SPS 115: Using Atomic Habits To Write & Publish A Book (And How I Sold 4 Million Copies In 3 Years) with James Clear

Posted on Jul 21, 2021


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About James Clear

James writes and publishes his information to JamesClear.com since 2012. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Atomic Habits, which has sold more than 4 million copies worldwide. James is also known for his popular 3-2-1 newsletter, which is sent out each week. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Why James Wrote Atomic Habits

“This was a natural evolution based on what I was writing on.” Having written articles on James Clear.com, James decided that putting together a book was the next step in his writing journey. In November of 2012, after exploring different topics, he realized that the topics on habits, creativity, and daily productivity that he was interested in were the topics that others wanted to learn about. 

Finding His Voice

After writing about different topics such as strength training and other wellness articles, James realized that he needed to find his voice. “I started to develop my style, taste, and approach and I knew what my topics were.” From here, he built his email list and audience. Based on the strength of his audience, James was contacted by publishers. Although he never set out to be an author, he found himself in the author space.

How James Decides on What to Write

Although he does use website data such as page views to assess what articles and topics have been most popular, James mainly uses the response to his newsletter to decide which topics are most popular with his readers. 

Listen in to find out why James uses reality as a rubric or measure to write about, learn James’ process for writing a book, and the importance of taking and noting ideas throughout your day for your book content.

Show Highlights

  • [01:57] Why James decided to write his book Atomic Habits.
  • [04:00] Publishing his book as his next step in his writing evolution.
  • [05:08] How James gathers qualitative data from his newsletter response.
  • [07:45] Writing about topics he uses in his daily life.
  • [09:48] His process for writing a book from start to finish.
  • [13:15] How James went about promoting his book during his launch.
  • [20:54] The importance of selecting a good book topic.
  • [25:12] Start your book content with what the reader wants.
  • [29:43] Website forms and conversions that work.
  • [33:09] How to drive people back to your sign-up page.
  • [37:48] The excitement of being a creator in this time and space.

Links and Resources

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