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Jon Westenberg

Jon Westenberg

Writer, Creative & Digital Evangelist - HubSpot, New York Observer, Huffington Post, as well as TIME, Inc., Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Lifehacker and more.

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About the author

Jon Westenberg is a multifaceted creative. He guides hundreds of thousands of writers, founders and artists through building businesses, becoming freelances and embracing their creative inner-weirdo.

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http://www.jonwestenberg.com
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Success! The Fuck Up's Guide To Failing sold 113 pre-orders by May 17, 2017, was pitched to 23 publishers, and will be self published.

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The Fuck Up's Guide To Failing

How to Fight Your Way Back From A Loss

A narrative-driven handbook for facing your own failures head-on and getting back up after a knock-out. This book tells you how to turn negative situations, losses and major personal failures into a win.

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Personal Growth & Self-Improvement Entrepreneurship
50,000 words
25% complete
11 publishers interested

Synopsis

A narrative-driven handbook for facing your own failures head on and getting back up after a knock-out. This book tells you how to turn negative situations, losses and major personal failures into a win.

What do you do after you've failed completely?

Sooner or later, you’ll experience abject failure. I want to rip that bandaid off right away. Sooner or later, everything is going to go wrong. I know this, because I’ve seen it over and over again. I know it because it’s happened to me, over and over again.

It’s a tough thing to go through. It can be almost completely demoralising, when it happens to you. But you’ve got to be ready for it, because you’ve got to be prepared enough to handle it when you go walking around a pretty normal looking corner and get laid out by a right hook.

I don’t like this thing where people are proud of their startups failing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with starting a business and having the whole thing work out because you planned it and you had your shit ready. But if you do fail, you’ve got to find a way to push through it and learn from it. And that’s the case if you’re a student or a designer or a writer or anything else

That's what this book is all about. It's about the people who have fucked up, and the ways that they've found to push through. Against the odds. Against themselves. Against the world. 

Outline

Introduction

What is failure? What does it mean to set goals and fall short, or to make decisions that cause us to experience a set back or a loss? By its very definition, isn't failure the end of the line?

Chapter 1: Hi, My Name Is Jon

When I was 18, I walked off the grill at McDonald's and started my own company. It was such a disastrous failure that it took me years to get back on my feet, and it triggered another series of screw ups - from dropping out of law school to losing a major record deal. This is how I got through it and what I learned. 

Chapter 2: Life Isn't A Straight Line

The problem with our current definition of failure is that we think life has to be a straight line, from point A to point B. The reality is completely different. Life is a squiggly mess, from point Z to point Y via point C. Accepting that is vital. 

Chapter 3: You Can't Waste Time On Wishes Or Pity

When failure happens, wishing it was different or feeling sorry for yourself is a natural reaction. But just because it's natural doesn't mean it's right. In fact, the more energy and effort you put into wishing and pitying, the less you'll have to make a difference. 

Chapter 4: Accept That You're Good Enough (And Accept That Failure Didn't Change That)

Being good enough has nothing to do with how much you've failed or won. It has to do with how much you've learned, repeated, and grown. 

Chapter 5: When You Fail, Question Why

It’s not enough to just blame yourself, throw up your hands and say you’re done. That’s not useful. It’s not enough to blame your environment, your competitors, your teachers, your investors, your family…none of this is positive. What you’ve got to do is find your black box. Work out exactly what went wrong. This doesn’t mean dwell on it and mope about it, it means sitting down with a notebook and a pen and analyzing your failure. Finding the real reason.

Chapter 6: When You Fail, Take Time To Recover

I don’t mean take a holiday — although if you could, it’d help — I mean take time away from whatever it is you’ve failed at. Put down your project for a week or so, and let yourself recover from the experience. Sometimes failure knocks you about pretty badly, and you need that time to get back on your feet. Sometimes, failure absolutely wipes you out, and if you don’t get your recovery time, you’ll never get back to 100% of who you used to be.

Chapter 7: When You Fail, Ask For Help

When you fail, that’s when you most need the help and the assistance of other people. You need people to work through your mistakes and challenges with, who can give you that outside voice and even just share a few beers. But here’s what sucks. When you fail, that’s when you most want to be completely alone. You have to fight against that inclination towards solitude when you’re in the throes of failure. Reaching out to your network and saying that you need to spend some time with them is important. This is where I’ve always struggled. I’m not great at maintaining close relationships, for whatever reason. Having a network of friends that I can talk to who are open and available to me has proved even harder lately than ever before.

Chapter 8: When You Fail, Get Up And Try Again

If you let it keep you down, you’ll always stay down. When everything goes to hell, my first impulse is to hide in a dark room listening to Tom Waits and drinking. But I know that what I absolutely have to do is find a way to try again, even if its in small actions. When my last business flamed out, it took me 3 days before I made a list of the skills I had that I could sell immediately and picked one to start a new project with. If I hadn’t done that, I don’t know where the fuck I’d be now.

Audience

My core audience is creative freelancers, marketers, entrepreneurs and tech focused life hackers. This is a demographic that is predominantly male, with a strong age range of 25-35. Most of my audience are based in the United States. They tend to follow myself, Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk closely, and spend on average $50-100 per year on influencers' content. 

Promotion

This book will be marketed largely through the existing Creatomic network of over 110,000 subscribers on Medium. That's a large audience who already are invested in my work and understand its value. I will be launching the campaign with weekly emails to that subscriber base and weekly blog posts focusing on the content. 

DIRECT ACCESS

  • 30,000 subscribers to the Creatomic medium blog
  • 80,000 subscribers to Jon Westenberg personal blog

I will be reaching out to podcasts that I have previously appeared on, and focusing on it during my own weekly video blogs and podcast (5 Minute Founder). 

MEDIA WRITING EXPOSURE

Competition

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us

By Seth Godin

Published by Portfolio; 1 edition (October 16, 2008)

This book helps leaders turn a scattering of followers into a loyal tribe. If you need to rally fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers around an idea, this book will demystify the process. Tribes will make you think—really think—about the opportunities to mobilize an audience that are already at your fingertips.

Outliers: The Story of Success
By Malcolm Gladwell

Published by Back Bay Books; Reprint edition (June 7, 2011)
This book explains how leaders make change in any type of industry. Gladwell explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band. 

Crush It: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

By Gary Vaynerchuk

Published by Harper Studio; First Edition, 1st Printing edition (October 13, 2009)

This book shows why now is the perfect time to take that passion and make a living doing what you love. Readers learn how to harness the power of the Internet to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true, step by step.

Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!

By Tony Robbins

Published by Free Press (November 1, 1992)

How to wake up and take control of your life! Tony Robbins shows you his most effective strategies and techniques for mastering your emotions, your body, your relationships, your finances, and your life. Another step-by-step program teaching the fundamental lessons of self-mastery.

11 publishers interested Express interest
Blooming Twig logo Blooming Twig

BLOOMING TWIG is an award-winning boutique publishing house, media company, and thought leadership marketing agency. Based in New York City and Tulsa, we have represented and re-branded hundreds of thought leaders, published more than 400 titles in all genres, and built up a like-minded following for authors, speakers, trainers, and organizations with our bleeding-edge marketing strategies.

Since 2005, at Blooming Twig, we have been building our profile as the little literary engine that could, ignoring fads and sticking with work that has depth and the power to make a difference. Now our company’s trademark phrase “books that matter” has become the name of our Thought Leadership Marketing Agency: M8R, and we have expanded our desire to assist motivated individuals and organizations with vision to extract their intellectual property, make more significant profit, and change the world.
Our company shares the same brash, ethical, and DIY ideals that revolutionized popular music in the early 1990’s. Blooming Twig was founded by Kent Gustavson PhD, with the empowering notion that authorship isn’t just for the elite or the privileged. Blooming Twig is about giving the people with something to say (“thought leaders”) a platform, walking its clients up to their own influencer pulpit, and making sure there is a like-minded crowd assembled to hear the meaningful message.

Our writing, editing, and marketing team is made up of a domestic and international roster of experts, and our secretive methods proudly eschew the use of any hard-selling or “black hat” practices. Our ultimate goal is to be the amplifier for amplifiers; we like to say, Let us be the bass player to your Hendrix.

The material we release is definitely diverse, but what our authors share is a deep desire to change the world. Our authors feel transformed through the writing of their books, and their books in turn change people’s lives. That gets us out of bed every morning.

Traditional publisher

Children Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mind & Body, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Career & Success, Cookbooks, Food & Wine, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Journalism, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Politics & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Society & Culture, Sports & Outdoors, Technology & the Future, Travel

Worldwide

Agora Publishing logo Agora Publishing

Agora publishing is a Canada based company, founded in 1997 with the aim of making book publishing accessible to all writers across Canada and internationally. Our main goal is to simplify the whole publishing process and help authors to avoid the so called 'publishing gatekeepers' out there so that they can easily publish their work worldwide. We bring the best of both the worlds i.e. traditional publishing and self-publishing. We help writers produce and sell mass marketable books all around the world. Along with publishing, we have a strong channel of distribution and marketing that make us a one-stop-shop for any writer.

We provide you intensive marketing & promotion and make your book available at all the places where your target audience can get their hands on it. Agora publishing provides you the platform where you can show your writing skills to the whole world.

Once you get connected with us, you don't need to worry about anything. Our team will convert your manuscript into a wonderful looking book that match the quality of a million dollar traditional publisher and within a short period of time you'll find your book in leading bookstores & retailers across country. We have an experienced team of editors, proofreaders, designers, and promoters who are always ready to help you and guide you so that you can become a successful writer.

We promote and distribute books globally so that you can reach global audience and build huge reader base. It doesn't matter whether you are a new writer or an experienced one, whether you have lots of readers or no readers , we are here to help you.
So what are you waiting for my friend.....let's build success together.

Hybrid publisher

Children Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mind & Body, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Career & Success, Cookbooks, Food & Wine, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Journalism, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Politics & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Society & Culture, Sports & Outdoors, Technology & the Future, Travel

Worldwide

Creativia logo Creativia

We are a hybrid, Rapid Versatile Publisher with 450 published titles in Amazon, 36 of which are bestsellers in USA, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. Our approach to publishing is slightly different: we are a community-driven, social group with strong knowledge of how modern publishing works, and how to succeed in the extremely competitive market of today. We are also a BookBub partner, which gives us direct marketing access to millions of readers.

Hybrid publisher

Children Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mind & Body, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Career & Success, Cookbooks, Food & Wine, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Journalism, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Politics & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Society & Culture, Sports & Outdoors, Technology & the Future, Travel

Worldwide

LifeTree Media logo LifeTree Media

LifeTree Media is an award-winning, values-driven, forward-thinking hybrid publishing company specializing in books and ebooks that help, heal and inspire. We believe that authors should have access to high-quality, elegant publishing services and full-scale in-store distribution without having to give up their publishing rights or control over the timing and execution of their book.

Many of our clients are first-time authors who know a great deal about how to help make the world a better place, but who need help translating that knowledge into a compelling book. That's where we come in. Wordsmiths, idea sculptors and enthusiastic cheerleaders for the human race, we make a difference in the world by helping authors to make their difference in the world.

Hybrid publisher

Mind & Body, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Politics & Social Sciences, Society & Culture

Worldwide

Lulu Press, Inc. logo Lulu Press, Inc.

Since 2002, Lulu has enabled more than 1 million authors in more than 225 countries and territories to self-publish nearly 2 million publications. Our industry-leading tools, worldwide print network and global community help authors hone their craft and publish printed books and eBooks for FREE. Offering the largest Indie bookstore at Lulu.com and distribution services, you can sell in online bookstores around the world. With Lulu, authors are in control, forever owning the rights to their works, setting their own price and keeping 80 percent of their book profits and 90 percent of eBook profits.

Hybrid publisher

All categories

United States

Mascot Books logo Mascot Books

We are a full service book publishing company that works closely with independent authors in every phase of writing/editorial, book production, book marketing, and book distribution. Our roster includes bestselling authors who have previously traditionally published, first time authors, and authors at various levels in between.

What separates Mascot is our hands-on approach to publishing. We work closely with each author in all phases of the publishing process. Mascot authors benefit from our industry experience, connections, and our commitment to keep up with the latest trends in the ever-evolving world of publishing.

Hybrid publisher

All categories

Motivational Press logo Motivational Press

At Motivational Press, we believe in making a difference in the lives of others and contributing in any way that we can to help our clients get their message to the world. Motivational Press is the top publisher today in providing marketing and promotion support to our authors. Our authors get favorable rates for purchasing their own books and higher than standard royalties.

Hybrid publisher

Mind & Body, YA Fiction, Business & Money, Career & Success, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Journalism, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Politics & Social Sciences, Society & Culture, Sports & Outdoors, Travel

Worldwide

RedDoor Press logo RedDoor Press

RedDoor Press is a hybrid publisher. We operate exactly as a traditional publishing house would except that our authors underwrite the cost of publishing their book. In return we offer a team of highly experienced publishing professionals from a traditional publishing background, a collaborative and inclusive publishing experience and a much better royalty of 50%.

Our service is entirely selective and we apply robust selection criteria to the books we publish in exactly the same way as we did when we were working for some of the major UK publishing houses, such as Orion, Anova, Hodder or HarperCollins. We believe that by doing this we are creating a strong and credible list of brilliant books that should be given the opportunity to reach readers.

We apply our core values of quality, credibility and integrity to every book we publish and we work closely with our authors to ensure that they are involved with every step of the process – as much or as little as they want to be. We guide, advise and recommend and, by marketing, selling, and representing subsidiary rights to our books we work hard to ear back our authors' investment and make their books the successes they deserve to be.

We are an award-winning team that publishes brilliant fiction, excellent commercial non-fiction and ground-breaking business and personal development books, so if you feel your book would be at home with us please get in touch.

Hybrid publisher

Literary Fiction, Mind & Body, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Career & Success, History, Journalism, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Politics & Social Sciences, Science, Travel

Worldwide

Authors Unite logo Authors Unite

Become a successful author, impact millions of people with your book, and dent the universe.

Check out our latest book launch here > https://authorsunite.net/bezos-letters

Learn how we work with our authors here > https://authorsunite.net/packages

Service publisher

Mind & Body, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Career & Success, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Politics & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Society & Culture, Sports & Outdoors, Technology & the Future, Travel

Worldwide

Bookmobile logo Bookmobile

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bookmobile provides book printing, graphic design, and other resources to support book publishers in an ever-changing environment. Superior quality, excellent customer service, flexibility, and timely turnarounds have attracted nearly 1,000 satisfied clients to Bookmobile, including trade houses, university presses, independent publishers, museums, galleries, artists, and more.

Service publisher

Children Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mind & Body, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Career & Success, Cookbooks, Food & Wine, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Journalism, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Politics & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Society & Culture, Sports & Outdoors, Technology & the Future, Travel

Worldwide

JETLAUNCH logo JETLAUNCH

Every author deserves a professional book design. We design your print interior, ebook, and cover. (We also help you publish on Amazon and everywhere else.) Your book is designed in one month or less. You retain all rights and royalties.

Service publisher

Worldwide


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  • Rich Gaski
    on Jan. 28, 2017, 2:08 a.m.

    Good luck! Fix that double signature above!

  • Lee Constantine
    on Jan. 28, 2017, 2:28 a.m.

    Love the title, man! Good luck. Can't wait to read it!

  • Steffen Juenger
    on Jan. 28, 2017, 9:29 a.m.

    Hi Jon,
    I am reading your articles in medium with great interest and finding myself again and again in awe how much our views of the world are very much in sync.
    Cheers
    Steffen

  • Michael Litman
    on Jan. 29, 2017, 9:34 p.m.

    Good luck with the campaign Jon, looking forward to reading it.

  • Jason Kaye
    on Jan. 31, 2017, 12:20 a.m.

    Best of luck with it Jon. I hope you make the target man. I want to read this thing!

  • Steve Peha
    on Jan. 31, 2017, 1:32 a.m.

    Wishing you well on this venture. Thanks for your time the other night. --Steve Peha

  • Matthew Davio
    on Jan. 31, 2017, 4:59 a.m.

    Jon super excited to read the honest authentic story of your walk! Pumped and cheers to your continued success. Matt

  • Grace Kim
    on Jan. 31, 2017, 6:56 a.m.

    Can't wait to read this! You are awesome!

    - Grace

  • Alicia Cronkite
    on Jan. 31, 2017, 4:51 p.m.

    It's the least I can do, I have enjoyed your Medium posts daily for months. Good luck!

  • Christophe Ferauge
    on Feb. 1, 2017, 6:57 a.m.

    I wish you all the best and that you may reach the goal you want :-)

  • Daniel Life
    on Feb. 1, 2017, 4:26 p.m.

    Very excited for you and for your work. Keep rockin'.

  • Guy Vincent
    on Feb. 2, 2017, 10:29 a.m.

    Great work Jon, I'm looking forward to reading this. Wishing you success with your campaign!

  • Kurt Dietrich
    on Feb. 2, 2017, 4:59 p.m.

    Big fan, religious (non denominational) follower and all around believer in your work! Keep it up. Much luck with the book and getting it published. Can't wait to check it out.

  • Forest Linden
    on Feb. 7, 2017, 12:16 a.m.

    Looking forward to reading the book, Jon! Good luck on blowing past your publishizer goal and getting the book published!!

    Thanks for everything you do and all of the amazing free content you continue to crank out on Medium!

  • Philip Ward
    on Feb. 8, 2017, 10:02 p.m.

    I look forward to reading your book when it comes out.