Hello! This is a shorter newsletter than usual, but as the year draws to a close I simply wanted to say Thank You. 2017 will see the relaunching of

Tom butler-bowdon

What a handful


This is a shorter newsletter than usual, but as the year draws to a close I simply wanted to say Thank You.

2017 will see the relaunching of the 50 Classics series with new covers, the publication of a totally new '50' book, plus updated editions of earlier books - all under a new, bigger publisher with a global reach, Hachette.

So I wanted to take a moment to say thanks for your support and kind messages over the years while the series was born and grew. I never expected to become a writer, so it has been a wonderful experience putting these books together - and making friends with you and others, through the series and my other books.

I've always enjoyed receiving pics of people with the series. Here is a recent one from Alejandro, a reader of the Spanish translations. He was happy for me to share it, and I am happy to share his balcony!

As some of you in Australia may vaguely remember, my first book, 50 Self-Help Classics, was originally published in my native Oz by Simon & Schuster, back in 2001. That's the original cover to your right. It actually went out of print after a couple of years, and I bought out the publisher's final couple of hundred copies. I gave quite a few to a prison in Sydney, and still have a few somewhere in my garage.

Luckily I had only sold Australian & NZ rights. Nicholas Brealey Publishing in London bought world rights, releasing an expanded and updated edition in the UK, US, and elsewhere, in 2003, with the now-familiar covers with gold foil lettering. As it sold well and went into many languages, I was asked to do a follow up, which became 50 Success Classics. Then came 50 Spiritual Classics, 50 Psychology Classics, ... and so on, up to 50 Politics Classics, the most recent, which will also get a new cover next year.

This recent interview with Vera Ng'oma for her InsightsFromAuthors website asked interesting questions about the motivations behind the 50 Classics series. It also has thoughts on the meaning of prosperity and success, the ideas behind my motivational book Never Too Late To Be Great, and ends with three big tips I've learned from reading hundreds of great books and applying the lessons to my life. The interview's title, "Personal advancement through existing information", is a good summation of what I hope my work achieves.


Before whiteboards

I leave you with a quote from Albert Einstein, which resonated:

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s that I stay with problems longer.”

It may be a self-help cliche, but simply showing up every day and seeing things to the end is often what separates the successful from the not.


Oxford night

If you celebrate Christmas, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!

If you don't, the upcoming holidays are still a great time to reflect on 2016 and the many things you can be grateful for.

Every night before bed I quietly go through the fortunate or funny things I saw, felt or had happened to me during the day. It always surprises me just how many good things occur, and what you can be grateful for. For instance, last week I had a serious trip to the dentist. Despite the discomfort, I had to marvel at modern dentistry. A hundred years ago I would be screaming in the barber's chair with a shot of whisky and no anaesthetic! Lucky we are to be alive in this time.

If you don't like meditation or prayer, I recommend this gratitude exercise each night to make you smile, feel at peace and get your gumption back.

With kind regards,



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