October 23, 2020

My first eBook: 3 lessons learned

Farez Rahman @farez

Today I launched my first eBook, How to Pick a Good SaaS idea. It was a pre-sale launch.

Here are 3 lessons I learned.

Lesson #1: Do pre-sale and get feedback

The value of doing feedback and sales up front is priceless.

Getting feedback is a direct way to know whether your product resonates with your target audience. From the words to use in the title, to the messaging, to understanding the nuances of how they want your book to solve the problem that they have.

Doing up front sales made me think more holistically about what I'm selling, because I can't just offer one part of it. It needs to be the whole package and I have to describe it all.

It also forces me to think from the customer's point of view on all aspect of the product's experience, from when they hear about it, to reading the product's page, to how much you think they would pay.

End result: a better offer that potential customers can relate to.

Lesson #2: eBook sales = freedom

As a long time software developer and SaaS founder (mostly failures), for the first time I saw that the eBook route could potentially give me more freedom than running a SaaS, because eBooks are truly "build once, sell twice" products (to paraphrase Jack Butcher).

The more popular your book becomes, the more money you make, without spending another second on it.

Conversely, the more popular your SaaS becomes, the more time you will need to spend on support, maintenance and updates. Which is ironic because my eBook is about evaluating your SaaS idea!

Maybe I should add in a new criteria called "Could this be an eBook instead?".

Lesson #3: "Hook: Benefit"

Finding the right book title is hard! I came up with a shortlist and shared it in a poll on Indiehackers and in the Malaysians Who Make community.

The polls resulted in good discussions about finding a good title, and insight into how people perceived the different words used. I found out that the "Hook: Benefit" format is popular in the business books genre.

I highly recommend doing a poll for your book title.

There were two winning titles, so I combined them for my final choice: "How to pick a good SaaS idea: A pre-validation guide and evaluation checklist".

I've learned so much from this experience and looking forward to more. And I have to go finish the book now that people have bought it!

Here's the eBook: https://gumroad.com/l/evaluatesaas

Recommended Posts