Book Notes: Interview with Donald Miller, Part 1

This month we start shipping Donald Miller’s new book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. It hasn’t even started shipping yet, but it is already #2,900 on Amazon. In a minute I will tell you how to get a copy free.

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As you probably know, Don is the author of Blue Like Jazz, a personal memoir that spent more than 40 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list. Unfortunately, that success got him stuck. By his own admission, he went into a funk for months, sleeping in and avoiding us—his publisher.

It wasn’t until he met a couple of screenwriters from Nashville, that his life started to get some forward momentum. They wanted to make a movie based on Blue Like Jazz. However, they informed Don that his life was too boring. They would have to edit it, to make it more compelling.

Along the way, Don learned the elements of story and realized that he could edit his own life in real time, to make it more interesting. He takes what he learned about story and started applying it. Amazingly, it worked. Why? Because our lives really are a story. This is not a metaphor; it is reality.

Whenever I read a book, I know I’m onto something if the following three things happen in my own experience:

  1. I read the book quickly. No one is making me read it. In this particular case, I read the book in two sittings.
  2. I am sad when it ends. When I finished A Million Miles, I felt like I a visit with a really good friend had been cut short. The time few by.
  3. I start thinking of people I want to read the book. In this case, I thought of dozens, starting with my own family members.

After reading the book, I thought it would be fun to interview Don on video. He is so engaging and funny, I wanted you to experience it first-hand. The interview lasted about an hour. However, Gabe Wicks, our VP of Design and Multi-Media, and his team edited it down to about 15 minutes. I am going to post this in three, five-minute segments over three days. Today’s episode is part one of three.

In the meantime, here are two ways to get a free copy of the book:

  1. Leave a comment on this post below. Tell me why you want this book. Be creative. Then fill out your shipping information in the special form I have set up for this book. Do NOT leave your address in the comment itself. On Thursday, I will select 100 people, based solely on my arbitrary and subjective evaluation of their comments. If you are one of those selected, I will notify you via email. If you don’t hear from me, you can assume you didn’t make the cut.
  2. Post a book review on your blog. If you are a blogger, you can get a free copy of the actual book. If you are not already signed up as one of our Book Review Bloggers, you need to do that first. Then you can request a copy of the book. We are making 250 copies of the book available to bloggers. These will go quickly. Guaranteed!

By the way, you can find the official book Web site here, along with Don’s tour schedule. Believe it or not, he will be traveling to 62 cities this fall to promote this book. Chances are, he is coming to a city near you!

I will post part two of this interview tomorrow.

Update: We have now given away all of our free copies. However, you will be able to pick up a copy of the book from your favorite bookseller soon. It is shipping to stores now.
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