The 4-Hour Chef: A Feat of Cooking and Promotion


This might be the first time you’ve heard about it, but I guarantee it won’t be the last.
The 4-Hour Chef (or as the antsy author calls it, 4-HC) comes to us from Tim Ferriss, the P.T. Barnum of modern branding.

Ferris boasts that if you buy his book “In the first 24 hours, I’ll take you from burning scrambled eggs to osso buco.” You’ll also lose 20 pounds, improve your sexual technique, and acquire the skills to sink basketball three-pointers and memorize a random deck of cards in less than a minute.

Where can I get this auspicious volume?
The book is yet to be released, but according to the author’s website, it already can claim the distinction as “the most banned book in America since Lady Chatterley’s Lover in 1928.” That’s because Ferriss chose to release the book through Amazon’s controversial publishing arm, which many traditional publishers see as a threat, and many booksellers refuse to stock. But it’s all in a day’s work for the master of self-promotion.

Ferriss studied the most popular phrases in Google Adwords to test potential titles for his first book, The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. The book crosses between self-help and business guide, advising readers to unclog their minds and their calendars by outsourcing online tasks to remote personal assistants in developing countries, and to practice what he calls ‘selective ignorance’ by limiting their newspaper reading to the headlines visible from vending machines. The book has sold over a million copies and spent the better part of the last five years on the New York Times bestseller list.

His second book, The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman, will have you  achieving feats of physical stamina, strength, sexual endeavor, and even sleep. A series of 30 minute lessons can get you to lose 20 pounds in a month, cut your night’s sleep down to two hours, add 100 pounds to your bench press, and hold your breath longer than Houdini. The book debuted at number one on the Times bestseller list, despite the newspaper’s own reviewer saying “The 4-Hour Body reads as if The New England Journal of Medicine had been hijacked by the editors of the SkyMall catalog.”

Somewhere in there, Ferriss also found the time to become the National Chinese Kickboxing Champion and to be entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most consecutive tango-spins in one minute.

The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life is Tim Ferriss’ third book. It will be available on Amazon in plenty of time for holiday gift-giving, but won’t be sold by Barnes & Noble and many other bookstores. The author is undaunted by the challenge of promoting his book through non-traditional channels. All he’ll say is that “Big things are afoot. Plans are being schemed. Old models shall be stress-tested.”

Does anyone doubt he’ll succeed?


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