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October 26th, 2012

An Amazing Day

Thank you. In the first day of release, The Impact Equation has received over 100 reviews, almost all of which are 5 stars.

Thank you for your support, your attention, and your help in making a book like this succeed. Chris and I could not have done it without you.

Beyond anything else, it really goes to show that you can really bring people together if you are giving, helpful, and deliver value again and again.

I hope that I’ve been able to help you by writing this blog. If you’re new here, I look forward to being able to deliver more as time goes on. I have lots left up my sleeve. :)

Writing here is actually one of the most rewarding parts of my career, in this little internet box. :)

If you have not had a chance to pick up the book yet, I hope you’ll pick it up today. Click here to order it, and thank you for taking part in making this an amazing week for us.

Thank you.

P.S.: Here is an amazing review that was created by Keith with some help from the book. It’s a great example of how amazing content helps you stand out.

* Filed by Julien at 10:26 am under the book

October 3rd, 2012

Why You Should Pre-Order the Impact Equation

Ok, this post may be a mistake… but I’m going to publish it anyway.

After 3 years of building, selling, writing, and editing, October 25th is the date when our next book, The Impact Equation, will be released.

It was a behemoth endeavour as well as a labour of love, and now, with your permission, I’d love your help.

Here’s why.

The book industry is always trying to predict what’s going to be a winner. Even at the best of times, they don’t always know– but they are always watching.

What this means is, when a book starts to move, people in the industry react. When the Amazon rank goes up, they take notice. They start to stock the shelves. They order extra. The marketing and PR people start to make calls. Etc.

In short, when a book starts to move, the industry moves with it.

So we want to make the industry move– and I mean really move– in the coming days, and so we’re offering a ton more than we probably should.

Chris has already made crazy offers on his blog. I’ll list them below and then add on to them (I’ll explain why later).


BAM! #1. If you pre-order the book and are among the first 100 to do so, we will literally gift you one other ebook of your choice. Kindle or Nook, we’ll send it to you.

BAM! #2. For the first ten people who pre-order 10 books or more, we will help run a giveaway on your site, and gift you either a Kindle Fire or a Nook to give away. Yes, really.

BAM! #3. Now this is the real thing. If you are among the first 500 people to pre-order 20 books or more, you will get a ticket to a secret event we are hosting. The only way to get into this private event is to order 20 books. Think of it as the cost of a conference ticket– for a damn good conference. We actually already have some speakers signed up and they’re going to be great.

(You can go here to place your order any claim these.)

My own crazy things

Chris actually tried to dissuade me from doing these because he thinks I’m offering too much… I’m not even kidding.

To tell you the truth, I’m not sure why I’m doing this except I’m always worried about how well launches will go. So I want to make sure it goes great. :)

Offer A. If you pre-order our upcoming book, and on the first day, post an honest review of it, on the day of launchOctober 25th– I will set up one 30 minute call with you anytime you like. We can discuss anything. I’ll brainstorm with you on projects, help you figure out productivity, etc.

I’ve done this a few times before (it’s very rare), but when I do, it always fills up quickly. So for this one I would act fast. (Email chel.pixie [at] gmail [dot] com with your pre-order screenshot once you do this. Obviously, you also have to use your real name on the review.)

Offer B. In addition, if you pre-order 5 copies of the book, I will personally give you a complete review of your site over 30 days. You actually cannot buy this normally and I’ve only done a few in the past, but here’s a 140-character testimonial I asked for from Marc Ensign who I impulsively decided I would help out. He was really happy– ask him if you want.

Btw– these offers stack

This means that if you pre-order 10 books, for example, you not only get a complete review by me, but also a giveaway which we set up on your site and a Nook or Kindle Fire to give away. Plus if you do this and review it on day one, you’ll also get the phone call, etc.

Anyway, you guys are smart, I’m sure you can figure this out.

For any of these offers, once completed, please send a SCREENSHOT of the pre-order offer to chel.pixie [at] gmail [dot] com (my lovely and amazing assistant) who will help set the whole thing up, and fill out this form on Chris’ site. Use the subject line “pre-order offer” to help her sift through it.

Good Lord I can’t believe I’m doing this. It may be dumb.

Ok, I’m pulling the trigger… yeesh. :)

Love you guys, and thank you immensely for the support. You guys help me produce some of my best work and I couldn’t do it without you.

Thank you, thank you.

* Filed by Julien at 11:44 am under the book

September 12th, 2012



The process of book writing is way different with a co-writer.

First of all, it would be impossible without Google Docs. We simultaneously write into a document and edit each others’ work all the time. Some sections stay recognizable; others, not so much. Sentence structure changes. Jokes are added. Sections are moved.

At the end, when you’re reading the book in galley form, it’s almost like you’re reading it for the first time.

In fact, my co-author Chris texted me a few weeks back and he was like “The book is the best thing we’ve ever written. Just an FYI.” Both he and I were genuinely surprised by this because the process of co-authorship can result in all kinds of things. :)

Anyway, in about six weeks, Portfolio/Penguin will be publishing The Impact Equation, my third book and Chris’ fourth. We’re pretty excited about it. Like him, I think it’s way better than our previous book together. I’m proud of it.

The book distills basically everything we know about how to make bad ideas into good ones, helping them spread, and building audience and community.

Basically the book is about making yourself an online powerhouse, something that Chris figured out early on and I, due to laziness, only figured out much later. :)

If you’ve gotten anything out of this blog in the past little while, I hope you’ll give the book a chance and pre-order it. You’ll probably get a lot out of it. Or hey, at the absolutely minimum, it makes a great thank you if you appreciate my work. :)

* Filed by Julien at 11:38 am under the book

January 21st, 2012

What is the real price of free?

The reality of publishing is extremely strange to me.

Sometimes I’ll walk into a bookstore and consider whether I’ll want to buy something. I’ll sit there, and consider it for a while.

What do the blurbs say?

Does it look like it’s an easy read?

Is it a bestseller?

All these questions enter your head.

Here, in Chicago O’Hare airport where I write this from, a book retails for about 25$. It also weighs a few pounds. So even if I’m interested in a few books, and I’m ready to spend $50 bucks, at most I’ll be buying one book.

As I’ve discussed before, ebooks turn this all around.

Last month, I put out a short ebook through Seth Godin’s Domino Project. The price was zero, and it was promoted by pretty much every blogger out there.

I’m told a book is a national bestseller when it sells around 15,000 copies. This is considered a phenomenon, causing at minimum a blip on the national radar, versus most books, which don’t blip at all.

So what happens when you put a promotion machine in place, and give people no resistance to buying whatsoever? Well, the results are dramatic.

In the past month and a half, more copies of The Flinch were sent out than copies of Trust Agents, our previous book, over a whole two years. In the first day alone, Amazon showed over 15,000 copies were released, and it’s now sitting around 75,000.

Today we’re going to try that again.

Colin Wright and Joshua Millburn, two friends of mine, are trying the experiment. Alongside the Flinch, their books will be free for the next three days only (click on their names to get them). Already, only a few hours in, Joshua’s book has hit #1 in the short story category. Who knows how far it’ll go?

So back to the question at hand. What is the real price of free? Well, it isn’t a dollar sign.

It’s an opportunity cost.

What would you give for the opportunity to be in front of fifteen, seventy-five, or even a hundred thousand people?

Think carefully. We’re actually in a very unique time. Soon, the market will be flooded. You won’t have this chance for long.

* Filed by Julien at 5:18 pm under experiments, the book

November 3rd, 2009

Trust Agents in Amazon's 10 Best Business Books of 2009

It’s so interesting.

I try to discount the many reviews of the book Chris and I wrote (both positive and negative) because I think hype can really mess up your head. It’s always better not to read your own press; I do read it, I just try not to believe it.

But this was an Editor’s Pick. So it’s kind of different and it feels special. I looked up the ones that were picked in the last few years in the same categories– here’s some of what they’d chosen in the past:

Purple Cow – So classic that Hugh McLeod did a print of it.

Blue Ocean Strategy – Amazing book, displays so clearly how to differentiate yourself. I can’t recommend this enough.

The Long Tail – Speaks for itself.

Made To Stick – I brought this book to Boston with me while we were writing ours, took heavy inspiration from its methods and model. It’s incredible.

Anyway, pretty great list, right?

It makes me kind of feel like I did something really good, that I can really be proud of. I was always happy to have completed the book obviously, but having it sit there adds a certain je ne sais quoi and makes me feel like it’ll have some staying power, which is really important. :)

* Filed by Julien at 12:56 am under the book
* 1 Comment

October 9th, 2009

Bring Trust Agents and Six Pix to You

Chris, Mitch and I have been thinking about how we can bring our books to more audiences.

We considered doing a tour– New York, Chicago, San Francisco, etc, but those were cities we visited all the time anyway.

We also remembered that a lot of you had asked if we could come see you locally, all over the States and Canada, so we wondered how to make that work, too. We considered a lot of options.

But now, we think we’ve hit upon something that might be really great for everyone involved. We think we’ve found a way to travel anywhere you’d like to have us.

From Mitch’s blog:

The three of us want to bring the concepts in the two business books to you, but we are looking for leaders. All three of us command substantial public speaking and consulting fees, but we have decided to wave both the honorariums and travel expenses (within the United States and Canada) for those who can bring 200 people together in a room.

Click here to find out more.

* Filed by Julien at 12:09 pm under political, the book, travel
* 1 Comment

September 4th, 2009

The Big Secret

So I have this problem with a few people in my life. (You don’t know them, and anyway, that’s beside the point.) I wrote about it in the book but I’ll reiterate it here, because it’s worth it.

Reliability: It’s the big secret.

I’ve made the joke before that, before looking for people to work with, I check their Twitter account. If they tweet a lot, there’s no chance I’m working with them (Chris doesn’t sleep, so he’s obviously the exception).

Seriously though, there seems to be a direct correlation between amount of time spent on social media and ability to get work done. Think about it.

But I digress.

Reliability, the ability to answer email quickly, to answer questions, comments, or criticism in a timely way, to deliver projects on time, is a huge factor for how seriously people will treat you.

Imagine you have a person you’re working with, that you’re paying, but who won’t return your messages. In fact, you probably don’t have to imagine– it’s likely you really do have someone like this.

Maybe they’re creative, so you tolerate it. Or maybe you can’t find anyone else, or you’re lazy. Come on, you can admit it. :)

For this reason, because everyone in social media seems to be WAY too forgetful, reliability is the one separator. And it’s the easiest thing to fix– if you get a system. So either do that, or learn to apologize– preferably, do both.

Which do you need to work on?

* Filed by Julien at 1:32 pm under random, the book

August 28th, 2009

How To Get a Book Deal

I was asked to do a last minute speech for my local Toastmasters group this week since there was a slot open. What I decided to tell them about in 5-7 minutes, was how to get a book deal.

Here are the steps I outlined. They’re vague, but I think they nail it pretty well.

1. Get a platform.

Book publishers loooove to talk about platforms, because platforms help you sell books by having a built-in audience and way to sell to them. If you’re on CNN or you have a popular blog, you have a platform. That’s why all the newspeople who write books, or those that have their own TV shows, always get on bestseller lists.

If you have a platform, they’re like a half-convinced audience that you alone have access to. That sells books. And that’s powerful.

2. Build a network.

Why is knowing a lot of people important? If you have a wide network, you have a huge leverage point to get things done really effectively. You probably know someone in publishing, and if not, you at least “know someone who knows someone,” as they say.

A wide network is important because you then have the ability to get in contact with all sorts of people– agents, publishers, other authors, etc. All of these will give you a piece of the puzzle, which will help you get closer to your goal.

3. Change the game.

We talk a lot about changing the game in Trust Agents, and that’s because I consider it a huge part of differentiating yourself, which is important for all sorts of reasons.

One reason it’s important to change the game is because books have been written about pretty much anything you can think of. No matter what your specialty is, it’s likely a book has already been written about it. But putting a different angle on it can change that dramatically and help you become the leader in your space.

When we saw that people were able to start using the web to develop influence and trust really effectively, we didn’t just write a book about it– we named it. We called those people trust agents. We made it a new idea, a phenomenon that was unique to this moment in time. This made it memorable. As Chris says, it gave the idea handles.

Anyway, don’t get me wrong, I don’t really think it’s that easy. In fact, each of these steps is in fact really challenging and will take you a long time to do right. But once you’ve gotten them, I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to get a book deal.

Do we have any publishers in the audience? If so, I’d love to hear your take.

* Filed by Julien at 1:41 pm under strategy, the book

August 17th, 2009

The Big Push

So today is when it all begins.

I’m sitting in the same breakfast place I sat in for the past year, writing the book, practically every day. Now, it’s finally available. It’s by far the longest single project we’ve worked on.

To me, this is not a social media book. It’s a book about success, both ours and others’ we know, and the strategies you use to get there using today’s tools. We put everything we knew into it.

The reason I did this personally is because I care about the people that I know, like you, reading this. I want you to get more out of what you’re doing, I want you to be successful.

I think the book will help you do that.

The amazing thing is that the book’s performance displays exactly what we’re talking about in the book– how social capital and networks can deliver real business value to you.

Because our methods are working, this is probably not the first time you’ve heard about the book today.

In fact, it’s #53 #45 on Amazon.com right now (#28 on Amazon.ca) because what we do works. It’ll work for you.

How to order.

Read Chris’ post.

* Filed by Julien at 1:00 pm under the book

June 10th, 2009

5 Books To Read Before Trust Agents

So I was over at my family’s house yesterday, and decided to pass along the book we wrote to my dad. He was thinking about building a site and wanted my advice, so I figured we’d start there and see how it went.

Over supper we started discussing a bunch of stuff and I started peppering the conversation with jargon (social capital, social proof, etc.) without realizing and I saw that, in some cases, some additional reading might be required to really get him on the same level.

That’s why I wrote this list.

You don’t need to read any of these to understand the book we wrote, of course. But if you like to read the way I do, you love getting those Aha! moments in which you really grasp a concept fully. Reading the books on this list will help you do that. Plus they’re all good are worthy of a read anyway, just on their own.

1. Influence by Robert Cialdini.

Let’s start simple: Understanding human behaviour is at the core of everything we do online. Cialdini is the social psychologist who will help you do this. From social proof to unconscious herd behaviour, this book will guide you through different ways in which persuasion works, and why. Also check out 50 Scientifically-Proven Ways to be Persuasive, a summary his most recent one of the same name. They’re both full of great info. (Thanks to Kottke for reminding me about this one.)

2. The Little Teal Book of Trust by Jeffrey Gitomer.

There are a lot of books on trust I don’t recommend. The Speed of Trust is one of those; I feel like it just went on and on. Gitomer’s book is the opposite. It’s different from ours because it talks primarily about trust in a sales environment, but I have to say that I was really surprised at how great it was. Gitomer is amazing at distilling complex principles into phrases that are catchy and memorable.

3. The Whuffie Factor by Tara Hunt.

You already know what I’m about to tell you, but I’ll say it anyway: Social capital is something to pay attention to. We talk about it in our book, and ways to gain it, but for a comprehensive, web-savvy assessment Tara’s book does the job. I had done a TON of research on social capital when we were writing the book, but Tara has done more and it shows. Read it.

4. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely.

I was introduced to Ariely by Mitch Joel, and spoke to him on the phone a bit as we were writing the book. Honestly, his book is so great I should have made it number one. I read it at the same time I was reading Influence, and I was starting to become overwhelmed with how much people don’t understand their own behaviour, and why they make the decisions they do, both individually and in groups. This one should not be missed.

5. Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod

You know what’s in this, and so do I. But Ignore Everybody, which comes out tomorrow, is as classic a book as Twyla Tharp‘s Creative Habit — it will teach you to step out of your usual habits and create what you need for your own life. In the end, that’s what we wrote is really about: trying something new that can make something great happen for you.

You know what, there are probably more of these– give me some suggestions, I’d love to know what you think. Hey, and once you’re done those, go grab ours! :)

* Filed by Julien at 3:17 pm under the book