Happy Thanksgiving!

“Give THANKS for the unknown blessings already on their way.”
~Native American Saying

As 2011 nears its end and given that it is Thanksgiving Day, it’s a perfect time for me to say my “thank yous” and reflect a little on the remarkable year that 2011 has been/continues to be.

First, The Habit Factor® book went live and you might say it could be a case study for the radical changes in the publishing industry. The Habit Factor® continues to outsell many of it’s contemporary and classic “self-help” books and we’re competing against major publishing houses. (Not sure “competing” is the right word here…?) In any event, someday I’ll share another post as to why and how I think this is happening— other than it being a “solid” book that provides a lot of value, (of course : ) i think there are some other dynamics at play as well. The book is routinely featured in three of Amazon’s bestselling “Self Help categories; Creativity, Personal Transformation and Motivational. And, as you might guess, this is very encouraging. Unlike the large publisher’s books, which often only skyrocket out of the gates from the initial hype; promotions, publisher’s own purchases, etc., then fizzle, The Habit Factor’s sales trend is that it continues to outpace each of its prior month sales.

HIGHLIGHTS?
Funny you should say ask. My favorite and perhaps the most rewarding aspect of writing and publishing this book comes from the Amazon Kindle’s POPULAR HIGHLIGHTS feature.  These are highlights that the Kindle reader makes available/public for other readers to see. I just stumbled upon this feature earlier this month— it’s incredible to see the passages people highlight. It’s also really cool since Amazon even ranks the book among the million-plus kindle books. So, as of this writing, it’s already in the low 3,000′s! Again, out of a million-plus kindle books, and given the book’s 1yr age, our belief is this is a terrific sign of things to come!

Just a sample of the reader public reader Kindle Highlights…

Since they don’t call them “best-written” books but, rather “best-selling” books, these highlights make the sales far more rewarding. I’ve been told by one of the all-time, best-selling business authors that the majority of books purchased are actually never read. I’m not sure why that is or was news to me, but seeing these highlights tells me people are in fact reading the book too! (i think :)).

More eBook, or iBOOK in this case:
The iTunes, iBook release of The Habit Factor® is NOW live too! So, if you prefer reading/using the iPad check it out. Aside from ONE user’s technical challenge (which somehow turned his review of the iBook into a plea for tech support) the feedback has been positive. It’s rare but occasionally a user confuses the delivery method and payment/transaction handling from either iTunes or Google as something within OUR control. In each case, thankfully and finally, the user understands that we don’t handle the transaction or delivery of content, that it’s Apple and/or Google. Yes, you could say it’s a learning experience for everyone.

What’s up with the APP?
The app continues to benefit from the same sort of word of mouth advertising that fosters the book sales. And, better still, each supports the other. Plus, it seems every week or so, some productivity blog somewhere features either the book, the app or both. THANK YOU bloggers! You may have seen that Lifehacker (a top Internet productivity blog) ran a short feature on my TEDx talk in the Emirates about habits and goals.

This all adds up to something pretty special— validating the model that the BOOK = the Theory and the app = of course, the literal application of said theory makes for a powerful productivity combo! The Habit Factor was the first of its kind in this new app world, to offer such a combo. As I wrote the book I believed it was important to separate it from all the other motivational/self-help books that might get people excited for change but left wondering what to do next.

Here’s another ‘thing’ to be grateful for, all the great comments, posts, emails, tweets and reviews from supportive readers/users!

Regarding the app’s next release (iPhone update). Our developer’s have run into a significant challenge that has delayed the release (scheduled for early this month). It is very likely that with the iTunes holiday shut down period, we will now have to postpone the release until after the Holidays. Even if the release were ready today/now (and it isn’t) if there were any issues.bugs we’d not be able to get a new fix/update into the iTunes store before this Holiday shutdown, making any release for the PRO product at this point – not viable. We do plan on releasing a small, incremental fix for the LITE version but this won’t contain the PRO updates that are in the works.

A update/release (minor) is coming to Android within the next month and we plan is to release THF Android edition into Amazon Marketplace too!

Final word…
This post is already way longer than intended (hate when that happens). So, I will leave you this (should you still be looking for even more info/background). Here is a YouTube video (not short, about 15mins) by Life Coach, Chris Payne about the book. As Chris explains it in the video, he found the app very helpful and started recommending it to colleagues and clients and then when the book came out, he was eager to read it. After he completed it, he felt the message was worthy of an invite to TEDx (Chris was a co-orginizer of the TEDx event in the Emirates). This video was his first take, he actually has posted two similar videos. This one already has nearly 500 views. BTW: not ashamed to share that the first time i saw this i nearly cried—  too kind and thoughtful.

Chris Payne’s Video review of The Habit Factor®

Final, Final (promise)
Speaking of Holidays… Amazon has been (not sure how to put this) screwing around with the availability of the hard cover. In any event, the hard cover rarely says “In Stock” now and mostly 1-4 weeks. Now, keep in mind we’ve never heard from anyone that it’s actually taken 4 weeks to arrive however, at this point Amazon isn’t being too user-friendly. So, if you’re thinking about that next great and EASY holiday gift, (the gift that truly keeps on giving) a reminder to get your orders in early. I have heard from numerous people that last year’s gift was so well received they are still receiving “Thank yous” for the book. Who’s that person/loved one in your life that is looking to bust-through to the next level, to get the most out of their abilities, skills and special talents?

Thanks for taking so much time to learn more about THF and stay up to date and we’ll have more coming soon. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sincerely,
-mg

Dubai Goodbye, New Website & Labor Day

 

 

 

Right on schedule, another holiday — another blog post.

Happy Labor Day!

A couple more pictures from Dubai

Without these photos (maybe even with these photos) it’s all still pretty surreal; those five days I spent in the UAE went by so fast. (It’s a long way from San Diego!) These pics are from the Tedx (AlAin) trip to the Emirates, taken the day after the event in Dubai. I was very fortunate to be escorted around Dubai by the great local artist (with international fame) Wasel Safwan, who also presented at the event. His art is really incredible (click on his name/link)! (and, IMHO that is very rare for young expressionists). The picture to the left is from our visit to the “world’s most luxurious hotel,” Burj Al Arab. I love this photo because of the Phantom Rolls perfectly propped in the foreground. The other photo was taken just after our visit to the top of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, and heading back out of town toward AlAin. Walking past the world’s largest aquarium inside the world’s largest mall (something you must do) to arrive at the top of the world’s tallest building – in a rocket-elevator – all combined to make the experience even more memorable! Note: Those “small” buildings in front (probably 45-55 stories tall) give the 160-plus-story building some perspective. I just kept shaking my head thinking that building would come into focus (which it was), but my brain had nothing, ever, to gauge a building that size against and it just didn’t compute, no matter how long I would stare at it.

New Website, etc.

In the event that you haven’t seen it yet, we’re spinning off The Habit Factor® to its own website, which will be dedicated to coaching, lessons and all things THF that stem from the book and app. Additionally, new coaching and videos will be unveiled there. We’ve also begun our partner and application portal planning, where ultimately the app and devices will sync to the web/cloud. Such a site will allow for a collaborative environment (coaches, content, app users), a personal development ecosystem around The Habit Factor®.  And, as the app, products and services around The Habit Factor® continue to mature, we’ve been encouraged by a number of coaches to start a Certified Partner Program. This too is in its very early stages (not yet beta either). However, we have kicked off enrollment for qualified coaches and trainers here with incentives for early adopters.

Other News:

  • A few notes about recent comments about the app. While the large majority of reviews are from happy, supportive users with positive and constructive feedback, there are (and we’re guessing there will always be) those ‘other’ reviews. Hence, we keep creating a larger disparity between the Free and Paid versions of the app. Today, if you want to hate the app – you’ll have to spend a lot more money: ). So please, just use the FREE/LITE version first. Other comments:
    • If you want a REMINDER or believe a Push notification will save you and this app, please see the Support Page Tips & Tricks #4.
    • If you are using Android and have a problem with the interface, our thought is you should have noticed that interface using the Free version. Strange that you bought the app to complain about the interface.
    • If you are confused as to why you can’t have the exact same Goal name. Please know, that is a feature, not a bug. (Seriously).
    • To the guy who’s used the app for months (presumably getting value or he wouldn’t use it for ‘months’) yet, “trying to contact support” and gave the app a poor review: Not sure where you were looking for support? Also, glad to hear you got months’ worth of use but don’t think it’s any good. : )
    • SPEED! If you’ve been using the app for many months or years and have a lot of tracking data and would like to speed up the app, please see Support Page, FAQ #18
    • We sincerely love the support and feedback, and since Apple and Android don’t allow us to post responses, we have to respond somewhere!
    • We are working on a couple new releases of THF for both iPhone and Android. There’s also a good chance in the next month or so, The Habit Factor® will be available within the Amazon app marketplace.

Hope you enjoyed our Labor Day/Back2School Sale!

Until next time,

~mg