FAQ ME

faq_me_cover

I wrote and self-published a brand new book, published TODAY: 

FAQ ME.

Here’s the cover. If you click on it, it takes you straight to the book. If you’re an Amazon Prime member you can read it for free. Otherwise, it’s $2.99 for the Kindle version.

Also, anyone who bought my last  book and sent me the receipt will get this one for free in PDF form. Many people who have asked me questions during my Twitter Q&A are mentioned in the book.

Here’s the INTRO of the book:

 

WHY WOULD ANYONE ASK ME A QUESTION?

I’ve failed at just about everything I’ve done. I’ve lost tens of millions of dollars after making it from scratch. I’ve been divorced. As a father, you can make your own judgments based on what I’ve written. As an entrepreneur I’ve had successes and failures. I’ve fought addictions, some of them I’ve won, some I would say are still in process. Yet, people ask me questions.

I’ve been an entrepreneur and writer for the past 15 years. About a year and a half ago, I started blogging. The main component of my blog was that I would be honest and revealing. The times when I would be on the floor and just struggling to get up and get motivated. The times when I would pray for nothing but my own death so at least life insurance could be used to keep my kids happy. That’s how stupid I was. That is how revealing I was on my blog. And then some.

People were emailing me many questions, “How did you get yourself off the floor?” “What do you think of X?” “How can I build Y?” “How do I come up with ideas?” “How can I self publish a book?”  “How can I be happy when I’m going through a divorce?” “What’s the first step when starting a business?” “Is it ok to cheat on my wife if we never have sex?” “How can I marry a billionare?”

I am not very good at answering emails. However, I wanted to answer these questions, and I felt that not just me but anyone can answer the questions. So I started to schedule one hour a week, Thursdays from 3:30-4:30 EST, so anyone could ask. I would Tweet answers away, but really, anyone could. That is what’s great about Twitter.

And why would I want to do this? What good does it do me? Really…nothing. But I love it. I used to religiously read the advice column “Dear Abby” as a kid. An advice column. Then I would buy the collected columns (since she had decades worth of material) when they came out in book form. She had been doing it since 1956 and her daughter continues the tradition. And then there was “Ask Ann Landers” which was every bit as good and done by her twin sister. Of course, they couldn’t use their real names. “Ann Landers” real name was “Eppie Lederer”.

I fantasized they were related to me (my great grandfather’s last name was “Lederer”)
People would ask them anything. I remember one in particular. A woman followed her husband late at night to a strip club. The man went in the back with a woman. Later, under interrogation from the wife he claimed, “all I got were sexual favors”. In other words, he was trying to say, no big deal. This girl wanted to know (from Abby, or Ann, I forget which) if this was okay.

I forget their response. But right then and there I decided I wanted to be just like “Dear Abby”. I wanted people to feel comfortable asking me about “sexual favors”. What could be more fun in life?

Initially I majored in Psychology at college. My dad asked me, “Why do you want to major in Psychology? Psychologists don’t make any money. Then you won’t meet any girls.”

“But what if I don’t want to meet the kind of girl who is going to like me just because I have money.”

“She’s not going to like you because you have money,” my dad in his infinite logic was trying to explain. “She’s going to like you because you are the KIND OF GUY who can make money.”

He did not convince me. Unfortunately, some bad things happened along the way towards me being a professional clinical psychologist –not- and future Dear Abby.

Psychology 101 was considered a “gut class”. 2000 people were in the class. The teacher gave the same multiple choice exams every year and there were only 2 tests and a final, and that was your entire grade. I read every psychology book in the library. I was passionate about the topic. I got a D- in the class.

I don’t really know how I got a D-. I studied. I took notes. I attended every class (the only time I did that during my entire college education). I also knew people were cheating (studying the prior year’s multiple choice exams, knowing they would be the same). But I assumed I would be great at multiple choice exams.

Well, somehow I wasn’t. I don’t even know what went wrong. They never handed the tests back.

(more Dear Abby)

I figured, OK, no problem. I’ll take Social Psychology, which was the next class higher. Unfortunately, by this point I had stopped attending classes. Too boring and I was starting a business on the side. Then one day I attended a class and there was a “pop midterm”. I had never even heard of such a thing. But my entire grade was going to be determined by this midterm (and then there would be one more test – the final) that I had not studied for, prepared for, took notes for, in any way.

I pulled off a C+. Then I went to see a guidance counselor to determine what I should major in.

“Well,” she said, “one thing is for sure. The only major you CAN’T major in is psychology.”

“But I want to be a psychologist,” I told her.

She raised her eyebrows. “I think that’s not going to be so easy for you.”
And hence my feelings about college education began to form. What a load of—-.

I don’t have all the answers. I do not admit that I do. In fact, if you were to just superficially look at the chronological history of my life you would see it mostly filled with miserable failures punctuated by the occasional success. I’ve lost millions of dollars at different points. I’m a divorced father of two. I was thrown out of graduate school. I’ve failed at many businesses.

During the hour once a week I answer questions, people know that I work hard to give the best answer I can, and I hope the answers are occasionally helpful. Then, I expand some of the answers into blog posts and other people provide answers in the comments as well.

WHAT IS NEW AND ORIGINAL IN THIS BOOK:

For this book, I’ve picked out the best questions and answers, expanded further, and categorized by subject. There’s a lot of original material for many of the questions. In some cases I rewrote answers now that I’ve had more time to think of them. In some cases I added material.

I also added some Q&A that was asked privately via emails (while keeping identities private). This is all original material in the book.

I hope you like the book and that it’s helpful to you. I also hope you join me for more Twitter Q&As on Thursdays.

Follow me on twitter.

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  • http://twitter.com/fzeng96 Feng

    I like the cover. Congratulations!

  • http://www.twitter.com/bennesvig Ben Nesvig

    Bought!

  • http://www.andrewriley.net Andrew

    I don’t think you can read it for free unless you actually have a Kindle.  What I get from your blog is worth more than $3 anyway. Bought and on it’s way to my iPad for later reading.

  • Robin Heinen

    Congrats on your new book James! I just bought it, Apparently the prices are higher for European readers, but heck, I bought worse pieces of advice for higher prices. I hope I will enjoy reading it just as much as I liked reading “I was blind but now I see”

  • sarfarosh

    were you in an Indian Tea stall on the cover page photo?

    • http://twitter.com/ClaudiaYoga Claudia Azula

      Yes, he was, on the chai stand on the main street of Gokulam, Mysore

  • Anonymous

    I like the intro. I loved your previous book, looking forward to reading this!

  • http://kymira.blogspot.com/ Chimera

    Congratulations! Book cover rocks! I’m searching your blog for tips to self-publish :) 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=734178852 Karl Schmieder

    Awesome and congratulations! Two friends launched books today, you and my friend E.C. Myers. Keep up the great work. (And yeah, I bought one!)

  • Bob

    Is this book what “Bad Behavior” was to be or is Bad Behavior still in the works?

  • http://twitter.com/mstmorris Teri Morris

    Many congratulations James!  I’ll either dig out my receipt or happily pay the small price — which ever is quicker.  :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=732244537 Priscilla Paredes Wood

    I love the cover, it looks just like you (not just your pic but the whole picture), someone who keeps it real and tells it as it is. Big congrats!

  • amy

    Heya James, 

    That’s a nice picture. Really. Where was it taken? 

  • Gonzalo Gandia

    Good stuff…can this be downloaded on my PC? I tried to use the Kindle app for PC’s once, but it didn’t work. Can I get the PDF version?

  • http://twitter.com/onehandtyping John Holton

    I bought the book when I saw you announce it on Facebook, and look forward to reading it.

    By the way, Ann Landers and Dear Abby were twin sisters, Esther Pauline (Eppie) and Pauline Esther (Popo), respectively.  But you probably knew that.

  • http://twitter.com/PurviRajani Purvi Rajani

    Hi James. I bought the Kindle edition and read it on my transcontinental flight today. Fantastic concept and nicely executed. I really like the emphasis n the Daily Practice. The last few months have been nuts for me to to travel and a family emergency. Just home tonight and am eager to re-start the practice again tomorrow. You’re right that in a few months it makes a huge difference.
    I’ve bought all your books and would love to get the free PDF. Where can I email my receipt for IWBBNIS? 
    Thanks for all that you do. You really have a unique perspective on the world and all your readers’ lives are surely better for it..

  • John

    Bought it and awesome.  I read on Kindle,  white text / black background, for some reason your chapter titles don’t show, might want to check that.

  • http://jlcollinsnh.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/why-you-need-f-you-money/ Jlcollinsnh

    Wonderful cover and title, James….

    man, every time I think about working on my book there you are publishing another of yours.

  • nodak shrimp

    Hi James, though I don’t know about this book, I’d like to say thanks b/c reading your blog has been good times for me.  I can relate to being down and out (savings way down after a long seasonal slump and some tough times, and my location and housemates have been driving me crazy for long time, etc.)  I have been refusing gov’t welfare and food stamps (still never accepted them), despite urgings from others to start and a lot of unemployment.  I also like your four ways – daily-practice-thing for getting organized and have been trying to do that.  I thought the mention of the importance of generating ideas was interesting, as I haven’t really considered that side of life/health/the brain for years.  Also have begun getting in shape (haphazardly) – something I used to love doing and kinda gave up partly out of interest in fasting, but that’s another story.  I have dreams and pursue them every day, partly thanks to you.  Also, learning about your time in PE was interesting – you met Kravis!  (jaw dropping — now back in place.)  Anyway, hope things go alright for you.  Cheers…

  • Jamesthenutjob

    is it a coincidence that James Altucher drops his book after writing that flame bait article about education? no. it was a calulated attempt to skim a quick profit after stirring the hornet’s nest, much like Rush Limbaugh but to a lesser degree.
    The more important question is why someone would buy a book from someone with no likable qualities as an individual. 

    • Elsintexas

      Larry David has no likable qualities as an individual, and his TV series about his life has  been running successfully for 8 years. I haven’t been reading James A. very long, but he’s smart and painfully honest (or at least really good at faking it). And saying higher education is a waste for most people is not flame bait – it’s just common sense. Of course, common sense is rather radical these days, and likely to make people angry.

      The real question is why you are here posting comments if you like James Altucher. I avoid people I don’t like – I certainly don’t hang around complaining about them.

    • http://444express.blogspot.com/ the444

       I find both Larry David and James to be likeable; maybe that’s because I’m “like” them?  As for making profits – if it irks you to see others making them – don’t complain, just go out and make your own!  Do your own calculating and skimming.

    • Robin Heinen

      You have to understand that a lot of people read his articles. I think that gives him credit for having at least something likable… You probably like his writing as well, otherwise, what are you doing here? Why would you even read something written by someone you named “without likable qualities”? That makes no sense…

      Posting an article like that, before releasing his book is just smart! That’s what an entrepeneur needs to be, he probably sold hundreds of copies yesterday. The method works. Next book will probably contain advice on how to stir a hornet’s nest and raise a quick profit. Smart!

  • rollingdancefloor

    Hot Black Coffee, baby. 

  • Anonymous

    “She’s not going to like you because you have money,” my dad in his infinite logic was trying to explain. “She’s going to like you because you are the KIND OF GUY who can make money.”

    I used to get that. When I was younger (not to say I’m old at the age of 26), I learned quite a lot about dating and (most) women. Using fictional characters as examples, I began wondering… what was it about James Bond or Christian Troy that women found attractive?! I started noticing things which I ended up trying out in my own life. I’ll have to give credit to Paul Kyriazi’s ”The Complete James Bond Lifestyle Seminar” and John Alexander’s ”How To Become An Alpha Male.” These are pretty good books which will help one to learn about relationships and dating women. So after some practice, I was done. I could have dated pretty much any woman. And I did date a gorgeous lingerie model for a while until I broke up with her. I knew how to act and behave, so I get what your dad meant with it. Although it doesn’t apply to everybody (god knows there are exceptions), but think about it for a while. Men are most likely attracted to beautiful women. That’s a fact. Men are mostly concerned about the appearance of the women. 
    Not saying it’s a good thing, but that’s the way things are in most cases.
    Although one could argue that we only love women because of their looks, but that’s not entirely true.  Women; on the other hand, are attracted to confidence and success (which usually means the guy is also wealthy and powerful). That’s what your dad probably meant by saying ”because you are the kind of guy who can make money.” Women aren’t attracted to man’s money per se, but rather the characteristics that come with it. If you follow me. That too, is a fact. That’s why Meredith Grey fell in love with Derek Shepherd, and not with George O’Malley. It has nothing to do with looks, but the way man walks, talks and acts. If Derek acted the way George did, Meredith would not have even noticed him (yeah, happened to see an old episode last night. Haha). Having said that, I’m not so sure about it anymore. I mean, I still believe it’s all true in western materialistic life, but there are other perspectives too. As a Buddhist trying to follow the Noble Eightfold Path, I’ve understood that there aren’t right or wrong answers in most cases. It’s like the Hindu system of logic says – statements can also be ”right and wrong” or ”neither right, nor wrong.” So I’ll have to conclude that I don’t know anything anymore. I used think I knew the answers, but I really don’t….. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/Mark.L.Carson Mark Carson

      Very true. And to prove your point, Lois Lane is attracted to Superman but not Clark Kent (who after all, do look the same). The difference is confidence, success and power projection.

      Of all places, I read some books on genetics (by Matt Ridley), and there is a logical case for why men are attracted to women base on their looks (genetic suitability for offspring) and women to men based on their “success” factor – the ability to care for the women and their offspring.

      Society may have changed our roles over the eons, but out genetic make up remains primitive.

      • Fred

        Never figured out how Lois could not see that Superman was Clark Kent minus the specs, doesn’t say much for American journalism…or maybe it does. :)

  • Anonymous

    “She’s not going to like you because you have money,” my dad in his infinite logic was trying to explain. “She’s going to like you because you are the KIND OF GUY who can make money.”

    I used to get that. When I was younger (not to say I’m old at the age of 26), I learned quite a lot about dating and (most) women. Using fictional characters as examples, I began wondering… what was it about James Bond or Christian Troy that women found attractive?! I started noticing things which I ended up trying out in my own life. I’ll have to give credit to Paul Kyriazi’s ”The Complete James Bond Lifestyle Seminar” and John Alexander’s ”How To Become An Alpha Male.” These are pretty good books which will help one to learn about relationships and dating women. So after some practice, I was done. I could have dated pretty much any woman. And I did date a gorgeous lingerie model for a while until I broke up with her. I knew how to act and behave, so I get what your dad meant with it. Although it doesn’t apply to everybody (god knows there are exceptions), but think about it for a while. Men are most likely attracted to beautiful women. That’s a fact. Men are mostly concerned about the appearance of the women. 
    Not saying it’s a good thing, but that’s the way things are in most cases.
    Although one could argue that we only love women because of their looks, but that’s not entirely true.  Women; on the other hand, are attracted to confidence and success (which usually means the guy is also wealthy and powerful). That’s what your dad probably meant by saying ”because you are the kind of guy who can make money.” Women aren’t attracted to man’s money per se, but rather the characteristics that come with it. If you follow me. That too, is a fact. That’s why Meredith Grey fell in love with Derek Shepherd, and not with George O’Malley. It has nothing to do with looks, but the way man walks, talks and acts. If Derek acted the way George did, Meredith would not have even noticed him (yeah, happened to see an old episode last night. Haha). Having said that, I’m not so sure about it anymore. I mean, I still believe it’s all true in western materialistic life, but there are other perspectives too. As a Buddhist trying to follow the Noble Eightfold Path, I’ve understood that there aren’t right or wrong answers in most cases. It’s like the Hindu system of logic says – statements can also be ”right and wrong” or ”neither right, nor wrong.” So I’ll have to conclude that I don’t know anything anymore. I used think I knew the answers, but I really don’t….. 

  • http://twitter.com/EntreprenKorner EntrepreneursKorner

    Joseph Kony 2012 – Raise Awareness!

    http://www.Kony-2012.com

  • Kayode Muyibi

    I am a regular reader of your blog and I would like to buy this, but unfortunately this is not available for Asia pacific region, any chance I could buy it from you directly? I can do PayPal.

  • Ray Fitzgerald

    I like the cover photo, but the text on the cover,,,,,,,,I think you need a re-design.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ari.m.eden Ari M. Eden

    Best of luck with the latest book, James.  Ordering today.  Like the Mysore cover photo!

  • Spyros

    Where should we send you the receipt of your previous book?

  • http://twitter.com/socrates1998 socrates

    Just bought your book, can’t wait to read it!

  • Anonymous

    What an interesting and accomplished person, in his own way, Altucher is.  I can’t quite grok him, but his list of wins and defeats and mishaps is impressive, as are his takes on life in general.

    He makes me realize what a boringly conventional life I’ve had.

  • Steven

    I like reading your stuff.  But your father was right.  People don’t read you because you have money.  They read you because you are the KIND OF GUY
    who can make money. After all, who’s going to read a blog by a guy who says he lost thousands of dollars?  But a guy who made and lost tens of millions is pretty interesting.

  • ark

    i am a US Amazon Prime member, but the “Buy” link still says 2.99, what gives?

  • http://bookclubreading.com/ BookClubReadingList

    Another excellent article.  I like your style of writing … self-deprecating humor. I’m sure the book will be funny … I’m already looking forward to getting a copy