Mark Cuban has 335,000 friends on Facebook and 760,000 followers on Twitter. Monday, the Internet billionaire and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team will test just how friendly those fans really are.
Mr. Cuban has written a 30,000-word e-book, “How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do It, You Can Do It.” Culled from blog postings Mr. Cuban has made over the years about his business career, it will be available for $2.99 through online digital-book retailers. To drive sales, Mr. Cuban plans to tap all his online followers.
“All I have to do is get them to pay attention and hit a link,” he says, estimating that his blog posts attract anywhere from 50,000 to one million readers.
Publication of the book shows how the growing popularity of e-books, and the rise of social media, is altering the publishing landscape. Mr. Cuban, who made his fortune selling a company to Yahoo Inc. amid the dot-com boom, says that over the years he has been offered a “ton of money” to write his life story. He always said no, unwilling to take on the requirements associated with traditional publishing.
“I wasn’t up for doing a bookstore tour, nor did I like the financial risk reward of promoting a physical book,” said Mr. Cuban, via email. But this book is being published through Diversion Books, a digital publisher owned by his literary agent, Scott Waxman. Mr. Waxman declined to discuss financial details.
Entrepreneur Mark Cuban sits down with the Journal’s Alan Murray and weighs in on the fluctuating market. Cuban is investing in volatility. He believes “buy and hold is a crock of $%#!” and diversification is for idiots. Cuban also addresses how patent law stifles creativity, but refuses to address the NBA lockout.
Whether Mr. Cuban’s work will generate big sales isn’t a slam dunk. Much of “How to Win at the Sport of Business” has already appeared online free of charge so it is unclear how many readers will be willing to pay for it. Mr. Cuban, who notes he has refocused the work, isn’t worried.
Asked how many copies he would like to sell, Mr. Cuban responded: “As many as people want to buy. Which is hopefully one billion copies.”
Most writers want their readers to pore over every word. Mr. Cuban, though, feels differently. “Don’t feel you have to read it like a book,” he writes in the book’s foreword. “Use it as a way to get fired up. A way to get motivated.”
Mr. Cuban said he is also hoping for reader feedback. He provides his email address in his foreword and urges his readers to write to him. He adds that the chances of a response “will certainly improve if you tell me how brilliant you found all of this.”