October 25, 2009

Washington D.C. Meetup, 676,358 Frequent Flyer Miles, and Tribal Author

gresham-half-marathon

Last weekend I completed my 2009 running goal by running my second half-marathon of the year. The weather was bad and I actually got lost on the course, ending up with a “half-+-2-miles-marathon.” Overall, I like the half-marathon distance much better.

Welcome to the Sunday Store Update, where I share updates about the business side of AONC and any other relevant announcements. In this case I’m putting several things into one post.

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Washington, D.C. Meetup (Thursday night)

I’m still confined to the U.S.A. for a few more weeks as I finish writing my book, but at least I’ve managed to break free for a couple of domestic trips. This week I’ll be in Washington, D.C. and will be meeting readers on Thursday, October 29th from 6-8pm at Busboys and Poets (5th and K Street location).

The best part of an AONC meetup has nothing to do with me; it’s all about the other fun people who come. This event will be co-hosted by a few of my friends, including Jen Lemen, and I’d love to meet you if you’re in the area.

To get on the guest list, send me a note. (Everyone is welcome; I just need to know how many people are coming.)

676,358 Frequent Flyer Miles

Thanks to everyone who recently contributed tips and stories towards the upcoming Frequent Flyer Master project. I received a number of good ideas, including several that will make it into the final guide. As promised, I’ll be awarding five free copies to the best contributions.

The goal of the project is to democratize free travel. I recently tallied up my current mileage from eight different accounts, and saw that it was more than half a million — 676,358 to be precise. I’ve been busy over the weekend making a detailed video where I log-in to each of the accounts and show the exact data for all of you to see.

Most of the mileage hasn’t been earned by flying; I earn it through creative travel hacking, and I want to help hundreds of people gain the same travel freedom that I have. We’re now in the final two weeks before the launch, so stay tuned for more info soon.

Tribal Author Launch

When I started AONC last year, one of my main goals was to get a book contract with a major publisher. I knew that it would be hard to attract attention without an established audience, so I decided to build my own platform where publishers would come to me instead of my having to knock on doors all the time.

This week I met with my literary agent, who told me that he receives at least 25 unsolicited queries every day from aspiring authors. Over the course of a month, more than 700 people pitch him on projects. He accepts an average of one of these prospective clients per month, and most new clients he finds strictly through referral.

It’s a hard industry to crack, and a friend of mine and fellow author, Jonathan Fields, knows the ropes better than me. A lawyer-turned-entrepreneur, Jonathan has founded a yoga studio, published a bestselling book with Random House, and is getting ready to work on his second book. In other words, he’s cracked the code and is in the club.

Jonathan recently announced a new workshop called Tribal Author that will be held on November 14-15 in New York City. The goal of the workshop is to help aspiring authors take control of their career and actually sell books—a goal that I naturally identify with.

I know there are a few aspiring authors out there among our readership, so I bribed Jonathan to get a $100 discount for any AONC readers who want to come. The discount code is “aonctribal.” It expires on Wednesday night at midnight and the workshop is already halfway booked, so don’t wait long if you’re interested.

When I wanted to establish a new career, I did everything I could to break into the industry. If I didn’t already have an agent or publisher, I’d get over to NYC for this workshop.

Here’s the link to learn more – remember to use “aonctribal” to get $100 off

By the way, I don’t receive any payment or benefit from mentioning Jonathan’s project. A few people have asked what I think about the new FTC requirement that bloggers disclose relationships where they receive free products or are paid to endorse something.

Personally, I have no problem with disclosure. Imagine the concept: bloggers now have to be honest with their readers. I’ve been upfront about how I make a living all along, and if you’re in a similar career, hopefully you have too.

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That’s it for this week’s update. I’ll look forward to seeing some of you in D.C. on Thursday night.

Thanks as well to everyone who hosted me in San Diego last week—David, Erica, Sophia, and those who came out to our small meetup on Wednesday.

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