Monday, October 22, 2007

Tim Ferris Communicates Back

Well, at least his assistant does. About a week ago I wrote about my experience in attempting to get a copy of Tim Ferris's popular book, The Four Hour Work Week to do a book review or an interview. I recently got another email from Amy, his assistant, who asked that I communicate their responses directly to you. So, here we go:

Thanks so much for your e-mail and for your experience with our communication. We apologize that you were left feeling that way. You are right, we do in fact read each and every e-mail, (as you suggested) and with yours in particular, we thought that your writing to us of your interest to have a copy to read for your blog, was showing enthusiasm and support for the book. That is why we responded as such.

We receive thousands of e-mails and although we do read each and every e-mail, we do have a selection process, as we cannot simply meet the requests of every inquiry. You can imagine the interest is extremely high given that Tim is #1 on the NYT Best Sellers List as well as #1 on WSJ, in countless magazines, TV shows, speaking events, etc.

Please do not mistake our delay in a response as lack of interest or sincerity, just a lack of time to respond personally to each e-mail. As that is important to Tim.

In speaking with Tim about this, he also wanted to me to extend our apologies because believe it or not, he was given less than two dozen books to provide for friends, family and other opportunities. As you know, blogging is more popular than ever, and we have received hundreds of requests for a 'review copy' of the book for blog authors. So, while we appreciate your sincerity in a request for the book, we hope you understand that it simply is not possible to send a copy to each blog author requesting one. We hope you understand and nonetheless enjoy the message of the book. We hope you follow up with your readers as to our response.

Thanks again for sharing your post with us, and we hope you continue to enjoy Tim's book.

-- Amy this email is: [ ] blogable [x] ask first [ ] private

Amy ********** Executive Assistant to Timothy Ferriss Author: The 4-Hour Workweek (http://www.fourhourworkweek.com ) (Random House/Crown Publishing)Bio and Fun:http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog

I wrote that I found it hard to believe that Tim only had a few copies available of his book for his friend. I liked the quotes around "review," implying this is an odd practice. I understand a certain amount of selectivity for bloggers. But again, I don't normally get resistance when there is a radio platform involved. It is all very odd.

I was told that the delay in writing was due to a lack of time -- nothing else. Maybe these poor people are going to have to work more than 4 hours a week! Just a thought.

This is the response I got back after I suggested he renegotiate a better deal for extra books:

Thanks for the ideas. Yes most of Tim's marketing for the book was done online with the support of business bloggers, and readers and reviewers like yourself, so we appreciate their input and greatly depend on the online viral marketing that it creates. As a first time author, I am sure Tim has learned a few things that he will demand next time around. So far, I think he has had great success, and is handling it pretty well.

Thanks again for your response. Wishing you continued success in the blogosphere and on the radio...

-- Amy this email is: [ ] blogable [x] ask first [ ] private

Again, I continue to read it -- a chapter here and there. I am convinced that the four hour objective is not only unrealistic, but irresponsible (if you want to stay in business, unless you have the type of business that doesn't need you to work, which would make it no longer a "work" week).

I do have to agree with Amy, for a guy around 30, Tim is doing very well for himself and I'm sure he will continue to improve his game in the years to come. I'll keep you posted of any future communications.

Note: Order Tim's book from the Houston Business Hour Book Store. Order Kevin Price's audio program The Accumulators, which explains the impact that the Internet is having on marketing and consumer behavior. It is available online here for only $10 plus p and h. Receive the Houston Business Review e-zine free each week by clicking here.

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