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



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

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

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

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

86th and Lexington Ave.
29th St. and 7th Ave.
10 Union Sq. East
39th St. and 5th Ave

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

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

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

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

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

Kia kaha,



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

Front Matter:  (PDFblog post)
Introduction:  (PDFblog post)
Meta-Learning:  (PDFblog post)
The Domestic:  (PDFblog post)
The Wild:  (PDFblog post)
The Scientist:  (PDFblog post)
The Professional:  (PDFblog post)

Posted on: November 19, 2012.

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.

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

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


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


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

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



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


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

    By the way, awesome creativeLive course!


    ~ Joanne


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


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

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


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


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

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


  7. Wow! Great idea!

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

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


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

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


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


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

    1. The discount ($5 credit) is a nice motivator
    2. Previous books gave enough quality information that I’ll take the risk again
    3. You consistently contribute good content on your blog—for free—which makes me think of this as much a vote of confidence in what you do as it is a purchase of something I feel has value.

    Keep up the good work.