What do you say about about a man who has awash hundreds of bags of copies of books with no autograph (or pictures) in them, millions of units of gag adeptness and been covered in about every media aperture in the world? I accept you would alarm him a business god. Which is applicable because for addition achievement he auspiciously afflicted his name by accomplishment to “God” and was alone by his bank, HSBC, because they banned to accede the change.
This business god is Shed Simove, the artistic apperception abaft books like What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex (which is advisedly abounding of bare pages) and Fifty Shades of Gray (which has 50 altered gray pages) as able-bodied as arguable gimmicks like a “Control-A-Woman” alien control, the Gaydar and the ‘Rampant Rabbi’ sex toys.
After aftermost month’s account with Brent Underwood, who activate his bare book and album achievement banned by Amazon, Shed affiliated with me on Twitter. I anon asked if he’d like to be interviewed actuality so we could accept his altered adeptness to not alone accomplish endless of media absorption but catechumen that absorption into sales for his abnormal and amusing products.
You accept the apple almanac for best bare pages arise in a book. Is that a almanac you set out to break? Acquaint us how that achievement happened?
Ha ha! No, I best absolutely didn’t expect, or alike plan, to acreage a Guinness Apple Almanac with my bare book, ‘What Every Abounding Thinks About Apart From Sex’. It was aloof addition absolutely abrupt aberration during an amazing chance that started with me chief to broadcast it in the aboriginal place. To date, the book has taken me about the world, bagged me a Literary Agent, fabricated me acceptable money, and accomplished me important acquaint about marketing, which I now admit in the motivational speeches I accord to dejected dent companies about the globe. It’s been a blood-tingling ride, and one that still seems to be continuing…
When I aboriginal arise my bare book, it took me aloof over a anniversary to get it produced and listed on Amazon. I afresh bare to acquaint the apple about my groundbreaking tome, but I alone had a baby budget, aloof abundant to appoint a PR aggregation for bisected a day. The amazing Aggregation at the London PR Agency landed me some abundant advantage in a British civic newspaper, admitting one of the added abridged ones. This commodity afresh got spotted by a TV Producer who featured the book on the morning appearance she was producing. Interestingly, those two $.25 of media advantage didn’t affect the sales of the book online, but aback the bi-weekly commodity angry into an online article, all hell bankrupt apart and sales rocketed. The online commodity accustomed bloggers and journalists to do three basal things: cut and adhesive the aboriginal commodity so they could calmly amend it in their own voice, archetype some simple images that I’d attempt on my phone—and acquisition a absolute basal video I’d attempt for the book too. This gave journalists what I alarm the ‘Holy Trinity Of Online Marketing’; story, images and video. The book went globally viral. I started to accept emails from journalists beyond the world, abounding of which would activate with, ‘Dear Professor Simove’, because that’s the appellation I gave myself on the book, alike admitting I’m not absolutely a Professor.
About a ages into this madness, afterwards I’d awash bags of books, it accomplished cardinal 44 on the Amazon blueprint and alike overtook some acclaimed titles in sales. I afresh accustomed an email that I anticipation was a antic at first. The capital anatomy of the bulletin said, ‘We’re a administrator from Spain and we appetite to construe your book and pay you a royalty…’. Translate? I couldn’t accept this was accident it, but I arrested out the footer on the email and it accepted the bulletin was from a acclaimed Spanish publisher. So, I active a accord for the Spanish adaptation of the bare book, ‘¿En qué piensan los hombres más allá del sexo?’, that included me actuality aureate over to Madrid to barrage it at their anniversary Book Fair. The book became an burning hit in Spain too. Anon after, added deals for ‘translations’ abounding in from Croatia, China, Japan, Holland and alike Mongolia. It was amazingly thrilling.
Then, afterwards all that happened, I accustomed a alarm from the Guinness Apple Records office. I never in my wildest dreams anticipation I’d win a apple almanac during my lifetime. I’m not able to adapt with endless of assurance or sit in broiled beans for added than ten minutes, but the association from Guinness Apple Records a me that because of how able-bodied ‘What Every Abounding Thinks About Apart From Sex’ had done, I was activity to be awarded a Guinness Apple Almanac and featured in their acclaimed book. They beatific me a affidavit of my apple almanac and I affected it, which now proudly resides in my vanity cupboard. My Parents are understandably absolute proud.
And how abounding copies has it awash now?
Nearly 100,000 and counting. It’s consistently been a angry appetite of abundance to address a bestseller. Unfortunately, the aboriginal (real) books I arise took me eight years to address and afresh didn’t advertise in huge numbers at all, admitting accumulation amazing reviews on Amazon. In the publishing industry, the criterion for actuality able to alarm a book a ‘bestseller’ is ten thousand copies sold. My bare book is a album ten times over—and it’s still affairs acerb about the world. I amount that one acumen for the book’s acceptance beyond the apple is that the amount antic applies to men everywhere—which is rather comi-tragic.
When you saw that Brent Underwood’s book was banned by Amazon, what did you think? Why do you anticipate they accustomed castigation to stick but not others? (For instance a anchorman at the Toronto Brilliant approved to actualize a agnate book but it was additionally deleted.)
Maybe Jeff Bezos aloof has absolutely abundant aftertaste and he admired my offering—ha ha! Alike admitting Brent’s adaptation was abundantly amusing and clever, possibly that adaptation came beyond as ‘unreal’ to Amazon, maybe they anticipation it was aloof a achievement application an image, and that their barter couldn’t absolutely buy it—or conceivably it was artlessly a tad too aing the cartilage in agreement of advertisement their baronial system. With my book, aback I started affairs it through Amazon, I had to distinctively book the awning with a altered barcode so that the Amazon accomplishment centermost could activity them (this claim may be altered now). I afresh beatific a ton of books to the Amazon accomplishment centermost and they were logged in the system, accepting affiliated to my Amazon folio for the title. Possibly no one at the accomplishment centermost opened my book to see the bare pages central or maybe they accustomed the book on their belvedere because it was absolutely beatific in a concrete form, and they now had endless of them in their warehouse! Afterwards a while, I accepted acclaimed publishers about the apple the administration and publishing rights to ‘What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex’, so this may accept additionally legitimized the book in Amazon’s eyes too. Afterwards my bare book became a success, absolutely a few people, including Hugh Hefner, acicular out that the amount apriorism of the antic was not absolutely new, and that a bare book alleged ‘Everything Men Apperceive About Women’ had been on Amazon for abounding years afore I listed mine. Alike so, my book was looked on by the media as beginning and contemporary aback I launched it. This neatly shows that sometimes you don’t charge to accept a new abstraction to accomplish big success, you can sometimes repackage an old abstraction for a new bearing (or market) who maybe didn’t apperceive the old abstraction existed.
This accomplished adventure additionally brings up the abysmal abstract question: ‘When is a book not a book?’. It’s about a abstruse conundrum, but maybe not quite! The UK tax ascendancy accounted my book as a ‘notebook’ and accordingly it was accountable for VAT (a tax levied on goods), admitting books with autograph central aren’t accountable for this tax. So, you could altercate that my aboriginal bare book is not alike a book, but I durably angle by it actuality a book, because it’s printed with a bulge bottomward the aback (which is alleged ‘perfect bound’ in the publishing industry) and is the appearance and admeasurement of a accustomed paperback. If it quacks like a duck…then…well…
You followed up your bare book with 50 pages in altered shades of grey. Can you acquaint us about that project?
The abstraction wasn’t anon mine. I’m advantageous to accept a admirable bandage of online supporters and followers who adore tracking my adventures and mischief. And they generally animate me arise added naughtiness. One of these champions, a admirable woman alleged Vivien, adapted that I do a adaptation of my aboriginal bare book to mark the astounding success of the ‘Fifty Shade’s franchise. I anticipation this was an alarming idea, so I created a book with a hardly altered title, alleged ‘Fifty Shades Of Gray’, absolute two hundred black bare pages that ranged from ablaze blah to aphotic grey. The blurb on the aback awning proclaimed that ‘the agreeable gets darker and darker’ as the book goes on. I accustomed a acknowledged ‘cease and desist’ adjustment from Random House, the publishers of E. L. James’ accident hit. I alleged up their Head Of Acknowledged and said, ‘Do you apprehend that you’re additionally the publishers of my aboriginal [real] book, ‘Ideas Man’, and so you’re now demography activity adjoin your own author?’. ‘Yes we do…’, she durably replied, abacus that I was accusable of ‘passing off’. I laughed at this notion, answer that no sane actuality would abash my book for the absolute Fifty Shades’ book, because the absolute adaptation has absolute words in it—and abundance has none! But my academician altercation did annihilation to appease the situation. I had to lurid over a thousand of my ‘Fifty Shades’ books, which bankrupt my heart. Of advance though, with every botheration you appointment in life, there’s generally an befalling to be had, so I fabricated abiding that I got some alarming media advantage for the accomplished debacle.
You’ve accustomed a lot of columnist and advantage for your stunts. Not alone that, you’ve done it consistently. Best bodies and authors would accuse that accepting media absorption is difficult or impossible. How do you do it? And does it bother you that your stuntish books assume to outsell your austere titles?
Ha ha! Love those questions. I absolutely abort a lot. I accept that’s the ‘magic’ to afterwards a lot. I’m creating new account all the time and abounding of them haven’t been noticed or enjoyed on a ample calibration yet. So, I anticipate that maybe you’re attractive at the advantage I accumulate cutting rose black spectacles (I absolutely anticipation about authoritative ‘Rose Black Specs’ as a absolute change allowance for optimists, once, but activate out that this abstraction was already on the market, so didn’t). I created my bare book out of necessity, in adjustment to ability my ambition of absolution a acknowledged bestseller. Afterwards declining to acreage the album cachet with my absolute books ‘Ideas Man’ and ‘Success…Or Your Money Back’, I was absorption why my change adeptness awash so able-bodied (1.5 actor awash to date about the globe) and yet my books hadn’t. I bare to change my strategy. So, I absitively to booty what I’d abstruse from the change allowance bazaar and administer it to the publishing industry. Already I knew I was activity to broadcast a book with a amount antic of it actuality bare inside, all I had to do afresh was anticipate of an adapted appellation and actualize an accurate attractive awning so that the accomplished gag would assignment aback a new eyewitness took a attending at the pages.
Getting publicity for any new book is cool tough. It’s such a awash market. The actuality that my austere titles accept been way outsold by my ‘joke’ books both depresses me and amuses me in according measure. I accept the success of my bare book may accept article to do with the actuality that bodies appetite burning delight alike added these days, and conceivably a quick beam is absolutely the delight bodies are gluttonous in this circuitous and generally arduous world. I do apperceive that one activity has generally formed for me, by authoritative abiding I differentiate from what anybody abroad is accomplishing in the market, this generally agency I breach through the noise.
One of my theories is this abstraction of trading up the chain—starting with baby outlets which afresh get best up by bigger and bigger outlets. Can you acquaint us how you breach your stories?
Again, you accord me too abundant credit. You should be answering this catechism for your readers yourself—you’ve accounting amazing books on the accomplished affair of accepting publicity, and you were abaft the astronomic all-around success of ’Four Hour Assignment Week’. I don’t accept I’ve absurd a reliable blueprint for breaking belief yet, or alike for creating an abstraction that will abduction people’s acuteness (if anyone account this has activate the secret, amuse get in touch, ha ha!). You’ve advised this breadth a lot and you’re an able in it. I curiosity at how you’ve absolute people’s books huge. A lot of my account don’t ‘hit’, but I accumulate on bearing novelties, apps, websites, books, TV shows, ball tours and motivational speeches, at such a rate, so that some of the mud hits the bank and sticks. Certainly, there are assertive accomplish that anyone can booty to aerate the affairs that article they’re announcement will be best up, like alive with a PR aggregation who has the ear of journalists or influencers (if you accept the budget, that is), creating abundant actual for bloggers to calmly use—and additionally actuality abiding that you put advanced a ’story’ aback publicizing article (and don’t aloof call what your account or artefact is). But, alike aback I chase all these strategies, I generally don’t get the advantage I want—or believe, I deserve, ha ha!
That said, your academician abstraction of ‘trading up’ has absolutely formed for me in the past. Aback I capital to advance my new ambit of developed toys, I contacted the bigger bi-weekly in the UK and they angry the chance bottomward collapsed on the spot. So, I alleged up a abundant abate alcove publication, ’The Jewish Chronicle’, and told them how one of the toys was fabricated in the appearance of a Rabbi, and alleged the ‘Rampant Rabbi ‘(the name is pun on the best acknowledged British vibrators, the ‘Rampant Rabbit’). They covered the chance and aback they did, the aboriginal cardboard I contacted afresh arise a huge burst on it. Acquaint learned: 1) Sometimes a chance is legitimized (or noticed) aback it’s arise by a acclaimed publication, alike a baby one and 2) Sometimes a distinct announcer on a advertisement ability accept a altered appearance of what makes a acceptable chance than addition affiliate of their team, so it may pay to try afresh at the aforementioned aperture with a altered person.
Do you alpha with the abstraction and afresh amount out how to absorption the media? Or do you anticipate media first, abstraction second? Like in the case of the Fifty Shades book—were you aggravating to newsjack off a accepted appellation or how did that work?
The abstraction is aggregate at the start. Actuality able to arise up with account and afresh activity them is a animal superpower that separates us from the added animals on the planet, and a allowance that I achievement will acquiesce altruism to save the apple from us damaging it, cure all ailments and advance in a affable way. So, our account are acutely valuable, alike ones for change gifts, and should be advised as such. I’ve acclimatized myself to agenda all abundance bottomward on cardboard or in my phone, no amount how awful, and if a anniversary later, I’m still as aflame about a abstraction as I was aback I anticipation it up, afresh I alpha bringing it to activity immediately. As continued as what I anticipate up entertains me aback I brood about creating it, and gets a acknowledgment from some others about me I if accept to acquaint them about it (you accept to be accurate about accomplishing so, because added bodies can booty the wind from your sails so easily), and (in the case of my keynote speeches to companies) if sometimes what I actualize informs or makes bodies think, afresh if I’m absorbed with authoritative a product, show, app or website, annihilation will stop me accomplishing so. Astronomic accomplishment can be acquired from bringing your account to activity and I accept we should all do it way added often. Sure, I’d additionally alluringly like absolute abounding bodies to adore what I do, but hey, my Mother frequently reminds me that Van Gogh was alone proclaimed a ability afterwards he died! I achievement I don’t accept to delay that continued to absolutely appoint with the world, ha ha, but for me appropriate now, I feel advantageous to be active at a time aback I can acquisition an able on the web or a branch in China to advice me accompany my account arise to life. That’s awfully allotment and exciting.
I don’t anticipate of annihilation I do as ‘newsjacking’ per se. Rather, I’m abusive cultural capacity I beam all annular us, mainly to accord bodies a beam or sometimes to accomplish them think. I afflicted my name to ‘God’, both to see what would arise and additionally because the abstraction of a college actuality is so common and influential, both in acceptable and bad ways, all over the world. And aback I saw Apple actualize their smartwatch, I aloof had to accomplish a antic from it, so I created a ’Not So Smart Watch’ which is a artificial watch with a apple-pie clean face.
What’s aing for you? You’ve got addition book out now, right?
Correct. I admiration if bodies will like it. It’s been canicule in the authoritative and it’s alleged ‘How To Cure Insomnia’. Each folio displays one small, numbered, animation sheep and aback the book is flicked, the sheep appears to jump. I’m acquisitive that this book is the absolute allowance for anyone who has agitation sleeping, or aloof a solid Birthday present or Abstruse Santa allowance that anyone can enjoy. Rather than bagging a Guinness Apple Almanac this time, I’m acquisitive the Queen will recognise my addition to association and accord me a knighthood. Then, I can put ’Sir Shed Simove’ on my aing book, and it’ll be real. Boom!
This new book has absolutely already got me into agitation with Amazon, and it’s alone been up a few days. I formulated a plan that all the reviews for the book should arise as if the reviewers autograph them had ‘fallen asleep’ mid sentence, so I asked a few accompany and ancestors to column up bristles brilliant reviews area their ysis ends mid book or mid word, and afresh finishes with ‘…zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.’ as if the they nodded off during their post. Amazon accept been removing some of these asleep reviews, so I’m acquisitive that if anyone who reads this now posts up a quick ysis on the Amazon folio for the book, and makes it end with some z’s, afresh the deluge of posts will stick. Maybe one night I’ll go to bed and the aing morning I’ll deathwatch to a beck of asleep reviews. Well, I can dream!
As for what’s aing for me, I accept two apps in development, (one absolute serious, one absolutely not so), a cardinal of change adeptness anon to launch, including this pen holder, I’m alive on my latest affairs video platform, Sellervision—plus I’ve aloof accustomed a Green Card for ‘extraordinary ability’, so I’m now ytic for an Entertainment Agent in the States, a Tour Manager for my ball show, and attractive to apprehend from any US companies who charge a keynote motivational apostle on adroitness and innovation. I’m additionally gluttonous a cine aggregation to disclose the (as yet unseen) documentary that I created about the accent of adolescent bodies and teachers, that I filmed about two decades ago, during which I went aback to academy assuming as a 16 year old boy aback I was in actuality 30, and got abroad with it for nine weeks. All in all, I’ve got some absolutely arise account in the activity at the moment, so if you’re a journalist, blogger or adherent and appetite to acquisition out what these are first, amuse chase me on all your accordant amusing networks. Thanks!
He’s additionally put calm this list of 15 books that you’ve apparently never heard of that will adapt your worldview, advice you excel at your career and advise you how to alive a bigger life.
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