gapingvoid lands a book deal…


[UPDATE: My first book, "Ignore Everybody", will be coming out in hardback on June 11th, 2009. Read below to find out more, and you can also order from the book sellers listed below. Thanks!]


Barnes & Noble.


800-CEO-READ. (great for bulk buys)

IndieBound. [to find an independent store]

1. Exciting News etc.
Four years ago, I wrote a series of blog posts, which went on to become “How To Be Creative”. Since then, it’s been downloaded well over a million times. The PDF version alone has been downloaded over ninety thousand times, and is the number one most downloaded manifesto on
I am happy to report that I have just signed a book contract with Portfolio Books [a Penguin imprint] to develop it into a book. Portfolio, by the way, is the same imprint that publishes Seth Godin’s books. We even have the same editor, and I’m told the book will have the same graphic designer that designed Seth’s “Purple Cow”.
Of course I’m excited and happy. Not only do I have a book deal, I have a book deal with a second-to-none, blue chip publisher. Big thanks and kudos to Seth for introducing me to them.
2. West Texas
This deal might help better explain why I recently ensconced myself in Alpine, Texas. The move was not completely random. I needed to write more. Needed to be somewhere with lots of peace and quiet. At least until the final manuscript is signed off.
3. Change Is Good.
Yeah, it’s a terrific opportunity. But like it says in HTBC, “Keep your day job”. The book may become a bestseller, it may only shift a few copies. I have no idea. Nobody does. Some people dream of one day becoming a full-time book author. I feel fortunate to have never been smitten with the bug. I’m going to continue doing exactly what I’ve been doing for these last four years- drawing cartoons, blogging, writing, consulting etc etc.
4. “The Title Is Ironic, Stupid”.
Telling people “how to be creative” is a bit silly, when you think about it. Generally, people either are or they aren’t. When I wrote HTBC, I certainly wasn’t trying to slip into some sort of New-Age, “Unleash-The-Fire-Within-You-Creativity-Guru” schtick. All I was thinking about was a short, practical, real-world list of advice that would come in handy to somebody say, 10-20 years younger than me, somebody with the same “creative bug” I had when I was just starting out in the world. I was just trying pass along some valuable, pain-saving lessons to the next generation that I had learned along the way. No more, no less.
5. “Damn, I’m Old.”
It’s been over ten years since I came up with the “back of business card” cartoon format. It’s been nearly twenty years since I came up with my “squiggly” drawing style. Damn, if I new it would take THIS LONG to get the work “out there”, would I have bothered in the first place? Actually, yeah, I probably would’ve. Plus ca change…
6. What have I learned about “Being Creative” since 2004?
Very little, if truth be told. The first round of HTBC had 26 chapters, 10,000 words and took 6 weeks to write. Since then, I’ve added another 10 chapters- about 3,000 extra words. I’ve not had a lot to add to the original list, it seems. The good news is, there’s nothing in the original 2004 version that I’ve had to take out completely or hugely modify. Most of the stuff seems to have stood the test of time pretty well, which I take as a favorable sign.
If I had to condense the entire work into a single line, it would read something like, “Work Hard. Keep at it. Live simply and quietly. Remain humble. Stay positive. Be nice. Be polite.”
7. Early 2009.
I have to get the final manuscript finished by August. We’re guessing early 2009 for its release date. I can’t wait!
8. Thanks, Everybody!
Loic Le Meur and I were having this conversation recently. The basic tenet of the conversation was, “The best thing about being a blogger is the people you get to meet.” I have found this to be true and self-evident. When I was younger, the people who inspired me the most professionally were famous, dead, or both. Since I become a blogger the people who inspired me the most became good friends of mine. We hung out. We drunk beer. We ate pizza. It wasn’t a big deal, it was just… lovely. Back in 2004, my blogging buddies and I knew we were onto a good thing. Something powerful and creative and earth-changing. But that’s not the main reason we liked it. We liked it because we enjoyed it, because it was interesting, because of the smart, passionate, fun people we were starting to hang out with.
A decade from now, maybe blogs as we know them won’t even exist. Maybe they’ll call them something else. Do I care? Not really. What matters, like Loic and I talked about, is the people you get to meet. That’s where the magic lies. Ten years from now, these people will still be around, geeking out on the internet at the latest WHATEVER that’s coming down the pike. They’re not going anywhere, and Thank God for that.
So Big Thanks to Everybody for reading gapingvoid over the years. I could not have done it without you, without a constant stream of bloggers and readers to make me think and to make me feel inspired. From the very bottom of my heart, Thanks Again. You guys rock.

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

Len Schlesinger
Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark