The Book, Free The Animal, 2nd Edition (and: Do You Want to Author a Book Yourself, with Help?)

Isn’t it cool that with eBooks, you can go to 2nd Edition only 6 months after publishing the first? I follow Seth Godin’s Domino Project posts on ePublishing and I think he’s dead on.

This is the future, while all the while I see book after paleo book coming to be published in the traditional way. …And because they’re publishing them one on top of the other—don’t get me wrong, these are all excellent books—what happens to the poor authors? Focus shift, that’s what. As soon as the newest one hits the shelves, the authors of the past ones are all on their own. …And don’t even get me started on shelf space, printing economies of scale, and supply chain for dying brick & mortar operations (I looked into all of this very deeply before making my decision).

I have zero of these constraints, and while you can have a dead-tree-version of my book, it’s print on demand; so even that supply is just as endless—albeit more costly—as are the eBook versions (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks and PDF).

I’ve previously blogged about this revamp for a 2nd Edition and I’d expected it to be finished around the first of this month. Then I dug in. There was so much to rework (editing to shift focus) and add that I’ve kinda gotten caught up in it, much to my general satisfaction—and it doesn’t hurt to have Theresa Noll, an editor who can write in my style, such that I often can’t even tell the difference between who wrote what.

The first edition was a bit quick and to the point. Now, I have the chance to make it much more of what I wanted. I spent all day today just reworking a section in Chapter 3 on nutritional density. I’ll blog about that tomorrow, as a teaser.

Sales. Well, after the initial expected bump because it was new and many had been waiting forever, it settled into a monthly trend downward, as should be expected. But then something interesting happened. It began increasing again. As it stands, an average of 1,500 copies are being sold monthly, and with the deal I have with the publisher, it’s officially real money, even at the $3.99 price for the eBook. So, instead of pulling out all stops to get as many sales in that first 2-4 weeks for dead tree books on limited shelf space, I have a completely open-ended situation here.

And I love it.

But here’s another thing: I’m actually the best selling—or very nearly so—author for Hyperink, my publisher: with hundreds of books published so far. That get’s me a lot of attention, a lot of help—focussed help and attention. And guess what? We’re now mapping out a deal for about 90 minutes of video instruction for paleo, all professionally recorded and edited. I’ll be up at their offices next week to white board the whole thing (sorry, do-nothing bitches). This, in addition to the fact that my second book (unrelated to paleo, but where I’m a 20-yr expert) is in draft, and we have 3 more books planned. The next one related to this bog will be about paleo Society / Anarchism / Philosophy / Atheism / Don’t Fucking Vote / Death by Government / Don’t be a Moron. Ha!!! They’re actually quite excited about that because my blog archives are so damn deep on all those issues (and I have tons more material).

So, are you a blogger or an expert in a field? For the time being, Hyperink has said they’re not going to do a competing paleo book, but how about sub-tpics like fasting, exercise, nutrition, or whatever?

Here’s the page for bloggers to register their interest. To wet your appetite for possible things, here’s a screen clip (click for big).

Hyperink Blog to Book
Hyperink Blog to Book

Recognize anything? Yea, so on this page, I’m featured in my dirty tank top after the last day at NovNat with Hyperink’s other top selling bloggers to book: Brad Feld (Co-founder, Foundry Group; Co-founder, TechStars), MG Siegler (General Partner, CrunchFund; Columnist, TechCrunch), and Lewis DVorkin (Chief Product Officer, Forbes Media; Founder, True/Slant). Quite a lineup. There’s a quote by me about the publishing experience and also a couple of quotes from my commenters about the book. Check it out.

So, who thinks I would have been better off self publishing, or going with a publisher that churns out paleo books one on top of the other? This was published six months ago and things are really just beginning to warm up. Had it been a big hunk of paper, it would mostly be long forgotten. On to the next big chunk of paper.

OK, so what if you’re not a blogger? Well, the royalty deal is different if they have to create a book from interviews with you—as opposed to cull material from your blog that’s already written—so here’s the page for experts. Are you an expert in any niche you can think of?

Remember, this is Amazon’s Long Tail strategy, but without the massive warehouse, employee, and distribution costs. And, since it’s an eBook, you can keep it fresh and new for many years to come at little cost or effort. If it works, you can become enough expert to write another book in a different area, and another and another—until it all adds up to  a steady and important income.

Give it a look if it interests or intrigues you.

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. Remnant on July 18, 2012 at 23:56

    Richard, since you mentioned your planned “Paleo Society / Anarchism / Philosophy / Atheism / Don’t Fucking Vote / Death by Government / Don’t be a Moron” book in this post, I thought I would re-open an issue you mentioned in the comments to “Why I’m Not Really Much of a Libertarian”.

    You mentioned Harry Browne and “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World”. I had not heard of either, but in the time since you mentioned them I went out and read the book. It was very enlightening and certainly brought issues of personal sovereignty into focus. While I took a lot away from the read and agreed with a lot of what he wrote, ultimately, I found his views too Randian, by which I mean lacking in humanity: his views try to be “logical” and therefore irrefutable (there’s a reason why “Reason” magazine, calls itself “Reason”). But I think that a Paleo Anarchism, for lack of a better term, must be anchored in actual human and group dynamics, which are almost never “logical” in a scientific sense.

    To give one example, and certainly the most stark one, Brown recounts — quite contentedly — that he had not seen his daughter a single time in the nine years (at the time of the original edition) since he effected his liberating divorce. Since all relations to him are essentially contractual, this was the outcome he wanted and one that pleased him. I can’t view this as true paleo anarchism, or whatever you want to call it, because nature exists: NATURE — not Man — dictates certain relationships, and one cannot (or cannot without psychological or other costs) wish them away on the basis of a logical and absolute personal sovereignty.

    So Brown struck me as propounding a somewhat un-human philosophy, i.e. it is a philosophy that does not take Man AS HE IS, but as he wishes him to be on the basis of “reason” and “logic”.

    A more appealing and humane political thinker, to my mind, is Albert Jay Nock. (Whose name I was shocked to see missing from Brown’s references and reading list). Nock represented the pinacle of what we might call the Gentleman Anarchist: highly educated and literate, civil, civilized, desireous of a well ordered society … but utterly uncompromising in his belief that such a society and civilization must come about through voluntary and consciously made decisions. You could say this doesn’t differ from Brown, but I would say that there is an underly humanity and recognition of reality in Nock’s approach. Maybe it really comes down to a matter of style and tone but it matters.

    Anyway, for those interested in anarchism and personal sovereignty as a political philosophy, I highly recommend anything by Nock. “Our Enemy, the State” and many of his other writings can be found online at Lew Rockwell and other sites.

    While I’m at it, for an example of a living writer who touches on this stuff with a great deal of humor, Fred Reed should be consulted. Here is a taste: his “Curmudgeonly Reflections On Democracy.” The column goes back two election cycles but is still fresh.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 19, 2012 at 18:08

      Thanks, Remnant.

      Been so long since I read Harry that I honestly don’t remember. But, when I did I was far more new at this and impressionable and a far bigger Rand fan (I still am, but I know exactly in what: mostly epistemology, a bit of ethics). I’d perhaps mention metaphysics but the hers and the only proper metaphysics is tautological, so it never bears repeating.

      Thanks for the pointer to Fred. I don’t know how long it’s been since I was steered there last. Cool post. I could pick at it, but it’s largely very good.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 19, 2012 at 18:12

      Let’s go ahead and paste the whole thing as an indulgence:

      Curmudgeonly Reflections On Democracy

      Tuesday, June 22, 2004

      Autumn looms and presidential elections will soon roll around, like droppings pushed by dung beetles. We will be exhorted to vote. Better advice would be not to vote. The proper response toward what we occasionally imagine to be democracy, methinks, is to retain one’s self-respect by not participating in it.

      Voting in particular is an embarrassment, being a public display of weak character and low intelligence. Let us face the truth: Democracy, like spitting in public or the Roman games, is the proper activity of the lower intellectual and moral classes. It amounts to collusion in one’s own suckering.

      The United States of course is not a democracy but a wonderfully crafted pretense. We have separated the results of elections from the formulation of policy. It is a neat trick: Voting distracts the rabble without disturbing the government. You cannot possibly—can you?—believe that your vote will change anything of importance? That it will end the flood of semi-literate Mexican proletarians who join our own? Divert the schools from their ghettoish apotheosis of the mentally lame and halt? Cause governmental behavior to rely on merit instead of race, creed, color, sex, and national origin?

      No. These things are determined remotely by lobbies, by criminals, and by forces that have no name. If you are lucky, you may be able to change parking regulations.

      Given that democracy is pointless, and participation in it a sign of a weak mind, what is the wisest attitude toward the government?

      That of a tick toward a cow. Nothing else makes sense. The central question of American government is not what mountebank shall be president or what eructations of mendacity he may devise. The question, almost the only question, is whether the government can get more from you than you can get from it. One picks pockets, or one’s pockets are picked.

      The clever or well represented—the racial lobbies, defense industry, teachers unions, feminists, AIPAC, big pharma, oil, corporations—suck money from the government. In turn the government gnaws like a hagfish at the entrails of middle-class people moldering in cubicles. These spend their lives in jobs they hate to buy things they don’t want, such as half-million-dollar houses in the suburbs, so as to pay taxes. Elections give them a sense of having a stake in their flensing: The government is their hagfish.

      Clearly taking part in this is unwise. What then do you do?

      First, and most important, stop regarding yourself as part of government. Government doesn’t concern itself with you; why should you concern yourself with it? The change of attitude provides both relaxation and perspective.

      Next, avoid governmental impositions. There are many. Military service is the worst of them. Don’t go. A little man in Washington, whom you have never met and wouldn’t talk to over a back fence, tells you to kill people who have done nothing to you in a foreign country you may never have heard of. Does this seem reasonable?

      Finally, cultivate apathy, which is cheaper than Prozac and works better. You do not worry about what you do not care about. I do not propose a depressed scowl at life, but merely a wholesome indifference toward those forces malign and otherwise over which you can have no influence.

      Better yet, enjoy the onrushing atrophy. Is the United States going to hell, western civilization being subverted, knaves scuttling like fetid crabs through the corridors of power and nitwits ravaging the schools in the manner of monkeys in a fruit store? (Yes, actually.) Relish it for the splendid historical theater that it is. A better spectacle there cannot be.

      I say this seriously. If you regard yourself as audience rather than participant, the accelerating collapse becomes entertainment. You read each morning’s headlines with zest to see what new and preposterous clownishness erupts from Washington. It is high comedy. Just now Mr. Bush wants to tighten the embargo on Cuba because of its violations of human rights; meanwhile Mr. Bush is running a torture camp at Guantanamo. We have a war on poverty that perpetuates poverty, a war on drugs that guarantees availability by keeping prices up.

      I doubt that Mark Twain could make such things up.

      A huge gap separates those who, on the one hand, eat their souls up over things they can’t change, and those who, on the other, focus on their friends, family, children. You probably have a sense of what is right, wrong, moral, decent, and just. To these, I say, you owe allegiance. To nothing else.

      A wholesome apathy does not mean giving up a love of music or travel or dogs or books or contemplation of starry skies should the pollution clear momentarily. Nor does it mean lack of concern for those around you. It does mean, or more correctly require, moral self-determination insofar as it is possible.

      The wise recognize that they are insignificant atoms and set their course accordingly. Yes, in a small town enjoying sovereignty over its institutions, participation might make sense. You might expect to have an influence over matters material to you. If you wanted the high school to offer advanced classes in mathematics for your advanced child, you would stand a reasonable chance of persuading the school board, and finding a volunteer teacher if need be.

      But today you are merely a minor source of taxes. It is reasonable therefore to regard governments not as enemies—they are larger than you are and will usually win—but as intricate puzzles. If the government won’t school your children, do you home-school? Move to France? Can you qualify for some form of welfare and have the government support you instead of you, it? Are laws more to your liking in Thailand?

      To what, then, you might ask, does one owe allegiance? A better question might be: Why should one owe allegiance to any distant group beyond one’s influence? Yes, I know: The dog-pack instinct dominates human behavior. It is why we have wars and teen-age gangs and attach ourselves furiously to football teams. Patriotism, meaning an irrational attachment to whatever country we were born in, comes naturally. But does it come reasonably? To use the tired but effective example, should you be loyal to your country’s government if it begins operating torture camps in, say, Bergen-Belsen or Treblinka or, once more, Guantanamo?

      Or should you do what you believe to be right, decline to be herded like cattle, and live decently in the interstices of things? These at least are choices not as humiliating as voting. Those who wash regularly should not stoop to democracy.

  2. […] Posts RSS ← The Book, Free The Animal, 2nd Edition (and: Do You Want to Author a Book Yourself, with Help?) […]

  3. robert on July 19, 2012 at 16:24

    “When is that last time you heard of any animal food being referred to as a superfood in any mainstream outlet? Probably never. That’s how backwards everything is and just another example of what you’re up against.”

    Couldn’t be more on the money. Excellent comment. Reminds me of when I was at a friend’s house for dinner and for snacks he had cinnamon rice cakes (dude was on a diet)- and I said, dude- you are going to have to eat truckload of these even to get full . . .people just don’t seem to understand that.

  4. David on July 20, 2012 at 10:36

    Why is the book double the price on hyperink than on Amazon?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 20, 2012 at 10:47

      2 reasons, so far as I understand. Amazon has freedom to set prices for digital content lower (I’m not sure of the parameters). If you notice, the list Price on Amazon is $7.63.

      Other reason is that the hyperink purchase comes with a lifetime money back deal as well as free lifetime updates. So, those who purchased the book at Hyperlink get this forthcoming V2 for free because we’re doing it as an update and not publishing it as an actual separate 2nd edition as they do in the publishing industry. Another advantage to digital.

      • David on July 26, 2012 at 10:26

        Makes sense. I have bought a couple of books from Hyperink and had a great experience, so would rather get it there anyway.

      • Richard Nikoley on July 26, 2012 at 10:31


        Yea, the intention is to kick up the price now that I’ve got it out there in the several thousands. $7.99 is reasonable, I think.

        I was just up at their offices yesterday in SF shooting video for an instructional course that will also be for sale on Hyperink’s site for a much higher price. We discussed this and think we figured out why Amazon is discounting it. We’ll see.

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