JAMES ALTUCHER: Why 'I Was Blind But Now I See' Is My Best Book Ever

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I’m not going to brag. The purpose of this post is to inform on three things:

A) A lot of people have been asking me when the book is going to be available on Kindle. It’s there.

B) I want to describe how this book is different from my last book “How to Be The Luckiest Person Alive!”

C) I want to describe how this book is different from the blog. There is much original material and, as opposed to the prior book, it is not a collection of my favourite blog posts.

Also, why do I self-publish? I strongly encourage people to self-publish rather than use a traditional publisher who will only hurt and exploit you. I describe in detail:

Why and How I Self-Published My Latest Book. IN OTHER WORDS: You should self-publish also. Click the above link to see why and how.

The 8 Reasons You Might Want to Look At “I Was Blind But Now I See”:

  1. It’s Easier on the Eye. For this book, as opposed to my first self-published book, I used a professional book designer, Alexander Becker. You can find his website here. He didn’t just design the cover, he was very proactive on every decision ranging from fonts, to how to emphasise topics without using bold type, to changing title names to be less blog-like, to re-formatting the way I was doing lists. In other words, he made it a book, something I neglected to do with my first self-published book.
  1. Original Material. My first self-published book was mostly a collection of blog posts, which is why I gave it away for free and also priced it for just 99 cents on the Kindle. I’m not saying there isn’t value in that. There’s value in curation of the dozen or so best blog posts out of 200. But in “I Was Blind But Now I See” there’s a lot of original material, even if some material is based on some of my blog posts. I describe more, below, what some of the original material is.
  2. Modifications/Extensions. The main theme throughout my blog (a theme which has evolved through time) has been that we’ve basically been brainwashed into sacrificing both happiness and money to keep government, parents, banks, corporations, etc happy at our expense. Once we recognise this and do what I call the “Daily Practice” one can become truly happy and reach success, although through a very different route than expected. In my “How to be the luckiest person alive” I describe this to some extent but in this book I go much deeper. From going more in depth into how to overcome the brainwashing to providing modifications to the Daily Practice to fit different lifestyles.
  3. No Fluff. Every chapter fits the overall theme of the book, which can be summed up in this excerpt that I’ve previously published.
  4. Proven to Work. Since my last book has come out I’ve had many people write me describing to me how successful they’ve been with the Daily Practice and the ideas I write about. I’ve always known that these ideas have worked for me but really had no clue if they would work for others. Now I know. At the end of the book I say, “don’t take my word for it.” The only way to know if something works is to experience it. There’s no faith in this. The basic idea is that to thrive one must be physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually healthy. In this book I describe in more detail what that means and how one can achieve this healthiness as quickly as possible.
  5. The Herx Reaction. I learned this while watching Claudia deal with her Lyme disease. Whenever she got on a new antibiotic she would have a horrible horrible next two days while she was going through what is called “the herx reaction” – the initial reaction your body goes through when something is churning it’s way through your system killing off all the evil bacteria it can find. She would be in agony. I notice in the comments (not so much on my blog but in the places where it’s syndicated) that a lot of people can’t handle the ideas in the book. They get very negative, even hateful. That’s ok. Once again I say, don’t believe me. Try it for yourself. Try developing an attitude where you begin to question the motives of the societal structures that have raised you, and then once you have a grip on what those motives are, you can move forward into health.
  6. Intros/Outros. Even when I take material from blog posts I usually rewrote them to provide more context to my current thinking on the topics plus wrote intros and outros. For instance, I don’t just spit back the usual stuff about “don’t go to college” but describe how it fits into the overall style of thinking I’m trying to espouse in the book.
  7. The Title. “I Was Blind But Now I See” comes from so many contexts. Most recently, it’s in the movie “Limitless” when Bradley Cooper takes a pill that magnifies his mental facilities 100x. I feel the same thing happens with the process described in the book. I’m not religious but I’m an explorer and many of my chapters and posts have a religious context around them. The line “I Was Blind but Now I See” comes from two sources: the song “Amazing Grace”, written by John Newton. Newton was originally a notoriously profane slave trader. Then, when surviving a particularly vicious storm he denounced slavery and became a strong spiritualist. Now he could see! The original line is from John 9:25 when a blind man is healed. While the book itself has nothing to do with Christianity I feel like most of my life I’ve walked around blind. And although I’m not claiming I can “see” now I feel that even moving in the path towards seeing creates a discipline of constant improvement and success that can’t be stopped. I think people have a fear of religion but throughout the book I liberally steal (without credit) from Christianity, Taoism, Buddhism, Judaism, and many different texts and religious sources.  (If you can spot all the sources I still from I’d be really impressed).

 PROMOTION: If you buy it (in either paperback or kindle version) and send me Amazon receipt I’ll send you a copy of my next book “Bad behaviour” (a collection of posts I’m mostly too nervous to put directly on my blog coming out in Q1 2012) for free.

From the intro in the book:

“We have families to raise. We have careers to pursue. We have money to make. We have colleagues and family to deal with. We have real fears that invade us at night. I have real fears. Things I’m scared of every single day. It’s only through diligent work that we can start to overcome these fears. With fear comes stress, and stress leads to sickness, inertia, and all of the other things that slow down our happiness.
And sometimes we can’t just wake up at 5:30am and go to sleep at 8pm (as I suggest in my prior book) and write down 10 ideas a day. Sometimes we need to give ourselves a break and modify things until times and schedules permit. I’ll discuss this more in part two by giving different exercises and modifications to the Daily Practice. How to deal with the people who bring us down, how to fight the fear, how to be creative – these are all components of bringing a daily practice into your life so that not only does your entire life change, it changes so quickly that you won’t even recognise the final result.”

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