May 12

An insanely good week

In theory, I’ll stop blabbing about my book Insanely Simple sometime soon. But hey, I’m a first-time author. Let me have just a few days to be giddy. This thing has been so much fun, I thought I’d share the adventure.

As you are no doubt aware, the Apple crowd picks up on things quickly. The buzz was so good, my book hit #75 on Amazon on the first day. I’m truly thankful to all who were interested enough to actually hit the Buy button.

Launch day started with an appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box. Only problem was that I had to be at the CNBC studios in NJ at 6:00 am — which meant being up at 4:00. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen that hour in 20 years. There’s no prep at all for these things. You show up, they plunk you down in a chair and start counting down from five. Suddenly you’re on live TV. But the way this show works — with three talkative hosts — I quickly felt at ease. It felt kind of like sitting in a living room talking with friends. See this segment here. (But to get the full effect, set your alarm for 6:00 am and then watch it.)

On the following day, I was on Bloomberg’s show In The Loop. (See that here.) It’s interesting the way they shuffle guests in and out without missing a beat. Live TV really is like walking a high wire, and these news shows have it down to a science. Second by second, things happen with incredible accuracy.

The reviews of Insanely Simple have almost all been very positive. My favorites so far have been The Boston Globe, MacStories and The Verge. That last one is quite thoughtful, containing both praise and criticism. Well written.

Just this morning a story went up on The Fiscal Times. This is more of an interview than a book review, and it’s one of my favorite articles so far. It perfectly captures the reasons I wrote the book and puts the concept of simplicity in its proper context.

I had a good time doing a couple of podcasts, which you can find on iTunes. Search for Cult of Mac’s CultCast #10 (12 Years With Steve); and Your Mac Life for its April 25th podcast.

I’ve been doing a lot of radio shows too. Just yesterday I was a guest on the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC.

This is all really just the tip of the iceberg. There’s been much more, and there’s more to come. Later this month, I’ll be heading out to Japan and the UK for a series of events in those countries.

Anything I wish I’d done differently? Absolutely. At times, part of me wishes I could have a complete do-over. Between the writing of the book itself and the explaining of the book afterward, there is much for a first-timer to learn. Although most have understood the point of my book, one has no control over what people write. One article headlined the fact that I thought Apple’s marketing will suffer without Steve Jobs (which I never said), and that the Jeff Goldblum campaign introducing iMac was a mistake (which I also never said). Those things can be frustrating.

If you’re interested in joining the discussion about the book, or keeping up with the articles, just hit the Like button over at my Facebook author page. That way, you’ll get updates in your newsfeed. You might also sign up for my newsletter over there in the sidebar.

Once again, a huge thanks to all of you for your interest and support.

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  • Bmcfadden

    Congratulations Ken, it is great reading so far; I can’t wait to strangle the complexity out of my next marketing project.

  • Tzhilenkov

    Dear Ken, I just wanted to stop by and say my frank “thank you so much” for the book. I love the narration and style, and I cherish your ideas and suggestions. I miss Steve a lot and this book opens up the mystery behind Apple’s great success. I work in a company which just couldn’t be more complex. It is huge and it is so hard to implement Simplicity even in small ways. Anyway, thank you, thank you, thank you! The book is awesome and I would definitely recommend it for anyone, interested in Steve’s personality or Apple world. 

  • Rickey

    Thanks for writing this book, Ken. I’ve read it twice, bought the paperback and digital version so I can have it near me at all times. Simplicity is my religion and this is now my bible.

  • Jason Parry

    Ken I’m not even all the way through the book but It is SUCH a tool for creatives this is the textbook now. I already have passages highlighted and postit marked for when I give the book to people in my organization where they can learn. You have armed the warriors of simplicity for battle.

    I’m sure you have caught the ironic typo on page 114 “Every names needs to be perfect”

  • ksegall

    Wow, thanks for the great compliment. Much appreciated. Yes, I’m aware of that typo — although you have just won the prize because you’re the first reader to mention it aloud. (And yes, it was placed for maximum irony, wasn’t it.) Actually a few typos slipped through, causing me great grief. The eBooks were corrected and the hardcover will be fixed in the second edition. But damn, that’s frustrating.

  • Jason Parry

    Ooh what’s the prize? signed book? :) :) :) it’s funny I actually got two – I preordered, forgot I preordered and preordered again- I wanted it so bad!

  • ksegall

    Just a piece of friendly advice: you should probably order one more, just to make sure you’re prepared for anything.

  • Dwatt

    Congratulations Ken, great to see your book out. Only problem is that here in New Zealand the iBook store seems to have no books (apart from freebies), including yours! Perhaps you could use your contacts in Apple to kick them in to actually making iBooks truly internationally available, then I could buy your book without resorting to Amazon.

  • ksegall

    Sorry I’m late on this reply. My travels distracted me. Turns out that different countries have different issues with iBooks. And, unfortunately, the lowly author has no clout at all in this area. Hopefully it won’t be too long before the iBookstore in New Zealand actually has some books to offer. Good luck…