1. Holy crap! I made $40,000 this year with my eBook. And you (probably) can, too.

    Caution: I am going to try to sell you something at the end of this post. If that offends you, skip the last few paragraphs. :)

    When Rails 3 RC1 hit earlier this year, I also released my Rails 3 upgrade guide in its final form. I had been shopping it to a few people since early alphas/betas of Rails 3, but I finally let it out of the bag in early January. It’s been about a year since I first released it, so I thought it’d be neat to look at the sales numbers and see how far I’ve come since then. So, I popped the console open on the Rails app and ran a couple of queries. “That can’t be right,” I thought. “I made how much?”

    Holy crap. I’ve made $40,967.

    How does that break down? Well, here are the numbers:

    I’ve been overwhelmed by the purchases and the great comments I’ve gotten about the book. Plainly, I was on to something here. The sales from both avenues have been excellent (in my opinion), and the “other stuff” constitutes things like speaking gigs and so on that I’ve gotten as a direct result of writing this book.

    You can see from this graph that sales have actually been fairly consistent month-to-month. They ebb and flow, of course, but there haven’t been any major crashes.

    Graph of sales

    It should stay like that for some time since I think a lot of developers are just now actually getting confident enough in Ruby > 1.8.6 and Rails 3 to really make the leap.

    So, the question is: how did I do it? Is the book really that good? Or is it something else at work? There was a recognition factor at play here for sure given my past work (my 2 books previous to this one, open source, speaking, and so on), but there are a few other things at play here I think…

    There are, of course, more factors at play, but I think those are the big ones. I’ll be blogging more about this stuff soon because I think there are some interesting lessons.

    But enough about me.

    Would you like to make some excellent passive income while getting a few fringe benefits while you’re at it (speaking gigs, consulting jobs, and so on)? *dons Matthew Lesko jacket* I CAN HELP YOU WITH THAT! I’ve been toiling on an eBook project for almost a year now; I’ve written most of it, rewritten it, tore most of it out, changed the format, and written it again. I think I finally have something good.

    The cover

    I’ve titled it Authoring eBooks, a thorough eBook guide to (you guessed it) writing and marketing eBooks. It takes you through the writing process from concept development to structuring your outline to actually writing the book and into the marketing and sales process. It’s structured as a discrete set of essays so you can pick and choose the topics that are relevant to you. Some of them are short thoughts on a particular topic; others are multi-pages treatises on an in-depth topic. You can check out the sample pages to get a feel for how it’s written, or jump over to the informational site to get more discussion of what’s inside.

    It currently costs $29 for over 100 pages of information with access to future bonus content (topics in the hopper so far: running a successful affiliate program, A/B testing, and more). I’m also in the process of setting up a private discussion forum for readers. The price will be jumping up to $49 for the full package after the New Year, so if you want it cheap, you’d better grab it now! Unlike my other book project, you can pay via PayPal or Google Checkout thanks to e-Junkie!

    I hope to see tons of eBooks popping up as a result of readers using this information. I also plan on starting an eBook “coaching” (crappy, overloaded, market droid term but it’s the best I have right now) where I will work with a small group for 6 weeks to at least begin writing a tech book (doesn’t have to be an eBook); it will include discussions, worksheets, one-on-one consulting, and so on. If you’d like more information on that, sign up on this form and I’ll ping you when it’s ready.

    (P.S. If you’re not into writing but still want to make some cash, I have an affiliate program also. It pays 30%, so right now you’d make about $10 per copy sold and about $15 a copy after the New Year.)

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