I loved Tim’s first book ‘The Four Hour Work Week’; it’s all about improving efficiency, prioritising, removing “work for work’s sake” and questioning common practice.
Tim used smart tactics to design the title, strapline and book cover – anyone interested in the Lean Startup or Conversion Rate Optimisation would be proud of him:
- He used a Google AdWords campaign to test the book title and strapline. He set up adverts and tested different headlines (the book titles), and descriptions (the straplines). He went with the version that people clicked on most for the final title of his book.
- And as Eric Ries would say, he ‘got out of the building’, to test his book cover. He wrapped the same sized books in different versions of the cover, and sat in a bookshop with a clicker to see how many people picked up the book in each design.
The resulting book went on to become a number one New York Times best-seller.
He has a new book out at the moment – The Four Hour Chef; which isn’t really a cook-book. It’s a book about ‘meta learning’, or learning how to learn effectively, and covers cooking (of course), as well as language learning, dancing and improving your memory.
As I hoped and wondered whether there was an audio version out yet, I found he’s actually giving this away for free.
In the spirit of continual testing and refinement, he gave drafts of his new book away for free, and found that 880 thousand people who received the material actually clicked through and bought the hardcover version of the book on Amazon. This supports what Dr Robert Cialdini was saying about the principles of persuasion – people are designed to reciprocate.
If you’re anything like my mum, you will freak if you watch him wipe his nose as he’s cooking… he actually has a disclaimer about food handling in the first page… but anyway, here’s the trailer:
And here’s his bundle of the full free audiobook, PDF of the first 62 pages of the book, video files and worksheets: Tim Ferriss – The 4 Hour Chef Bundle.
So I’ve fallen for the persuasion of reciprocation! It’s a great read with some interesting ideas – and the hardcover is on order for my dad’s birthday!
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