Case Study: Tim Ferriss & PDFpen

Case Study: Tim Ferriss & PDFpen

4 Hour Work Week
Photo by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash

Apparently, people like the idea of a short work week, the shorter, the better. That helped Tim Ferriss’s first book, The 4-Hour Body, become a huge best-seller. An authority on working smarter, not harder, Tim is always looking for a better way to do things.

For the promotion of his new book, The 4-Hour Body, Tim contacted Smile with a question:

Can you make images clickable in a PDF with PDFpen?

Answer: Yes! That’s a standard PDFpen feature. Just use the URL tool to draw a rectangle of the element you want to make clickable. PDFpen will prompt you for a link and you’re done.

We followed up with Tim to learn more about how he uses PDFpen, and found out about his clever use of mini-books for promotional purposes, attractively designed with images linked to Amazon.

Smile: How did you find out about PDFpen?

Tim: My assistant, Charlie Hoehn, who scours the web for the best of the best.

Smile: Were you using another tool that didn’t work for you? Why?

Tim: There was nothing remotely effective and easy-to-use for what we wanted to do: quickly create special PDF excerpts of my new book, The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman.  It’s currently #4 on all of Amazon, and a follow up to my #1 New York Times bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek.

Smile: What are you using PDFpen to do?

Tim: To create excerpt “mini-books” that can be promoted by bloggers via blogs and Facebook as free downloads.  It was important that we made them attractive, and that we include clickable links to Amazon, etc. Here are a few live examples that are going gangbusters:

The 15-Minute Female Orgasm (chapter)
– promoted on Facebook via NorthSocial
Rules That Change the Rules: Everything Popular is Wrong (chapter)
– promoted by blogger Guy Kawasaki There are many more used also in e-mail campaigns.

Smile: Do you have any PDFpen tips or tricks to share?

Tim: Haha… not really.  The reason I love PDFpen is that I don’t need any tips and tricks to make it work.  It’s a five-minute learning curve.  I just want to get #$%& done

Smile: Would you recommend PDFpen to other Mac users?

Tim: Absolutely.  It saved the day.

Smile: What are you working on now?

Tim: The new book, The 4-Hour Body, is looking to be bigger than the first book, and it took three years to write. Here’s the description — lots of blood, sweat, and tears (all literal)!

The 4-Hour Body is the result of an obsessive quest, spanning more than a decade, to hack the human body. It contains the collective wisdom of hundreds of elite athletes, dozens of MDs, and thousands of hours of jaw-dropping personal experimentation.

From Olympic training centers to black-market laboratories, from Silicon Valley to South Africa, Tim Ferriss, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, fixated on one life-changing question: For all things physical, what are the tiniest changes that produce the biggest results? Thousands of tests later, this book contains the answers for both men and women. From the gym to the bedroom, it’s all here, and it all works. There are more than 50 topics covered, all with real-world experiments, many including more than 200 test subjects. You don’t need better genetics or more discipline. You need immediate results that compel you to continue. That’s exactly what The 4-Hour Body delivers. Here’s the YouTube trailer (1 min.): We wish Tim all the best for success with his new book.