A Manvotional Book: Would You Be Interested?

by Brett & Kate McKay on July 20, 2010 · 65 comments

in Blog

In October of this year, Kate and I released our first book, The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man. While its success wasn’t on par with say, those books about werewolves and vampires, I was really happy with its modest success and have gotten a lot of positive feedback on it. Thank you to everyone who bought a copy for themselves and for the men in their lives. We truly appreciate the support.

A few months ago we started brainstorming an idea for a second book. Much of The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man concentrated on the “how-to’s,” the skills sets that every man should have. Therefore we wanted our next book to focus on the “mind-set,” the inner values that are essential to true manliness. So as we talked about ideas, the book we felt the most passionate about moving forward with was one based on our semi-regular series called “Manvotional.” If you’re familiar with AoM, you know that Manvotionals are poems, parts of speeches, and excerpts from inspiring old books that offer inspiration and guidance for men.

The Art of Manliness Manvotionals book would reach back through time to find the best advice ever written down for men. From the philosophy of Aristotle to the success books of  the late 19th and early 20th centuries to the speeches and essays of Theodore Roosevelt, the book would contain the manly wisdom of the ages- a myriad of poems, quotes, and essays designed to inspire men to live life to the fullest and realize their full potential as men. The book’s chapters would be divided into the different manly virtues like courage, integrity and resolution, along with a chapter simply on true manliness. Each chapter would start with an introduction from us on the meaning of the virtue, and then be followed with inspirational writings centered on that virtue.

The book would contain the most popular Manvotionals which have previously been published on the website, with plenty of new material which would be unique to the book. There are so many awesome success books from the early 1900′s  filled with amazing wisdom that truly needs to be brought to light once again. It’s the type of book you could keep on your nightstand, so you could read a few sections before you go to sleep or before you head out to face the world in the morning.

I love this book. I would want to read this book! And I think there are tons of men out there that would too.

But when we took the idea around to publishers, we were greeted with rejection after rejection. They said that this wasn’t the kind of thing that men would want to read. Are they right?

That’s what I’d like to find out. Perhaps this is an idea that I love but just doesn’t have much appeal outside the world of my brain. Or perhaps the publishers are wrong. A lot of advertisers and media people simply don’t get the Art of Manliness. It’s so different from what’s typically put out for men that we are oftentimes met with confusion.

If the latter is the case, we’ve thought about moving ahead with the book anyway and self-publishing it or publishing it with a small publisher. It would take a ton of work-Kate and I don’t settle for anything less than the best with everything we do. So before we move on it, we need your feedback!

Please take a second to answer these two poll questions. It will really help us decide if we should go ahead with the Manvotional book project. Thanks everybody.

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MIchael Barnes July 20, 2010 at 1:04 am

Yes! Do it!I love the work and purpose of this site and the book, and would love more!

2 Jeffrey July 20, 2010 at 1:19 am

I think this book would be an awesome idea, and I would buy it in a heartbeat.

I bought the first book about half a year ago. As much as I enjoyed it, I think I would find the new book to be even more useful. There were sections of the first book that are extremely helpful to me, but also other sections containing information that I simply didn’t know what to do with. For example, since I just graduated from college a few months ago, the section on raising my children seemed foreign to me (although the section on dating did offer me some very useful insight). I am sure I will use the knowledge on raising a child in the future, but not now.

For me, the book, and this website, served much more as a guide to teach me personal virtues that I can use to help me face the adult world, especially confidence, self-reliance, patience, and the determination to succeed. I learned much more from anecdotes of famous men than I thought I ever would. As things stand, I have to sift patiently through the archives to find valuable information from these Manvotionals. I would gladly buy a book that has all of these information, plus more, organized in a much easier to read fashion.

3 Brandon July 20, 2010 at 1:19 am

I say keep trying through the bigger publishers. Pitch it as a kind of “Chicken Soup for the Man’s Soul.” You could mention that men are in something of a quandary. Women just became the majority of the workforce, male-dominate jobs are disappearing, and male college admission is dwindling (it should be roughly equal, but colleges have to fight to keep it near 40%.) Men need a voice telling them to “man up,” for lack of a better term. (And if you need any help writing it, I’m available. Hey, you’re the one who taught us to network, and I need to get some mileage out of my English Degree.)

4 Chris July 20, 2010 at 1:20 am

Yes! What they meant was that men prefer seeing scantily clad chicks, or learn about picking up chicks, or seeing chicks with chicks….but there is a renaissance that is emerging, who prefers to read about thins more edifying and sophisticated subjects, before moving onto the chicks.

5 Brett McKay July 20, 2010 at 1:27 am


Alas, that was pretty much our pitch! “Chicken Soup for the Soul” but really manly. The quandary of modern men. I think we even used that stat about college. I think our pitch was pretty tight if I don’t say so myself. But still, all we got was “We don’t get it.” “This won’t sell.” “People don’t like compilations.” And so forth…

But thanks for the offer of help!

Definitely. People always want to know where the scantily clad chicks are.

6 Sasha @ Global Table Adventure July 20, 2010 at 1:51 am

What if you targeted your book even further… perhaps instead of one book, you need a few smaller books – one for the highschool/college graduate… one for the father… one for the grandfather… and one for the retiree? Those things would fly off the shelves at the appropriate time of year!

If they don’t like compilations, people DO like lists, top tens, how to’s etc. Maybe integrate some of that into your manvotionals. Although I am sure you already have most of that in there… just make it more obvious and specific to the above mentioned groups…

Who knows. Publishers are hard to please! Keep trying. Good luck.

7 Nate July 20, 2010 at 1:59 am

This would not only be a great book to read, but a great book to pass on to a son. Please write this book.

8 Brandon July 20, 2010 at 2:36 am

Ok, plan A was play nice, which didn’t work. Time for plan B, fight dirty. Mention that men are in trouble. Jobs are gone, the Feminist Movement has left us confused and a little emasculated (Everybody Loves Raymond, anyone?), and one of the biggest role models for young boys is a disco vampire who I STILL believe is on the verge of abusive. Oprah be damned, men to be men for continuation of the species. Men need to be given a little push in the right direction, but we have no clue where to turn. Men need to look to Hemingway and Roosevelt and the like and find out what a real man is again.

9 Rob July 20, 2010 at 3:05 am

To be totally honest, I’m really not a fan at all of the Manvotional posts you write/post and they are usually the only posts on this site that I won’t read. I certainly wouldn’t buy a book collecting them. I’ve read a few and they do absolutely nothing for me. You want feedback? I say, don’t do it.

10 Titus July 20, 2010 at 3:09 am

I would definitely be interested.
I enjoy the Manvotionals posted on this site and I would really like to have more of them compiled in one piece.

11 Scott Dunn July 20, 2010 at 3:25 am

I would definitely enjoy this. I think editions both in paperback and hardback would be excellent.

Though I think ideally for me anyways would be a coffee table style book wrapped in a red leather binding with artwork and drop case lettering would be absolutely something to cherish.

12 Guido July 20, 2010 at 3:56 am


Yes, I would buy the book, but it would very much depend on how it’s written. In the style of manvotionals, that would be perfect. I personally find it irksome to read books in what they call the ‘selfhelp’ category. What makes manvotional pieces work for me, is not only the wisdom of the men portrayed in them, but also the background, or biographical information in there. I’d like to know who the men were, under what circumstances their own beliefs, morals, ways of life were tested, and whether they (meaning their morals and beliefs, and thus ultimately themselves) changed over time. I learn best, and I am more prone to change, by reading what worked best for others. Knowing what worked for others, always inspires me to find my own way. To me, that’s what life is all about.

Good luck on writing the book, I know it can be very daunting at times.



13 The Counselor July 20, 2010 at 4:13 am

You guys should totally do it. I particularly like the idea of a nice, hardcover edition. Don’t let the rejections get you down. Last time I checked you had nearly 70,000 people following this website (many who probably read it daily as I do), so it’s clear that there’s a strong readership market out there for it. Apart from the fact that I would personally enjoy owning such a book, I think it would also be a wonderful graduation present for young men.

Go forth and conquer!

14 Kel July 20, 2010 at 4:15 am

Maybe you should address that this is not an anti-feminism movement. I think that’s where a lot of confusion occurs. With that in mind, if you organized the book into more meaningful chapters you may get more attention.

Also, a hardcover is beyond your needs. A guide is most useful when you can carry it around with you.

15 Patrick July 20, 2010 at 4:24 am

I like the manvotional series, so yes – I would definitely welcome a book version. I voted for the paperback edition.

16 mens t shirts July 20, 2010 at 4:44 am

Sometimes I just don’t concentrate on stuff I read online. A hardback version would be much preferred.

17 michael steward July 20, 2010 at 5:09 am

i think such a book would be, or at least could be, inspiring and encouraging. the first time i read a bible verse though, i would put the book away.

18 Vaughn Griffeth July 20, 2010 at 5:18 am


I agree with the idea of a “Mavotional” book, and I have to admit I’m honestly confused that the publishers you’ve been to haven’t been more receptive to the idea. Their belief that men won’t be interested in reading through the various topics that you’ve provided, or enjoy the format of a compilation book doesn’t seem to make much sense to me.

For example, there are many compilations of the same historical figures and writings, despite the fact that they have often covered the same time period so often, that very little new information would be provided. Yet they are still published. There is even a series of books that run along the same theme as your idea, known as the “Intellectual Devotional” series, which have had multiple publishings:


For them to state that there is simply no reason for a “Manvotional” to be published, seems to go against what I have already seen with other books. The site membership, the active community, and the sales of your first book seem to provide ample evidence for the publishing of a second book. Even if you decide to simply publish it yourself, and take upon yourself all the hard work that goes with it, I know both myself and many others would be very grateful to you.

19 Travis July 20, 2010 at 6:48 am

Michael Steward

The stories of some of the most manly men in the world are recorded in the Bible.

20 Jason Yohman July 20, 2010 at 8:11 am

Chicken Soup for the Soul has run it’s course. The series was made for the feel-goody movement of the 90′s, and it was a perfect fit. Most of your manvotionals are more of a “kick in the pants, I’ve gotta hustle to be a better man” than a “warm and fuzzy, I’m going to smile at the world and hug a kitten” kind of thing that Chicken Soup presented. Chicken Soup told you that somebody loves you, no matter what you’re going through. Manvotionals say that no matter what you’re going through, you’ve got to get out there and love someone. You consume Chicken Soup. You create with Manvotionals.

Brett, let the publishers know this is not Chicken Soup. This is something much different. This is not a warm cup of daily healing. This is more a daily baptism by man-sweat. Men want a change. Men want to be better. Men want to be inspired by those we admire who went before us and achieved for the greater good through awesome adversity.

If after a while you’re still having trouble finding a publisher, I’d enthusiastically pay in advance for a book, and I think most of your readers would do the same. But I think you can make this happen. I know from reading this site that very few things that are worth while are ever easy, and some of mankind’s most cherished works were met with initial rejection.

21 Jordan July 20, 2010 at 8:30 am

For me it wouldn’t have the key ingredient for a book I would buy: re-readability. This is the kind of thing I would read online or borrow from the library, but not buy. It’s a coffee table book that would end up buried under magazines and other disposable media.

22 Shawn Humphrey July 20, 2010 at 9:26 am

I thoroughly enjoyed your first book, it taught me many manly things, including the art of wet shaving, which I now do with my Gillette Aristocrat safety razor picked up from the local antique store. I would try to get this new one published, but don’t pass it off as a “Chicken Soup” book, no real man would go for it, rather I would offer it as it is: a “Man Book”.

Thanks Brett,

Shawn Humphrey

23 Scott Nichols July 20, 2010 at 9:44 am


The Manvotional is definitely a worthwhile project. Set as a daily reader, the Manvotional is needed to help encourage men to be men and not just males. What drew me to AoM is what you are continuing to do, setting foward the standards and examples of what it is to be a gentleman. Keep pressing on, the Manvotional will be published!

24 Mike Duminiak July 20, 2010 at 9:57 am


I haven’t voted because I just don’t know. You paint a picture, but the strokes are so broad that I’m not sure if you’re showing me something that will connect with me or just be a thick Reader’s Digest without pictures. I don’t write that to me mean, but you deserve to hear what I really thought when I read this idea.

The idea is sound if it is executed. What is lacking is how you’re going to present this book as more than just a compilation. This isn’t a how-to book that you’re proposing. You’re talking about values, character and defining what it means to be a man simultaneously with inspirational and motivational material. It can’t just be a collection of essays or quotations.

Why can’t it be a compendium? The answer is because you’re not selling it just to us, the already converted. You’re selling it to all men and most men are beaten down. They haven’t seen the light, so to speak. If you just package up a bunch of material that expounds upon the things you can see when there is light and give it to men who live in darkness, it is meaningless. I hate to add difficulty to your project, but you need to sell manliness first.

Your book needs to make the case for manliness and your list of the virtues that go into it. You can’t just assume that men who pick it up will agree with your basic premise or your views of which values constitute manliness. You need to not only provide motivational and inspirational material to aid the already converted, but package it with justification to sway the minds of those who have yet to be.

To sell this book, I really believe you need to teach men how to be men internally while simultaneously providing the classical material that inspires. That means a longer book, a more thematic book, a more unified book and a book much harder to write. Frankly, men don’t need to be spoon fed more chicken soup for their souls. Their souls have been broken down to accept that spoon feeding and that is part of the problem. They need to be told how to make their own soup.

TR can inspire in his writings, but they fly in the face of modern society. Before uninitiated men can be motivated by his work, they need to embrace the fact that it isn’t out-dated nonsense. Imagine that your audience is some croc wearing suburban pseudo-hippie who truly believes there is more value in knowing the best way to pluck his eyebrows than how to sharpen a knife. Can your book reach that lost man? Can it reach a man who thinks that opening a car door for a lady is demeaning to her? Can it reach the men who never learned to be men?

You need a book more akin to the “Federalist Papers” than “Chicken Soup”. You need to make the case for manliness in general by laying out the virtues that guide it with both explanation why and supported by the quotations and writings of those who provide evidence to prove them. You also need to acknowledge the opposing point of view and with similar explanation and evidence, put it in its proper place and thereby open the door for your views to even get to the table. I really think you need a motivational manifesto to free men’s souls enslaved by hyper-feminism.

I may be wrong, but I doubt it. The publishers your spoke with probably didn’t have any faith in manliness themselves and that caused them to turn up their noses to the book. The average man isn’t much different. He doesn’t know what it means to be a man. His soul is already drowning in watered down, spoon fed chicken soup. His inner manliness craves a steak, but he doesn’t even know it’s on the menu. You have to get him off the ‘soups and starters’ page and show him where the substantive things are found. Then you can describe in mouth-watering detail the various steak dishes and motivate him to try them.

So, I have yet to vote. Is this a book that brings steak to the soup eaters or sauce to the steak eaters? If the former, then I scream “Do it!” from the rooftops. If the latter, I say just make an ipod app.

25 Randy Beckham July 20, 2010 at 10:10 am

Why don’t you contact Stephen Mansfield @ the mansfield group.com or maybe George Grant for publishing the book. Mansfield has written several books about leaders, a great one on Churchill, Grant’s has one about TR
Keep up the good work.

26 Micheal Murray July 20, 2010 at 10:20 am

I feel that I may be rooting for the underdog, but I think the book is a great idea. I have some friends that are regular readers of this site and they love it. I purchased the AoM book in November. I could not put it down and I have read some chapters again as needed. Normally I would opt for a paper back book but I like your style and I think a hardcover would be very classy.

27 Louie July 20, 2010 at 10:36 am

I would certainly buy a copy. Please don’t let naysayers come between you and your visions.

28 Insomniac July 20, 2010 at 10:47 am

I think it’s an excellent idea. Go for it!

29 Francisco Nunez July 20, 2010 at 10:58 am


I think Mike Duminiak brought up a great point. As he put it…”steak for the soup eaters” will be a must buy, while “sauce for the steak eaters” will be a maybe for me.

I personally voted yes based on the fact that the first book was great and I would expect the same from the next one. Also, it should be softcover like the first.

30 Chris July 20, 2010 at 11:02 am

I like this idea a lot. Reminds me of a men’s version of “The Dangerous Book for Boys” (of which I’m also a fan). As good as a hardback version would be, I think paperback is more convenient for carrying around (in a Saddleback briefcase, perhaps?) or to share with friends and family. On a personal note, I feel you’re a bit heavy on the Teddy Roosevelt sometimes, so maybe ration his advice to a few of your favorites. I also like the old photos you put up on the site from time to time. Maybe include some of them as well?

Good luck! In regards to the publishers, remember comedian Katt Williams’ advice: “If you have someone hating on you right now you better think of how to get five more people hating by Christmas. You need haters to make you stronger…without haters most people wouldn’t try to become better.”

31 Scott July 20, 2010 at 11:44 am

I think that it is a great idea. I would certainly buy it and enjoy every page! My brother bought the first book and I enjoyed reading it so much that I will be buying one for myself.

32 michaelm July 20, 2010 at 11:54 am

I would buy 4 copies. I love your site and newsletter. I forward it to others all the time and recommend it to everyone.

So you mention you have a hard time getting advertisers? I work in marketing for EMS emergency, first aid, and rescue supply company. Give me a shout about your rates and I’ll see what I can do.

Every man should have the tools and emergency supplies on hand to be able to help others, his family, and provide for himself during disasters, medical emergencies, and everyday injuries from work or home projects.

Can I list my employer’s website? http://www.buyEMP.com check out tjoos.com to find coupons to get discounts on our products. I’d be glad to issue a discount code to your readers too.

33 PeterPansDad July 20, 2010 at 12:08 pm

I was against the concept until I read Scott Nichols’ suggestion that it be a daily reader. I think I would use that format. Give me an excerpt, a little guidance and if I’m interested I’ll track down the primary source for additional reading/learning/enjoyment. A paperback would be perfect. Then again, a Google widget would work as well.

I don’t care for Sasha’s suggestion of breaking it down by age groups. I have too much to learn from my elders to be separated from them.

34 greg July 20, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I bought an 1898 copy of “Traits of Character Illustrated in Bible Light” after the essay you posted from it about Unseen Forces… I think the idea is a good one and that making a modern l, less heavy handed, version of a book like that is a good idea.

35 Justin July 20, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I love the idea, but I don’t think the chicken soup for the soul approach is the way to go. Like previously mentioned, it has run its course and is part of the problem. We don’t jsut need inspirational material to “man up,” but a manifesto and guidance material. It should be something to help propel a return to manliness movement forward, not just pander to the people already in the midst of it. I think this has the potential to bring more men and women aboard.

I had difficult time answering the second poll question becuase I was torn between the two options: Hard covered or soft. I voted for the hardcover option and while I feel it would be a very handsome volume, after reading some of the above comments, I agree and soft cover, more portable version might be the better choice.

36 J Sherbert July 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Hey, that is an awesome idea! It would be a ‘quote book’, but with insightful additions used to instill confidence in the modern man.

37 Dan July 20, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I love this book already. I bookmark pretty much every motivational thing I can find, on this site or not, and would love to have a book on my coffee table about it. The last one you did has been a great conversation starter on my coffee table ever since I got it last Christmas. I say do it!

38 Clark July 20, 2010 at 4:59 pm

I would ignore the approach suggested by Mike Duminiak and a few others and stick with the original idea that you laid out here. While his idea is nice in theory, it simply doesn’t make economical sense. If you’ve already been turned down by publishers and are going to go the self-publishing route than the book isn’t going to be sold in stores and your only marketing tool will be this blog. That means 99% of the potential buyers of the book will be AoM readers, or in other words, those already converted to the idea that manliness is a good idea. They would have no need for a manliness manifesto. We’re already convinced.

There are two kinds of books in this category-those that are designed to convert others and those that are designed to strengthen the converted. One is not more important than another. Those who are already trying to become better men need books for them too. We’ll always be in need of greater guidance and direction. I don’t know if Mike has actually read the Manvotionals on this site, but there’s nothing “spoon-fed” about them. They’re straightforward, meaty, and thought-provoking.

So yeah, long story short, the Manvotional book is an awesome idea and I’d be all over it.

39 Kash July 20, 2010 at 7:45 pm

Hi Brett,

Please do publish this. I personally dont mind hardcover or softcover – if its out I’m buying it! The Manvotional posts are some of my favourites – I remember one ‘To Risk’ that stays in my mind to this day: http://artofmanliness.com/2010/05/01/manvotional-to-risk/ – you MUST put this in! Everytime I’m about to chicken out on something this poem keeps me going strong.

Self-help books tend to be a bit dogmatic these days – ie. do this and you will get these results – but a manvotional book will truly be empowering – each man can interpret each of the items in his own way, go forth and conquer. Imagine the change that would come from 70,000 men reading just one motivational poem a day, and doing just one small thing that they may not have had the motivation to do otherwise.

I say go for it – Whether hardcover or softcover – whatever is financially sustainable for you. What would be good is if you could document your journey to putting out the book – all the challenges, struggles etc. I think many AoM readers would support you through it and gain inspiration from your journey and the book itself!

- Kash

40 Ruttman July 20, 2010 at 8:57 pm

I’m in! Publish and I will buy. Bought the first book for my son on his 21st birthday. My wife said he would never read it. Not a movie or a video game. Well he devoured it! He will do something chivalrous and my wife say’s “Where’d you learn that?” He’d reply “Art of Manlieness!” Oh, and I read it too. Love the site and think the books a great idea.

41 Greg M July 21, 2010 at 3:19 am

The first book was great! I am planning on purchasing additional copies to give away as gifts to young men who could use some additional wisdom.
However, I don’t think that I would purchase the “Manvotational” book. I’m just not big on that type of book and usually only give the manvotational articles a glance when they appear on the site.
From the comments above it seems that I am in a distinct minority, and I wish you all the best in your endeavour.

42 Schmidty - Man Vs. Style July 21, 2010 at 5:56 am

I love the idea Brett. I think that, naturally, the inner thoughts, actions etc. are what makes a man a man. good luck with it. hopefully with all this support you can convince the publishers. Schmidty

43 Mack July 21, 2010 at 7:02 am

By all means, do it! Do in hardcover…or soft! I will definitely purchase two to four copies for myself, my boys, and my brother-in-law! Outstanding site, keep it on all mobile devices as well as the lap top.

44 Mike Duminiak July 21, 2010 at 9:13 am

In response to Clark, I don’t disagree that the already converted need books too. However I disagree that large scale publishing is ruled out because the first pitches were unsuccessful. I feel that the initial concept may have failed to win publisher approval, but adding some text to define and make the case for manliness changes the game. Then your book, all the things you wanted in it, may be accepted by publishers because those things are held together by original content that gives them context and ties them together as a whole rather than as a collection of parts.

If that failed to win approval, then it’s time to look at self-publishing. I just don’t think it is time to give up on mass distribution. If you had 1 page of new material for every 5 or even 10 pages of classic material, your manvotional compendium turns into a manvotional manifesto. Those of us who want the material you were already going to provide would be able to turn right to it. Those men who aren’t yet converted would have their eyes opened and then be presented that same material to really get them thinking.

I’m sorry if my original post was unclear. I’m advocating adding to the material you already intended to provide, not in place of it. I’m advocating re-pitching the book as revised to publishers, not giving up on them and self-publishing. Basically, I’m advocating using the same basic strategy as you successfully used with “The Art of Manliness” where you wrote original material to make the case for and then tie together pre-existing material. Doing it with manvotionals would be different and perhaps more challenging, but I think you could succeed at major publishing.

45 Nick July 21, 2010 at 10:12 am

This book would be a great idea. So much better than the ridiculous self-help written by hacky professional speakers repeating the same crap over and over again….or the men’s magazine telling what kind of hair gel I should use this month based on who is sponsoring them at the time. The information provided in the Manvotational essays is information that I would probably never come across otherwise, and a compilation of timeless essays written by accomplished and successful men, would definitely be worth a book purchase. Just tell the publisher they can make the cover orange with giant black letters, and I’m sure they would go for it….if you don’t get this go to a bookstore sometime.

46 Jamie July 21, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Problem: There’s no “Hell, yeah!” option. I just don’t feel that a simple “Yes” is strong enough to convince your publishers.

47 Matt July 21, 2010 at 12:56 pm


48 Hugo Stiglitz July 21, 2010 at 2:10 pm


I would imagine that books like this already exist. Also, and this is just my opinion, I think a book of modern men (still living) who exemplify manliness, courage, ingenuity, fatherhood, athleticism, etc. would be more inspiring, although also much harder to research. It would be even better by including a lot of “unknowns.” However, I think it would be a more worthwhile endeavor to actually scout out / interview / compile stories and biographies of modern men. To me, it is pretty easy to write out a list of well-respected men from the past, gather up a few of their books and pick out the most inspirational stories and quotes. That, to me, sounds like…ZZzzzzzzzz…If the wisdom and legacy of Teddy Roosevelt or Aristotle were so lasting and omnipotent, we wouldn’t need a book to remind us of their lessons anyway.

This is all just my opinion. I just think the idea that we can draw important lessons of manliness from people who lived a century ago or more is getting tiring and borderline depressing. How about highlighting a living astronaut, or an Iraq war vet who won a Navy Cross or Silver Star? How about a doctor who has given up his comfy practice in America to help those in need elsewhere? How about the pilot who saved people by landing in the Hudson? I think there are plenty of men who are walking, talking, breathing examples of manliness.

49 Kyle July 21, 2010 at 8:30 pm

I think the idea of an manvational book is a very good idea and will sell. Many readers are constantly looking for self-help books that are insightful but not hoaky. I also think the suggestion of incorporating the old photos into the book will help drive interest. I work in a large book chain in Canada that sells your first book. I do see copies come into the store every month and sales are increasing as the months go on. As for the hardcover or softcover: hardcover would be desired by devoted readers of the website and select individuals looking for an elegant gift for a man. However, a softcover will reach more new audiences as most book readers are buying less hardcover books especailly if it’s a book they are unsure about. I hope that you are successful attracting a publisher and I look forward to this book.

50 Rob July 22, 2010 at 5:11 am

The way I see it, motivation pushes you towards doing what you already know as poossible, where as inspiration shows you things that are possible that you’ve never considered before. And that’s what seems to be the vibe here.

People don’t just want more fuel in the tank. They want to see how far a full tank can take them. They don’t want to just drive the neighbourhoods they already know, but rather see where else on the map they can visit

Personally, I’ll listen take advice from The Wolf Of Wall Street before Chicken Soup For Everyone’s Soul because it challenges me. It pushes me to question. It offends me. It forces me to respond.

Make me grow, and you’ll have my money.

51 Joseph July 22, 2010 at 12:32 pm


I have oftentimes read or heard you postulate the tide of change that is beginning regarding manliness, the menaissance is how I believe you referred to the change. You will know, of course, that there have to be leaders in giving such a movement direction and that you have already begun to position yourself in such a role. Ignore the publishers that reject the idea and keep trying. If all else fails, self publish as you suggested and let them see the success of the campaign.

I would remind you of the publishing struggle “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” faced and I would suggest that your book would be in much the same position. Publishers reject what they don’t know, but have faith that you will find a Judith Jones out there…

Yes, I would certainly like to purchase the book, hard or soft cover.

-J Elliott

52 Stephen Childers July 22, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Brett you and Kate should definitely make that second book!! Damnit, I love the AoM and refer to it on a daily basis. I’ve told ever single man I know young and old from Philadelphia, PA to Ft. Jackson, SC about this book. I discovered this book in April while I was stationed in Ft. Jackson serving in the Army. One of my NCO’s had it on his bookshelf and let me borrow it. Instantly and I mean instantly became the greatest book ever. Second to the bible that is but Brett you were pretty damn close with this one let me tell you. Anyway back to my original point. PLEASE MAKE A SECOND!! Then do why must be done with all great novels and movies and make it a trilogy. Thanks looking forward to purchasing the second part of the state-of-the-badass-art novel you and your wife created.

53 Frederick Moe July 23, 2010 at 11:54 am

Our culture needs this proposed book and needs it now. I have recently turned 50 and am working on embodying the positive masculine values for my sons and daughter spouse and grandchildren, and for all those I provide leadership to every day. This website and the first Art of Manliness book have been immensely valuable.

54 Eric July 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I LOVE this site! I know that if you had been online when I was younger I would be a better man today! Well I would personal buy serval copies of ALL of your books and give them away as Xmass gifts to my male friends in hope to make them more manly. Might I suggest s special limited edition which is numbered and/or signed which would be suitable as a gift?

55 4WheelDrive July 23, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Just do it! i will wait for a book on manliness!

56 Gary July 24, 2010 at 1:02 am

You can publish on Amazon Kindle at no cost to you (except the sweat of your brow)…

I know I’d buy it…

57 Caleb Goff July 25, 2010 at 11:07 pm

I think this would be awesome. I can guarantee you quite a few purchases from my family and friends – and a hardcover would be great!

58 Emil July 26, 2010 at 9:27 am

I would buy the book just on the strength of the last one (of which I have bought three, two of which i have given to friends).

But apart from that I also really like the idea of this book so I do hope you will make it.

About the format I voted for hardcover but I’m not fully sure. I really liked the design of the last one and generally prefer soft covers for the versatility/lightness as I bring my books everywhere I go. That being said, as a book that will lie on my bedstand or stand ready on an accessible shelf for reading every now and then, a hard cover seems quite appropriate!

59 Paul S. July 26, 2010 at 10:11 am

I’m relatively new to AoM, so I haven’t read any manvotional posts as of yet, but It sounds like an excellent idea to me. After all, pursing ones passion with vigor is ever a waste of time, regardless of its commercial/popular success.

As a “newbie” I’ve already downloaded your iPhone app, ordered your current book, and have started shaving with a straight razor (something that would’ve never occurred to me in a million years without this website). In fact, that’s how came across this website, I was googling where I could find a traditional barbershop that provided a straight razor shave.

My apologies for those ancillary details, but to reiterate, I say go for it!

60 Paul S. July 26, 2010 at 10:12 am

I forgot to add, I’m hoping for a hardcover format as I’d like to display it in my library.

61 Amir July 30, 2010 at 1:22 pm

This may be a bit of a touchy subject, by why not also include sayings teachings of religious and spiritual figures as well? Regardless of whatever beliefs a man has, it’s a common fact that everyone, not just men, have some sense of morality and spirituality. Perhaps including some words of wisdom from Buddha, Jesus, or Muhammad, etc, would be a good way to address the moral and spiritual sides for the Manvotional book.

62 John Vogel July 31, 2010 at 4:28 pm

I’d like to see the book framed as learning about and understanding manly character traits set by those who’ve gone before us. It’s easy to talk about endurance, determination, understanding, empathy, forgiveness, etc, but when given an example, it really starts to set in. For example, write about how Nelson Mandela managed to stay focused and untarnished by bitterness despite 30+ years in prison. Or George Washington’s determination, despite hardships that had him weeping in his tent. Then there’s the quote, “most men live lives of quiet desperation,” learning how to avoid that sure would save a lot of marriages out there.

63 Rob August 5, 2010 at 10:45 am

I think you should write the book! I would purchase it for sure! And maybe even a copy for the men in my Bible Study!

64 JodyAnthony August 7, 2010 at 9:23 pm

I would totally buy it. Didn’t vote re: hardcover or paperback, because I would prefer to have it on my Kindle. If there was not a Kindle version available, however, I would prefer a paperback.

65 Mike January 29, 2013 at 11:18 am

I would like the book to to hand down to my grandsons. I taught my son the ways of manhood as best as I could. This country is in the midst of what I call the wussification of the American male. All currently popular TV shows/commercials depict the man of the house as being a buffoon that children talk back to and everyone laughs at. Outdoors men that understand how to survive in nature and handle firearms are evil. Young men need some direction. I believe this type book would help.

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