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Daniel Kibblesmith And Sam Weiner Burn Books, Explain How To Win At Everything

By Matt Byrne in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 15, 2013 10:40PM


How To Win At Everything, the first book from Chicago-based comedians and Onion News Network writers Daniel Kibblesmith and Sam Weiner, is a 170 page illustrated manual that explains how to come out on top in every imaginable scenario. Kibblesmith explains "readers will learn how to come out ahead in subjects ranging from archery to zoo keeping, from poker to potlucks and from finding everlasting love to surviving the inevitable breakup."

In celebration of the book's release, Kibblesmith and Weiner are throwing a book burning party at The Hideout tomorrow, Saturday November 16 at 3:00 p.m. The authors plan on incinerating every other book ever written because the information conveyed in How To Win At Everything "renders the entire canon of literature obsolete." In advance of this most incendiary of promotional events, the duo explained the background of their partnership, their desire to win and their big fiery plans for tomorrow.

CHICAGOIST: How did the two of you come to work together?

Daniel Kibblesmith: Sam and I started working together, literally I guess, in 2009 when we were both hired as copywriters for Groupon. Our routine there had us generating a huge amount of content and we ended up working on side projects and developing this sort of shared voice that outgrew what we were doing at our day jobs. 

C: When did your fascination with winning begin?

Sam Weiner: Our desire to win, really everyone’s, is inborn. You’re born with it. But then society tells you you’re not allowed to win at things like first dates or eye exams.

DK: But you still have a desire to be the best at those things. Even when you’re just standing in line at the post office, your instinct is to be the most popular competent person there. It’s biological.

C: This is your first book. Why take on the burden of cataloging instructions for winning at every imaginable thing right away?

SW: I think if you can squeeze the sum of human knowledge into only 170 pages, why not do it? Besides, writing about literally everything was hardly a burden. More like a heavy responsibility that caused us a ton of hardship.

C: Could you give an example of the sort of advice readers could expect from the book?

DK: Inside our book readers are going to find a complete list of all known similes, a fill-in-the-blanks speech for representing yourself in court and separate chapters on winning at puberty for boys and girls.

And if you’ve ever wondered what country “country music” refers to, we clarify that it’s America.

C: As of the time I'm writing these questions, the Amazon listing for the book has one review, a two-star writeup titled "not what I expected" from Amazon user pickles. Pickles complains that though they "knew it would be a different type of self help book" there is "no sound advice," only a "series of impossible situations with extremely unrealistic advice." How would you respond to pickles if you were to speak with them today?

SW: We really disagree with pickles’ claim that our book offers only “impossible situations.” Is winning at faking your own death impossible? No. Is learning how to win the lottery every time impossible? No. Is doing volunteer work but not making a big deal about it impossible?

DK: I mean, it seems like it is.

SW: Right, but our book shows you how to do it. 

C: What can folks expect from this weekend's event? Is it BYOBook?

DK: Do you mean "Buy Your Own Book" or "Burn Your Own Book?" Either way, the answer is yes.

SW: Our book burning is going to be extremely dangerous because the secrets to winning we’ll be sharing are explosive. Also we’ll be setting paper on fire, which is dangerous in its own way.

And we’re super excited to have Quimby’s on-site selling books, but if you’ve smartly already purchased a copy, we’ll be happy to sign those too.

Or any book really, since as authors, we can now legally sign any written work put in front of us.

How to Win at Everything book release is Saturday Nov 16 at The Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia) and starts at 3:00 p.m. The event is free.