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Rails Operations for Bootstrappers (ebook)


#1

Hey, fellow bootstrappers!

I recently started working on my second ebook.

It will teach readers what they need to know about running Rails applications in a production environment - from provisioning a server to deploying applications to making sure everything runs smoothly. An in-depth guide to enable bootstrappers to focus on creating awesome products instead of system management.

You may want to join my mailing list to receive a discount on the book when it’s ready (it is scheduled to be released in the first half of 2015).

I just pushed the book’s subsite: http://www.relativkreativ.at/products/rails_operations_for_bootstrappers

Comments and topic suggestions are highly welcome!


#2

Good stuff. Put that one-liner in there somewhere prominent – “Rails operations for bootstrappers”. I got that from here, and it’s in the text, but you have to read quite a bit on the landing page to understand what you’re writing about. Maybe it’s a subtitle below “Don’t let production unhinge…” (or even make that bit the subtitle, and make Rails Operations for Bootstrappers the main headline). I’d also reference your other eBook, as it gives you more authority on this one.


#3

Corey,

thanks for your reply. You are absolutely right - now as I look at the page, it really isn’t completely clear that it’s about a book (until you’ve reached the bottom).

I’m working on fixing that.


#4

Rails developers have a number of options of how to deploy things such as using as Heroku, Engine Yard, various AWS solutions, or your own VPS.

Have you figured out which stack most Rails bootstrappers use? My gut would tell me Heroku, as it is the easiest way to get started. If that’s the case, it could be worth adjusting your content by making the assumption they are already using it.


#5

I think your gut is quite right, Heroku really is the number one option for most Rails developers.

But my research shows that not a lot of them stay with Heroku. While it is the easiest way to get an app up and running, most developers find it too pricey when their requirements grow (more than one app, more CPU, RAM, databases etc.) and miss the flexibility a dedicated VPS offers.

This has led me to writing this book originally.


#6

I don’t seem to hear much anymore about Heroku and EY. That may be because they’re humming along quietly with mature customers, but I think they don’t have the community mindshare they once did, and today’s developers are mostly looking to VPS providers and AWS.


#7

If the book is intended for people who have “outgrown” Heroku, maybe market it that way? At least creating some content in that area might be a good way to grow your audience.

I also wonder if bootstrappers are the best target for the book. At least from the landing page, I don’t see anything about the content that is specific to bootstrappers. Rather it seems applicable to anyone who is more comfortable in the developer side of things, but is now needing to take on operations as well. Targeting it towards those kind of people might be more effective.


#8

Also, it’s not exactly related to the question, but I don’t know if folks saw:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8676140

I think any book like this in the Rails world has a chance of doing well. Good luck!

(And I think @pwim makes some good points, too.)


#9

Indeed, very good comments and suggestions here. Thanks to all of you.

I have to admit that “Rails Operations for Bootstrappers” is really just a working title. I am not even sure whether the scope of this book is too large or not.

But in the tradition of Just F*cking Do It™ I had to start with something. I do not want to work on this book for years so there is a chance that I cut topics down and tackle them with a different product. We’ll see.

Having “for Bootstrappers” in the title has two reasons:

  • I want to make clear that this is a serious product for people who are willing to pay (so kind of B2B instead of B2C). It is not intended for hobbyists who want to learn about releasing an app. From my experience, they are rather looking for free content anyway.
  • It means that this book will approach the topic focused on efficiency - running on a single server (thus reducing cost) and automating as many tasks as possible. I will not write about configuring load balancers, database clusters and the like as these are things which are not important when starting out.

#10

I got great advice on this forum for my eBook (Servers for Hackers): Writing an eBook about servers

Tiered pricing really worked - in fact, most people purchased the highest tier, which let me know that I probably didn’t charge enough :smiley: (I haven’t changed the price yet, but may in the future).

Considering setting a higher price point as a way to aim at B2B over the “B2C hobbyists” group.

Lastly, take time to promote the book in your mailing list leading up to the launch, even if the book is fully ready to go.


#11

Whoah. Yeah, your higher-end packages are way too cheap if you’re doing Nathan-Barry-style tiered pricing :smile:

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