This week I’ve been in New York, in my other capacity as a freelance copywriter. Working for a special client: Google!
I’m under NDA, so can’t talk much, except to say: the office is everything you thought it was. Fun design, playgrounds and ping-pong tables, free food everywhere. But most interesting is the building. It’s the old Port Authority Building – at the time, New York’s most expensive real estate transaction ever – and it takes up a whole city block, as you’d expect.
But more interesting than that is what the building does. As a past housing for infrastructure, it’s where a large number of transatlantic telephone cabling and optic fibre enters the USA – the building was once home to a telephone exchange. Which means, of course, Google sits atop the fastest, broadest bundle of bandwidth anywhere in the world.
My August self-challenge was to write up my thoughts on the healthcare sector, in the same little-book format as How to do Freelancing and How to do Life. One day clear of my Aug 30 deadline, both paperback (ISBN 978-1-912795-27-7) and Kindle editions are now available for order.
The next few books in my “How to do…” series will also involve public policy rather than private victory: planned titles include How to do Welfare and How to do Schools. There’ll be a break for How to do Fitness though.
Happy Fourth of July to everyone Stateside! Another little book’s out…
How to do Freelancing proved an unexpected success, selling over 300 copies across print and Kindle in its first months. So in another creative sprint – this time of 10 days from first idea to final publication – I’ve produced another short volume, How to do Life. (Yes, a slightly broader scope than its predecessor.)
It’s a 116-page booklet in the same 165x165mm paperback format as HTDF, packed with my tips on what I’ve learned about health, wealth, and happiness in 30+ years of work and travel. Kicking off with the Meaning of Life (my take on it, anyway) it goes into strategies for what to learn, how to think, how you should treat your mind and body, and staying in shape. Plus a few side skills like the importance of drinking cocktails.
Here’s a thing: I designed 100 Days, 100 Grand to be a book you’d want to scribble in, with big margins, air around sections, and line spacing that allowed easy highlighting. But a year in, a double-digit number of readers have said they don’t want to write in it!
To answer their issue, I’ve created the 100 Days Journal. It’s a 244-page, A4 notebook (the same size as the main book) with two pages for each Day (chapter), mostly blank but with the summary and checklist reproduced so you can make your own notes on each chapter with space to space. The most important diagrams are also in there, and summaries of the Appendices, too.
It’s available at Amazon like all the others (amazon.co.uk/100-Days-Grand-Journal/dp/1912795205) – ISBN 978-1-912795-20-8 – but the best way to get it is as part of the 100 Days Plus Pack, the signed-by-the-author box set comprising the main workbook, journal, primer, and wallcharts. Here are a few pics, with the main book alongside for comparison.
100 Days, 100 Grand is a big book, but the techniques it teaches are mostly basic and simple. So this week – prompted by an old piece of internal marcomms falling off my bookshelf, a little book from my agency days called “How to do Ads” – I set myself a task: writing a “little book” with all the basics of successful freelancing, in just 48 postcard-sized pages!
I was done in a (frenetic) 48 hours. Here’s the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-do-freelancing-Chris-Worth-ebook/dp/B07Q59XGSW/. Or email me and I’ll send you a free PDF!
Look what just joined my bookshelf 🙂
I’ve had a fair few comments since launch. Mostly positive. It’s a good book; it’s a colourful book; it’s a well-organised book; it’s (oh yes) a big book.
Most commonly, though, is another riff: that’s it’s an expensive book. There are three reasons for this, so I thought I’d share them.
Reason #1: High fixed costs.
The first (and least important) reason is simple: production and distribution. This isn’t a dime novel; with 1,200 large-format colour pages, each copy costs around £30 just to print! Add shipping and handling (another £5-£8) then factor in the 55% bookseller discount (which comes off the RRP, not the net) and the result is I make around 7-8% profit on the print book. That doesn’t leave me much leeway to cut the price.
Of course, I also sell the book from my own site, avoiding the bookseller margin. Can’t I discount that? Well, I could – but Amazon, among others, gives a price match guarantee if you see the book cheaper elsewhere. So it’s cut everywhere or cut nowhere. You do get a signed thank-you when you buy direct, so that’s the method I’d recommend.
The bright side: booksellers often offer discounts – check amazon.com to see who’s selling cheap. (Which is fine with me; they’re eating into their 55% profit margin, at their own risk.)
Reason #2: Darwinism.
Second, the whole purpose of the book involves investing time now to enable a six-figure income in 100 days’ time. A top 1% income isn’t a free gift: you have to work for it. This book is a work plan, not a shortcut.
Anyone not prepared to risk £30 of their own money for the chance of a £100,000 income probably isn’t the sort of person who’d invest the 100 days of time the book asks. The methods aren’t magic; those 100 days involve work. So the high price makes the audience somewhat self-selecting. People who pay are already motivated to earn six figures, and prepared to invest what it takes to get there.
The bright side: it’s win-win: if you’re unsure about whether you can make the investment, fine, don’t make it. I’m not holding a gun to anyone’s head.
Reason #3: I just don’t want to.
This is going to make me sound like a value-of-labour nut (which I’m not) but think about this: I spent three years of my life and a five-figure sum of my own money bringing 100 Days to market. It took a year just to work out what each chapter needed to do and how they should clump together into sections.
It was a labour of love, but it was also hard work, and I’m not going to give it away. Any more than I work for my clients for free.
The bright side: The higher the price, the fewer people will buy it. So if you take the plunge, you can use the 100 Days methods without being discouraged because every other freelancer in Starbuck’s doing the same. (Nice as that’d be for me.)