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Why I fell back in love with bookstores.

Bookstore

I was never out of love with bookstores.

There was never a moment where we walked away from each other. But I did get distracted. If I’m honest, I did have eyes for another. Who?

The Internet.

I love the Internet. Blogs and tweets and photos and endless streams of information. It didn’t just feel like a different way to experience life, it felt like the NEW way to experience life. And I dove in deep.

I’ve tweeted 38,000 times. I’ve blogged thousands of times. I’ve built platforms and conversations within the digital glow the Internet offers. The Internet in turn opened up a world of opportunities to me. I got my first book deal in large part because of my blog community. Comedian Jim Gaffigan endorsed my new book Do Over because we connected on Twitter. Some of my best opportunities and favorite relationships have started online.

But, in 15 years of non-stop online connection, I’ve learned something surprising.

The more time I spend online, the more I realize face-to-face interaction matters the most.

Skype is great.

Facetime is amazing.

YouTube is a window into worlds I might have otherwise missed.

But, when all is said and done, nothing beats 3D community.

Nothing beats being in the same space and breathing the same air. And I’m an introvert. I don’t write this casually or because I love to be around people all the time. I write this because it’s true.

So a few weeks ago, when I got ready to launch my new book, I thought, “I’ll go to bookstores! I’ll meet people. I’ll talk with people. I’ll hear their ideas and tell them a few of mine.” Only I discovered something when I tried to schedule some events at bookstores …there are fewer of them around.

This is not a surprise to you perhaps, but it is to me. There are fewer bookstores now than there were when I wrote my first book 5 years ago.

In the ease of the Internet, in the promise of instant, I looked away from bookstores for a minute and when I looked back some had disappeared. They were closed. They were gone.

We didn’t just lose a bookstore though, we lost a bit of magic. We lost a bit of wonder. We lost a safe haven where it’s still OK to dream big dreams. To walk down aisles and aisles of “what if?” Books are not collections of paper, they’re invitations to different worlds. And being in a bookstore is like getting a passport.

Best of all, it’s a curated experience. The person who is arranging the shelves at Powell’s Books in Portland loves books like you do. They’re surfacing amazing titles from an ocean of options. This happens at small stores and big stores around the country. I visited every Barnes & Noble in Manhattan this week and at each one, I met an employee who loved books. The best bookstore employees know they’re not just working a job, they’re part of a mission. They’re on the frontline of new ideas and new conversations.

I’ve been thinking a lot about bookstores because this week I released a new book. If you haven’t seen the bright yellow tidal wave I’ve unleashed upon the Internet, it’s called Do Over. It’s available in stores.

To everyone who bought a copy online, I thank you. I love the Internet. I don’t consider it an either/or conversation between bookstores and the Internet.

If you haven’t purchased one online I implore you to visit your local bookstore and buy a copy of Do Over today.

Buy a different book while you’re there, too. Get a magazine while you’re at it.

Bookstores matter to authors, but more than that, I think they matter to humans.

They offer something no Internet site can deliver, they offer space.

A room where 40 people or 4 people can get together and discuss an idea.

Long live the local bookstore.

Question:
What’s the local bookstore you go to most often?

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The wait is over! Do Over is available today!

Today, you can walk into hundreds of stores around the country and buy a copy of my new book Do Over!

Book

It’s the best book I’ve ever written.

I wrote this book because I had to navigate my own Do Over 18 months ago. Then I spent the next year traveling the country to see if other people were going through Do Over moments too in their careers.

If you feel stuck and want to hone the kind of skills that get you moving again, read Do Over.

If you’ve had an amazing career jump and want to develop the kind of character that will help you navigate what comes next, read Do Over.

If you’ve hit a bump and want to build the kind of relationships that can help you get back on your feet, read Do Over.

If you’ve had an unexpected opportunity and you want to employ the kind of hustle that will make the most of it, read Do Over.

And if you know anyone who fits one of these scenarios, give them a copy.

The book is available anywhere books are sold, but today is the first day you can walk into a store and pick up a copy.

Thanks for going on this adventure with me, I can’t wait to visit your town and hear about what you’re working on next!

Buy Do Over from any of these awesome retailers:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Google Play
iBooks
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Christianbook.com
Family Christian
Parable

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I’m coming to a city near you soon!

The Do Over Book tour is here!

Tour_V2

Here’s how it’s going to work:

For some cities, I’ll be doing signings at local bookstores. You can register for those events at the links below. For other cities, I’ll be doing meetups with the help of people like you! (And we might even add some cities!)

The first wave of cities is listed below. If you’d like to help me put together a meetup in one of cities with “TBD” listed beside it, please email Lauren from Shelton Interactive. (All it takes is a space we can get 100 people in like a coffee shop, church, college, etc. It’s really casual. If you can help, shoot us an email and we’ll email you back after the holiday weekend.)

Current Book Tour Cities:
Toronto, Canada: April 15th TBD – Email Lauren to help.
New Orleans, LA: April 19 TBD – Email Lauren to help.
Lynchburg, VA: April 21 – Click here to sign up.
Dayton, OH: April 24 – Email Lauren to help.
Atlanta, GA: April 28 – Click here to sign up
Tulsa, OK: May 4 – Click here to sign up
Dallas, TX: May 5 – Click here to sign up
Tampa, FL: May 7 – Click here to sign up
Salt Lake City, UT: May 29 TBD – Email Lauren to help.

p.s. Have you ordered a copy of Do Over yet? You’ve only got 4 days left to get all the pre-order perks! Order a copy today!

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5 ways to be motivational on the Internets.

A lot of times, people ask me, “Jon, how in the world are you so motivational?”

People don’t really ask me that, but sometimes when you need an idea for a blog you start it with, “people ask me” and then you make up a question you want to answer.

But if they did ask me that, do you know what I’d tell them? This:

5 ways to be motivational on the Internets

Read More

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That thing authors never talk about.

If that headline intrigued you and you thought, “I bet it’s goshawks, authors never talk about goshawks,” you’re wrong. I talk about goshawks constantly. I’d go so far as to say “Goshawks are the queso of birds of prey.”

No, what authors never talk about is why someone pre-ordering your book is so important.

It’s actually pretty simple though, because when you pre-order a book, you tell booksellers that they should order more of that book.

Stores, especially online, can’t afford to carry a ton of copies of every book ever written. Can you imagine how big the shelves would be? (My estimate is that you would need a goshawk to retrieve books from the upper shelves.)

It doesn’t matter if you’ve hit the New York Times list before, have cool spiky hair that went out of style in 2009 or live in Nashville, stores will only order a few copies of your book. Then when your book comes out and your seven friends order a copy, the book is instantly out of stock. As a reader, you think, “How amazing, that book is already out of stock! I bet that author is crying tears of joy and wiping away the tears with hundred dollar bills.”

We’re not, we’re just crying. We only sold seven copies. Plus, nothing kills a book launch like the phrase, “Out of stock, available in 3-4 weeks.”

One of my good friends watched the status of his book online change from “pre-release” to “out of stock” at midnight on the release day.

When you pre-order though, retailers take note and think, “Wait a second, people pre-ordered this book. We better stock up!” That means the book gets on more shelves and is able to help more people, in more places launch Do Over moments.

If you were thinking of buying Do Over later, I would strongly encourage you to pre-order it today. I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written and whether you want to make a bad job good, a good job great or a great job awesome, the toolkit inside it will really help you!

As I mentioned, not only will I send you 5 great pre-order bonuses if you buy early (including a preview edition of the whole book), but more than that, I will be forever indebted to your help.

So here’s to pre-orders! Here’s to goshawks! Here’s to stores that carry your book! Here’s to helping people around the world have a Do Over!

Click one of these links to pre-order Do Over today.
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Google Play
iBooks
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Christianbook.com
Family Christian
Parable

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Discover More Time with This One Exercise

(This is a guest post from Jessica N. Turner, who just released her first book The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You.)

It’s a new year, which means more people are going to the gym and tracking what they are eating. Apps, fitbits and newsletters all help keep folks accountable.

What would happen if we were as diligent with knowing where our time went as we were about what food we were eating?

It’s actually not as hard as you think. And with 168 hours in a week, you can definitely make time for you, your dreams and the things you love.

The best way to find pockets of time (or fringe hours, as I like to call them) in your day is to track your time.

Tracking your time is an easy, eye-opening exercise to really understand how you spend your time each week.

The exercise is simple. Download this spreadsheet, or just use a notebook or calendar. Then for one week, track everything you do.

Meetings.

Laundry.

Meal prep.

Kid pick-up.

EVERYTHING.

At the end of the week take a look at where your time went. Really look at your time sheet and ask yourself these questions as you review your days:

• Where did I spend my time?

• What items are nonnegotiables (e.g., work, taking kids to school, etc.)?

• What time was wasted?

• What activities could be streamlined in my schedule? (For instance, does doing laundry every day make sense, or would it be better to do it as a marathon on one day?)

• Am I doing too much? Do I need to be better at saying no?

• Did I do anything just because it would have made me feel guilty to not do it?

• Would it be helpful to ask for or hire help for any of the things I spent time on during the week?

• Did I take time for myself? If so, how much time?

• Overall, how did I feel this week? Happy? Tired? Stressed? All of the above?

How did these emotions impact me and my activities?

These questions are just as important as the tracking itself because you are able to really dig into your time habits and where you would like to spend your time.

Once you complete this exercise, you will be able to more clearly see how you really spend your time and the choices you need to make to be a better steward of it.

Making time to do the things you love doesn’t have to be a dream. Track your time and discover your fringe hours.

(Follow Jessica on Twitter, and grab her book here: The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You.)