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My book is completed, took 11 months, way harder than I thought


#1

Hello there,

We’re used to seeing people create info products like books and online courses than try at building software product after that. Well, I did the opposite. I’ve been building SaaS for a long time (I was a BoS reader in the day).

In last October I started to write a book on building a SaaS or web application using Go. That’s what I used in the previous two SaaS I created and found the experience extremely smooth and fun.

I had no idea that writing a book and source code would be that hard. Keeping everything in sync and concise, making sure there’s enough value. Nonetheless, I’m proud of the result, and I can call me a web author (maybe an author?) now.

I’ll have a blog post soon that describes how I’m building the book from markdown files and hopefully give the temptation to someone that’s interested in writing their book to start into the adventure.

If you’re interested in Go for your product, please have a look.

https://buildsaasappingo.com/

Any feedback and comments always appreciated :slight_smile:

Thanks,
Dominic


#2

Ohh cool you just used stripe instead of using gumroad. I’ve thought about doing something similar.

I’m assuming you just have some web app (your website) that accepts the successful payment request and then sends out an email with a link to download the book?


#3

Yes exactly, I’ve looked at Gumroad, Podia and the like and decided well I can build a minimum acceptable thing not at all comparable with these but still enough for my needs in 2-3 hours, so I did this.

I might release this as an open source project if there’s some interests. It’s not using the engine I talk about in the book, it’s a tiny 1 file Go that run inside a $5/m DigitalOcean droplet with nginx, let’s encrypt, no database. To reach buyers I SSH and edit an HTML file than do: ./appname -send and that’s it, again it works for what I need to do :slight_smile:


#4

Congratulations on finishing!

I’m definitely interested in reading the blog post particularly how you handled the placement of screenshots/images with markdown.


#5

I will disappoint you, I have not use any image in the book actually. I’m legally blind so there’s no image in there :wink:

All the source code has line numbers and is (I hope) easy to read on a gray background.


#6

Hi Dominic,

Congratulations for the book.
I wonder why didn’t you use tiered pricing ?

I released my book three months ago: https://www.javawebscrapinghandbook.com
At the beginning there was only one price, $19

The conversion rate was really good, I asked myself what about raising the price, after seeing lots of people charging $30-$60 for their eBooks.
So I did a $29 / $49 / $69 pricing, with different perks and I was shocked by the results.

Not only my conversion rate didn’t fall, but I only sell the $49 and $69 packages !!

Also, how do you drive traffic to your book’s page ?
For me it’s blog posts and mailing list.

About the numbers, each months:
6000 views on my blog posts --> 400 on the book page --> 10-15 sales a months

Kevin


#7

Congrats on your book Kevin :slight_smile:

I had two prices at first, $19 (book only) and $49 (with source code) than on reddit some folks made me think about the fact that buying a tech book without the source code does not really make sense, which I agree, so I kept only the $49. I started a Discourse community and will do live coding using the book content, that’s why I kept that price range.

Note that I’m not posing any judgement on fact that your $29 package does not include source code, I just decided to remove that package for me after agreeing with some reddit users :). I guess it does not made sense for me book.

I might have two options once I do have something valuable to add, like video course maybe (not the live coding sessions) but more like a video course touching other topic potentially, not decided yet.

Also, I mentioned above that I was going to post about what I used to generate the book, landing page and the general pre-order phase I did from February 2018 to September 2018. You can read that there:


#8

You could :slight_smile: I Agree with your analysis, the $29 doesn’t make sense to me either, but, occasionally readers from low-income country (i.e India) buy this package. When this happens I manually send them the source code.

I didn’t find any quick solution to adapt the pricing for some countries, so I kept it this way.

You medium post is really interesting, thanks :slight_smile:

That’s what I’m planning to do too. :smile:
Like you, I’m not a native English speaker so at first, I was a bit scared about making a video course.
Then I’ve recorded a small screencast that I published on Youtube, to see if I enjoyed the process and if people liked it:

It could be a good way for you too to test if you like the process, and get some feedback from your community. Also, once you will launch the bonus video / video course, you could add a link in the description to grow your traffic on the website!

Also, now that you launched, how do you plan to attract readers to your book’s landing page?

Kevin


#9

Thanks (just noticed you’re from Paris, I’m in Quebec ;))

re: Prices based on country, I offer discount for countries that do not have same revenue range as CA, USA, UK, France etc. People just signs up for the sample chapter and than send me an email, so far that worked great for Philippines, India and some other African countries.

I already did some screencasts and live coding, when I built the API client library for my SaaS Roadmap (that I’m no more the founder of), I was doing live coding of me creating those client in different languages, I really enjoyed it.

To answer your question on how to bring traffic to the landing page, I don’t have more answers than you I’m afraid for now. I’ll continue talk about the book as much as I can, so far it’s working relatively well enough lol.

Good luck Kevin, let’s keep in touch if we both find new ways of driving traffic, but yes, I’m counting on the Youtube live stream to bring some potential readers to the landing page.