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Summary:

Nearly a year ahead of his book’s publication, Tim Ferriss–the first author signed by Larry Kirshbaum’s as-yet unnamed Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN)…

Tim Ferriss app 2

Nearly a year ahead of his book’s publication, Tim Ferriss–the first author signed by Larry Kirshbaum’s as-yet unnamed Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) imprint–is launching a massive, Kindle-centric marketing campaign for 4-Hour Chef, including a chance to win one of 50 free Kindle Fires, a discount on pre-orders and a Kindle Fire-only app.

The 4-Hour Chef does not go on sale until September 25, 2012, but users can pre-order it now at a large discount: $15 for the hardcover (the list price is $30) or $5.99 for the Kindle version (the list price is $22*). “I’ll be thinking up bonuses for people who buy the print edition early,” Ferriss writes on his blog.

Ferriss is also releasing a free Kindle Fire app, “A Christmas Countdown Experiment: The 4-Hour Chef Teaser,” including “a seven-day Christmas countdown advent calendar, with unusual tips that allow you to enjoy wine, cookies, and all the other holiday vices…while losing fat.” It is currently only available for the Kindle Fire, with iPad and Android tablet versions “coming along shortly.”

Finally, Ferriss is giving away 50 free Kindle Fires to those who creatively promote his book and quantify their efforts. He writes:

1) Just spread the word in the next 48 hours! Send people to this blog post or The 4-Hour Chef page on Amazon. Here are some ideas: Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, e-mail signature, street miming. The last one doesn’t scale as well as the others.

2) By 11am PST this Thursday (Dec. 3), leave a comment on this post telling me what you did. If possible, quantify the impact (clicks, page views, etc.), and be sure to follow these two rules, which are required for your entry to be valid:
– In the first line, tell me what you’d most like to learn in The 4-Hour Chef.
– Keep the entire comment to 200 words or fewer, so use bullets!

We’ll consider the first 300 submissions, and a few judges and I will choose the 50 we think did the best job (subjective, I know). Then we ship them off! Void where prohibited, Martians under 21 not allowed, etc., etc. Winners will be announced next week.

I was surprised/impressed by how big, splashy and Amazon-centric (and early) this marketing campaign is and wonder whether we can expect promotions of this level from the other authors Kirshbaum has signed up. It appears that Ferriss is primarily directing the campaign through his own site, enlisting his existing fan base (the importance of which was stressed by Seth Godin as one of his “takeaways” from the Domino Project) but I’ve asked him and Amazon whether he is funding it himself (is he paying for all those Kindle Fires?) or whether Amazon is contributing them to the cause.

Hat Tip: Philip Nowak

*A suspiciously high price, Ami Greko points out. Amazon has generally priced e-books from its own imprints low, with low list prices as well. I’m wondering if Amazon will always keep the “list price” high but never sell the book at that price (in order to make it always look discounted), and/or if Amazon is indeed planning to allow other retailers, like Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS), to sell its e-books–and is keeping list prices high for that reason.

  1. What an exhausting scavenger hunt you’ve got to go through to win a damned Kindle Fire from Tim Ferris!  Doing promo work for him isn’t enough — you’ve got to quantify your results and write a short essay (in bullet form, apparently) about what you’d like to learn from his as-yet-far-from-epublished-book.  And oh yeah, get it all done and submit it in less than a week.  It’s enough to make you suspect he’s so busy promoting himself these days he’s fishing for ideas from his fans to pad that nearly-a-year-away book.  As Sam Goldwyn used to say, “Include me out.”

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