But it shouldn't be. And a project like this one -- not to mention the founder/author's innovation and tenacity -- will help turn the tide.
There's certainly a fair amount of dark art to quality writing, but there's also science. And it's refreshing to see a results-focused approach that seeks to separate the merely mellifluous from the legitimately effective.
Big kudos on this one!
You should do a post on the subject!
That's why I have a boatload of respect for you and for this project. It's up to writers to differentiate commodity wordsmithing from genuinely powerful work. And it's up to a few daring employers to know the difference, and to demand it. Your startup makes a fairly bold declaration of the importance of an underappreciated skill. And it's positioned well, in a market full of entrepreneurs who are more open to new ideas than most F-500 middle managers would be.
 OK, maybe they're only electro-plated. At any rate, they glitter significantly less than Goldman, for instance.
shortest footnote marker-to-footnote distance ever?
But, some friendly startup advice:
1. There should be no reason to ask for my address and phone number and such for a digital purchase with PayPal as the purchase option. Your close rate would go up if you just let people go straight to PayPal -- and ask for those details after the purchase is done (eCommerce companies learned this a while ago).
2. You shouldn't have PayPal as the purchase option. It sucks for a number of well documented reasons, and there are better options now.
3. Once I tried to complete the PayPal transaction, got this error message: http://screencast.com/t/c5crNpyDg
Happy to try again when you're ready. Just ping me.
With physical goods, the seller is paid by default (when the seller responds). With intangible goods, nothing the seller says can get the chargeback reversed. You only get the money if the buyer responds, which they rarely do because they are about to get a full refund and free product. PayPal's only recommendation is to capture the address (and send a free CD). I found that just capturing the address made the problem mostly go away. And with the couple of chargebacks, when I responded with the address, I was paid.
2. Nothing prevents me from putting a fake address into the form. I just did.
3. The web page does not use SSL-encryption. It doesn't process credit card information, but it surely does process personal information such as my address, which is enough to be a violation of privacy terms in Europe.
So, while I found the copy of this web page extremely interesting and it just "worked" on me, the technical aspects were almost a deal-breaker for me and I only circumvented the problem by providing a fake address.
Best marketing of the year award.
Maybe my Qn itself is unreasonable and maybe same principles apply everywhere, in which case do let me know.
Secondly, since my potential usage of this will be sometime in future; when I come down to it, will you be available offline for some clarifications help needed with the material? If my help reqd becomes too much we can even discuss some kind of compensation/consulting for you.
HN Mods/PG: Someone pls tell me how to recover my passwd of a very old account!
throwaway because I'm just too embarrassed to expose my stupidity
An epub version would be great though, if that would be possible?
Worked for me! I'm considering buying now...
Its easy to slip on stuff like this when you are immersed in your speciality and don't often talk to people outside of it... although as a programmer at least I have the excuse of there not already being multiple unambiguous ways to describe my subject matter. :)
However, I will not be surprised if this usage of copy becomes more popular - both times I've seen it were on Hacker News in the last week.
I don't think it's because I'm too close to copywriting (my sisters and brothers constantly remind me that they have no idea what I do) but because I assume people in this particular community will know about "copy" just as they know about "interaction design" and "UI" --- and other terms my siblings don't know.
Or maybe it's because I watch too much Mad Men and assume everyone else does, too. ;) (In which case you'd know that Donald Draper and Peggy Olsen are both [albeit fictional] copywriters.)
Just bought the bundle. What a deal!
In case this is a problem for anyone else, the coupon code box is on the first page of the cart/checkout, on the left side of the screen, just below the product thumbnail.
Bought and anxiously waiting for my email with the books! I've always had trouble writing wishy washy content and need to do a huge update for SEO so this couldn't have come at a better time!
Congratulations, thanks and best of luck all in one!
I don't want you to lose out on the discount! I don't want anyone to.
So please, if you're ordering, do not click the 'checkout' option but rather be sure to start your 'funnel' process at the page marked "CART".
(I had a pro QA person do the QA on the site, and he didn't notice this glitch either... so we're both quite unhappy about it.)
I believe you have confused marketing as a whole with authoring the textual element of it... or possibly misinterpreted copy because it has specialised meaning in the context of publishing.
I'm sure there is a market for companies who would rather pay to have it written for them -- I know I'd certainly be interested. Any thoughts on launching a startup that does copywriting for companies/people? Perhaps charge by the word or page?
Or maybe it is supposed to be but there are some fallbacks being used under the current heavy load.
I tried manually going to https://www.copyhackers.com/ , but that tries to serve an SSL certificate for webcopygirl.com (which looks like a parked domain).
Configuration problems, or lack of SSL certificate? If the latter, do you already know about StartCom (https://www.startssl.com/)? They provide domain-validated certificates for free.
Sorry to anyone who's experiencing trouble. The discount lasts a few days, so please do return - or email me, if you need any help: joanna AT copyhackers DOT com.
Is this usual for other electronic goods? (ie. software)
There is a certain level of trust involved, because there is indeed no way to "return" the ebook (well, set aside complicated and broken solutions like DRM). Most people are honest enough to acknowledge the usefulness of the ebook, and won't ask for their money back if they're satisfied (even though objectively they could lie and get that money back).
I've seen this a few times, and it seems like a great way to build confidence.
I do it too but only on small things. I haven't done a single refund yet over several hundred sales.
Other than increasing the likelihood of a sale, the benefit of offering a guarantee like this is you get less flack from your payment provider (since they can see you'll refund if anyone's dissatisfied) and you can avoid nearly all chargebacks. If someone doesn't want to pay, they'll find a way to get around it anyway, so you might as well make it frictionless.
But I really do want people to tell me if the book doesn't meet their expectations and to know that they can get their money back. It just seems wrong to offer no recourse. (Hopefully the ebook samples will help people before they buy, though, so fewer people return products.)
And, yes, there's no way to return a digital copy. It's just a trust/honor thing, I guess. :) You tell me you're not satisfied, and I give you your money back. Done.
A couple of humble suggestion for you:
$$$: You may want to sell this as lifetime subscription to each mini-book/magazine. Have each buyer opt-in to receive a life-time update once every quarter. People lose digital assets all the time so it is nice to get an updated one regularly. Also every 4 months you get change to nudge people to read it or re-read it to see what is new. If someone forwards it along you will end up capturing a percentage of people that got the pirated version because people don’t want to read stale content. By a putting an issue/version number on it you make people feel left out and upgrade to the latest version. ( ☺ hehe. I have worked for Microsoft for too long.)
Every time I get a new email from you I would not thing it spam if you attach a updated version of the book to it. ☺
Then you can sell additional book chapters to your subscriber base over time. Or bundle in other services that people would find interesting.
Branding: Copy is a very specific term. To increase your audience I would suggest re-branding your content and call it text or something to that effect.
Domain name: You have a great domain name. You can rebrand your content as “copy from the best hackers” meaning copy ideas from the best hackers.
Looking forward to reading your book.
I can see wanting my name for doing a watermark and my email so you can send me an update when the next book in the series comes out, but the rest seemed unnecessary so you might want to consider removing them as "Required Fields".
I actually disliked the entire check out process. Database connection errors, failed to accept a strong password (randomly generated and including symbols) and failed with an uninformative error requiring me to navigate back to the checkout process and re-enter all my information. Then I check my email and my user name and password have been sent back to me. Everything about the site is great until you get to the checkout process which is really clunky.
I think it's a reasonable tradeoff - those of us with properly managed password storage can delete the email, but the 99% who _don't_ use some form of password safe can keep using their email archive as their place to look up passwords they've forgotten. (I see this a _lot_ in our clients non-technical Wordpress site subscribers...)
_Lots_ of (mainly non-technical) people _do_ use their email archive as their "(not so) secure password storage".
As someone who regularly deals with website owners with non-technical audiences, I see all the time that this decision by the Wordpress devs is almost certainly a sensibly pragmatic choice. Those of us who know and care about password security can deal with it - delete the email when it arrives, if you're particularly paranoid go back and change it (I'm pretty sure Wordpress only does this on signup, not on password changes).
Until my mom uses 1Passwork or KeyPassX or PasswordSafe (or an equivalent), I can easily see why many many Wordpress site owners think this is the right compromise between password security and useability.
I think part of it, is that when you do the job yourself, you can revisit it time and time again to polish it. Hiring someone just gets you that first rough draft, that might be better than your own rough draft, but is subpar, since the person didn't spend the time to perfect it.
I think it was a fantastic idea to scrap the 300-page book and focus on more bite-sized readings. Tackling a 300-page book can be a lot to ask of a reader, especially if they are spending a lot of their time producing products. A 50-page book makes more sense to me. I can work through 50 pages in a short period of time, feel like I've just learned a complete concept, and start implementing it right away.
Best of luck and great work!
You shouldn't have to create an account to get the download link. It should be in the Order Confirmation email (which is separate from the PayPal receipt email).
Working on replying via email right now....
Unfortunately, I came home to order and found this:
Database Error - Error establishing a database connection
Safari won't download the file, though when I try to get it from my iPad.
Any chance of an epub version though? Would then be easier to read on my phone and ebook reader.
Eack book is dedicated to one topic you can master, like writing headlines
"extended acknowledgement book", advanced subliminal typo marketing :)