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My new book, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life, is released today in the United States.



I think it's my best work, and I have you blog readers to thank for that. Allow me to explain.

For years people have been asking me why I blog. At one point, blogging was taking about half of my work time while providing only 5% of my income. My wife and my friends asked "What is your goal in blogging?"

I don't do goals. I do systems. (That's a theme of the book.)

In this case, my system involved publicly experimenting with a variety of writing styles and topics and closely monitoring the reactions of readers. I was honing my writing skills and my understanding of the reading public. I didn't have a specific goal. I was aiming for "better."

I reasoned that my system would generate good opportunities for me in ways I couldn't predict with any precision. That's what makes it a system and not a goal. I was simply improving my odds that something good would happen. I just didn't know when it might happen or in what form it would come.

Blogging also charges me up. I like the interaction, the angry villagers with torches and pitchforks, and the possibility of saying something useful. It is one part of my overall system for keeping my personal energy high. It also keeps my mind sharp.

Several years into my system, it seems to be working. My blogging prompted the Wall Street Journal to ask me to write some guest articles for them. Those articles did well, in large part because the topics and the approach had been pretested in rough form here. I knew exactly which topics and writing styles would resonate with readers because of your comments and votes.

A combination of my blogging plus the exposure in the Wall Street Journal attracted a variety of fascinating and attractive business offers. One of those offers turned into the book that launched today.

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big is a sort of unified field theory for my observations on what works and what doesn't in the game of life. It's not advice per se, because as you know, taking advice from cartoonists is generally a bad idea. So I call it information, not advice.

Before you embark on anything important in your life, the first thing you will do - if it is available to you - is ask someone who travelled a similar path what they did and how it turned out. You won't follow that same plan, but it gives you a good starting place and a point of comparison. That can be worth a lot.

I'm in the middle of my promotional swing for the book. I just returned from a series of interviews in Los Angeles. The early reactions to this book are quite exciting. Not counting the Dilbert reprint books, I've written eight regular books. Only two of them got the kind of reaction I saw this week, and those were by far my most popular books. (The Dilbert Principle and God's Debris.)

Now I'm going to ask a favor. I wrote How to Fail to be helpful and not just entertaining. And to be helpful, people need to know it exists. If you were planning to buy it anyway, it makes a big difference if you do it soon because that's what pushes it onto the bestseller list and gives it a buzz.

I'm fairly sure you'll like it. After all, you helped write it.

Thank you in advance.

Here's a link.

 
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Oct 22, 2013
If it's too much to pay, wait a bit and you can torrent it.

Though, I do not see a problem with paying. All of Scotts entertainment has been free for me so far. When someone makes a post they do it for attention, getting opinion heard and/or burning time at work. Seems like a fair trade off to me. In other words don't be so bu77 hurt
 
 
Oct 22, 2013
I'm not an avid reader. It has honestly been *years* and *years* since I have read a book.

I just now placed my order.

I consider myself very much goal-oriented, and I am intrigued about the "system" approach as well as your approach (of using guys like me) to author this book.

I probably won't read it. My goal-approach has me living in a constant state of failure so even if I start the book, I may not finish it.
 
 
Oct 22, 2013
Stupid blogpage! It screwed up 'Im guessing he gets a ten percent royalty'
 
 
Oct 22, 2013
@btw2worlds

[If the comments here were instrumental in the creation of your new book, it would have been nice to give the commenters a discount.]

How is he supposed to do that without giving everyone a discount? If he posts a link here to a 'discount page' that page will be all over the internet in hours. And how is he supposed to give discounts period? Im guessing he gets a  royalty, in which case giving a piddling %5 discount will cost him half his earnings from this book.
 
 
Oct 22, 2013
@Phantom II

[It appears that we, your humble sounding board and unpaid testers of your writing styles, are being asked, after all our hard work and contributions to your timeless tome, to actually PURCHASE your book??????? Really??????

Come ON, Scott. I, myself, personally, have contributed hours of valuable counterpoint, as well as stirring the flames of the other bloggers who feel the unnecessary need to rush to your defense whenever I disagree with you. I have endured countless nattering nabobs of negativity giving me a plethora of 'down' votes, when all I was doing was challenging you to do better and to stop using false syllogisms and erroneous blathering....And you're saying that all of that had NO VALUE??? That we should all be grateful that we contributed to increasing your net worth by six or seven figures, without any compensation???? My God, man, when did you become such an unfeeling, mean-spirited, grinch-faced poopy-head????]

Of course it had value. Otherwise you wouldnt have been doing it. You didnt go into this expecting Scott to give you anything that had financial value did you? Neither did I. We each had our own motivation for getting into this and whatever that motivation was should be enough value for us without Scott paying us. If it wasnt we wouldnt still be here. Scotts no fool, hes not going to pay us for this when he knows that if any of us leave as a result there will be more folks like us coming in sooner or later to debate/poke fun at/entertain him.
 
 
Oct 22, 2013
If the comments here were instrumental in the creation of your new book, it would have been nice to give the commenters a discount.

I always appreciate your blog. Keep posting.
 
 
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Oct 22, 2013
WAIT just a minute here! Did I misread something in this post?

It appears that we, your humble sounding board and unpaid testers of your writing styles, are being asked, after all our hard work and contributions to your timeless tome, to actually PURCHASE your book??????? Really??????

Come ON, Scott. I, myself, personally, have contributed hours of valuable counterpoint, as well as stirring the flames of the other bloggers who feel the unnecessary need to rush to your defense whenever I disagree with you. I have endured countless nattering nabobs of negativity giving me a plethora of 'down' votes, when all I was doing was challenging you to do better and to stop using false syllogisms and erroneous blathering. All of which resulted in you honing your style to where this book may actually sell some copies!

And you're saying that all of that had NO VALUE??? That we should all be grateful that we contributed to increasing your net worth by six or seven figures, without any compensation???? My God, man, when did you become such an unfeeling, mean-spirited, grinch-faced poopy-head????

Haven't I been following you for years? Didn't I buy "The Dilbert Principle" with my own money, lo those many years ago? OK, I didn't actually buy it, my wife gave it to me as a Christmas gift, but it's a distinction without a difference, right?

You undoubtedly received a number of author's copies of your book gratis. How many constant bloggers do you have, Scott? Fifty? One hundred? Surely far fewer than you have free copies!!!

It seems only fair that you reward we humble contributors with a signed copy of your book. That way, when we read it, we won't express our disgruntled-ness that we had to pay for it by giving it a one-star review on Amazon, excoriating you as a money-grubbing capitalist who tromps on the little people who helped you reach your pinnacle of success.

I would never do that, of course. Nope. Not me. But someone else who blogs here might. You never know.

One tiny book, that's all we ask. Signed, of course (it's more valuable if you just sign it without dedication), and sent via regular post (to save you money - see, I'm always thinking of you!) to our home addresses. Of course, since you and I live within twenty miles or so of each other, you could just drop it off when you're here, but either way works for me.

You're welcome for all the hard work we put in; the countless hours away from family and friends to counter your meat-robot, anti-free will, Godless universe of blather. After all, that's what you pay us for. Oh, wait.

So, in closing, I'd like to thank all my fellow bloggers, particularly those who mercilessly attacked me and gave me 'down' votes for disagreeing with you. Now do you see, you guys, why I did it? Did you ever expect to be dissed like this by your demi-god of prose? I'll bet you all feel pretty bad now, don't you?

I'm sure Scott will soon see that his deeply kind inner meat-robotic mind will see fit to reward us. Everyone, look forward to an email from Scott asking for your addresses for your gratis copy of his book. And then everyone get ready to write a really fantastic review!

I sure know I will. You're welcome, Scott. Really.

 
 
Oct 22, 2013
done! time to rally the DNRC!!!
 
 
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Oct 22, 2013
I'll go post the link over at the Bearded Taint's blog :)
 
 
Oct 22, 2013
@bytemybits

[I'm a little surprised the link provided contained no discount, seeing as we helped you write it.]

You're thinking like a beggar. Think like the rich guy Scott is and it becomes clear why he isnt going to share his wealth with us, even to give us a discount.

Besides, how is he supposed to give us a discount without giving everyone a discount?
 
 
Oct 22, 2013
I'm a little surprised the link provided contained no discount, seeing as we helped you write it.
 
 
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Oct 22, 2013
Suggestion for your next book topic: Dilberts guide to dating followed by Dilberts guide to kids.
 
 
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Oct 22, 2013
I picked up the audio book today. I'm about a hour and a half into it and really enjoying it. Highly recommended for fans of Scott Adams.
 
 
 
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