Several new huge announcements today! I’ve been waiting to tell you some of this news for almost a year and a half, and can’t wait to finally share the following with you:
- HarperCollins (yes that’s Collins as in the language courses, and English/foreign language dictionary publishers!) are publishing my book “Fluent in 3 months” on March 11th. Those who pre-order it get lots of fun goodies! Check out this page for US/Canada pre-orders, and this page for UK/Ireland/international pre-orders.
- I am going on an international language encouragement (and book) tour, including across the UK and Ireland, and every state in the US and province in Canada, where I plan to meet as many of you as possible, organize language-exchange meet-ups, and otherwise bring language learning awareness and encouragement. Bring your pre-ordered copies to your city or a city near you for me to sign it! Sign up at the provisional Facebook event page at your city here!
- Book launch/reading/signing will be at SxSW (Austin, Texas) all thanks to your votes to get me to speak there! I’ve been trying to give a language learning talk there (similar to my TEDx one) for 3 years, and it’s your support that got me the stage! I’m also speaking at SxSWEdu, to discuss language learning education. A week after SxSW, I’ll launch the book in London!
- Look out for me in newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, big online sites, and many other sources, as I use book promotions and the publishers’ influence to get me big audiences as a chance to get the encouraging message that anyone at any age can and should learn a foreign language to millions of people!
Where to start! Well, obviously go to the US/Canada or UK/Ireland/international page and pre-order your copy of “Fluent in 3 months” now! I know March 11th is still 2 months away, but I’ll have so many free goodies away to help you with your language learning much sooner than that (I’ll tell you what on January 20th, so save your email receipts!)
How the book came about
I had the idea to write this book way back in 2012, and with the help of an agent found the one publisher (after seriously considering two dozen other ones) who would best help get the world’s most encouraging language learning book out there.
When we had dotted the “i”s, I came back from Egypt to Berlin, where I had what I called my “secret Berlin project”, which was to spend 3 months writing it. To give you some comparison, I wrote the Language Hacking Guide in 6 weeks while also attempting to push my German up to mastery level. This time though, “Fluent in 3 months” got my full undivided attention, actually 7 days a week all day long.
I started from absolute zero (so no, this is not just adding on to the Language Hacking Guide – in fact, the vast majority of the brand new book is never touched on in my much smaller e-book), sat down with some very accomplished polyglots to interview them (on video; only available to those who get a copy of the book!), talked to linguists (i.e. those with a Masters or PhD in linguistics) about how to best present the concepts, had a smart rhetorician help me present the ideas in as straightforward a way as possible, and had the publisher’s own editors tidy it up even more so it was absolutely the best quality it could be.
Rather than just an updated version of my ebook, or a collection of blog articles, this book is an entity of its own, and you can see the chapter titles here. I destroy all possible excuses someone could have for not getting into learning a language, describe how to speak from day one, then how to advance on to fluency and onward to mastery, and even how to take on multiple languages, as well as the tools you’d need for all of this.
Instead of stopping at the physical book, there will be free access to videos and extra content exclusively for people who have the book. Also, if you already have a “Speak from day 1” log in or Language Hacking Guide, I'll be emailing you about how to upgrade to the extra content page so you have the most up to date digital stuff I've come up with!
And this isn’t just my thoughts either – rather than provide the “one and only” way to learn a language, I constantly encourage the reader to check out the advice of the many polyglots that I am so glad to be bringing to a wider audience!
The entire publishing process has been fascinating – especially seeing my first draft go through so many changes, each time a huge improvement over the last, while still genuinely maintaining my voice, but powerfully expressing what I wanted to say.
As well as this, since there is a completely separate US and a UK version, you’ll find the “u”s included or excluded in “colour” and “favourite”, books bought in “stores” or “shops”, as well as “practice” used as a verb and noun or only as a noun, etc., whichever you are more used to reading 😉
Benny is coming to a city near you!
While many people dream of someday having a book published, this is a very recent idea for me that I acted on as soon as I had it. Rather than dream of being an author, I see this book more a means to reach new audiences to spread an encouraging language learning message that can potentially encourage way more people than I ever could with a blog alone.
Inspiring as many language learners as possible is what I’m truly passionate about, and the promotions around a book, as well as the book itself visible in real shops to people who’d never typically read blogs, is a wonderful way to do that! HarperCollins are eager to help me achieve this goal!
One of those benefits is that I’ll have some help to create events for language learners all around the world, and I want to use this chance to visit as many places as possible to meet many of you directly and give you more face-to-face language learning encouragement. So my “mission” this year is not to learn a new language (in fact, I'm intentionally not taking on any new ones for the moment), but to help YOU learn a new language.
As such, if you would like to come along, sign up at the provisional Facebook event page at your city here so that you are notified of when meetings are definite. If a venue has a particular limit, then only those who signed up to the Event page on time will be allowed in!
My international book tour will take me all across the UK and Ireland, to every single state in the US and province in Canada, and beyond!
Bring your pre-ordered book when I reach your city or one very near you, and I’ll be happy to sign it! 🙂
SxSW American launch
Many of you will have seen me request your votes over the summer for three summers in a row to have me speak at SxSW (“South by Southwest”, a huge conference and festival in Austin/Texas). This is a great networking event and chance to get a message to many influential people, in my case one of language learning encouragement.
Despite so many votes from all of you, I unfortunately didn’t get in two years in a row. This year though, I finally made it! It was for a request to give a talk related to learning languages and technology. I messaged them immediately after acceptance to let them know about my book and asked if they could convert the session to a book signing, and they said yes!
This means that I get to read from the book on stage, and still give a powerful presentation that will be in the program, but follow it up with a book signing that is supported by the event (and “advertised” in the event programme), and they’ll stock my book among a very few number of other ones in the event bookshop. So pleased about this! As a bonus, I get to speak at the separate conference a few days earlier, which is focused on education, discussing how we can go about improving language education, at SxSWEdu.
One week later, I fly to London for the UK launch.
Eager to work with those in the media
Now that I have a book coming out, media are already showing more of an interest in talking to me. We are already starting to confirm upcoming appearances on large stages such as TV, magazine, national newspapers, radio and more, which will mean that I can try my best to inspire perhaps millions of people that it’s never too late to learn a language, and that no language-gene is necessary.
I’ll confirm all media that’s upcoming on my Facebook page, and look forward to your support to make sure I can make an impact when I get those chances!
If any of you have connections with media or work for such outlets yourself, myself and the book publicists would love to talk to you! I’m also very eager to work with those who have large blogs/podcasts or similar with decent audiences to guest post or be invited to be interviewed. Please get in touch!
I’ll also gladly work with local media as I pass through that city, and would appreciate any help from locals as I set up language exchange meet-ups and other language related events there.
As you can see, this is going to be an exciting year! Not just for me personally, but I genuine believe that I can make a real difference and inspire quite a lot of people to get into learning another language, who may right this moment think it’s impossible for them.
You can help me with this, as always, by spreading the message and helping me get copies of these books out to more people. I’ll ask for the biggest part of spreading that message when I announce the amazing goodies people get for pre-ordering, on the 20th! Feel free to wait until that day to pre-order, to find out what you get, but all pre-orders until then count for the goodies. 😉
So many fun things afoot! I’ve been working full and part time on writing and re-writing the book almost all year, and on important logistics about it for such a long time, and I’m glad to finally share this with the world! Thanks so much for pre-ordering, and I can’t wait to meet so many of you in person in just a few months! 🙂