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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Book Update

For those of you who are wondering about the book. I'm now close enough to the finish line that I'm starting to think about things like book sizes (5x8? 6x9?), font sizes (size 10? size 12?), font type (Garmond?), and who to get to do my printing (Amazon is the current leading contender).

And yes, I horribly mis-priced the book over at Kickstarter. The final price will be likely closer to $29.95 than $15 a book, but giving my early supporters a price break seems only fair. I'm actually really shocked to see so much support, so thank you all very much. Obviously, at this point, even if Kickstarter fails to generate $1000, the book will go out.

The electronic edition actually offers a major conundrum. I'm a big fan of the Kindle, as anyone who has traveled with me knows. But the royalty split between the author and Amazon is an astonishingly low 30%/70%. I'm not expecting to get rich off this book, but at this point, it seems like I'm better off going John T Reed style and accepting Google checkout in exchange for a DRM-free version of the book! Funnily enough, the print split between Amazon and the author is a much more reasonable 50/50 split. Even that's annoying enough for me to want to go John T. Reed on everyone and just inventory and ship the books myself. (I'm not egoistic enough think that this will be a best seller by any means --- it's a highly technical book on a very niche topic)


Unknown said...

How many of your supporters are friends vs. people you have absolutely no idea who you are? If most of them are the former, I'd be a little bit worried.

How much hard data do you have now on demand and interest on your book? Maybe you should estimate your CAC, cost of acquiring customers. Start spending some of your pledge money on AdWords (and assuming you are intimately on running campaigns well) and find out how much you need to spend to get people on your landing page. Then get an idea of conversion rate. From there you'll get an idea of volume, demand, interest, etc. Heck ask a bunch of your friends to use up their free $1/day campaign money. Track it on Analytics/Urchin.

If you're not a famous techie like G. Kawasaki AND you don't plan to tell people that your product exists, then I wouldn't expect viral demand.

Piaw Na said...

Most are acquaintances rather than friends. I'm much more concerned right now about making the product as good as possible. The marketing hype can come after launch. Books have a relatively long shelf life, and the economics of self-publication are such that it doesn't actually take a lot to be profitable.

Note that this only applies if you take self-publication the whole way (i.e., not giving away 70% of your revenue). A traditional publication relationship doesn't have economics as nice as self-publishing.