My book is out! And I’m liveblogging all day, giving stuff away and really hoping you buy it.
I can’t believe it’s here. Yesterday, my first book, the 11 Points Guide To Hooking Up, was officially released. And today is the day that I’m asking you to buy it.
I will be live blogging all day. Not about just the book, but about anything and everything.
****The live blog has ended.***
11 | Thank you
8:21 pm: Sam: And thanks to everyone for reading, writing, buying and supporting. I wasn’t kidding earlier about how memorable this day is. It’s pretty damn flattering to think that so many people would spend money to buy a book I wrote and I don’t think that’s fully sunk in. Let’s all hang out here again sometime soon!
8:17 pm: Sam: After 11 hours of live blogging I’m pretty wiped. So I’d like to announce the final Apple TV winner… Brenden T! We’ll get in touch with you to make plans.
10 | The final countdown (picture GOB doing illusions)
8:05 pm: Sam: From aimeegraugnard on Twitter, who suggested I use today’s Google Doodle to compose a song for the day. And after I tried and failed, she put this together. Wonderful!
8:03 pm: From loserxresol in the comments: “Do you read any webcomics/blogs? Which ones do you recommend?”
Sam: I’m not a big web comics guy. I was never really a comics reader growing up and I didn’t catch the fever as I got older. As for blogs, I’m actually pretty boring. I read a ton of sports blogs, tech blogs, gaming blogs and entertainment blogs, but almost all of them are very mainstream.
7:48 pm: Sam: If you bought the book, get your emails in to firstname.lastname@example.org to enter the contest. We’re giving away the last Apple TV at 8:15 and then I’m curling up in a ball.
7:45 pm: From Pulviriza on Twitter: “Also, what summer movie are you most excited for?”
Sam: Horrible Bosses looks fantastic to me. So my hopes are up, which means I’ll be disappointed. Because I’m a sucker, the final Harry Potter. Cautiously optimistic about Green Lantern and Captain America. Curious but not excited about the Smurfs. Not really excited about Super 8. Think Bad Teacher looks like it could be one of the worst of all time.
7:39 pm: From Pulviriza on Twitter: “McDonald’s, KFC, Subway, or Burger King?”
Sam: Those choices made it too easy. McDonald’s easily first, then BK, KFC, and finally Subway. Subway and I don’t have a very good relationship. Now… if the list made me choose between In-N-Out, Wendy’s, Chipotle and A&W I think my head might explode.
7:32 pm: From Zach: “Hey, Sam! I’ve loved the site for a long time, and I’m thrilled for you today! Congratulations on the book! I’m checking back and forth for when (not “if”. If is for cowards.) it hits the Top 100 on Amazon, and I feel you should be informed that your book links to the entirety of Firefly, and books by Oscar Wilde. (If you’re as cool as I’ve always imagined you as, you’re smiling right now). So I’ve got a question for you-On a scale of Christmases, where 1.0 equals the excitement you felt on the best Christmas of your life, where is the feeling of “Oh my goodness, I wrote a book and people love it”?”
Sam: Well, I’m Jewish, so we’ll have to substitute out Christmas, because generally I was just happy about going to see a movie with my parents (or, as an adult, going to Vegas). But in all seriousness I think I may look back on today as one of my best days ever. Even though the book didn’t have a Rebecca Black-style breakthrough and hit #1 in the universe. Today, it’s been coming from two angles — my friends and long lost friends really rallied today, as did so many readers who I’ve never met and many of whom I’ve never heard of. Now I’m really looking forward to the feedback. I really put a ton into the book so I can’t wait to see how it resonates with people.
7:25 pm: From Pat: “Which list in the book was your favorite to write, and which was your least favorite/why?”
Sam: My favorite to write was 11 Breakup Cliches and What To Say Instead. I feel like that list has some of the most innovative, fresh advice in the book and some of the best humor. I also really like 11 Signs a Guy’s Really Into You and 11 Translations of Key Phrases Women Say.
As for least favorite, I’m pretty high on all of them, but I think the 11-Step Checklist to Get Ready For a Date was a little more of a Maxim-type subject than an 11 Points-type subject.
7:16 pm: Sam: We have another winner! Alyson McManus wins a $25 Best Buy gift card! We’ll get in touch with you about getting it out to ya. We’ll be giving away our final prize of the day, our last Apple TV, at 8:15 Pacific to close out the live blog.
9 | An end to the madness!
7:03 pm: From Keith: “One of my co-workers mentioned it earlier. Which one of your Amazon customers also decided to purchase 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth?”
Sam: Well I think it’s a comedy book, not an actual instruction manual. It’s by this cartoonist/blogger called Oatmeal. I think we have fairly similar types of readers. Which is to say: Wonderful ones.
7:01 pm: From Brian: “Is there any difference between Gatorade and Powerade?”
Sam: There actually is. In their “light” versions, Gatorade still has calories and Powerade doesn’t. So if you, like me, watch your girlish figure… and drink sports drinks not to replenish mid-triathlon but rather when you’re hung over… Powerade’s probably a better call.
6:58 pm: From Mr. D via the comments: “I was wondering: Did what’s her name get at you yesterday?”
Sam: I’m not quite sure who you’re talking about.
6:42 pm: From Gillian: “is there a reason the iBook version has a cover that is purple but the cover picture on your site is pink?”
I’ve noticed that on all of the ebook sites, from Kindle to Nook to iBooks, the cover looks a little bit purple tinted. I’d have to assume it’s connected to how the publisher did the ebook file to send off, because I can’t really see any other explanation there. When it went through whatever process ebooks go through, it purpled the hot pink.
But at least it stayed a girly color, right?
6:38 pm: From Amy: “I noticed earlier in the blog that you mentioned you liked the crack baby basketball episode minus the Slash subplot, which I mostly agree with (I’m a huge Slash fan, so I at first I liked the random reference, but it was way too drawn out). Anyway, as I was watching a dvd from the seventh season last night, I notice that in the episode “I’m a Little Bit Country”, Slash is in the background playing at the concert. Why do you think Matt and Trey seem to like to randomly throw Slash into an episode? Also, do you think it was just one of their parents? (Although, I wasn’t a fan of that subplot, I did love the “Well then who was the guitarist from Guns ‘n’ Rose?” “One of our parents” line).”
Sam: I think that, until the crack baby episode, they used Slash references like most people do — because he’s got such a recognizable look. The top hat, curly hair, cigarette, and you’re good. As far as putting in a famous guitarist, it’s got to be one of the two or three easiest to do and assume most people will recognize.
6:34 pm: From Tattoogrrl in the comments: “If you send me some stickers, I’ll make sure they get all around the crappy small town in PA I live in! Ummm….there are many Amish people here!”
Sam: I’m not sure that I what the Amish demographic is after.
6:25 pm: From gathering_dust via Twitter, on going to a wedding tomorrow and hoping to apply ideas from the book: “I *am* the crazy friend bringing a toilet seat as a wedding gift, so I should get points for that”
Sam: No one can possiblie argue with that.
6:23 pm Sam: Next giveaway at 7:15 Pacific. $25 gift card. Will end the night with the 3rd Apple TV. Yes, I got three Apple TVs for this occasion. I figured it’s the kind of thing that everyone kinda wants but no one really buys on their own — aka the perfect giveaway.
6:19 pm Sam: I’m going to call it a night at 8:15 pm Pacific, after 11 hours of live blogging. I think that seems appropriate. So let’s enjoy the next two hours.
8 | As evening sets in
6:08 pm: From K Rool in the comments: “I, good sir, would consider slapping one of those bad boys (er, stickers) onto my MacBook. And I don’t just put anything on there!”
For a period there, I was slapping them everywhere. They’re stuck in bathrooms in bars all across this country. Oh, and on plenty of netbooks. Don’t know if they’ve ever earned a MacBook slapping.
5:55 pm: From Chance: “As a huge fan of The Simpsons, what do you think about Ned and Krabappel?”
Sam: I’m ok with them trying something new actually. Although we’ll have to see if they really play it out or just kinda have them together in the background at all times. Feels a little like “That ’70s Show” when they just randomly shuffled everyone’s relationships as the series got long in the tooth.
7 | Early evening
5:47 pm: SevereFlame, in the comments: “So what do these stickers look like? Are there 11 stickers, each labeled with a number from one to eleven so we could make our own 11 Points lists? Is it the title of the book? The image on the cover of the book? Both? Is it the site’s logo, complete with the “Because top 10 lists are for cowards” motto? Is it a regular hendecagon? Is it an irregular hendecagon with sides that mostly have a slope of 11 (or -1/11)? Is it a button that just has the number 11 on it? Is it an Austin Powers-esque poster, except the role of Austin Powers is being played by none other than Sam Greenspan? Is it a Simpsons reference? Is it an obscure Simpsons reference?”
Sam: Here’s a photo taken seconds ago with the stickers. Pardon my haggard look, I’ve been going at 100 mph all day long on basically no sleep.
5:25 pm: Allison H: “I want to win the contest just so I can see my name in the bold pink italic font that is reserved for your amazing wit. Seriously, if my name makes it into that font on this blog, I must be doing something right (… or most likely horribly wrong!)”
Sam: Thanks for buying the book, Allison H!
5:19 pm: Sam: Congrats to Lindsay Harris! Winner of the second Apple TV! We’ll email you and make plans. We’ll do one more Apple TV tonight and one more gift card. And… if the book does crack the top 100 today… we’ll do a Kindle too. Thanks everyone for hanging out and participating!
5:07 pm: From Samantha: “Which list has been your favourite to write and which is your favourite to read?”
Sam: At almost 500 it’s really hard to pick a favorite. First list that came to mind was 11 Most Scandalous Saved by the Bell Revelations in Screech’s Autobiography — I loved researching and writing it and based on the response, people loved reading it. I also have a soft spot for 11 Photos Where Black People Were Awkwardly Photoshopped In or Out, because I think I’m at my best when I’m finding new, edgier angles on social issues.
5:02 pm: From Brian: “How long until Facebook changes again and people start complaining? Is Myspace even around anymore?”
Sam: I’d say Facebook is due for one in the next few months, right? I haven’t heard anyone complain about them in weeks. I logged into my Myspace for the first time in years recently. I immediately got like 15 messages from spammers. I will not be logging in again. Unless, of course, I decide I want to get a music career off the ground.
4:48 pm: Listeningdev, via Twitter: “at a friend’s, no wifi (what is this Canada?) and I keep checking the live blog on my phone. You are killing my data plan, Sam”
Are the Canadians getting stuck with tiered data too? Man that’s rough.
4:46 pm: Some really nice comments here from people entering the contest…
From Holli Campbell–I can’t tell you how excited I am to get your book. I’m a poor college student, but also an avid lover of your blog. I’m so happy you finally have a book and can’t wait to receive my copy! Best of luck with everything!
From Lauren–Congrats on the book! I bought it despite the ‘splaing I’ll have to do to my husband when it arrives. I don’t know if I want to use your threesome excuse.
From Robert B–Really glad I can support your writing by buying this book. You’ve kept me laughing for quite some time, and I really love your blend of humor, so I’m looking forward to reading this fine work of American fiction! It’ll look really great next to my childhood copy of “Bart Simpson’s Guide to Life.”
From Devon–Book Purchased Yes, I’m married and have a daughter. Did I still buy your book? Abso-freakin’-lutely. Love what you’re doing man, keep it up.
Very nice stuff. This has been a really amazing day.
4:32 pm: gnick_atl via Twitter: “will you release an unabridged version of “Hooking Up” on Nov. 11th this fall?”
Sam: I might! Or if these sales and this book properly impress, maybe we could ultra-rush out a second book. If the publishers are game for that, then I am too.
Regardless, SOMETHING has to go down on 11/11/11 with this website.
6 | And it continues…
4:15 pm: Congratulations to Bruce K., winner of an Apple TV! We’ll contact you back in a second. ANOTHER APPLE TV being given away at 5:15 Pacific!
4:08 pm: Sam: Our dog Reggie reading a good book…
4:04 pm: From Zack121k via Twitter: “what does Screw Flanders Mean? im 99.9999% sure Its Ned Flanders”
Sam: It’s from the episode where Homer is the food critic and he has to write a 100-word column. He’s having trouble filling the space so he just repeats Screw Flanders over and over at the end. I love that joke and have stolen it repeatedly over the years.
3:52 pm: From Tim: “Are you watching any TV shows this summer?”
Sam: I didn’t do it on purpose, but I have now found myself watching these four shows in the background while I work on stuff: America’s Got Talent, The Voice, Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition, So You Think You Can Dance.
I give America’s Got Talent a 6/11 so far, The Voice a 2/11, Extreme Makeover a 5/11, and SYTYCD a 9/11. I haven’t watched SYTYCD in a few seasons and I’ve really liked the auditions — SO much more focus on good and interesting dancers than on either freak shows or sob stories.
3:42 pm: From Louise via the comments: “You got your first bad review on Amazon! Stay cool, Sam!”
Sam: I know, I can’t believe I got a vindictive review on day one. I hope that soon it will be offset by people who actually read the book and give it real reviews. Also, the guy who got the bad review got the entire thing wrong: I spend the entire book basically showing how it’s impossible to “play it cool” and I made eight billion dating mistakes in my life. Oh well, it’s like 3LW said. Haters gonna hate, something something something something shot call.
3:39 pm: From NovacaineHurricane via the comments: “So Sam, how hard are you rooting for the Dallas Mavericks?”
Sam: I would prefer they win, but I have been working as hard as possible to check out and not get invested. I’d rather the Heat win but I don’t notice to the Mavericks winning with me cheering for them, if that makes sense.
3:28 pm: From Ian via the comments: “#108? you mean… 4 + 8 + 15 + 16 + 23 + 42? sounds like bad luck to me… once a lost geek, always a lost geek, i guess”
I didn’t even think that my book’s Amazon sales rank was the sum of the unlucky Lost numbers. Maybe that’s a good sign since we’re not on the Island? Jacob, let me know.
3:24 pm: From Brian: “Do you keep your wallet in the front pocket or back pocket of jeans? Have you ever tested your Simpsons trivia knowledge on Sporcle?”
Sam: Back pocket in casual life, front pocket at bars, airports and especially carnivals. I’ve taken a few Sporcle quizzes and I usually do pretty well but have never gotten a perfect score. They always find one obscure detail I can’t place.
3:12 pm: The book is up to #108 now on Amazon
It would mean a ton to me for it to crack the top 100. So if you’d be willing to reach out to people and recommend they buy it today — or if you’re thinking you might give it as a gift down the road and want to get the jump on that — it would be incredibly outstanding. To raise the stakes some, the next prize we give out is going to be an Apple TV at 4:15 pm. So please, spread the word!
3:07 pm: We just hit 30,000 unique visitors for the day on the live blog. And while I don’t think that I’ve sold 30,000 copies of the book, that’s still a fantastic crowd. Thanks for hanging out, wonderful people.
3:03 pm: Congrats to Andrew Gluck, winner of a $25 Best Buy gift card! Excel gave you a winning number. Everyone who entered is still eligible for more contests and there are more to come today.
5 | After the early returns…
2:59 pm: From Brian: “Do you call it Jacobs Field or Progressive Field? When was the last time (if ever) that you played a Pokemon game?”
Sam: I still go with Jacobs Field, but only due to force of habit. I’m happy that the Progressive people are supporting the town and got the naming rights. That switch just happened so many years after I moved away that I never got used to it.
I have actually never played a Pokemon game. Not to sound like an old man… but I don’t think I get it. I have played as some of the Pokemon characters in various Smash Bros. games. They’re alright.
2:55 pm: Sam: Another giveaway right around 3:00 pm Pacific. Get your entries in.
2:50 pm: Sam: Quote of the day from my dad: “Your mother was happy to read in your live blog that you’ve never had a threesome. I’m somewhat disappointed.”
2:48 pm: From Devon via the comments: “I am supposed to be writing a critical essay on the topic of Psychic Staring (that feeling you get when you know somebody is staring at you) and Rupert Sheldrake’s claims that people can, in fact, psychically tell when they have caught the gaze of onlookers. Instead I’m sitting here, reading your comments, waiting for my book to come in. So my question is this: do you mind writing my essay for me? 1500 words. Thanks dude.”
Sam: I would say just plagiarize it out of my book, but I specifically made a rule for myself that I was going to beat the drum that every other dating book in history has used: “Make eye contact.” So I’m at a loss.
2:47 pm: From Erik via the comments: “Have you become a soccer fan since the live updates during the World Cup? The US is playing in the Gold Cup right now, we just beat Canada 2-0 on Tuesday. Also, 5 Mexican players just got suspended for using PEDs. That’s something an American soccer fan like yourself should be thrilled about.”
Sam: Unfortunately, as usually happens with Americans and World Cup fever, my enthusiasm quickly waned. That being said, I am really looking forward to the next World Cup. Fast kicking! Low scoring! And ties, you bet!
2:32 pm: From WesleyMead via Twitter: “Are there any so-extremely-subtle Simpsons (or anything, really) references on 11 Points that you wonder if anyone ever got them?”
Sam: I’m pretty sure that almost everything I’ve put up there at least one person has spotted. Even references to Baseketball and Dead Man on Campus have been recognized. I’m going to throw one in on this live blog at some point and see if anyone notices it.
(Also, the book is just loaded with hidden references, mostly because I wanted to slip them past the editors. It was almost a game for me. I’m looking forward to when people read it and start spotting those.)
2:23 pm: From Jonah-Hex-Was-a-Terrible-Movie in the comments: “Do you think South Park has gotten better or worse in the last few seasons. I personally think that they haven’t really declined at all.”
Sam: It’s interesting. I didn’t love this most recent half-season. I thought they had some interesting concepts but the execution was just a little off. (The crack baby basketball as a metaphor for college sports was good, but the entire Slash subplot was inexplicably awful.) Then I watched last night and it made me pretty depressed. Like, it’s clear they’re getting tired of doing the same old thing. And looking at the season through the lens of last night’s episode, I wouldn’t be shocked if they try to get out of their contract early. I think they were making a pretty strong statement that they don’t love doing this show anymore. And with the passion and excitement they’ve had with The Book of Mormon, maybe it really is time for them to move on. That being said, I’d be really sad to see them go. Even so-so South Parks still hit the mark better than most satire.
2:19 pm: Sam: Wow, amazing review from HapHappy.com!
2:17 pm: Matt from the comments: “Here’s a non book related question I’ve wanted to ask your for awhile, what exactly do you have against ice hockey? Yes I’m Canadian, but I like all the big four major sports (though I could follow the NBA a bit closer) and you haven’t really expanded on what you don’t like about it.”
Sam: It’s not that I have anything specifically against it. I just didn’t grow up watching it. We didn’t have a team in Cleveland and I never got into it. I made a few attempts but, for whatever reason, it never clicked with me. I occasionally throw it in as a punchline but generally not out of malice — generally because one of my best friends is a diehard Islanders fan and I find that hilarious.
2:13 pm: Sam: Sales rank on Amazon now up to #111 overall. That HAS to be a sign, right?
2:12 pm: From SpicyPineapple: “What, good sir, is your favorite dinosaur? This is a very serious question.”
Sam: Stegosaurus. Always loved the ridge of spines on his back and the fact that he was kinda underrated.
2:10 pm: From Brian: “The old Step Brothers question: Gandalf, Dumbledore, Rasputin- you gotta f*ck one, marry one, and kill one. Go! And character of choice in Mario Kart 64?”
Sam: Well, can’t kill Rasputin because that’s impossible. So I guess I marry him. Have sex with Gandalf. And kill Dumbledore, since I’m sure it’s all part of his master plan of success anyway.
As for Mario Kart, I’m a diehard Toad man.
1:56 pm: From Tristan: “I have one question. Do you enjoy the British television series Doctor Who?”
Sam: I’ve only watched a handful of episodes. I liked two, got bored with two. I feel like it’s something I’d want to watch chronologically, but that seems like a very daunting project. It’s why I’ve never watched The Sopranos.
1:45 pm: From NiceBassPlayer in comments: “Is the selection pool for the contest reset now that the winner was selected, or is the next drawing going to be from everyone so far?”
Sam: Nope, the pool remains. Everyone so far plus the new people. Also, with how close the book is creeping toward the top 100, if it gets there, the stakes are going to be raised.
1:41 pm: From Gregory in the comments: “I look forward to buying your book. Your site has been one of my favorites since about 3 months after you started. Where do you see the book industry going in the future? Will it almost all be digital sales (or downloads) like music, or do you see the physical medium being too important and different to completely die? Personally, I think the physical experience provides enough inherent differences that there will always be a place for them, especially hardcovers.
Also, what are your thoughts on Bill Simmons’s new website, Grantland.com? I know you were a fan in the early years like most people (who were also contractually obligated to hate and criticism him in recent years) and wondered if you caught any of it?”
Sam: I think that people are still going to want to have physical copies of books, but digital sales are already passing them and I think that gap will continue to grow. Still, there’s something about being able to have a book on a shelf, hold it, write in it, have it signed. I can’t see the medium ever dying, but I do see it evolving.
As for Grantland, I checked it out yesterday and I actually love the idea. With the online media trend being spammy SEO-friendly sites that just try to drive pageviews it’s great to see someone going the complete opposite direction. Will they be able to pull that off financially? That’s very hard to say. Am I glad they’re trying? Absolutely. The future of writing needs more Grantlands and fewer Bleacher Reports.
1:36 pm: OUR FIRST CONTEST WINNER receiving a $25 gift card to Best Buy or Amazon is… Elizabeth Danko! We’re emailing you with details. Next contest coming within an hour.
1:35 pm: From Brian: Which is better original or Cool Ranch Doritos?
Sam: I’m an original guy. Something about Cool Ranch makes me think of a kid licking his fingers in the 5th grade lunch room.
1:23 pm: We’re still sorting out the early entries. Going to do a $25 gift card to Best Buy or Amazon giveaway momentarily…
4 | And the early poll numbers are in on the paperback version… #112 overall in books, #20 in US Literature and Fiction, #10 in humor, #2 on the Movers and Shakers list!
3 | While we play the waiting game hoping that Amazon updates its sales ranks already..
1:12 pm: Sam: Getting all the early contest entries together now.
1:02 pm: From Alyson via the comments: “If you could be part of any comedic ensemble tv show, which would you pick and why? What type of character would you play?”
Sam: Well I would’ve definitely wanted to be a part of Arrested Development but I’m not sure I could’ve fit in, that casting was so tight. I think in the past, I would’ve really liked to be a part of the early years of Scrubs. It just looked like they were having a really, really good time. Of current shows, I’d choose Big Bang Theory because other than Jim Parsons I’d be the tallest one in the cast.
12:59 pm: From Keith via the comments: “Looks like you moved up the bestsellers rank. It is about 3300 now and I thought I saw over 11k earlier.”
Sam: Yeah, I think that bump is from the hour or two before the big push. The next 15 minutes or so should tell that tale.
12:55 pm: Sam: As the top of every hour approaches the nerves set back in again.
12:42 pm: From Brian: “Well here is my question: as a fellow Clevelander, which are you most excited about when it comes to Cleveland sports: the current success of the Indians season, the Cavaliers draft later this month, or the Browns as a rising team in the AFC (and Peyton Hillis on the cover of Madden)? I know of course that the correct answer is the possibility of the Heat losing to the Mavs in the NBA Finals.”
Sam: I like it, a non-book question! Let’s do this.
Well, as of right now, the Indians are still easily number one. Even with the recent rough patch I am loving this season and I’m loving the future of the organization. Our AAA talent is ready to come fill in a lot of the gaps. I don’t think we’re contenders this year, but I do think we’re going to have a nice stretch ahead.
Number two would be the Cavs draft. Especially if any of the rumors about trading for the #2 also is true.
Number three is the Browns. I love them, but with the lockout coming I’m trying not to get my football hopes up. Also, I feel like they’re actually the furthest away from having the right pieces of all three franchises.
As for the Heat, I have barely watched any of these playoffs. While I’d prefer they lost, I would be happier if I could force myself into a place of ambivalence.
12:35 pm: Lauren via the comments: “Hey, you’re the first search result on Amazon for “11 Points,” just ahead of a book called “September 11.” Nice?”
Sam: I guess so? Now I’ve just got to beat out Tom Wolfe’s Hooking Up.
12:33 pm: Zpxlcmv via the comments: “I hope the grand prize is a $25 gas card, i bought your book in lieu of putting gas in my car (and yes i bumped it up to $25 for the free shipping)”
Not a bad idea. I would like to buy someone about 6 gallons of gas. (That would’ve been a better joke a month ago when I could’ve said 3 gallons.)
12:26 pm: Elizalia via Twitter: “I wonder how much I would have to pay @11points to personally autograph and mail me his new book. I’m thinking huge $, like some grad money.”
Sam: Not even a little. If you send me the book, I will send it back signed. And even throw some 11 Points stickers in. No fee required!
12:17 pm: Erik in the comments: “Sam, I just bought your book. I also bought a car charger, phone case, 2 HDMI cables, and a tortilla warmer/caddy. Gotta love Amazon.com.”
Sam: Everyone remember what they used to bump up to the $25 free shipping plateau. I may want to make that part of a different contest as well.
12:13 pm: Sam: My friend Lauren is being a huge help handling all the contest emails right now. This is a shout out.
12:06 pm: From Alaska in the comments: “Sam, I just want to say that I’m a Sophomore in high school and your website is a large influence on some of my more comedic writing. Also, you’re hilarious and I just think you and 11points are awesome. ^^”
I am thrilled to be inspiring the state of Alaska.
12:03 pm: From Britters in the comments, a point on if you need a preview: “Look under the kindle section… it gives you an option to read the first chapter.” And also a question: “For the contest, do we need to show proof of purchase? or just send you an email using the good ol honor system?”
Sam: We are doing the contest on the honor system. I’m just a humble one-man operation and I feel like anyone who enters the contest would probably be aware of that. So it’s all a matter of trust. And a celebration of the day in general.
11:59 am: From ApplePieNinja via Twitter: “Congrats with your book 😀 Can’t buy it, my mom won’t let me import stuff from America :(”
Sam: You should listen to your mom. However, if you need to rebel, “buying a book” seems like it would be toward the bottom of punishable offenses.
11:56 am: From SpicyPineapple in the comments: “Is your book appropriate for a High School sophomore? By the way, you’re one of my favorite bloggers :)”
Sam: I believe that it is. The rating on it would probably check in around PG-13. A little bit of the chapter on sex gets spicier, but in general there are only a few swear words and everything’s handled maturely. At least maturely for me. Oh, and there’s no graphic violence. Although no one in the U.S. factors that into ratings.
11:53 am: From Olivia in the comments: “I saw your Senior yearbook picture from the last list. You aren’t at all what I imagined you to look like.”
Sam: Olivia is referring to this list. I wonder what you expected me to look like…?
11:49 am: From Keith in the comments: “Always wondered this, Amazon’s price is $11.53 marked down from $16.95. Do you and your publisher get the same cut for the book whether it is purchased for: $11.53 through Amazon or $16.95 with no discount at a book store or digitally $9.99 through the Nook or Kindle store vs. $15.99 through iBooks? Or are there separate agreements through each delivery location?”
Sam: I believe the publisher sells the books to each store for a certain negotiated price, then it’s up to the store how much they’re going to charge for it. For ebook sales it’s different — because there’s no physical product, the seller takes its percentage and then we should get the rest.
11:45 am: Sam: Contest info posted above!
11:40 am: From NiceBassPlayer in the comments: “Sam, you have a cheap bookshelf. You are a published author now, time to look the part.”
Sam: I am determined not to buy a non-Ikea or -Target bookshelf until I own a home. Then I will get a giant oak bookshelf that you literally have to build the house around because it’s immovable.
11:38 am: From Severeflame in the comments: “I was looking at the Amazon page and then a question came up. Are you or your publisher going to sign up for their Search Inside the Book program? Because I was thinking it would be really cool if we could see a sample (note: for really bad pun, pretend I emphasized the first three letters of sample) of the book before buying it.”
Sam: I just sent them an email asking. So we will find out soon what they think.
11:30 am: Sam: As promised earlier here’s a picture of my bookshelf. Psychoanalyze away…
11:21 am: Franny: “not sure wtf i’m going to do with the book… i’m old and married. When i started dating my husband neither of us had cell phones.”
11:17 am: Sam: The waiting game sucks. Let’s play Hungry Hungry Hippos.
11:11 am: JamesGilligan on Twitter: “Just bought the @11points book for myself and one for my about to graduate HS brother. That’s appropriate, right?”
Sam: Totally. I made sure it was appropriate for both seniors in high school and seniors in nursing homes.
2 | THE BUYING HOUR!
11:07 am: Sam: So apparently, we just read that Amazon ranks take a few hours to kick in. Therefore I am not wildly panicking over the fact that the rank hasn’t gone up. The live blog and the wait continues on!
11:03 am: From ChrisWestphal on Twitter: “Picked mine up at a Barnes & Noble in Richmond, VA. There was only one more left man!”
Sam: Flying off the shelves?!?
11:02 am: Sam: Nope, still hasn’t refreshed.
10:57 am: Sam: I think in three minutes the Amazon ranks update. To say I’m nervous would be a monumental understatement.
10:53 am: Adam: “Are you at a point where you can give a sneak preview on the one list in the book that you are most excited about? Or had fun writing? Or etc?”
Sam: The first thing that comes to mind is this Belgian waffle pun. Look for it. I think it might be my favorite. I also have a great Hall and Oates pun in there. I don’t want to give it away. And I wonder what it means that my two favorite things in the book are puns.
10:49 am: Sam: I will be posting info about a few contests shortly…
10:47 am: From Ben: “I assume I am not your only fan who added 2 kids board-books in order to get free shipping. I assume most 11 points book orders look like this:
11 Points Guide to Hooking Up: Lists and Advice about First Dates, Hotties, Scandals, Pick-ups, Threesomes, and Booty Calls
Secret Seahorse (Hide-And-Seek Books (Barefoot Books))
Bear in Sunshine (Bear Board Book S.)”
Sam: I kinda want to know what the seahorse’s secret is. Way more than I care about scandals and pick-ups.
10:45 am: From Rick: “In your email about the book you mentioned that people holding the book appear 14% sexier. What is the increase in my sexi-quotient if I get the Kindle version? Now factor in what it would be if I get the Kindle version, but read it on my iPhone. Now picture an iPhone in a Arrested Development themed Skinit.”
Sam: For some reason this made me think of Steve Martin’s monologues in The Jerk.
10:42 am: From Bruce: “Do you get like a real-time tracker of books sold? Not just like the amazon rank that everyone sees?”
Sam: I will get a report from them once a week. But for now, no, I have to just gauge off the ranks.
10:39 am: From AndrewKnoc on Twitter: “have you ever had a threesome? the confirmation email says it’s a guide to threesomes. i’m skeptical”
Sam: No, I never have. For that list I interviewed a few friends who have and dug some really good insights out of them. Then the publisher decided that Threesomes should go in the book’s subtitle. Then when Amazon shortened the title for the URL the word “threesomes” made it in. So now there’s a lot of pressure there. Fortunately I think that’s a really solid list in there.
10:31 am: From Shoes22 on Twitter: “You should know that your book is already in the CLEVNET public library system in Ohio. link”
Sam: That’s amazing because ClevNET was actually my very first email address. Back in 1987 I got one through them. I used to go on Usenet and read bulletin boards. Primarily Simpsons and wrestling. Back then it was safe for young kids to go on the Internet. I have no recollection of how often I misspelled “your” and “you’re” though.
10:27 am: From NLamando in the comments: “I think that people who won’t buy this book because they’re in a relationship are missing the point. You don’t have to follow any of the advice in order to appreciate the humor within. Just like I, not being a huge sports fan, can always enjoy your sport lists.”
Sam: I really appreciate that way of putting it. It is a dating/relationships/sex book but, really, it’s just a book version of new 11 Points content. It reads the same, the lists just got way more time and attention… and a professional editor. No more improper adverb use for me. Totally, I’m clear of that.
10:25 am: From NatM in the comments: “Sam, I just bought it! I won’t be getting it for at least a couple of weeks, Amazon takes longer to ship international.”
Sam: The waiting period for my book should not be longer than the waiting period for a gun.
10:19 am: From Villan87 on Twitter: “what do you think of e-readers and people having a book without physically having the book. I like to display my books.”
Sam: Well as a Kindle and iPad owner (yeah, it happened gradually) I have taken a fondness to ebooks. That being said, I think there’s still something great about holding a book that feels different. And, yes, I love displaying my books as well. And I know that I was the most excited when I got my shipment of advance book copies and was able to hold one of them. I am going to go take a picture of my bookshelf to add here to give this post some color…
10:17 am: From AnthonyPKarosas on Twitter: “Are there exiting colour images that will make those of us who buy the Kindle version feel cheated?”
Sam: Fortunately no. The book is only black and pink, and all of the charts and graphs and such in it are black and white. So you’ll get that full experience. And I think the footnotes will translate over properly as well.
10:15 am: From Azngenius on Twitter: “Why is this book more expensive in amazon.ca?? Our dollar is so worth more than yours.”
Sam: It’s part of the deal in exchange for getting the Winnipeg Jets back. (But seriously, I have no idea. Force of habit, I guess.)
10:12 am: From TDJoe on Twitter: “Any idea why Machiavelli’s “The Prince” is in Customers Also Bought Items By for your book?”
Sam: I am not exactly sure, but I love it. In a way both books are about scheming, right?
10:08 am: From AznGenius on Twitter: “Is the book only available online? Will it be coming to a bookstore near me anytime soon?”
Sam: It’s online and in stores. I don’t know which stores, exactly, but various people have let me know they’ve seen it in stores all over the continent. The first person was from Newfoundland, which is just glorious.
10:07 am: From IzzyKennedy on Twitter: “Can I buy your book in the UK?”
Sam: Yes, it’s available in the U.K. Definitely on Amazon, not sure what stores it will show up in.
1 | The calm before the storm hour
9:55 am: I can’t believe it’s five minutes away.
9:43 am: From Matt: “I’ll almost assuredly pick this book up at some point — if only to find all the Simpsons references strewn throughout, as any good fanatic would.”
Sam: It really is a hell of a scavenger hunt. Some are obvious, but some are pretty obscure in there. I just throw them in the middle of seemingly innocent sentences. Those are for the hardcore Simpsons people only.
9:38 am: From Ryan: “I have a question: Is that thing considered hardcover or softcover? It’s sort of like rubbercover.”
Sam: Softcover. Because we certainly won’t be releasing a hardcover. I really liked the hybrid and pushed for it because I thought it fit the vibe of the book. This book does not really feel like a hardcover.
9:31 am: From Jeri: “Did you know there are used copies out there?”
Sam: I don’t quite understand them either. There have been used copies on Amazon for like two weeks now. Unless reviewers who got advanced copies are unloading them… or the people in China at the factory that printed them are running a crazy aftermarket… I have no idea. Therefore, I would recommend avoiding them. Especially since they’re basically just as expensive as a new version and take longer to arrive with the Amazon merchant glacial shipping.
9:27 am: “Why is the book ranking on Amazon’s chart of American Literature History & Criticism?”
Sam: I have no idea. But it’s a few spots ahead of Tupac’s book and “Atlas Shrugged”. I don’t even know how to interpret that
9:25 am: From Steve: “my sister in law thinks I’m weird for buying a book on dating since I’ve been married for 30 days – can you allay her fears?”
Sam: Um… it’s also about threesomes?
9:15 am: From Adam: “I don’t remember the last time I bought a book the day it came out. Do you? Has anyone ever done that? Besides for Harry Potter books?”
Sam: I think the last time I bought a book the day it came out was in 2003 when I really wanted a book on PHP/MySQL web development (the original version of this book). Seriously. I have no idea why I was craving it but I remember watching Amazon intently trying to get it, and ended up paying more to have the publisher send it to me directly.
As for people who aren’t me… yeah, probably Harry Potter, Twilight. And… um… is there a fourth Hunger Games even though the trilogy wrapped up so nicely?