My Plan To Take Over The World Requires More Coffee (And Giant Robots)

For those following the plot of our intrepid hero…
Oh noes! I’m out a shit-ton of cash!!! $300,000 In Lost Royalties
Oh wait that’s not exactly right, which  is explained in the comments. Nevermind I get it. Need more coffee.
Cunning lawyers pick up the cause…  Shocking Revelation Piracy Hurts Individuals
Explain that it’s not exactly right in the comments. Sip coffee like Sean Connery playing James Bond.
Email discussion with cunning lawyers begins. Realize I’m possibly more like Austin Powers trying to explain how a penis pump got into my bag. “Honestly baby, I’ve got no idea where that came from.”
Cunning lawyers introduce me to their buddy (Mike Masnick). Curiously the lawyers fight against everything their buddy stands for, except the buddy. The difference between “Freetard” and “Great guy” being noted. I suspect the buddy has hired these particular lawyers.
Buddy writes for Tech Dirt, and they have a web forum devoted to discussing business models and marketing et al, called Step2. Would I like to contribute a post in the forum discussion?
So… here’s the behind the scenes masterplan to have MMSL take over the world with book sales and giant robots. MMSL: The Marketing Plan. There’s a sort of a competition happening over there for most popular thread, so if you could pay a visit and weigh in, that would be great. Competition as in prizes, with actual money. There’s also this cool team ring they sent me that turns me invisible and I don’t have to log on to check my email anymore, I just kind of hear them narrated in my head by Steve Jobs.

Anyway, I’ve got a lot to get through this weekend with writing the next three books (it’s complicated lol) and will price drop the 2011 Primer at some point over the weekend to be ready for Monday. There’s likely going to be some sort of lag in the Amazon stuff before it makes it’s way through the system and becomes effective.

And now I needs more coffees.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Athol, I love you and your blog, bought the PDF of your book (back then when hardcopies of it were hard to get in Europe). I rarely comment on your blog, but please listen this once and *let someone come up with a good design* for your future books. Please. It hurts me to see (1) the look of the current book and (2) the loss in sales this creates.

    If I got another wish free: Please become something like the Tim Ferriss of married man's sex life. Including the marketing.

  2. Anonymous says:

    +1 to all of the above from another lurker (hopefully some money from version 1 can support this).

    And… maybe not quite Tim Ferriss exactly, in all ways.

  3. Dave in the cave says:

    I agree with the better design suggestions. And if there was a way to keep the cover low-key, that'd be cool too. When a book has "sex" in big letters on the cover, you're kinda stuck reading it in your bathroom unless you want the wife/kids/colleagues/neighbors/etc to think you're a perv.

    Maybe you could do a cool stealth cover, like the way you used to use a textbook to hide whatever else you were reading.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I tried to find your book online. I failed. And I would like to add that I am good at finding stuff over the internet.

    As people said in the comments, most of that "lost" sales are from scam sites.

    And, if I had found your book, read it, and liked it, I would have bought it afterwards. I don't like to pay for shitty stuff and find out later.

  5. The cover issue is a known problem and believe me I know. The truth is Jennifer and I took a much bigger risk in writing MMSL than we have ever let on.

    All through 2010 I really should have been working a part-time job instead of writing MMSL. By the time it came to publish the book we were bouncing house payments and defering taxes. So there was simply no money for a cover. It was publish as is, or pack it all in and shut down the blog.

    As it is, the book has paid off well enough that we have "caught up to zero" for the most part.

    The next books will have better covers.

  6. I think a good cover could be developed for free using photoshop and pics you take yourself – you could do a series of you and Jennifer (very respectable pics of course) across the editions. My preference is always flowers, but then that is me – often people connect more to a pic of a person. The dust jacket could have some innocuous title and your pic so people could read it on the bus … :-) C

  7. Anonymous says:


    Have you thought about positioning yourself to be on talk shows, local initially and then perhaps nationally?

    Your book is edgy enough to hold an audience, but not shocking enough to cause problems.

    I mean, if Dick Masterson (Men are Better than Women) could get on Dr. Phil, surely you could get on Oprah's reading list.

    And if you and Jennifer are comfortable before an audience and in front of a camera, who knows where this could lead?

  8. All y'all commenting on the covers need to go back and read the comment wars here just before the book was released. It was hotly debated, three covers were proposed including one involving the Kool Aid mascot; in fact most of us were surprised the first edition came out as minimalistic as it was. Give the guy a break.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I love your blog and advice! For the future, I would love to buy a book for say, boyfriends or girlfriends to read together. Maybe half would be "boyfriend game" and the other half "girlfriend game." I say bf/gf as more serious relationships because it would be nice to have a lot of your tips figured out before marriage and problems even come up and a lot of your tips are nice to have in a person anyways! Keep it up!

  10. In general, there are many things that need to be sorted out before you start a LTR, but as a young person, it's hard to know which because you lack experience, so I second the idea of a book for pre-married people. I also could imagine Athol and Jennifer on Oprah or Dr Phil or their own show (I note that both seem to have tertiary qualifications that are relevant which adds credibility and capability) … :-) C

  11. Anonymous says:

    I do remember the discussions about the cover back then. However, this is not just a "cover issue". It's an issue of everything that's not content. Fonts, headings, typeblock, everything. I hope there is some volunteer book designer out there that can help you.

  12. Have you thought about an MMSL Facebook page? I get most of my updates on the blogs I follow through FB – I see a new post of interest on FB and head over to the blog. I don't think it would take a lot of time – just a link to each new blog post. FB opens up a lot of possibilities for people who follow the blog to share it with their friends. Maybe Twitter too; I don't do Twitter so don't know much about it, but it looks like a lot of bloggers are using it.

    I also think that the book could be "taken in hand" by an editor, to give it a more polished "read." But I work as a technical writer/editor, so I may be more neurotic about that than most people.

  13. Athol Kay says:


    I know ya'll trying to help, but if we go on Dr.Phil or Oprah we will both be fired the day after the show airs.

    As I've grown tired of explaining, MMSL has be a crazy risk for us. We just caught up the taxes from last year. Money is still *very* tight.

    There's an unreasonable expectation that all that is MMSL will be shiny and glossy like a national franchise established for a dozen years. It's going to be several years before I become an overnight success.

    Trust me on this. No one is more desiring that MMSL looks amazing than I am. I will get there, but it will not happen overnight.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Exactly why would you both be fired; what would be your employer's grounds for dismissing you? Are you violating some sort of morals/standards of conduct clause by writing this blog? If so, aren't you liable to be fired anyway since you blog under your own names; I'm sure your blog isn't a big secret to your co-workers (not all of them)so what would happen if some of them complained to your higher-ups? I can understand that disapproving co-workers can make things unpleasant but are there larger legal issues involved as well?

  15. Athol Kay says:

    We can't afford to be fired. Let alone fight a protracted legal battle. The firing doesn't need to be legal to ruin us.

  16. I get why you can't afford to be fired (who can with decent jobs so scarce) but that wasn't really my question.Why would your bosses be so incensed if you appeared on TV? Do they dislike sex blogging in general-and don't want you publicizing it any further-or do you believe your blog is particularly unacceptable for some reason? Exactly what in the content would they object to so strongly? Sex is relentlessly discussed and promoted in the media; even my daily newspaper aimed at a general audience carries a lot of sex-related articles and opinion pieces. I couldn't imagine my supervisors taking much interest in my personal activities as long as it doesn't interfere with my work; frankly, they're too busy worrying about keeping their own jobs to notice much. Is it actually your bosses or your co-workers you need to worry about? Nasty co-workers who dislike you for whatever reason could certainly stir up trouble for you by making complaints to your bosses ( you are writing on company time or creating a hostile work environment with your controversial opinions, that sort of thing).

  17. Customer complaints will do us in. We had six for the 3 minute Inside Edition piece in May. End of discussion.

  18. Just amazes me how conservative the US is – married people having sex in their own time is considered indecent and thus rendering people creepy and a danger to clients.

    A solution maybe to move to Australia – there are heaps of jobs for nurses and a great social welfare system. We DON'T CARE what people do in their own time and there are strongly enforced laws for unlawful dismissal.

    Americans who live here love it and we are being swamped by New Zealanders (bless their little cotton socks).

    Here's hoping you make so much money from your writing that you can see formal work as optional! :-) C

  19. "A solution maybe to move to Australia"

    Yeah and get killed by a poisonous cell phone…yeah right great plan.

    I wasn't here during the "cover wars" but I agree that it needs work. I do all my covers myself and all my books are illustrated with royalty free vintage images. There is many good art and illustrations done in 1930 and before that could be used for the cover if you are interested. I can try and look for some if you want to, but after November since I hate myself enough to take the Nanowrimo I will be probably biting a bullet all next month.

    Are you shying away from the cameras or any source of exposure that means that you might be interviewed? You could have your own youtube channel if not, with answering live in questions and thinks like that.

    I can totally see how is too much of a risk to get fired though, can you do anything legally to make sure they wouldn't dare? I also think that a small program might get you in trouble but if you managed to land on Oprah I'm pretty sure that will make you untouchable a call to the Oprah Team will be enough to get the whole place in trouble and they know that, just saying if there is a big chance with a powerful figure please don't say no I think the benefits will outweight the risks, of course is easy for me to say that. Is your neck in the line at the end of the day.

  20. Looking Glass says:

    Oprah or Dr. Phil are risks with very little upside.

    Paid speaking tour is a slightly different one, lol, which is actually where a lot of the money is at for Book type work.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Check out – plenty of people there who can design a good cover (and the rest of the layout stuff) for dirt cheap.

  22. I learned about mmsl from tech dirt. I've hoovered the archives into my brain and am 1/2 thru the book.

  23. Athol, my post-marriage career is as a graphic artist/web designer. I have put together an e-book. If you still need help (and you get a special rate), you have my e-mail address.


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