risk is minimal.

    *Only vaguely relevant*
    On the idea of “swearing” and it’s philosophical considerations:
    Even the terminology “swear words” is a bit confusing to me…it’s a biblical reference, I think, to the admonition not to “swear” or promise beyond your ability…”let your yes be yes…” (Matt 5:37)

    Wikipedia had this “Interestingly, the Bible with its talk about men who ‘eat their own dung, and drink their own piss’ (Isa 36:12) is far from the oldest surviving text containing strong language, as even the oldest traces of human writing include swear words.” So I’m not really sure how saying “shit” is “swearing”.

    Maybe it’s my affinity for Patton and his thoughts on the subject that shape my thoughts here – “When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can’t run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn’t fight it’s way out of a piss-soaked paper bag.”

    “As for the types of comments I make”, he continued with a wry smile, “Sometimes I just, By God, get carried away with my own eloquence.”

    Tucker has the basics but still relies too much on brute force. :)

    Mastery is the realm of Gen. George Patton.

    Like

    • Oh.. my… lord… that is one of the greatest quotes I’ve heard this year! General George Patton:

      “When I want my men to remember something important, to really make it stick, I give it to them double dirty. It may not sound nice to some bunch of little old ladies at an afternoon tea party, but it helps my soldiers to remember. You can’t run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity. An army without profanity couldn’t fight it’s way out of a piss-soaked paper bag.”

      Thx!

      Like

  47. Great blog post. It’s refreshing to see people (like you Tim, as well as Tucker) being straightforward and clear, once again proving that you don’t have to please everyone, just your most raving fans and that bold is better than bland.

    Like

  48. What a great post!

    Thank you for constantly advancing my social media word-of-mouth marketing knowledge. And thank you for introducing me to Su.pr, I started using it a few weeks ago and it is fantastic. :)

    If the warning about story #5 was an experiment I took the bate. Your comment did present as a ‘challenge’ so I had to check it out. I am glad I did because it was the funniest of the bunch; I laughed until I cried.

    @Tucker – I wish your book tour wandered into Canada because I would love to meet you. You are too funny. I’ll have to hit the bookstore to pick up your stuff this week.

    @Tim – Thanks for keeping the site content stimulating to say the least.

    Alles liebe :D

    Like

  49. To Max Darp,

    I feel compelled to clear a few things up. From what I know, Tucker received something along the lines of a $300,000 advance for his second book, before he even started shooting his movie. Not to mention the money he likely makes from other endeavors. And considering that the majority of people that follow him are in their 20’s and 30’s, he’s far from someone who “writes funny stories for teens.”

    And with your comment that he was “broke” and “forced” to leave LA to a “random city in Texas”…to “scrape by”, it seems to me that you are very much trying to bash Tucker as a person, because you obviously wrote out that comment full of assumptions without any real information to go by.

    But staying on topic, Tim…aside from Tucker’s great post, the part with you using MMA as the icebreaker to get you two talking was by far my favorite part.

    Like

  50. I watched the movie I H T S B I H and it was much funnier than I expected it to be based on the reviews. The reviews, in my opinion, were exaggerated in their description of the movie. I didn’t think the movie was that offensive. I thought that it was howard stern-type raunchiness. The actor that played Tucker had a “good side” (loyal to friends, apologetic when he needed to be, etc).

    Like

  51. Interesting and useful tips, and for some reason I seem to be drawn to arrogant writing, so I really enjoyed this post. I clicked on to a few of the stories, and even though I am clearly not part of the intended audience, I found some of them pretty funny.

    One thing kind of takes me by surprise, though, and that’s how much poop factors into this guy’s adventures. A bunch of my friends have had babies recently, so of course they’re all about baby poop, and now here’s a whole other demographic with arguably worse poop issues! Am I the only one whose life involves no poop-related mishaps?

    Like

  52. Ha, I remember reading Tucker Max back in the day before the book was out, and was wondering just last week what happened to him.

    Testament to the strength of his ‘voice’ if I was thinking about a dude i’d never met.

    Funny post Tim

    Like

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

    woo!

    I find it hard to believe that anyone who reads tim ferris hasn’t heard of tucker, and vice-versa. How many of you are there, truly?

    @tim HAHAHAH dude the princeton “pompous ass…semicolons galore” line was brilliant!

    Like

  54. This post was awesome!! I think it is amazing how everyone has a different “style” like yourself and Tucker and can live their passion through it.

    If someone loves sexy midgets, or midgets and sex thats who they are and I think it is brilliant! Love the 2 of you together in this post :)

    Kris

    Like

  55. Thanks for the great post. I am new to the blogging scene and really appreciate all the great advice. And yes, you provide great content so I will keep coming back. I will have to check out Tucker’s site, I like his edgy style.

    Like

  56. Tim this is an awesome post, very well timed – I think the disclaimer was probably a bit heavy given that the content is so useful!

    If you’d like to make your posts one-click-printable (i.e. not come out screwy or over-inked), it can be done with CSS print styles – I’d imagine you have a web dev who can do this, but if not, do hit me up.. least I can do to help out :o)

    Like

  57. Hello Tim and Tucker,

    A very refreshing post. Great compelling content sells, seems like common sense, but as they say maybe, “common sense is not so common”.

    It reminds me of my industry in social gaming, so many poor quality copycats. It gives me hope that there is always room for high quality content to come in and sweep up.

    thank you guys

    Like

  58. Excellent article. The advise is refreshing after so much technical advise and clever ways to hold back “the real information” only for subscribers. I’m re-thinking my own approach to how I offer things on my blog.

    Like

  59. So much for a low information diet. I just wasted two days reading Tucker’s blog. (Thankfully, only wasted work hours, hehehehe.)

    I read Tim’s book three weeks ago and it made me euphoric then absolutely despondent. I’d already arrived at some of Tim’s conclusions, quit my job, went traveling for two years then had a baby, panicked and took a full time job. I’ve been feeling trapped and a bit foolish — what to do now with a househusband and baby in tow? Then I had a revelation — Tim’s book is his real muse. Now I think I have some direction!

    Thanks for the book, Tim, and thanks for the link — as appalling as some of Tucker’s stories are, I laughed til I cried. My colleauges are too polite to ask me what the hell I’m on, which has only made me laugh harder.

    Like

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

    Ouch.

    Like

  61. Wow !, I really like the MMA, martial arts angle Tim :), Sherlock would have been very proud of you ! . I guess most of the advice here can be used in non traditional media as well, like for example to promote a site..

    Like

  62. These blogs are great but too long, could you do a summary at the start, I am a big fan of the 80/20 rule so just a few bullet points would be good :)

    Like

  63. The first book I wrote, i tried to write it based on your definition of “best writing author”. I then sent it to few CEOs i knew to get their feedback and they all came back telling me how much they enjoyed my book and benefited from it. But then I get acquainted with some fiction writers and heard their perspective on writing styles and techniques and I started to learn more about writers such as borges and Italo Calvino.

    Eversince my definition of “best writing author” changed and for that I never bothered to market my business book and instead i started writing fiction stories in a style that is not based on what people can understand but based on what i consider as creative, innovative, informing, and at the same time me.

    The best contemporary writer I know of is this writer i had a chance to meet in 2009 who could never get his stories and poems published because people could not understand him. I remember he hated it when people liked his stories because to him it meant, his writings are not creative and genius enough. To him, the best compliment was to say: I did’nt get anything, try to write in a way your audience can understand [btw, since he couldn't make money from his genius writings, he became an actor :)]

    So in a way, i think maybe what you defined is “the best-writing ‘commercial’ author” as opposed to “best-writing author” ..

    Best,
    Sude Khanian
    P.S. I like your posts though.

    Like

  64. Great post Tim.

    Tons of nuggets and quality information here. I didn’t find anything to cringe about. Heading to Tucker’s site might cause that, but overall good solid info here.

    Thanks for another great post,
    Noah

    Like

  65. Probably all been said already (haven’t read all comments) but that was an amazing post. The advice imparted was priceless…by both you Tim, and Tucker himself. I’d never heard of Tucker before – why would I? I’m a middle-class Mom from the UK with kids living in surburbia? I’m converted! just ordered his first book…

    Like

  66. I have heard of Tucker Max, been told to read his book and have heard the praises of his work. Still, nothing anyone said motivated me to pick it up, until now. Reading this post, and getting a marketing perspective from Tucker intrigued me enough to go buy his book and see how his content about marketing compares to the content in his book. To say the least, I am very impressed.

    Thanks for this post.

    Like

  67. I’ve been a professional writer for decades now, but the Internet is turning everything I knew about writing on its head. I see people writing satire that looks like news, telling outrageous stories with a serious tone, and generally writing for effect more than anything else. Somehow it all makes sense, because there is so much competition that you have to fight to get an audience. I would love to know if Tucker’s theories work for marketing fiction (but then again, maybe he’s writing fiction?).

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  68. OK, so I just released my second book yesterday or I’d have been on here earlier, sorry. Here are my responses to everything asked:

    -Totally agree with Tim’s addition at the bottom about writing to my friends. That’s how my stories started, was as emails to my friends. But the thing I would add is that my friends are honest like me, and if my shit sucked, they would tell me. A lot of people will lie to their friends about their writing, because they don’t want to hurt their feelings. But lying about stuff like that doesn’t help, it hurts, because then people get distorted views of their writing, and say things like, “I don’t understand why no one else reads it, my three friends say its amazing!”

    -Someone commented on this and got it wrong: My first book is not cut and pasted from the site. About 50% of the material in IHTSBIH is brand new. For the second book, that ratio increased to about 85% brand new.

    -Someone asked what I learned about movie marketing: What I learned on the movie is a whole separate piece. And a very LONG one at that. The big key I learned with movie marketing was how powerful the mainstream distribution apparatus still is. Very different with publishing; much easier to go around the system.

    -Someone asked if my view on women has changed since my success: Not trying to pimp book #2, but the entire second half of the book is about that very thing: How fame changed my relationship with women.

    -Frequency of updates: I don’t use my email list or FB updates very often because I rarely publish new stories on the internet anymore. I feel like if I’m not giving more content away, I shouldn’t bother my readers pimping my old stuff. That’s annoying. I try to make every interruption of my fans something that I think they will care about and value.

    -About the movie blog and my comments on the overall movie experience: Like I said, that’s a whole separate article, I can’t just comment on it half-assed, and more importantly, it has nothing to do with the book or this blog post. And while I am clearly qualified to give advice on book/blog marketing, let’s be honest, I don’t think the same can be said for movie marketing. It’s a VERY different animal. The movie blog Tim refers to is actually down now, but will be reposted in it’s entirety soon.

    -I have to laugh at the dude who thinks I’m broke. What a joke he is, and he clearly has no concept of how movie financing works. I personally MADE money on the movie (not as much had I gone with a major studio, but still in the six figures). The company who financed the movie has not made money—yet–but with DVD, cable, foreign, etc, probably will hit profitability in 2012. And as to my personal wealth, since you asked, I’ll tell you: I’m a millionaire. I mean that literally, and I am speaking strictly about cash on hand, not even counting assets. Maybe its hard for you to get this concept, but I’ve sold over 1.5 million copies of my first book. I average about $1.60 per copy. Can you do that math? That doesn’t include the movie money, or the 25k I get now for every college speech and appearance I do (about 3-6 a year). Nor does it include any number of other consulting things I do that I get paid way too much for. And none of that includes the book I just released, which will sell something between 300 and 700k copies in hardcover just this year. I make $3.75 a copy on those (b/c they are hardcovers). You wanna do that math too? Though I appreciate your “concern,” you don’t need to sweat my financial position.

    -Best way to get in contact with me is on my website, or my email: tuckermax@gmail.com. Unlike Tim, I do check all my email, but instead of telling you I’m busy and thats why you aren’t getting a response, I’ll be honest and tell you that if you dont get a response its probably because the email didn’t interest me. Or because I’m an asshole.

    -FWIW: If all the avatars of you people are real, Tim you have some HOT female readers. Damn. I’m a little jealous, but not really, because my female readers are sluttier, which we all know is more important.

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  69. The main reason I’d buy a Tucker Max book is because reading the white text on a black background on his website is borderline seizure-inducing. Why do people keep doing this?

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