Announcing My New Book — And The Free Bonuses You’ll Receive


Time to “officially” announce my new book: Plays Well With Others: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Relationships Is (Mostly) Wrong. (*jazz hands*)

It’s coming out on May 10th – but I encourage you to preorder it now on either Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, Indiebound or Bookshop. If you do, you get supremely cool bonus goodies you don’t want to miss — as I shall detail below.

Nobody is more biased toward a book than its author but I 131% believe this is a book we need in 2022. It’s all about relationships…

And I hate most relationship books. This is why for a long time I resisted writing it. I could ease my conscience to sleep at night by thinking, “Eric, you’ve done a lot of awful things in life, but you never wrote a relationship book.”

They’re often unscientific. Conscientious objectors to reality. Most books in the genre just tell you what you want to hear. Then you do what they say, it doesn’t work—and you blame yourself.

After a while you start to feel like maybe you’re broken. Like you’re the problem. And that’s not fair. In fact, it’s wrong. I would hiss like a vampire seeing a cross whenever I passed the relationship aisle in the bookstore.

But then the pandemic hit. Our souls collectively made a noise like a deflating tire as our social lives withered. I was already set on writing the book, but, emotionally, it changed for me. The thing I least wanted to do became the thing I most needed to do. A labor of labor became a labor of love. An unintentional passion project. I was energized.

I felt I needed to write a relationship book based on real science, not merely for the people who usually read relationship books, but for everyone. To try and help us get our social world back.

And now, finally, it’s done. (*Kazoo sound*)


What We’ll Learn

My first book scientifically tested the maxims we all grew up with about success (Do nice guys really finish last? Is it what you know or who you know?). This time I applied the same model to relationships (Does love conquer all? Is a friend in need a friend indeed? Is no man an island? Can you judge a book by its cover?)

The new book is a witch’s brew of social science, intellectually shrinkwrapped to not just smack you back to your factory settings of social harmony but to make you even better. And, no, it’s not a rehash of stuff you’ve already read on the blog. (I wish; writing a book is much easier when it’s just copy-paste.) Instead of mere dribs and drabs of insights, it’s a big picture look at what we need to know and do to be more skilled with others.

You’ll learn:

  • The two things essential to making friends – and what Dale Carnegie got wrong.
  • The scientific secrets of reading people. How body language works — and what works better.
  • A friendly method of lie detection from professional interrogators.
  • How to deal with narcissists and to make them better people in the process.
  • What creates love, reignites love, and sustains love. (There’s no Build-A-Bear store for a happy marriage but this is close.)
  • The ethical and effective way to get your partner to change.
  • How social media can actually improve relationships.
  • The antidote to loneliness and why what we usually hear doesn’t work.
  • And I’ll even explain the meaning of life. (Let no one say Patricia Barker raised an unambitious son.)

And much, much more…

It’s full of surprises and counterintuitive insights. Far from a dry reference book, it’s packed with high-five-worthy stories about Casanova, the friendliest people in the world, the greatest female detective to ever live, the most successful liar to ever open his mouth, genius horses, thieving hermits, the perils of perfect memories, leper colonies, super soldiers, pillow girlfriends and placebos. It will undeniably turn you into a superhero of social skills. (“You should make it clear that last line was a joke,” says Eric’s lawyer.)

Most importantly, it’s honest. I will talk about the things most relationship books don’t. Hard truths. Life has been difficult these past few years and we need honest answers now more than ever.

But I’m the author. I don’t blame you if you’re skeptical that the guy who wrote the book is the guy conveniently saying you should get the book. Well, I’m the blogger who always cites experts, so why should this be any different? What do they have to say?


Praise From Smart People Who Are Not Me

David Epstein, #1 New York Times bestselling author of “Range”, says:

Reading ‘Plays Well With Others’ is like having a hard conversation about relationships with your smartest, funniest friend. Eric Barker’s wit and explanatory powers shine through every page.

Daniel H. Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author of “When”, “Drive”, and “To Sell Is Human”, says:

An entire branch of social science can be summed up in one phrase: Other people matter. From our highest highs to our lowest lows, our relationships to other people determine our happiness and well-being. In this humorous and profound book, Eric Barker distills what we know about how to make our most important relationships flourish. ‘Plays Well With Others’ will revitalize your life.

And, with that…


Please Pre-Order Now

The reason that humans are not immortal is because then the procrastination would never end. I wholly anticipate that some will respond to my entreaties to preorder the same way they respond to software updates – not now.

But preorders really matter. Through an algorithmic set of ropes and pulleys, the number of preorders received does an enormous amount to determine a book’s fate before it ever hits stores. This visibility matters and will certainly be more effective than me selling copies out of the back of a van in your local mall parking lot. Look at it this way: more preorders equals more visibility which, in this case, equals you having to cope with fewer socially maladjusted people in the near future.

So, as a gift to you for preordering, I am offering some wonderful bonuses:


The One-Book Bonus

You only gotta order one copy. You were gonna do that anyway. But do it now instead of adding it to that junk drawer we call a “wish list” and you get something pretty cool: 25% more book. 

Given that in the modern era reading anything longer than 200 pages qualifies as an Olympic event, publishers give authors a word limit. I had 70,000 words. But in my passion to write the most epic relationship book ever, I kinda blew past that. By a lot. I had to cut an entire maxim.

But preorder now and you get that cut chapter. It’s me scientifically testing the maxim we all grew up with about whether you should “just be yourself.” And it will also explain, scientifically, how to be your best self. This is something I really wanted to share with you and it doesn’t cost any extra to get it. You just have to order now instead of later.

Click here to pre-order 1 copy, then email proof of purchase to with “Preorder 1” in the subject line by May 10th. All goodies will be delivered by 5/18.


The Five-Book Bonus

Preorder 5 books and you get the above cut chapter plus you also receive a PDF companion workbook. We all read books and don’t put the lessons into action. (Knowing and doing are not next-door neighbors. I don’t even think they have each other’s email address.)

This workbook will make it simple to put the book’s lessons into practice. It turns a good read into something that really produces meaningful improvements in your social life. I did one for my last book and it was by far the most desired bonus.

Click here to pre-order 5 copies, then email proof of purchase to with “Preorder 5” in the subject line by May 10th.


The Twenty-Five-Book Bonus

There’s nothing quite like getting your holiday shopping done 9 months early. Pre-order 25 copies and you get the “Be Yourself” cut chapter, the companion workbook and…

The first 20 people to order 25 copies get a 30-minute phone call with yours truly to talk about whatever you want. Want to discuss the challenges you’re facing and have me pull research — tailored for you — that will help? Totally up to you. Again, only the first 20 get this. (If I’m doing phone calls for the rest of my life, I can’t write more blog posts.)

Click here to pre-order 25 copies, then email proof of purchase to with “Preorder 25” in the subject line by May 10th.


Design Your Own Bonus

Perhaps you’re starting your own public library. Maybe you know a lot of people who need to improve their social skills. In that case, make me an offer.

If you want to buy more than 25 books and want a custom bonus, then email me at for two reasons:

  • So you can make me an interesting offer.
  • So I can tell you how good-looking you are.

Okay, time to get to the single most important thing…


Thank You

This book makes the blog possible. I don’t have banner ads and the only other time I’ve asked you to buy something was 5 years ago with my first book. If you’ve ever wanted to help support the blog or to say thanks, this is the chance.

But that’s not what propelled me to maniacally write this during the pandemic. We have all spent too much time reaching out to one another from behind screens. There’s an entire generation of kids that is growing up wary of hugs and handshakes.

We have been “misliving.” We didn’t have a choice. I believe that “human” is a verb. We need to human well. We need to human better.

I sincerely believe this book can help us.

Thank you,


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