Announcing My Upcoming Book – The Simple Dollar: How One Man Wiped Out His Debts and Achieved the Life of His Dreams

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As many of you know, over the last year, I’ve been writing a book outlining the specific details of how exactly I went from being tens of thousands of dollars in debt and working at a job that caused me to miss my family and made me long for the career I wanted to doing exactly what I wanted to do: writing, spending a ton of time with my children, and living without the anvil of debt hanging around my neck.

That book, The Simple Dollar: How One Man Wiped Out His Debts and Achieved the Life of His Dreams, is now largely finished (I’m in the process of checking over the galleys to make sure that it’s ready to go) and will be available in bookstores on June 28, 2010!

Here’s the “back of the book” blurb:

The Simple Dollar can change your life.

Trent Hamm found himself drowning in consumer debt, working in a job he couldn’t stand… and figured out how to escape that debt and build the fulfilling career he’d always dreamt about, all at the same time.

Hamm shared his experiences at TheSimpleDollar.com–and built it into one of America’s top personal finance websites. Now, The Simple Dollar is a book: packed with practical tips, tools, and lessons you can use to transform your life, too.

This isn’t just “another” personal finance book: it’s profoundly motivating, empowering, practical, and 100% grounded in today’s American realities. Trent Hamm will show you how to rewrite the rules, creating healthier relationships with money… and with your loved ones, too. With his help, you can get out of debt, start moving forward, and build the strong personal community that offers true happiness–no matter what happens to the economy.

· Escape the plastic prison, and stop running to stand still
5 simple steps to eliminate credit card debt… and 5 more to start moving forward

· Shift your life’s balance towards more positive, stronger relationships
Learn how to put the golden rule to work for you

· Discover the power of goals in a random world
Then, learn how to overcome inertia, and transform goals into reality

· Navigate the treacherous boundaries between love and money
Move towards deeper communication, greater honesty, and more courage

So what’s it really about? Here are five things you need to know.

1. The book is divided up into nineteen short chapters, each one focused on a specific topic. The chapters are ordered in something of a progression, with a longer chapter on getting rid of your debt coming earlier in the book and other chapters on topics such as redesigning your life to meet your values (like, for example, walking away from a very steady job to become self-employed and a more focused parent, which is what I did) coming later.

2. Each chapter finishes with five specific action points to take with you to follow up in your own life on the ideas presented in the chapter. That way, you’re not left with a sense of “That’s cool, but it doesn’t really apply to anything I could do.” Trust me, most of the chapters will end with something you can do to improve your state.

3. The chapters have a lot of personal anecdotes. I talk a lot about the things I tackled in my own life, how they worked, and how some of them didn’t work. Although I wouldn’t call this book a memoir by any means, there are certainly some strong elements of using my own life to illustrate some of the things I’m talking about.

4. I did a lot of interviews of different people for this book. By “people,” I don’t mean personal finance gurus and the like. Most of the people I interviewed for this book are readers of The Simple Dollar, real people who made mistakes and figured out their own way to overcome them.

5. This book doesn’t just re-hash the same old personal finance ideas. I draw from things as disparate as Nicholas Taleb’s book The Black Swan, the philosophy of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, and research papers in cognitive psychology, but I sought to tie them together into something that matters in your day-to-day life.

It’s a cool book. I’m very proud of it and I can’t wait for it to come out!

The Simple Dollar: How One Man Wiped Out His Debts and Achieved the Life of His Dreams is currently available for preorder:
Preorder it at Amazon.com
Preorder it from Barnes & Noble

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94 thoughts on “Announcing My Upcoming Book – The Simple Dollar: How One Man Wiped Out His Debts and Achieved the Life of His Dreams

  1. LOL @ Josh – well done. ;)

    Personally, I’m not convinced that the book will contain a whole lot that the blog does not. Good information, I’m sure; just nothing that can’t be found on here already.

  2. Josh, I’m with you. Personally, I think there just isn’t a big enough market to support all these PF books by all the PF bloggers…

  3. Congrats! Though it may go against my mantra of getting it on PBS…. I may just purchase this book, just to show my support!

  4. OK, I’m happy for Trent, but I just can see myself buying a book that rehashes this blog. Honestly, I’ve stopped reading daily because of the superiority complex that Trent has developed over the past year or so. I can’t imagine trying to stomach a whole book of his back patting. I’m sure it will be an informative read, but I think I’ll pass.

  5. Congrats, Trent! Looking forward to recommending your book to friends of mine; I share ideas from your blog quite a bit.

  6. If the rest of the book is like the blur you included, I think I’ll pass. Your style (Lots of commas and compound sentences) is tiring to read. Hopefully the rest of the book is written more clearly. The English teacher in me wants to scream when I see something like this: ‘Now, The Simple Dollar is a book: packed with practical tips, tools, and lessons you can use to transform your life, too.’

  7. I with alot of you, I just cannot see this book presenting a ton of new information. The blog has been around for awhile, so it seems that if there was something important to be said, it has probably been said by now. That’s the trouble with personal finance, its not really rocket science, so its hard to continue coming up with things to write about day after day.

    #10 kim said:

    “I’ve stopped reading daily because of the superiority complex that Trent has developed over the past year or so.”

    I agree…sometimes it seems that Trent has forgotten where he came from. One day we might read a post about the low point of his life, and how financially unsound he was living, the next day he is preaching to us about something and why his way is better.

    I really have a hard time figuring out who Trent really is. Perhaps someone who is just really good at coming up with stories and making them sort of relate to finance.

  8. Congratulations! As a fellow writer (blog posts, screenplays, poetry, lyrics, though…while you wrote an entire book! Wow…), I can certainly appreciate your accomplishment–very impressive!

  9. What became of the book you were working on about unpredictability in the world? Or did that morph into this?

  10. “I agree…sometimes it seems that Trent has forgotten where he came from. One day we might read a post about the low point of his life, and how financially unsound he was living, the next day he is preaching to us about something and why his way is better.

    I really have a hard time figuring out who Trent really is. Perhaps someone who is just really good at coming up with stories and making them sort of relate to finance.”

    I have some readers who like lists of tips. I have other readers who like introspective takes on my past failures. I have yet other readers who want me to present new ways of doing stuff. I have yet other readers who enjoy stuff written for the purpose of inspiration.

    I try very hard to mix it up and not write the same thing every day. Different people get different value from different things.

    I’ll say this again: I started The Simple Dollar so that someday, a person who really needs some advice or inspiration or just a sense that they’re not alone in their financial crisis at a key point in their life can go to Google, type in some terms that they’re struggling with, and find the site. From there, hopefully they can find a better path. The best way I can do that is by trying different tactics.

  11. “What became of the book you were working on about unpredictability in the world? Or did that morph into this?”

    That book morphed into this. There’s quite a lot of focus on the unpredictable nature of the world and how we, as individuals, handle it and can potentially handle it better. Quite a lot of the ideas in the book are things that I’ve never explored on The Simple Dollar, or at least not to the depth that they’re explored in the book.

  12. Good heavens! Trent should enjoy his day in the sun.

    Congratulations, Trent. As much as I enjoy reading blogs, there’s just nothing like your name on a book. Celebrate with your family!

  13. Re: #1 Josh, et al – Don’t forget that if you order the title from the library, it still has to be purchased to get into the library system. It counts! Just imagine if every library supported by a current or “past” (i.e. #10 & #12) GRS reader ordered a copy…
    Trent, I can’t believe you managed to find the time to finish the book while keeping up the blog and the rest of your life. Yours is the only site that consistently has something new up every time I visit. Even if the current post is irrelevant to my situation or *horrors* feels preachy, I know there will be another great article along soon, possibly even later the same day. Congratulations!

  14. “If the rest of the book is like the blur you included, I think I’ll pass. ”

    That “blurb” is from the back of the book and wasn’t written by me. I included it because it’s a fairly succinct description of the book.

  15. Congratulations, Trent! I’m very happy for you! This must be thrilling.

    Also, I never feel like you’re being preachy. And a lot of people (including me) forget that there are still loads of people that do not read blogs, so even if there is some recycled material, it’ll be new to them!

  16. @Nathan @Gretchen – Don’t be silly, everyone knows you can’t judge a book by its cover.

    The rules for writing cover blurbs that work in a bookstore with someone having 2 seconds to scan it are very different from the copy inside.

    Trent – congrats, you’re an inspiration to many people in many different ways (to me as a superblogger mainly!)

  17. If this blog is not of value to you, why are you here? Just curious … Congrats, Trent! Don’t listen to all the negativity!

  18. What Trent has done in publishing a book is a huge achievement and for all you nay-sayers to piss all over his announcement is just RUDE!

    This is not the appropriate column to reply to, to air your personal gripes about his topics, his style, and your reactions to them.

    Did’t your mother teach you that if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all?

    My basic and quite personal reaction? Shame on you!

  19. Congratulations on publishing your second book and having the courage to try something you’ve always wanted to do. That’s great!

  20. I think it is great that you have been able to achieve this success in a relatively short period of time. Congrats! I use this announcement as inspiration for the success that I might become if I put in the work like you have! I think that is something all the readers should consider, because what this really represents is how with hard work and dilligence, we can all get out of debt and just possible gain careers we really love!

  21. Publishing a book and fathering a child within a short interval would be a “double whammy” of business and personal success, I should think. Two very good reasons to celebrate.

  22. Congratulations Trent. I will be buying the book – I have gained a lot from this blog and buying the book (even though it will cost me a pretty packet to ship the book to India) is my way of supporting you and this blog.

    Thank you

  23. Good heavens, Trent, you certainly have some acerbic commentators!!

    Congratulations on a HUGE job well done!! And I can say that not having yet read the book, since I find your writing consistently excellent, both in content as well as style. I frequently recommend your blog, both for PF reasons, as well as a blog that has superb writing.

  24. Congrats, Trent. I wouldn’t read the blog if it wasn’t helpful and I am glad you wrote the book. Even if it is a ‘re-hash’ of the blog, I think the blog is very book-worthy :)

  25. Congrats Trent, though I think you should have bought a Honda Element vs that Toyota Prius. Perhaps it can replace the truck if you haven’t already (can’t ‘member). You have accomplished more than I did at your age, Bravo Zulu.

  26. “All I know is this: nobody’s very big in the first place, and it looks to me like everybody spends their whole life tearing everybody else down.” – Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest

    I never met a hater yet that was worth the bother of getting to know. Keep going Trent. Congratulations on living the life of your dreams.

  27. Congratulations!

    I’m a bit jealous–having all that time to write. Though not very; I hate editing (irony is that now I get to do just that on a daily basis).

  28. @ #26 jo–my thoughts exactly!

    Congratulations Trent! I enjoy reading your blog and will look forward to perusing your book. Well done.

  29. i like the cover art.

    i assume you get paid a slice for each sold? id be interested in how the finances of publishing a book work.

  30. Top man Trent. I look forward to spending my money on your book. It’s the least I can do for 3 years of free advice. Keep up the good work

  31. I’d love to get the book right away, but if I pre-order it won’t I be succcuming to the cult of the new? :)

  32. Congratulations, that is awesome! Forget all the nasty people with nothing good to say, they’re just jealous and miserable. And misery loves company. :( I may not do every single thing you write about, but I certainly keep the info in the back of my mind. Keep up the awesome inspiration goin on here!

  33. Congrats to you, Trent.

    To naysayers — a book is written for a different audience than for a blog.

  34. Anyone who doesn’t agree with anything that Trent says or offers criticism of some sort is automatically a “hater” or a “troll.” This blog is infested with sycophants, apparently…

  35. @Shannon: There’s plenty of time for criticism. When someone announces a new book that they poured many months into writing, that’s the time for congratulations. It’s the normal human thing to do.

    If you want to critique the book, read it and write a scathing review on Amazon. I’m sure that no matter what Trent’s book is like, you’ve probably already got that scathing review ready to go.

  36. Congrats!

    Will the book include tips on how to find, date and marry a public sector employee?

  37. What’s up with all the Debbie Downers? Would it kill some of you people to be gracious for one minute and offer a congratulations to Trent on his accomplishment? This isn’t about people being trolls; it’s about manners and class, both of which seem to be lacking in some people at the moment.

    Congratulations, Trent and best of luck with your new book.

  38. I was really disheartened when I read all the critical posts. It’s almost embarrassing. You may not agree with all Trent’s posts and advice, but to slam his “baby” here is just plain rude. Get a life.

    Congratulations Trent. Enjoy the excitement of finally bringing your book to market. Good for you!

  39. Congratulations!

    I started reading this blog back in my freshman or sophomore year of high school. It’s basically changed my life and I’m glad I found it!

    You’ll be selling at least one copy! :)

  40. You go boyfriend! Congratulations, Trent. I, for one, feel incredibly proud. This is a great accomplishment and all those who love you should be proud of you, too.

    I plan to purchase multiple copies – as gifts!:)

  41. Congrats and kudos on the book! I can’t believe people think you are preaching! You unselfishly open up your life warts and all and excitedly share what works so we can try it and they think you are preaching.

    Some people need to get a life!!!

    Personally I don’t care if your book in nothing but every post republished in a book. Even if I had read every one an all inclusive manual would be an excellent resource to have and I will gladly buy it!

    Your unselfish efforts, while they have generated income for your family, could never be fully rewarded in the same spirit that they are offered. Some people are misers with their money as well as their souls and they will never get it.

    I for one am (I can’t believe I am saying this) one of your biggest fans, a loyal reader, and I admire your honesty and openness!!

    Don’t let a few narrow-minded, self absorbed, narcissistic, naysayers with victim complexes get you down. There are enough of us out there who can still be genuinely happy to see someone else succeed even when we haven’t quite made it ourselves yet!!

    Congrats!!!

  42. “Top man Trent. I look forward to spending my money on your book. It’s the least I can do for 3 years of free advice. Keep up the good work”

    Well put Geoff!!!!

  43. Trent, congratulations on this accomplishment. I feel a real sense of happiness for you and your family — not just for the great accomplishment of the publication of your second book, but because of the even more significant accomplishment it documents. Enjoy the whirlwind of publication, and make sure you take time to enjoy spring in the beautiful midwest too. (That’s where you are, right? Sorry if I’m off by miles!)

  44. Congratulations Trent! I cannot wait to see your book in the stores. Hopefully it will be distributed in Canada, otherwise I will buy it online. I am sure that it will be a different kind of personal finance book that will be worth adding to my library.

    Like many, I have benefited from your free advice for so long, the least I can do is to reward you a little.

    Cheers!

  45. Trent, we are so happy & proud of you!
    As for the group of Buzzkillers, I agree with Jo. If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything. It is easy to be petty & mean when you are hiding behind your computers, but if you read the vicious comments that have been posted I would hope that you are all ashamed of your bad behavior.
    If you don’t like what Trent writes, don’t read it.

  46. I am so stoked for your book, Trent! I can’t wait to read it. I’ve already informed my husband that this is what I want for our anniversary! :)

    I am so happy and excited for you, you are a wonderful writer and person and I am glad your blog is around!

    You have accomplished so much, and are such an inspiration. Thank you!

  47. Trent, congrats to you. I think your story and experience is very inspiring. You have had a direct impact on my and my husband’s life. Can’t wait to read the book.

  48. I absolutely wish you success. You have such wisdom. I appreciate that you are willing to share it online. I hope the sales of your book sail through the roof. You deserve it!

  49. I’ts hilarious: the posters who complained that your first book was a book about tips complained it didn’t have enough personal stories in it.
    When you do a book including personal stories, they complain that your book doesn’t have enough tips. Do these people have an act somewhere?

    Congratulations and I look forward to reading your book.

  50. Congratulations Trent! Your story is very inspirational and this book will provide a lot of value! It’s so great to hear stories of people doing what they love, and earning an income from it! :)

  51. “I’ts hilarious: the posters who complained that your first book was a book about tips complained it didn’t have enough personal stories in it.
    When you do a book including personal stories, they complain that your book doesn’t have enough tips. Do these people have an act somewhere? ”

    You can please some of the people all of the time. You can please all of the people some of the time. You can never please all of the people all of the time. So I don’t bother.

  52. Trent, you must be so excited, and your family must be very proud! Enjoy every moment of this wonderful time in your life.

    As for the people with their snide little comments – I look forward to reading YOUR book that just got published because of your massively successful blog. Oh wait…

  53. Congratulations on the book! A great achievement after so many wonderful posts on this site.

    Will you be offering a iBook and Kindle edition?

  54. Congratulations! I hope the book goes into details of family and personal experience. I think the nuts and bolts and relationship issues people face can be huge obstacles for people. I would like to read about how bit by bit the problems started, and then the day by day progress.

  55. Congratulations! I’ve been enjoying this blog for 6 months now and it has helped me refocus my financial life! Buying a copy for myself and a few as gifts is the least I can do! Thanks Trent!

  56. I will be buying, and if you do a signing tour, I’ll be in line, book in hand!

    MANY congratulations- here’s hoping that your book reaches folks who can use your great advice!

  57. Congratulations!! I, for one, will be buying your book because I have gotten SO many great ideas from reading your emails. Your book reviews have also helped me find good gifts for my brother. I’m looking forward to reading it!

  58. Late to the party here, but I am quite jealous! :P Not sure if book-writing is for me, but I’d love to be able to do it someday none-the-less. (Just once, I think, unless I really love it.)

    Quite honestly, I think I wouldn’t mind picking this one up. :) I love the personal side of things!

  59. I just recently found your blog and love everything about it. I’ll read your book because I love everything about personal finance I can find. Congrats! To the naysayers… find something constructive to do with your time. Diminishing someone else’s achievement to make yourself feel better is shameful.

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