Tim Ferriss, the first Mediabistro Circus speaker, talked about creating social media phenomena—talking about some stuff he’s supposedly never made public before. Some highlights:

The Four Hour Workweek was turned down by four out of five agents and twenty-five out of twenty-six publishers. And when it was finally picked up by Crown, he spent $25k of his own money on PR.

“18,000 of that was wasted on a PR firm,” he said. (Ouch.) The rest he spent on sending galleys to bloggers and meeting bloggers in person. “Buy them alcohol,” he joked.

Ferriss said he’d go to tech conferences and hang out with bloggers, asking lots of dumb questions. Then he’d tell them about his book but emphasize that he didn’t think it’d appeal to them “except for maybe five relevant pages.” That piqued enough interest to get him on some influential “B-list” blogs. “It’s a lot easier to get on A-list blogs if you know what blogs they read.”

Final rule, Ferriss says: Don’t be lazy. Great to get PR from bloggers, but “if you spam bloggers, you deserve to be punished.”