Announcing: The Obstacle Is The Way & How You Can Get Involved

February 17, 2014

This is a somewhat unusual post. It is not the full announcement for my new book, The Obstacle Is The Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumph (B&N)(UK), but it may as well be.

I’m writing to ask for your help. The Obstacle Is The Way is a total departure from my previous books, which dealt with media manipulation and marketing and much closer to what we’ve been writing and thinking about together on this blog for so long. This book is one I’ve wanted to write since I was 19 years old and was first blown away by stoic philosophy and now I want it to reach as many people as possible.

In brief terms, the book is a manual for approaching the obstacles we face in life and flipping them into advantages. Steeped in philosophy and using examples of history’s greats who used the principles to overcome incredible adversity, it is a book that should become more valuable as you revisit it, using it to overcome the adversity we all face in life.

Because this book is so different from my previous efforts, I’m asking you, my readers, for help in marketing the book and seeding it in communities and outlets that would benefit from it. If you have a podcast, have a friend who does, run a big blog, or can think of an influencer who would love this book, let me know in the form below. I’m open to anything, of course, but please, let’s think in terms of ROI for its May 1 release date.

If you have ideas, suggestions or better, have access to a large audience of your own, I want to hear from you. Filling out the form below will give me an idea of how you can help with the launch. Specifically I’d love to reach groups who have dealt with adversity (12-Step groups, the military, college clubs, startup incubators, etc.) but this book will work for lots of places.

Fill out my online form.

 *Note: Don’t worry I’ll still be doing all my normal marketing stuff, including a pre-order campaign like last time. This is just a way to hear from people who might have marketing/media relationships that will help the book. To get updates about The Obstacle Is The Way, sign up for my reading newsletter

Ryan Holiday

I'm a strategist for bestselling authors and billion dollar brands like American Apparel, Tucker Max and Robert Greene. My work has been used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube and Google and has been written about in AdAge, the New York Times, Gawker and Fast Company.

13 responses to Announcing: The Obstacle Is The Way & How You Can Get Involved

  1. First of all, I would totally buy this book. 🙂 They say it’s not good to publish books that are not written “in your style”, but what do they know? This book sounds great.

    I was going to post this on the Growth Hackers community to see if anyone knows other communities, but then I thought this isn’t actually about marketing… so now I don’t know.

    Let me know if you think it would help. Are you a member, btw? Good luck!

  2. Can’t help with the marketing but did just preorder the book. Was a huge fan of Trust Me, I’m Lying and I’ve been reading Stoic philosophy for the past couple of years so I’m keen to get my hands on this new one.

    One question though:

    Why do you in particular publish with a legacy publisher? I imagine you could make more money with self-publishing so what’s the benefit for choosing the traditional route?

    Thanks. 🙂

    • Nobody reads self-published philosophy books from 26 year olds.

      • Strange response from a marketing guru. Are you saying that if you wanted to self-publish this book, you couldn’t make it work?

        More likely you are just continuing your relationship, and possibly fulfilling an existing contractual obligation, with Portfolio, the publisher for each of your books, no?

        This is a common technique, crafting a narrative to support whatever is already happening (you have a publishing contract, and so “nobody reads self-published philosophy books from 26 year olds.”) Well played?

        • No. Traditional publishers have an option on an author’s next book but the author can decline. I accepted for the strategic reasons I outlined. The book is already set to be translated in multiple languages, and for media/press that would not have been possible as a self-published book. With a different concept, I might have gone a different way.

  3. Hey Ryan,

    I’ve been following this blog for years (tucker max times), only because a knew this book was coming someday. I see the other ones only as tools for being able to publish this one later. An honest book about how life should be lived (this is what i wish it to be al least), is what i want, god dammit, why is so fucking hard to find something like that this days. I really hope that my hype is justified.


  4. I’m excited about this book coming out. I think it would be beneficial to the students, parents, and faculty of our small charter school.

    I’m also proud to say that some of what I’ve learned from your reading lists, your blog posts, and your CreativeLive stint helped me put together our schools first ever Silent Auction that raised a lot of money. We were able to buy 26 chrome books with the money. So I’m excited to read this new book. That silent auction was a HUGE parental political nightmare. And though it was a small gesture when it comes to what other history makers have done, my co-chair and I set the bar for success and made some nay-sayers into evangelists.

  5. Modern capitalism needs men who cooperate smoothly and in large numbers; who want to consume more and more; and whose tastes are standardized and can be easily influenced and anticipated. It needs men who feel free and independent, not subject to any authority or principle or conscience– yet willing to be commanded, to do what is expected of them, to fit into the social machine without friction; who can be guided without force, led without leaders, prompted without aim– except the one to make good, to be on the move, to function, to go ahead.

  6. Chanaka Ranasinghe March 3, 2014 at 4:04 am

    Looks similar to Taleb’s Anti-Fragile. Link it to that somehow. Hand out free copies. Seems very relevant with huge potential. Get on Instagram.

  7. Excited! This is gonna be huge. Alas no following to help out at this stage though. One day 🙂

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  1. If you think this is morally objectionable, you’re missing the big picture. | Editorial IV - February 18, 2014

    […] to wrap this up, I want to stir you to Ryan’s latest blog where he announces his new project: The Obstacle Is the Way. The book […]