Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
$30,000 eBook Sales. In 2 Months. (studiofellow.com)
35 points by bdunn on May 31, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 16 comments

Congratulations! And good job on tracking your sales closely, it's interesting to see how many sales you got from your guest post on A Smart Bear. Another thing you did better than me is the mailing list, I don't even have one… But I'll fix all that for my next eBook, whenever that is :)

Thanks! The fact that we both launched design ebooks on the same day and both succeeded shows how awesome the community is.

I hopped on the mailing list for this way back when it was first announced under the impression that it was done or near done.

With each email it became increasingly clear that you/the author had not started at all and were just fishing to see if there was interest first.

This kind of deception under the guise of "market research/validation" pisses me off and lead to an unsubscribe and, consequently, no sale.

I'm sorry you felt deceived. I really did start writing within a day or so of the initial landing page launch because enough people showed interest. So the goal of those emails I sent was not to gauge interest (I already knew that), but to make sure I was writing the book people wanted to read.

Also, I should have clarified: on the original landing page, the language I used was:

"Coming soon." "Want to know when it's ready?"

The original design is here: http://cl.ly/0o143s3d053r3V2B2K3v

I put up the page with every intention to write the book. Also, I told anyone who asked that I hadn't started writing yet. I just didn't put that on the page.

A couple of people are throwing around the word "Deception" and I think that's quite heavy handed. I didn't list every single detail on the landing page, but that hardly constitutes deception.

Again, apologies to anyone who did feel that way. I've tried to be as transparent and honest about this project as possible. If there's a detail that's important to you, just ask!

I'm going to disagree here. Jarrod, a designer, wanted to create a book that would be beneficial to you (presumably, a developer). He had a skill you wanted to know more about to use to your benefit, which is probably why you signed up for his list.

By getting potential customers early own, not only is he more motivated to get the book out the door, but he can also talk to his first customers to see exactly what they want to learn that he can teach.

Great work, Jarrod!

As you said, gauging interest is validation (recommended by guys like Steve Blank).

I've been guilty of something of the sort, but I made clear that the product wasn't finished (and it looks like the author was as well).

However, it's nice to have a data point of someone who dislikes this approach.

I would love to have research done on this. Such as using both approaches on similar product launches simultaneously. One product that clearly states its launch is pure research, and another disguising it.

It would help ease my cognitive dissonance.

On the one hand, I believe people lie about what they'll buy. Whether they lie to us or to themselves, it doesn't matter. On the other hand, I also can't stand this validation tactic. So I hope such research would show it's not necessary to deceive. But if not, I can more easily look past people doing so.

I think this comment shows that we are really conditioned in a rather strange way due to being bombarded with advertising and marketing messages.

The problem is that people don't want to participate in market research, so the only way to do it a lot of the time means not being entirely straightforward, and looking for roundabout ways to attract attention and get feedback.

However, if you're willing to look beyond the fact that you thought you were signing up for a complete product, and consider the big picture instead, you'll see that having early customers leads to better products and less time wasted on making things nobody wants. So ultimately, you benefit from it.

I used to get worked up about these things too, but I got over it.

I'm genuinely curious: what do you find so infuriating about market research/validation?

Where you able to find another book/resource to meet your need? If not, why deny yourself the knowledge that you were interested it getting?

Awesome results. I congratulate you, Jarrod. Your book is exactly what I need (I'm a sales geek running a custom software development agency, and I'm design-challenged). I just bought your book via a retweet I stumbled upon yesterday.

Your blog post will also do me a lot of good, since I'm writing a book aimed at tech geeks as well. Thank you for writing it.

"The last couple of months have been strange because I have no idea how to run a profitable business. I’m making it up as I go."

I had to chortle at that one. Aren't we training people to save money for a 'dry spell' these days? :-)

Ironically, the font on the landing page doesn't look well on my Firefox 12.


It does look great on Chrome, however.

What OS? I'm aware of rendering issue in Windows Chrome because it ignores ClearType settings. Hadn't seen any issues in Firefox though.

Windows XP (Spanish), and it's a spanish-version Firefox 12. Maybe some XP settings or something.

It also says "Me gusta" on the Facebook like button :) which is sometimes jarring when mixed with English, but that's because of my default language I guess.

The body copy font looks bad for me on Chrome 20, Windows 7: http://cl.ly/H1yl

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact