Monday, August 29, 2011

The ink is on the dead trees

I am holding in my hand one of the very first print editions of The Lean Startup. The Zen-inspired design by Marcus Gosling looks amazing in physical form. And in just two weeks, on September 13, 2011, it will be in bookstores everywhere. Read below for details on the book tour, how to get a free book, and more.

Excitement about the book continues to build, and I am a little overwhelmed by all the attention. Over the weekend, The Lean Startup hit #1 on Barnes & Noble overall (it's still there as I'm writing this, wow). Amazon and B&N have been involved in a bit of a price war, dropping the price below $14 for the first time. And, in a minor but satisfying victory, my publisher has dropped the price of the Kindle edition to $12.99.

The early reviews and endorsements have been amazing. I'm incredibly honored to have so many legends and personal heroes on this list (you can see them all on the Amazon listing). Here's a taste:
"Eric has created a science where previously there was only art.  A must read for every serious entrepreneur—and every manager interested in innovation." —Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, Opsware Inc. and Netscape
“This book should be mandatory reading for entrepreneurs, and the same goes for managers who want better entrepreneurial instincts. Ries’s book is loaded with fascinating stories—not to mention countless practical principles you’ll dearly wish you’d known five years ago.” —Dan Heath, co-author of Switch and Made to Stick
"The Lean Startup isn't just about how to create a more successful entrepreneurial business, it's about what we can learn from those businesses to improve virtually everything we do. I imagine Lean Startup principles applied to government programs, to healthcare, and to solving the world's great problems.  It's ultimately an answer to the question 'How can we learn more quickly what works, and discard what doesn't?'"— Tim O'Reilly, CEO O'Reilly Media 
The Book Tour
Starting in two weeks, I'm going on a crazy action-packed book tour. We'll officially launch the book at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. From there, the tour goes through Los Angeles, Seattle, Toronto, New York, Boston, Chicago, DC, and culminates back in San Francisco at the Commonwealth Club on September 27. And that's just round one - I'll be back on the road in October, too.

To get all the details on the tour, be sure to follow me on Plancast. I'll be posting links to every event there once they are online.

Virtual Book Tour
For cities that aren't on the tour, you can still participate remotely, via simulcast. This will probably take place September 23. We'll be offering the stream for free to organizers who want to create their own local events, as we did for Startup Lessons Learned. If you're interested in organizing an event, please contact Paul Lamb at Random House.

One Last Lean Startup Bundle (& looking for beta testers)
I'm going to be making one last push for book pre-orders, with an amazing bundle that will go live next week. It will be focused on evangelists who are willing to buy copies for their entire company. The prizes will make it an incredibly good deal - the lineup includes everything from tons of Amazon Web Services credits to time with world-class mentors to signed (!) copies of the new (and awesome) sci-fi novel Ready Player One. Unlike past bundles, this one will be tiered, so more copies = more prizes, and strictly quantity limited.

Want to get a first look at the bundle? I'm looking for beta testers who want to get early access and be guaranteed to get in on the action before their preferred tier sells out. If you sign up for the beta program, you'll find out about the specific prizes and have a chance to order before everyone else. And, in case you hadn't guessed, you'll be looking at a minimum viable product - with details subject to change. If that sounds interesting, sign up now.

Who Influences You?
As the printed books roll off the presses, my publisher will be following the standard launch playbook: mailing early copies out to members of the press, influencers, and bloggers. I get a personal allocation of books to send out, and I'd like to invite you to tell me who to send them to. Who influences you? We all know that one person in our lives who is truly influential, who always gives good advice and who people look up to.

It could be someone in the media, someone you work with, or just someone you know casually. If you want to nominate them to receive an early copy of the book for free, just let me know here. Please don't nominate yourself.

LOL your way to a free early copy
I only have a few early copies I can give away, and not everyone can be an uber-influencer. And I'm getting a little tired of taking this all so seriously. So I am including one last way you can get a completely free copy: create some Lean Startup-themed lulz. You can choose from any of these three memes: Lean Startup Junkies, Winter is Coming, or Lean Startup Cats. Post your entry in the comments (below), or vote for your favorite by replying to the comment. I'll send a free copy to the funniest entry or entries, as judged by the community.

Thank you for your continued support. This book represents over two years of work. I can't wait to hear what you think. Stay tuned...
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