Why “The Four Hour Body” Will Sell A Million Copies

Ever since The Four Hour Workweek hit the top of the New York Times Bestseller list in 2007, hundreds of thousands of readers have eagerly anticipated the arrival of Tim Ferriss' next book.

More than 40 months later, Ferriss finally announced that his second book, "The Four Hour Body," will hit bookshelves in December of 2010.

I'm psyched =). What's interesting is that I'm psyched for the wrong reasons.

The content of the book doesn't interest me. I don't personally care too much about "hacking the body."  What's more exciting to me is to see (and study) another amazing example of brilliant product marketing.

Even without reading the book, I can already tell that it will be a runaway bestseller. I think it's going to sell a million copies. That's an amazing achievement for any book, even bestsellers.

There are many reasons for this. First of all, Tim Ferriss is already a well-recognized name in the media and blogging communities. Anything that he puts out instantly has an audience.

But that's not the only reason this book is going to sell big.  Like the Four Hour Workweek, this book will sell because it solves pain points in a very unique way.

The Four Hour Workweek sold because it appealed to people's desires to be free from the constraints of a job or a single location. In a world where people are constantly overwhelmed by the pressures of daily life, the Four Hour Workweek sold a dream of a better lifestyle.

The Four Hour Body also sells a dream; an amazing body and perfect health…with less hard work and better results. This dream actually has a MUCH larger potential audience than the Four Hour Workweek. After all, almost everyone wants to be more attractive and energetic.

When I first read about the Four Hour Body, I took a careful look at the front and back covers. I was instantly impressed.

First of all, the name is obviously smart. The Four Hour Workweek is a recognizable brand. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Secondly, the tagline is one of the best I've ever seen:

An uncommon guide to rapid weight-loss, incredible sex, and becoming superhuman

The word "uncommon" is very powerful. In a saturated market full of diet and fitness books that all say the same thing, this instantly tells the reader that the book has something unique to offer.

The phrases "rapid weight loss" and "incredible sex" could not have been better picked. These are MAJOR pain points. Almost everyone wants to lose weight and improve their sex life.

The final phrase, "becoming superhuman," is also very effective. It adds an element of intrigue. The word "superhuman" is vague, and it motivates the reader to find out exactly what Tim is talking about.

The copy on the back cover is equally appealing, beginning with a series of fascinating questions:

Is it possible to:

Reach your genetic potential in six months?

Sleep 2 hours per day and perform better than on 8 hours?

Lose more fat than a marathoner just by bingeing?

I don't know if I'd ever want to sleep just two hours a night or binge on strange diets, but I am curious about learning more….

Powerful stuff.

In addition to the great marketing effort and outstanding brand name, I am confident that Tim has put in a good deal of work into making this an excellent book. Three years is a pretty long delay between books, so I expect real attention to detail.

I'm preordering the book. Even if I don't learn anything about my body, I'll certainly learn something about how to market and sell ideas more effectively.

Do you think the Four Hour Body will sell a million copies? Why or why not?

6 Responses to “Why “The Four Hour Body” Will Sell A Million Copies”

  1. [...] I opened my Google Reader to yet another reason why the Four Hour Body will sell a million copies. On the Four Hour Workweek Blog, Tim had written up a post [...]

  2. Jacob Sokol says:

    If tough Timothy can sleep 2 hours per day and perform better than on 8 hours – i say yes!

  3. Tony says:

    Completely agree. The contents of the book are not really that important in some respects – I'm sure it will be mostly stuff we have all seen before, such as was the case with 4 hour work week. It's all about how you dress it up and market it. Tim is an absolute master of marketing. He absolutely understands niche creation, USP, self-promotion and branding. He's a genius at it. More power to the guy!

    • Vik says:

      Thanks for the comment Tony! You’re absolutely right about Tim; even if you don’t agree with him, he’s a good guy to analyze and learn from.

  4. Azarethroy says:

    Sure, it will sell a million copies. But will it be good? I guess that wasn't the question :)
    Love him or hate it, I think everyone can agree that Tim is a marketing genius and he has a platform (religion?) now to launching anything into an instant success. I'm sure it's all readily available material that's nicely condensed into one book. (Just like 4HWW was)
    Plus "4 hours" is a brilliant brand that caters to the instant gratification society. But there's more to just making money, there's ethics as well. Oh well, I will wait for the book reviews to make final judgement on that!
    p.s. One of the chapter is on Polyphasic sleep (ie. hacking sleep) which is very difficult to do and very impractical for most people. You have 6, 20 minute naps a day.

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