*The Essential Smart Football*

That’s the title, and it’s by me. It’s available on Amazon, in paperback, and will be available in eBook form sometime in the next couple of weeks, but you can order a paperback copy today either here or here. For international readers, the book is also available on amazon.co.uk, amazon.fr, amazon.it, and amazon.es.

In the next few weeks I will post additional details on the book and my process in putting it together, but it is a collection of pieces, roughly two-thirds of which consist of older works that have been expanded and professionally edited, and another one-third of which are new. If you’ve read every single thing I’ve ever written you will recognize the portion of the book that is not all new, though as I said I have expanded and edited each piece. But this book  is my considered judgment of what I think constitutes the best and most essential of my thoughts on football — The Essential Smart Football.

I chose to publish this myself for a variety of reasons, among them the evolving landscape of the publishing industry, but I still had a great deal of help — including from my loyal readers — for which I am truly thankful.

If you have any marketing inquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact me at chris [at] smartfootball.com. I truly hope everyone enjoys the book.

  • Greggity

    I just bought two copies: one for me, and one for my best friend who is football illiterate. In the words of Bart Scott: “Can’t wait!”

  • Tyler Sellhorn

    Can I purchase a pdf/non-kindley electronic version…I don’t have a kindle.

  • smartfootball

    Tyler — I’ll be doing my best. It will come out in Kindle and then Nook next week. The others I need to spend some time with to find a method that works. I’m happy to take suggestions.

  • You forgot to mention YellowFlag, the first social network for football fans http://rckp.st/HOid4

  • Would there be a reason (such as pictures or graphics) that would make it advantageous to purchase the hard copy over the e-book?

  • smartfootball

    Not necessarily — really just a preference thing. I read a lot of books on my Kindle now, and the book was designed to work with both. The big advantage I suppose is that this version is out now.

  • You forgot to mention YellowFlag, the first social network for football fans http://rckp.st/HOid4

  • Morten Sehested

    Is it possible to order for outside the US? Or else I would be very much interested in a PDF-version as well. Thanks

  • Tyler Sellhorn
  • Considering the amount of high-quality content that’s been coming out of this site for five (!) years now, and an under $10 price tag, it literally feels like I’m stealing.

  • Hi Chris, excited about the book — which option should I purchase, paperback or Kindle, to net you more $?

  • smartfootball

    Thanks for the thought Ian. Honestly the money isn’t the big draw for this. I still have to figure out the right pricing for the eBook version, but it really should all be about the same. Really it should just be what your preference is in terms of what you’d rather read.

    I’ve been told it may take another week or two for the eBook to be ready, but I’ll provide links once it’s done.

  • Sergio A. Becerril

    New shiny on the way!

    re: Morten Sehested, I live in Mexico and ordered it just fine. Shipping can get a bit expensive (8 USD for me, cheapest rate) but it’s possible.

  • They do – Just ordered one for France. Shipping is long though (18-32 business days for standard)

  • JS

    Look forward to buying the kindle version when it is available.

    I think you’ve occasionally made posts in the past with some football book recommendations.  Do you have a master list lying around anywhere that you could post or link to?

  • Everybody Loves Chris


    Been a huge fan of the site, Chris. Keep up the great work.

  • I live in Hong Kong but Create Space does not ship internationally? How can I use the discount on Amazon? Thanks

  • Jim Stover

    Order mine yesterday and was shipped today.  Looking forward too it!  I also believe that based off of the content I read on this site, it will be a bargain.  Great work Chris!

  • smartfootball


    Check out this, which discusses some of the top coaching oriented books: http://smartfootball.com/books/recommended-reading-2011-edition

    And then if you go here, you’ll see all of the Books/”What I’ve been reading” posts on one page:


    Hope that helps.

  • rodofdisaster


    Ordered it as well. I have a suspicion I will love it and beat it up so much I will need another. I anticipate it will be on my shelf right next to Pat Kirwan’s book. Continued success to you.

  • Jeremy Wong

    Looking forward to it. I’m holding out for the Kindle version, but will buy and read it as soon as it becomes available!

  • Marc-André Guay

    too bad can’t get it thru amazon canada or chapters canada…what a bummer eh?

  • SD Football Network

    I’m still working on “Blood Sweat & Chalk” but this is definatly next on my purchase list. Congrats on getting this published.

  • Ja

    I’m sure the book will be quite advanced but how advanced does it begin? I’ve watched college football my whole life, and, thanks to sites like mgoblog, now have a deeper understanding of the game. Still, when I read about different strategies and plays I’m missing out on some fundamental stuff that makes it difficult for me to understand what’s going on. So I’m wondering if reading this book would be a good way to build up that knowledge from a lower base of knowledge but obviously don’t want to start at, “This guy is called the quarterback.” I’m sure there are articles around the internet at the level I’m talking about, but it’d be nice if they were in one coherent framework in a book like this instead of the bits and pieces I’ve gotten accumulated here and there about gaps, option plays, etc. Hell, there’s probably a book already like that but I don’t know what.

  • smartfootball

    You’re basically exactly who the book is pitched at. And the various pieces collected there aren’t necessarily linear so you can always look at the next one. But as I said, you’re basically the intended audience — I don’t presume the reader knows anything specific about schemes, but I do presume they know the difference between, say, a linebacker and the offensive guard.

  • ric

    it is further evidence of your excellence that you put it in paperback straight out of the gate. thanks A LOT for that. just ordered on amazon. cheers.

  • Awesome- can’t wait to get my copy!  Quick question- will this be available through Barnes and Noble as well? I only ask because I have a gift card I wanted to use.  But I have no problem paying for it if it’s only available through Amazon.  Thanks!

  • how did you go about self-publishing? did you create a word document, extract it to pdf, and then upload it to a website and fork over a large lump payment for x amount of copies of the book? (did you initially use acrobat, and then set something up with someone where they’d fork over the down payment for the books?) (did you find some company thats willing to print off the book per demand?) 

  • smartfootball

    Check out createspace.com. They are owned by Amazon. I paid for help in designing the interior, editing, book cover design, etc. There are other companies that do this too, smashwords is one, but this is just who I chose. Feel free to email me and I’ll give you the full scoop. Honestly, that part of it was not difficult; the hard part was putting the book — i.e. the words — together, which is where the focus should be anyway. The world is changing very quickly. 


  • Jason Koenig

    My copy came in the other day. Already read about Urban Meyer’s spread and getting into the chapter about the 3-5 defense.

    Chris, do you think this would be good gifts/reading material to get for any of my assistant coaches? I know you’d like the sales!

  • smartfootball

    Thanks Jason. That’s really your call — hopefully you think so! I know several coaches who have bought them for their staffs and some even for players. I also have been contacted by some coaches/teachers who are teaching football based classes and are planning to use the book as a text for the class. I need to put something on the site, but if anyone is interested in buying 15 or more copies at once I can give a discount. 

    And sure, I’d like the sales, but this project has never been about making the big bucks (I assure you there are better ways to do that), but to just make a good product and to get it to as many people who’d enjoy it as possible. 

  • smartfootball

    It’s my understanding that it will be available on bn.com, but it takes some time and I’m not sure when that’ll be (though I suppose it benefits me if you file a notice with them asking them to stock the book!). Hopefully soon.

  • Andrew Mackintosh

    This might seem a really stupid question but how does a print edition come out before a pdf book? surely its just a simple conversion of the file used to make the paper book?

    I’m not being negative just truly curious and want to know.


  • smartfootball

    I’m not a design/kindle/etc expert, but it’s my understanding it depends on what you start from. Most direct to eBook books are essentially uploaded Word documents (with maybe an intermediate step to some other format). To create a professional print book, you end up converting the Word file into a true file ready for print, with various design features, the football diagrams I included, and so on. The reason it takes awhile (again, my understanding) is that *that* is what is now being converted to the eBook, keeping in mind too that eBooks have various dynamic features (dynamic/linked table of contents, etc). Maybe all this could/should be done very quickly, but I’ve simply been told it takes a little time and I’d prefer that my design and diagrams and so on are converted correctly and my design features maintained for the eBook. It’s not just like an eBook dump of Project Gutenberg text. 

    Anyone, maybe someone more familiar with the back end can chime in. It should be done no later than May 28.

  • C.J. Schexnayder

    there’s just one big problem with this book.

    it’s too damn short

  • smartfootball

    I suppose I’ll take that as a compliment!

  • Tyler Smith

    #1 most popular on Amazon in Books > Sports & Outdoors > Football (American). That right? 

    Congrats.  Well-earned indeed.

  • Canefreak2001

    As only a 16 year old, I want to become an offensive coordinator when I grow up and your website Chris is absolutely tremendous. I cannot thank you enough for what you do on here. I just bought the book and I cant wait to read it!

  • Canefreak2001

    As only a 16 year old, I want to become an offensive coordinator when I grow up and your website Chris is absolutely tremendous. I cannot thank you enough for what you do on here. I just bought the book and I cant wait to read it!

  • Steven Siciliano

    You should be able to download a Kindle app for free on to your computer and read Kindle books that way.  That’s what I do.  Go to Amazon and search around for it.

  • Steve B

    Fantastic book! I spent the whole day reading it. Particularly enjoyed the chapter on the D-Line. I came to this site after reading it. Amazon had suggested it for me BTW.