Indie Publishing July 12, 2020

First paying customer! 😍 🔥 🚀

Nicolas Dupont @nidup

Hi folks!

I just got my first paying customer! 😍 🔥 🚀

One month ago, I started to write a guide to help new engineering managers to success in this difficult career change. I've been there and I'm now mentoring engineering managers for a few years now. Lot of common questions are coming up during mentoring sessions and I wanted to gather all I learned in a guide: The Engineering Manager's Survival Guide.

I started to work on it without making it public, because I was not sure to manage to finish it, or I was afraid it will not be a success.

It was a very bad strategy, and even if the guide is still in progress, I decided to make it public now:

  • it motivates me a lot more to work on it, as I committed publically, I'm now 100% sure I will finish it ! 💪
  • I can engage and develop the audience, discussing each aspect, using my thoughts and contents to create some awareness on Twitter 💬
  • I benefit from these discussions to better understand the potential reader's expectations, to refine the content, and to make it better 🎯

I published this guide on Gumroad by using the pre-order mode:

And it happened! I got my very first pre-order! 🎉

I wanted to first share this news with you my dear indie hackers. Our community is an invaluable support in our respective journey. ❤

If I had one advice to share from this experience: make your work public, talk about it, as soon as possible. 💡

I feel full of energy, I'll now get back to writing some more chapters! 📝 🔥 🚀


  1. 2

    Hey folks,
    I just published a second post to share my learnings and what happened during the 24h following the launch. From 0 to 6 paying customers ! 🔥

    Thank you for all your kind messages and your support 🙏

  2. 2

    Congrats man! I'm sure more will come after this!

    1. 2

      Thank you! Just received one more, 6 pre-orders, 90$ in 24h! 🔥🚀

  3. 1

    Congrats man! I am sure more will come after this!

  4. 1

    Congrats!! Sounds like you're on the right track

    1. 1

      Thank you Marty! 🙏

  5. 1

    Congrats! Super motivating to keep going and getting more customers!

  6. 1

    Congrats! When do you expect the book to be done? Did you set a time limit for yourself?

    1. 1

      Thank you! I want to share a first version in one month, on August 19th. It will not be fully finished but I want to enjoy a couple of months of feedback and discussions with the first readers who pre-ordered to improve it, and refine some aspects before to do a big launch. 🔄

  7. 1

    Congrats! So your first customer came from Twitter?

    1. 2

      Thank you! Yes, the 6 first customers are coming from Twitter. I have ~1300 followers, and a good part of them could be interested by this content (developers or tech leaders).

  8. 1

    Congratulations! That first sale is the most satisfying moment in the world - even more than 100, 200, or 1000 sales.

    1. 1

      Thank you! Yes!! It's a great first confirmation that I may have an audience for this book, on the 6 pre-orders, I already met only 2 of them. Most important is when it reached customers that are not friends or family. Looking forward to see if I can maintain that traction. I'll share a post today to explain the launch process I had.

  9. 1

    So you're feeling energized after all this? :)

    1. 1

      Yeah, much energy 🔥🔥🔥

  10. 1

    Congrats @nidup
    I also started writing a book in public. I was surprised when people start pre-ordering it. I think writing in public is a great decision

    1. 1

      Cool! Looked at it, it's a great topic to cover, lot of people struggle with productivity, time management and work - life balance. One chapter of my book is about how to manage your time when moving to engineering manager position. Writing public is a good move, wish you all the best! 📝
      (Looked also at Moufette, it's a great product idea, when I'm not indie hacking, I'm product leader of my company, deliverying an open source product).

      1. 2

        did you think about giving free samples and collect emails?
        i think it's a great way to build an email list and grow your audience

        1. 1

          I thought about it, for now, I'm polishing the 2 first chapters. I may try to give a sample for free. I think it may also help to preview the kind of content that the reader can expect. Did you try to offer samples?

          1. 1

            yes, its on the landing page

            and instead of sending pdf I send google doc link and ask people to leave comments and edits

            1. 1

              I love the idea of the link to the Google Doc to engage and collect feedback 🤩
              Do you see people downloading the samples then preordering or do you see a large diff between download and preorder?
              Do you consider downloading samples as a step of your conversion funnel?
              Do you plan to reach people who download once you'll publish?

              1. 1

                I have 24 people who requested the sample. 2 or them pre-order as well. while the other 7 pre-ordered without getting the sample.
                So far I only send 1 email to those who requested the sample. I'm planning to send them more free chapters and then I will see how that will work with the conversion.

                And yes, I'm working on growing my email list to use it later once the book is ready

                1. 1

                  Crystal clear, thank you for openly sharing your strategy, tactics and metrics, I trully appreciate it 🙏
                  Good point to nurture a list of readers that may be interested (as they download the sample). 📄

    1. 1

      By the way, the goal of this book is to help engineers to make successful transition to engineering management. Looks like it's pretty aligned with your project Career Move 😉

      1. 1

        Yes, it is aligned with my product. I am also working on a book to help engineers make smart career moves.

        Would you mind catching up over a Zoom call?

        Also, let me know if you would be interested in promoting it on Career Move

        1. 1

          Cool. No problem for a zoom call. Can we use Twitter private message to schedule it?

          1. 1

            Cool. I have followed you on Twitter

            1. 1

              Followed you too 👍

  11. 1

    You should print it out and frame it!

    1. 1

      Great idea, I will! 😊

  12. 1

    Well done. Congrats and keep working hard.

    1. 1

      Thank you Luiz 🙏

    1. 1

      Thank you Mateo 🙏

  13. 1

    Congrats, the first is always a huge milestone. Now the next few thousands can come! Keep it up this way!

    1. 1

      Thank you! I reached 6 pre-order, keep going! 🚀

  14. 1

    Congratulations and best of luck with the further sale!

  15. 1

    Congrats man! Super exciting milestone

  16. 1

    That's awesome congrats! I'll have to bookmark this, might grab a copy

    1. 1

      When I tried bookmarking just the survival guide, the bookmark title was just your name. Had to change it to the name of the guide so I wasn't confused later

      1. 1

        Good catch, thank you! I changed the link, it's (the other one is a link to my gumroad profile) 👍
        I'd love to have your feedback and discuss together if you grab a copy 💬

  17. 1

    Congrats! How much did you promote your book before reaching the first pre-order?

    1. 2

      No promotion, I disclose my project yesterday with a tweet (I have 1300 followers), then a second tweet yesterday to announce the first pre-order. 😁

  18. 1

    Congrats dude, keep the ball rolling

    1. 1

      Thank you, I will! ⚽

  19. 1

    I could not get my second customer in Halloween: Horror Well.
    I wish you a better momentum for you :)

    1. 2

      Arf, I wish you all the best to get the second one, keep going! 💪

  20. 1

    Congrats, I know the feeling 🎉

  21. 1

    Congratulations on your achievement!

  22. 1

    And I received 4 more pre-orders yesterday! 🔥

    Making it public soon was definitely a good move!

    I'll write a new post later on to share metrics, and a few tips on the launch and post-launch 📈

    Thank you for your support 🙏

  23. 1

    Congrats and hope many more will come!

    1. 1

      Thank you! I got 4 new pre-orders! 🚀

  24. 1

    Congratulations! 🎉

    1. 1

      Thank you Rosie! 🙏

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