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Update on Reviews, Events, and More

I have taken a break from media appearances since Thursday—I needed a rest, and I’d say I like birds even more than innovation—but it was a wonderful first two weeks for me and for the book, thanks to you.

Here’s an update on the launch, and what’s planned for the coming weeks.

What Did You Think?


The feedback about the new book both on social media and from writers and business leaders I greatly respect—from Steven Pinker to Walter Isaacson to Richard Dawkins, from Naval Ravikant to James Altucher—has been both wonderful and somewhat humbling.

But now I want to hear from you! And I would like it if everyone else could, too.

As you can tell, I am working extra hard to promote this book compared to my last one: I think it could be the book that “saves” innovation, and I want it to reach as many people as possible. It’s my understanding that the most effective way to promote a book is to encourage pre-orders (done, you pre-ordered over a thousand copies from alone) and to make sure it has a very successful first 3-5 weekshence why I have been saturating you with social media posts and newsletters recently, for better or worse!

I learned more recently that books with many reviews rank higher when readers search on Amazon: So if you want to help it be a successful book and spread our pro-freedom, pro-science and technology, pro-progress message, please consider ordering it now and if you already have, please consider giving it a quick review as soon as you’re done. Afterwards, feel free to email me at mattwridley at gmail letting me know you did. I will share more on why below.

Early sales and reviews make all the difference, so please help me do some more marketing innovation, so that this paper plane can fly!

(If you’re in the UK and confused why your copy hasn’t shown up, it was delayed to 25th June, but has a special afterword added!)

Early Reviews

So far your Amazon reviews have all been very kind, as have those from publications that already reviewed it. Here are some highlights:

    A fascinating theory of innovation, how it will shape the future and what makes it successful.

    Scientific American

    An inspiring view of history.


    An eye-opening book… a valiant attempt to change our understanding of human progress.

    Incredibly important and inspiring.

    Capitalism Magazine

Thank you to all who have shared their thoughts online or elsewhere, or are planning to do so. I also have a review in a major business publication said to be coming early next week, so stay tuned for that.

Signed Copies, Zoom Meet Up


I would normally have signed hundreds of copies of my new book by now, already having done live events in NYC and DC, with more to come. This year, I could only sign sixteenthe publisher only gives you so many, and I have to pay and arrange to send them all personallywhich shipped out yesterday.

14 are for regular fans who won our fun contests on social media and in the newsletter, one is for my marketing helper (and fan) whose idea the contest was, and only one is for a public figure: fellow biologist Richard Dawkins, one of my favourite writers and biggest influences, who was nice enough to say many kind things about it on Twitter (and let me know that I technically pronounced “compact” incorrectly).

Apologies to those who couldn’t get one because of the pandemic, but I hope this will make them a little more special for those who did!



If you were told you won and are expecting a copy, feel free to email me at mattwridley at gmail to make certain we didn’t overlook you. If you didn’t win and you aren’t in North America, we should have a contest for you coming up, too, so stay tuned here. If you’re in North America and didn’t win one, you will have to wait until there are live events again one day, but if you email me at mattwridley with an order confirmation or a selfie with the book by this weekend, as well as your address, I will have a signed bookplate sent to you for you to put on the cover, or your Kindle!

As another opportunity to encourage and interact with readers, soon I will be having a private Zoom meet up for those kind enough (or big enough fans) to have pre-ordered the book or ordered it in the first week. The tentative time is Monday the 8th of June at noon ET / 1700 BST, but this will be confirmed in the invite email. If you haven’t received a Zoom invite, don’t worry! One will go out early next week.

If you bought the book by the 23rd of May local time in North America, this is your last chance to send me confirmation and be added! If you’ve bought it since, or are planning to buy it soon, feel free to reply with your order confrmation, and we’ll put you on the list of people to invite if there is extra space! And those who also reviewed it on Amazon will be put on the top of that list.

If you are in the United Kingdom or elsewhere in the world, there is still time to pre-order the book and officially get put on the list—but we will likely schedule second one in July for those outside North America. I’ll let you know!

This will be a meet up, not a webinar. I want to give each of you a chance to speak and get to know you a bit. I can’t wait to speak to some of my biggest fans personally, like I would get to at in-person book signing.

Upcoming Events


My “virtual book tour” will start up again next week as I try to go on “every single podcast” as one person on Twitter put it.

Here are a few highlights of what’s already on the schedule:

  • Next Week: Power Hour with Alex Epstein
  • 2nd June: How Innovation Works Interactive Book Forum with CEI
  • 2nd June: Adam Smith Institute Covid-19 Webinar (Panelist)
  • Week of 8th June: The Yaron Brook Show
  • 8th June: Zoom Meet Up (Tentative)
  • 10th June: ConservativeHome Live Event with Mark Wallace
  • 11th June: The Glenn Beck Program (Tentative)
  • Later in June: Dennis Prager
  • Later in June: A special to-be-announced and to-be-titled webinar focused on the pandemic, with an emphasis on Canada, hosted by the Institute for Liberal Studies

Thank you very much for your kind support.I hope you are enjoying my writing and appearances as much as I’m enjoying writing for and speaking to you.

To stay updated, follow me on Twitter @mattwridley and Facebook, or subscribe to my new newsletter!

My new book How Innovation Works is available now in the US and Canada, and available to pre-order in the UK.


By Matt Ridley | Tagged:  how-innovation-works