Word is, it is customary to provide a preview of an upcoming book. A sample chapter or two. I like the idea but, of course, with a twist.
One thing I’ve learned over the past five years I’ve been writing this blog, is what an impressive and talented group you readers are. Seems every one of you I meet is both smarter and better educated than I. Better looking, too. But you already know this. You are one.
Two months ago, I began a search for professionals to help me take my book from manuscript to published work. I networked in the publishing industry and collected recommendations. I came across very talented folks.
Recognizing what a resource my readership here is, I also put up this post: Help Wanted: The Book.
I like the idea of having those working on it also engaged in the concept here and the mission of spreading the tools of financial freedom. But, as much as this appealed to me, I resolved that I would select first based on ability and talent. If they were a reader, that would be a bonus.
Even using this exacting standard, every person who has worked to make this book a reality is also one of us. I think it shows in the results and I couldn’t be prouder. I’m going to introduce them shortly. But first, I want to recruit some of more you. If you might be interested, check the end of this post.
Ok. On to the preview I promised. Instead of a sample chapter, I’m going to share the bits that come upfront in every book. You know: Those parts nobody reads because they are crushingly boring.
My goal was to make them worth reading. Interesting. Relevant. Entertaining. Maybe even a bit humorous and fun. You can tell me in the comments if I hit the mark or no.
Here you go:
This book is dedicated to my daughter Jessica, for whom it is written and who inspired me to write it. And to the readers of http://www.jlcollinsnh.com whose questions and comments over the years helped me more fully understand what those aspiring to financial independence want and need to know.
The ideas, concepts and everything else in this book are simply my opinion based on what has worked for me and what has kicked me in the ass. It may not continue to work for me and it may not work for you.
While I hope the book answers some of your questions and provides valuable guidance, I cannot possibly know the full details of any reader’s personal situation or needs.
As the author, I make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information in this book and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.
You are solely responsible for your own choices. There are absolutely no guarantees here.
I am an avid reader. As such, I have read the acknowledgement page of many books. I’ve always scoffed. Sure, I’d think to myself, some people might have done a bit to smooth the rough edges, but the real heavy lifting was done by the author who is now just being nice.
Then I wrote this book.
The Simple Path to Wealth wouldn’t exist were it not for my editor, Tim Lawrence (www.timjlawrence.com), and that is no idle or simply kind assertion.
His guidance has certainly made the finished product a far better piece. But his relentless encouragement, persistence and faith in the value of and need for the book are what finally dragged me across the finish line. He even relentlessly forced me to pare down my use of the word “relentless” of which I am overly fond. But as he is not editing this Acknowledgement page, I get to slip it in again thrice more.
So arduous was this task, near the end he fled for the peace and sanctuary of a monastery. I’m pleased to report, after half a year, he has returned to the rest of us.
Since then he has been living nomadically. Last I heard he was somewhere in Southeast Asia. He writes about adversity and resilience.
Remarkably, he is still speaking to me.
Since the moment I first shared it as a work in progress, the cover of this book has received rave reviews. My guess is you would have given it one too had you been asked. So when I say designer Carol Chu (www.heycarolchu.com) did a brilliant job, I do so without fear of contradiction.
Where such talent comes from, who knows? I can tell you, she was a White House intern in the 90s (before Monica Lewinsky’s time) and she’s burned through three passports; collecting stamps from Haiti, India, Estonia, Japan, France, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Italy along the way. The Russian border patrol once detained her, seizing her passport.
She’s been a professional designer for over 15 years and outside of her day job, she’s illustrated three books and authored two. She restores and sells mid-century furniture with her poet husband as a side hustle. They met in a blizzard.
All that is well and good, but when it comes to her success with this cover and working with me, my money says the key is that experience with the Russians.
I love the illustration on this book’s cover. I’ve been friends with Trisha Ray (www.trisharay.com) dating back to my bicycle trip thru Ireland where she and her then fiancé kidnapped me, hauled me up to Galway for a music festival and then abandoned me on the side of the road to find my own way back. How could we not wind up friends?
She has lived and worked in twelve countries on four continents and currently resides in New Mexico with her musician partner and a worried cat. Now that she has sold her import/export company, she now has more time for her travels with backpack and sketchbook. Her book, Meanwhile“>, Back in Los Ranchos, is filled with her wonderful illustrations and short, well told stories about the adventures that lead to them. “I was arrested twice. Once for reckless parking and once for grave digging. I was guilty of both.”
There is even a story, with pictures, about me in there. But not about my kidnapping.
Mary Jaracz has worked as a professional graphic designer for nearly 15 years. She’s won awards for her book designs, a rock band T-shirt design, and for her homemade Oreo recipe.
Easily lured into a challenge, she’s learned a variety of art forms including glassblowing, ceramics, wood block carving, and fabric design. Mary and her husband enjoy trying to keep up with their late 1800s historic home and their two sons. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should you need the inside of your book designed, or just a good Oreo cookie recipe, I strongly urge you to do so. Assuming, after dealing with me, she ever accepts another assignment.
Because I am a bit obsessive, I used two proofreaders. The two I found each had a bit more than just professional proofreading expertise.
Dr. Kelly Paradis has a Ph.D. in atomic physics and currently works as an academic medical physicist at a major medical center in the Midwest. So, of course, when she raised her hand to volunteer I told her she wasn’t quite educated enough to proofread The Simple Path to Wealth.
Her graduate work focused on the application of trapped atoms for quantum information and she now applies the principles of physics to treating cancer with radiation therapy, speaking both nationally and internationally about research applications in the field. So, then I figured, “Well, maybe.”
In addition to the proofing, she also checked all the math. Probably because she had learned to question my judgement.
When she’s not in the lab lighting things on fire or blowing them up, Kelly, her husband, and their cat Apollo write about their own journey to financial independence at www.frugalparadise.com.
Rich Carey is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force so, of course, I told him he didn’t rank highly enough for this task.
He has spent most of his 16-year military career overseas. In this time, he has worked with NATO, the United Nations, various foreign militaries and law enforcement organizations, and has even been involved in international peace negotiations. He is fluent in Chinese and also speaks Japanese. More importantly, for my purposes, he is a native English speaker.
His avocation is financial independence and his approach has allowed him to pay off his D.C. townhouse and student loans in six years. He also has purchased several rental properties which he owns mortgage-free. He writes about his journey at www.richonmoney.com.
As the concepts, opinions and approaches presented in this book often run counter to the norm, it was especially important to me that the facts be correct. So I used three fact checkers.
Two of the very smartest writers on financial independence out there today are the Mad Fientist of www.madfientist.com (a financial blog that includes the occasional travel post) who is still trying to preserve some of his privacy and Jeremy Jacobson of www.gocurrycracker.com (a long-term slow travel blog that includes the occasional financial post) who doesn’t care.
When I read their work, both these guys routinely have me sitting back in my chair thinking, “Wow. I never thought of that.” Or, “I never thought of that in quite that way.” When you’ve been knocking around this investing stuff as long as I have, that’s no small thing.
They were just what I needed to keep this book on track.
As was Matt Becker of www.momanddadmoney.com. Matt is a fee-only financial planner. As you’ll read in the book, I’m a fairly harsh critic of the profession and many in it. But Matt is one of the “good guys” and his insights and perspective have broadened my own. This book is better for it.
As the book came together, I wanted to make sure it “worked” for my target audience.
What I needed were people who were smart, who loved reading and who knew little about personal finance but who were interested enough to read a book on the subject. I also wanted people who didn’t know me personally as to eliminate any bias.
My contacts connected me with three:
Tom Mullen is a globe-trotting Management Consultant and the author of several books on wine, travel and leadership. You can find him, and sample his splendid writing, on www.roundwoodpress.com and www.vinoexpressions.com.
As an avid reader, middle school reading specialist and college professor, Kate Schoedinger was a perfect choice to read the drafts. She made sure the concepts in this book were clear for the non-financial-types, as she is, in her own wry words, “no financial professor or specialist.”
Brynne Conroy is a personal finance blogger and freelance writer. On her site, www.femmefrugality.com, she shares helpful tips and money tricks, largely in the realms of day-to-day savings and increasing income. But she’s only recently entered the area of investing, making her a perfect reader for this project. She’s smart, knows good writing and enough on the subject to make sure I stayed on track.
Pete Adeney, a.k.a Mr. Money Mustache (www.mrmoneymustache.com), graciously agreed to write the foreword. Pete is a major force in the world of financial independence and has been a longtime supporter of my blog and investing approach. He is also the first person I asked to be a speaker at the annual Chautauqua event in Ecuador, and he has been there every year since. Those were reason enough to ask him. The fact that he readily agreed and then proceeded to turn out the brilliant piece that follows, is humbling. I owe you, my friend.
Creating this book has been a long and sometimes stressful process. The emotional rollercoaster had me at times depressed, at times foaming-at-the-mouth raving and at times giddy with delight. My wife, Jane, endured it all without stabbing me in my sleep. That there is not an award for this is one of the great shortcomings of our civilization.
In short, with all their help, this book is as good as I am able to make it. Any shortcomings, flaws or inaccuracies are entirely mine and very likely result from those few moments when I failed to follow their wise counsel.
Thank you for reading it.
As I said, the readership around here is an impressive bunch!
Want to help launch the book?
If you are a…
- blogger and you would be willing to write a post reviewing the book
- a podcaster and would be interested in interviewing me about it
- or if you have any other media outlet and would like to help your audience achieve FI
….please send me an email (email@example.com) expressing your interest. In turn, I’ll send you an advance copy of the manuscript. Be sure to put what your media outlet is in the subject line. In a future post I’ll publish links to some of the best. Meaning, not just the most flattering, but the most entertaining, interesting, funny, insightful, compelling.
I will email an advance copy of the manuscript to the first 100 readers who email me to ask for it. Be sure to put “reader” in the subject line. (If I don’t respond, either you didn’t put “reader” in the subject line and I missed your email or you weren’t one for the first 100.)
In return, I ask you to promise to put up a review on Amazon the week the book is released, which I’ll announce shortly. Not only promise, but actually do it. If you won’t or think you might not or aren’t willing to commit to this, please don’t take a spot from someone who will.
You don’t even have to promise to make it a good review, although I hope you will enjoy the book enough that it is. Just put up your honest opinion.
Here’s the email: (email address removed)
Well, that didn’t take long! All 100 have been claimed. Thanks for the enthusiastic response and the very kind comments many of you included in your emails. Sorry I can’t respond to them all.
My apologies to those of you who asked, but didn’t get in under the wire. I hope, when it’s out, you’ll still give it a read and a review.
If you have a website, I strongly encourage you to read this short post:
I wish I had written it, and I did comment on it. It clearly explains why there are no pop-ups here and never will be. I wouldn’t do to you my readers what I resent having done to me.
While you are waiting for my book to come out, my pal Darrow just released his second:
His in-depth analysis is well worth a read, especially if you’ve been asking yourself, “Can I retire yet?” Once you’re done, you’ll know.
Here are two more – not financial – I recommend:
Dr. Randall’s book was first mentioned in my post on handling mummy heads. She is not only a renowned Theoretical Physicist and Harvard Professor more importantly, at least to me, she is an engaging writer able to take complex concepts and present them in an interesting, understandable fashion. Who knew a book on Particle Physics could be a page turner?
Dark Matter? Dinosaurs? Two of my favorite things wrapped up in a book by Dr. Randall? Of course it goes to the top of my reading list! No, I haven’t read it yet. It’s great. I recommend it. Reading it will only confirm I’m right about this.
If you’ve read my review, you know I love my T&N mattress and the company itself. Cool people, cool ethics.
Several times I’ve had personal friends call and ask: “What’s the real deal? It can’t be as good as you say for such short money.” It can and it is. Just last night one of these guys Skyped me to say how much they love theirs.
One of the cool things about getting your own T&N is watching it “come to life” once you release it from its packaging. Now you can see it before you buy in this captivating video they just sent me (you need to scroll down once you open the link).
Truth is, I still think it’s cooler to see in real life. But that’s just me.