Announcing: My First Two Books, How You Can Get Involved, and My NPR Interview
Late last year, I decided it was time to write my first book.
This was not a decision I made lightly. I knew firsthand how much time and effort a book would take after working on The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef (both 600+ pages long). In fact, I kept delaying this project because I knew it would take at least six months to finish… Still, I knew I had to write this book.
No other author had produced anything like Recession-Proof Graduate, which I was dying to expand upon since I’d posted it in 2009. The core concepts in RPGrad — free work, virtual apprenticeships, digital portfolios, in-demand skills — are what I wanted to cover in-depth. Together, they make up the new rules and most reliable strategies for landing great work in today’s volatile economy.
This is a book I’d been preparing to write for a loooong time…
For the last five years, I’ve been researching, bookmarking, note-taking, and collecting case studies of people who’ve landed dream jobs and built incredible careers. I’ve read dozens of books and thousands of articles. I finally started putting my prep work to good use this past year, as I outlined, wrote, re-wrote, cut, trashed, and rearranged the first several drafts of my book.
Before this process began, I thought authors were a bunch of drama queens. They were always complaining about how hard and exhausting it was to write a book. But now, I can see that they weren’t exaggerating — writing a book is a pretty miserable process.
Case in point: I thought I had the perfect structure for this book. Then four friends reviewed an early draft, and all of them said a huge chunk of the book didn’t fit. I cut 35,000 words (about 100 pages) in one hour. At least six weeks of work were gone, just like that.
But from those 35,000 words I’d cut, I saw 12,000 that could be re-arranged and made into a new book. This second book — a mini-memoir — would contain all of the details on how I cured my anxiety.
I knew that the demand on this topic was very high from my post about the importance of play. Tens of thousands of people read it in a couple weeks, and I received hundreds of messages from anxiety sufferers. I also noticed that my content was of higher quality (see: less scammy) than most of the information out there, as my post organically climbed up to the #1 spot on Google for “how to cure anxiety,” right above Oprah.com:
I decided to temporarily postpone work on the first book, so I could put together the memoir.
This second book only took me a few weeks to write. It’s not quite finished, but it’s pretty damn close. I’m really proud of it. I actually love it, which is something I rarely say about my own work. It’s deeply personal, it touches upon a big cultural problem, and it contains simple solutions and a 3-week plan that will help the countless people suffering in silence. I can’t wait to release it.
I showed an early draft to a handful of readers I’d corresponded with through this blog. This is what they wrote back to me:
“As a workaholic who’s had a long history of panic attacks myself, this is awesome. My best friend right now is paralyzed with stress, fear and panic attacks, to the point he won’t leave his home. I cannot wait to give him this book when it comes out.”
“Read it – loved it. First impression is that after reading it, I felt really happy – haven’t felt like that after a book in awhile. The book’s got heart.”
“I’ve read, watched and tried just about all of the anxiety ‘cures’ out there. Your book instantly clicked for me because you’re someone I can actually relate to. A workaholic, who to the outsider was doing great, but behind closed doors was battling crippling anxiety, just like me. Reading about your transformation gave me a huge sigh of relief, knowing that an anxiety-free life is possible without pharmaceutical drugs. I’ve already gotten started with your plan.”
I’ll announce more details in the coming weeks (including the title, cover, table of contents, excerpts, etc. — no hard release date yet). For now, I’d like to extend an offer to you guys…
How You Can Get Involved
My highest priority right now is to make this anxiety memoir as great as it can possibly be. So, if you think you have the chops to give me brutally honest feedback on what I’ve written, you can apply to be a beta reader by clicking here.
[Note: I can only pick a few beta readers, so put some thought into your application if you really want to do this.]
All beta readers will get a personal shout-out in the Acknowledgments section of the book. I’ll also do a free 20-minute phone call (something I typically charge for) with any beta reader who wants to chat with me, about any subject — career advice, marketing, anxiety stuff, info about these books… whatever you want.
My second highest priority is to SELL a ton of copies of this book upon its release. I’ve got quite a bit of experience in book marketing, and a team of smart people working with me. Still, I can use all the help I can get. If you think you can strengthen my marketing efforts or are interested in buying my book in bulk (50+ copies), then please click here.
That’s it for now. Like I said, I’ll release more details on both books in the coming weeks/months, but if you have questions, feel free to fire away in the comments. Just know that the anxiety book will be released first, followed by the career book.
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The interview was really fun. Guy Raz asked me questions for an hour from Washington DC, while I sat in an empty studio in San Francisco:
You can listen to all of the interviews I’ve done at the bottom of this page.
And if you want to hear from me the moment my books are up for sale, just sign up for my newsletter.
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