Book Promotion and Short Promo Video

Well, I’ve done a decent number of videos around here but never accounted for the fact that it’s harder—way harder—to do a 1:30 video than something that goes for far longer. Just not much room for much error.

So I flailed around doing this, this afternoon, in-betwixt bewilderment over the crazy comment thread on my last that probably won’t die any time soon. Luke, in pointing out that so many think I’m a total dick (I’d have preferred a certain adjective right in front), put it this way:

Somewhat off topic, but germane to your last tweet, I want to thank you profligately for running such an open forum on your blog. *Every* other paleo blog out there that I’m aware of is over-moderated to the point where it’s nothing more than a back-slapping echo chamber for bloggers to be congradulated on their prowess, or, at best, to receive some mild and contributory links related to the post. Very few if any other bloggers tolerate any sort of open exchange of ideas. This space is needed and valuable especially as this movement expands and grows, and I dare say this is one of the most influential paleo/primal blogs. You broke open the CT discussion into a wider sphere, as an example. You talk politics and religion, and maybe even relish it, two areas other bloggers pale with dread to discuss.

People think you’re a dick, but you encourage free expression. If that’s what being a dick means, count me in. At the same time, if being ‘nice’ is stifling expression and conversation, I want no part of this ‘niceness.’ At some point, I’ll begin blogging again (I had a blog a long time ago, deleted it because I grew out of it), and I hope to take a similar tack that you’ve taken here.

We need to tackle these issues head-on, and not skirt them because it makes some people ‘uncomfortable.’ If people want to be comfortable and unchallenged in their lifestyle or their assumptions, they best sit back on the couch, grab a corporate beer and eat some processed express-meal.

Carry on. Viva La Raza.

Yep. We’re all about that, here. No fear. I’m in the process of gathering the best, sharpest, most fuck-you minds in the Paleosphere and all you others can have those looking for the next 10 Ways To Do X.

So here’s the video. It’s only a minute and a half.

So soon, there will be another book promotion. The last one was buy one copy, give away five for free, which is running indefinitely. The next one is being queued up for release soon.

Since Covid killed my Cabo San Lucas vacation-rental business in 2021, this is my day job. I can't do it without you. Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. Two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance this work I do, and if you like what I do, please chip in. No grandiose pitches.


  1. Srdjan Ostric on April 25, 2012 at 04:36

    Hey Richard, I am may be totally off-base, but I have been thinking about what you have been trying to do with the last few posts, and this is my theory. I don’t want to say that I ‘have you figured out’ but you’ll have to tell me if I am on the right track.

    You have created this blog, which is a virtual cock-fight (or sometimes like the cage-match between The Undertaker and Mankind the Mutilator) for your enjoyment so you can see the revel in the insanity of humankind. You make the most respected and revered and high-toned among us (at least that’s what they think) rip off their shirts and beat their chests wildly, with anger, sanctimonious indignations, rationalization,…whatever it is…so called ‘human’ traits.

    But I think you know better. Your blog is called Free the Animal and you are The Animal, but it could easily be Free the animal…and be Human, truly human with you being the Human.

    That’s why I could never get angry at what you write, or I don’t get as strong of an emotional response from your work as others, because you are honest. Completely honest, but with a HUGE dose of irony and satire when looking at this human condition. It takes some to read a lot of Mark Twain, Hunter Thompson, and HL Mencken to get what you are saying…I am sure I am not the only one who has figured you out either. Falling prey to that feeling of personal superiority that you get when you think you are the only one who has figured out the mystery is probably something you thrive on!

    “He who makes a beast out if himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.”

    I get it brother.

    I get it.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 25, 2012 at 08:16


      “Falling prey to that feeling of personal superiority that you get when you think you are the only one who has figured out the mystery is probably something you thrive on!”

      Not certain whether that’s directed at me, or “the most respected and revered and high-toned among us (at least that’s what they think) rip[ing] off their shirts and beat their chests wildly…”

      ….But I’m not opposed to either generally thinking one has it ‘all figured out’ or feelings of superiority therein.

      But with the caveat that such is based on principles, not actions or values themselves. So, for example, what I have figured out and makes me and those like me ‘superior’ is pretty damn simple:

      1. No individual or group has the right to initiate force against any other individual or group. No exceptions.

      2. Dealing in the facts of reality is superior to dealing in mind-created fantasies.

      Everything flows from there. So, for example, I’d never claim “superiority” over a hooker or porn star, or a drug merchant, a slum lord or any of the other things you can think of that are held in low esteem (or criminal) by society. These are matters of personal values and choices as they navigate their lives. So long as they are not initiating force against others, they get to go to hell in their own go-cart, and I in mine. None of my business and I’ll be happy to leave them the fuck alone.

      It’s collectivism that’s the chief antagonism underlying what I attempt to accomplish here in these comment threads. For some reason or other, so, so many think or feel that:

      1. Their values are threatened if others hold different values or contrasting values.

      2. If they don’t force others to pay for and uphold their values, then they’ll end up paying for the values of others, some of which they abhor.

      A good example along these lines is the issue of abortion. I’m going to set aside for purposes of discussion the issue of whether it’s murder or not. That’s certainly debatable and it’s a very complex issue because a day old embryo is not the same thing as a six month old fetus. What’s not debatable is that abortion is absolutely abhorrent to some and I have zero standing to say they should not think or feel that way and certainly nobody has any standing to force anyone to undergo an abortion.

      So, the anti-abortion folks want to stamp out abortion for all, because if they don’t, they’ll end up paying for something they abhor to the core of their being. I find this perfectly understandable.

      On the other side, the pro-abortion folks generally want it freely available to all, paid for by the State if necessary, because if not, then poor people might get abortions in back alleys and such.

      And so, I can initiate a debate or any other such antagonism over values and watch everyone argue back & forth, get outraged, watch as Godwin eventually shows up, etc. But my position is simple: nobody should be forced to get an abortion and nobody should be forced to pay for one. Take the collectivism out of the equation and for most rational people, the antagonism ought to melt away.

      I’m sure you can substitute all sorts of issues and see the same dynamics at work.

      • rob on April 25, 2012 at 11:06

        Providing abortions would actually result in a net savings to the government due to reduced costs of

        pre-natal care
        post-natal care
        pediatric care
        infant formula
        food stamps
        housing assistance

        It is an investment that provides a tremendous return within a period of months.

        While I understand why emotionally some people have a problem with the government providing compensation to an abortion provider, they are not paying for anything, the procedure is resulting in a substantial savings to the public treasury.

      • Carlos Morales on April 25, 2012 at 11:11

        If you don’t want the exploitative and violent system known as the “government” to exist, then it doesn’t matter if it’s a “net-saving to the state”. This type of discussion is a masturbatory exercise once you realize that self-ownership is axiomatic and the non-coercion principle is a natural result of it.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 25, 2012 at 11:18

        “Providing abortions would actually result in a net savings”

        To whom?

        Plus, bullshit. There is never any “savings.” it just gets diverted elsewhere, to the next program the candidates have up their sleeves to entice the people to vote for them, sanctioning what they do, over and over and over.

      • Srdjan Ostric on April 25, 2012 at 12:12

        Sorry, Richard, I am such a bad writer sometimes. Falling prey to a feeling of personal superiority was a statement about me, not you.

        I think you missed the gist of what I was trying to say, and it’s certainly possible I was not clear.

        You let the people ‘Free the Animal’ in this blog, but I think you want to have people ‘free the animal’ not to become more like animals, but to think more like a human.

        I think Free the Animal is then ultimately a play on words–you use a lot of sarcasm, irony, and dark humor, which needs a higher level of cognitive and emotional reasoning to process. It seems thus you are freeing the animal, but in fact, you are calling on people to be more human.

        So, it’s interesting to see on your blog how people who otherwise think themselves rational and embodying the best of what humanity has to offer, resort to being ‘animals’ or at least prey to their animal impulses, rather than being human.

        I see you then as sort of a ringmaster of this circus of humanity you have collected.

        That’s at least what I think. I may be wrong, but I still would suspect you keep Bukowski on your nightstand.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 25, 2012 at 12:21

        Ah, well now that you’ve made it clear for me (sorry, I wasn’t sure), I can confirm absolutely that you have nailed everything that I’m about.

      • Kate Ground on April 26, 2012 at 07:05

        Oh, so there is a “hell”? Just teasing. See how easy it is to stray from the comment as a whole? Seems that happens a lot around here. Anyway, I want to thank you for the fodder for my own blog.. I got two blogs out of yesterday’s discourse. Keep up the good work.

  2. Txomin on April 25, 2012 at 06:54

    You are painful to watch. It is appreciated, though. Pity that, with practice, you will eventually become quite good at this too.

  3. jim on April 25, 2012 at 06:54

    The video is amusing for long-time followers. So, it’s good for reminding those in the know to pick up extra copies for their friends and family (which will probably be your best marketing strategy). You might, however, need a different video to directly target newbies. For them, this video seems to highlight your blogging roots more than the book and its purpose.

  4. David Csonka on April 25, 2012 at 07:38

    Once upon a time, being called a dick was considered a compliment I believe. Though, it might have been more of the “big swinging” variety.

    Either way, Luke had it right, your blog is a much needed *open* forum for all things related to evolutionary health and fitness.

  5. BabyGirl on April 25, 2012 at 08:27

    Ok, take that down, take a few drinks and do a “do-over.” Seriously. Too much hopping and popping around. Too much head turning. Too much blah, blah, blah.

    Painful to watch. It made you look like the OPPOSITE of every written word you’ve magnificently placed here. The video destroys the image of the RICHARD NICKOLEY – FREE THE ANIMAL – MAN and replaced it with a nasally sounding guy who looked and sounded very nervous.

    • marie on April 25, 2012 at 08:42

      I didn’t get that at all BabyGirl, sounds just like I would expect Richard to sound when being funny/self-deprecating. There’s an irony involved in what he’s doing, so the tone works in that sense, imo.
      But yes, videography sucks, too much hopping and bopping around and the clumsy cuts are disorienting.
      Richard, redo….and come-on, you can’t tease us with references to those pj’s and not wear them! So cruel….

    • JofJLTNCB6 (f/k/a Jc) on April 25, 2012 at 08:52

      As if he’s going to do that. C’mon, get real.

      [Huh? What do you mean the video’s gone? Seriously!? I hadn’t even watched it yet.]

      Okay, maybe he did.

      • JofJLTNCB6 (f/k/a Jc) on April 25, 2012 at 08:54

        Okay, so I refreshed and it’s back. Previously, it was just a box that said “submit your question” that led to a 404. Good…now I can watch it before it possibly disappears again.

    • Lute Nikoley on April 25, 2012 at 09:27

      The video looked absolutely normal to me, I had no problem with any part of it, even the bopping. But then I’ve known Richard all his life.

  6. Richard Nikoley on April 25, 2012 at 09:37

    Thanks for all the feedback, all.

    Just to make it clear, I appreciate it, especially the negative. We deal in cold hard reality around here. I’m considering making a more even toned version with fewer or no jump cuts and zooms. We’ll see. I’ll probably wait for more feedback.

    No worries. Let me have it if that’s what you think.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 25, 2012 at 09:38

      My publisher is also going to “focus group” it to non-readers of the blog to gauge reaction. Naturally, it’s intended for those who’ve never heard of me or this blog.

      • Txomin on April 25, 2012 at 19:47

        Your writing, right or wrong, makes you come across as somewhat bulletproof.

        In the video, however, you appear nervous, amateurish,… unsure of yourself. But that is the reason why I like it. It humanizes you.

        Anyway, as I said, with practice you will soon polish up.

  7. josef on April 25, 2012 at 11:03

    Good video Richard but I have two suggestions:

    1. Since you are promoting a book of your system of physical transformation, you should show a before pic/film of yourself and do the video wearing a posing suit so that viewers can appreciate your change.

    2. You would also show a readable chart showing your before and after health indices.

    In the neighborhood where I grew up to talk the talk you had to walk the walk.

  8. Pauline on April 25, 2012 at 12:15

    I like it, its funny and tongue in cheek and made me smile! Forget the critics they will come out after you no matter what you do!

    • BabyGirl on April 25, 2012 at 14:29

      Seriously, I’ve been a big fan of Richar’s for a while now. Found him during the no poo days and stuck around. So I’m not “a critic” of his. I actually like him very much.

      For his own sake I’m saying he needs a re-do on the video. It’s all wrong in so many ways.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 25, 2012 at 14:43


        And I’m taking you seriously. But understand, I need to know if it’s something that just you see because you know me, or whether the average non reader sees

        Thanks. Immensly. Your comment prompted me to initiate the focus group with people who have no idea who I am.

      • BabyGirl on April 26, 2012 at 11:25

        Well, I don’t know you in person. But I guess you can figure that out from seeing that my ISP is in Alabama. :-)

        But after having read you for some long, I sort of feel I have an image of you. It’s like you’re “The Everyman!” but stronger in the sense that you write with confidence, and I like that. And you don’t back down from a debate, I also like that. So many men just aren’t manly any more! So I really like the manliness of your written word.

        Also, you usually post interesting things. Even when you change your mind about something, it’s still sort of interesting. And I’m not a big paleo person per-se. I try and eat a lot of protein because it makes me feel better, not because of the evolution theory.

        But since I work in a media type field, I’m probably also critiquing it from that angle also, and just as a consumer.

        The video is too jerky, you are moving around too much, and looking away too much, it distracts from the message.

        I think the “I’m just a normal guy” aspect works, that would interest me as a consumer. But I’ve also still got to be able to enjoy watching you. In a video, people have less time to make a good first impression, so I think you should do a few practice runs and even write down what you want to say to avoid all those long pauses and jerks around.

        I say that as someone who sincerely enjoys reading your blog and thinks you are very interesting. So I believe YOU CAN bring all that to video. I just don’t think THAT video nailed it.

        Best regards,

  9. ZombieApocalypseKitten on April 25, 2012 at 15:20

    With a name like Richard… of course your a Dick!

  10. Pauline on April 26, 2012 at 02:29

    Was not referencing anyone as a critic personally, just in life no matter what you do, someone is going to find fault its the nature of the human animal. If you can take criticism it is a very useful learning skill. I just found the video very amusing and I love funny, sometimes laughter is the sweetest medicine. I have been reading this site from around 2005. so maybe those who are new need a more serious interpretation.

  11. Jim Arkus on April 26, 2012 at 04:08

    Great video – perfect amount of snark and not-taking-oneself-too-seriously. If I hadn’t already bought the book I would have after watching it!

  12. Kate Ground on April 26, 2012 at 08:15

    I, too, found the video endearing. It makes you look human. ( I think you need a scepter). Much prefer this to some stale glare at the camera Dan Rather type thing….but, a re-do is a must. Just better editing and your delivery is kinds hyper, I don’t know the word. Practice makes perfect. You are promoting a book after all. You are supposed to look like you know what you are talking about. And maybe a nicer T-shirt. One that isn’t so wrinkled and shows your buff physique? But, hey…I got your book before watching the video.

  13. Martin Levac on April 26, 2012 at 11:26

    Richard, you know the saying Practice Makes Perfect. Well, you’ve practiced being a dick for a long time. :) Now if only you applied this concept to your videos… On the other hand, the amateurish style reflects your idea of not taking yourself too seriously.

    Oh, did I mention that I like your blog precisely because you’re a dick? Just keep doing what you’re doing. Good luck with your book sales.

  14. JT on April 26, 2012 at 18:53

    I thought your suggestion that one should send your book to the Pope if he has the proper connections to be hilarious. I think you should offer ten free copies of your book to the first person who can conclusively prove that he was the first to give your book to the Pope. A hundred free copies to the person who gets the Pope to comment on your blog.

    Aside from the Pope comment, you did seem nervous and it was uncomfortable to watch the video. It’s a good thing that it was so short.

  15. Richard Nikoley on April 26, 2012 at 19:00

    Alright, based on all feedback, I am going to redo the video on Saturday morning, Beatrice will help. We also have tons of input from a focus group of sorts (non blog readers) put together by the publisher.

    So thanks. This is what the Internet is for. To do and get better, not defensive.

    All you negative commenters, I so appreciate it. See, I know what they really means, and it’s touching. Thanks for taking the time and effort.

  16. Richard Nikoley on April 26, 2012 at 19:18

    Just a follow up.

    Those who said I looked “nervous” can you please…

    1 watch it one more time.

    2 explicate what you mean.

    I’m not being defensive. It’s just that the one single thing I don’t get. I did not feel nervous in the slightest. I’ve done many videos, I like doing them, etc. I just watched it and I don’t see it.

    What are you seeing that I’m not?

    • Martin Levac on April 26, 2012 at 20:33

      Richard, it’s monkey see monkey do. The point is that since you’re watching yourself, you can’t see anything out of the ordinary. You gotta watch other people who you think look nervous, note why, then compare that to your own video. Then you gotta watch other people who you think look not nervous, that look like they know what they’re doing, then do your video like that, and compare it. Back and forth. Choose a video you’d like to make, then emulate that.

      Practice and practice and practice until you’re comfortable with your “performance”. Practice in front of somebody. Then do your video. Do five videos of the same presentation, and then edit the best parts together.

    • BabyGirl on April 26, 2012 at 22:01

      You might not have felt nervous, but you LOOKED nervous and for video that’s a killer. Sometimes being hyped up to do something can make you “look” nervous when you really aren’t. But the looking to the side, not looking the audience in the eye such as it were, all those things imply nerves to the casual watcher.

      I think you can do it better. Smoother.

      • Kate Ground on April 27, 2012 at 04:52

        I see you were jumpy maybe thats how you are, but on video it looks like you are nervouse. Maybe rehearse in front of a mirror. I can’t do video. I get stage fright.

      • johnny on April 27, 2012 at 15:22

        Richard, take a valium before your next recording to calm your nerves.

      • Richard Nikoley on April 27, 2012 at 22:30

        Beatrice & I are collaborating in the morning for a new video.

  17. […] to all the helpful input I got from the 1st try at this, I put together a new one. Short & sweet at […]

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