December 21, 2019

50 Sold Copies

Pascal Precht @PascalPrecht

Another week has past and I sold another ten copies of REBASE, making it a total of 50. As the previous weeks I mostly focussed on actually writing the book. My original goal was to finish 1 to 2 chapters every week, so that by the end of January 2020, the book should be complete.

This is now the third week and I've almost finished 4 chapters. I'm aiming for at least starting the 5th as well before the next week and holidays kick in.

Some things that may or may not have contributed to the additional sales:

  • I've installed Hotjar on my landing page to see what my page visitors are clicking on. This gave me very good insights.
  • I noticed that they were completely ignoring one of the CTAs.
  • At the same time there was some information they've tried to click without it being a link.
  • Another great insight was that I could see that most of the visitors were pretty much skipping most of the intro information and went straight to the "What's inside" section.
  • Given all the above I've optimized the page by shortening the texts of the sections that readers don't seem to spend time on and changing colors of parts that might make them think they are links while they aren't.
  1. 2

    Hey @PascalPrecht, I would like to know couple of things.

    • Are you using Google Ads/ FB Ads to Sell?
    • How is the loading time and Is it affecting your clicks/sales?
    • Have you tried running Quora Ads?
    • I just checked that your FB pixel fires only when I hover over your CTA. How did you manage to do that? Guess- Google Tag Manager?
    1. 2

      Hey @tejas3732,

      • I'm not using Google Ads or Facebook Ads. The only "ad" I've set up is a banner in the article view over at blog.thoughtram.io, which has quite a lot of traffic (it's my company's blog).
      • I'm sitting in a bus right now with relatively unstable wifi, but did a quick performance profile of the load times. Turns out the site is loaded almost instantly, just a couple milliseconds. But i'm also not surprised, given that It's really just an HTML file with some text and a tiny bit of JS. No heavy workload here for the browser, nor the network (to begin with). Does it affect my clicks/sales? I'm very sure. I mean I don't have any data on how my sales are performing when my site is super slow, but there are studies that confirm the drop of a landing page's conversion rate by an order of magnitude. So, yea, most likely yes.
      • I have never heard about Quora Ads, but I'm also not sure if I would want to run those. So far I'm trying to create organic reach as much as I can. I also know that this book won't make me rich, so I'm not necessarily aiming for selling it hundreds of thousands of times.
      • To be hones, I don't know what a FB pixel is, nor was I aware that I have one. The CTA is coming straight from Gumroad. It's an embedded script that turns a plain link into a button that triggers an overlay. So I guess I can't really answer that question.
      • I do use Google Tag Manager for Google Analytics, but I'm honestly considering moving to a more independent analytics tool.

      Thanks for all the questions, that's super interesting stuff here!

      1. 1

        Thanks for your prompt reply.

  2. 1

    What did you use to write the book?

    1. 2

      Hey @george,

      I'm using a tool called pandoc and wrote a little script that composes all the chapters, the book metadata and the cover.

      Using a tool like pandoc allows me to write the book in a language like markdown which makes it extremely easy to write and edit text while at the same time it's flexible enough to embed things like assets etc.

      If I end up open sourcing the book, people will be able to help making the book better simply by sending a pull request on GitHub.

      Does this answer your question?

      1. 2

        Thanks. Looks like an awesome book, def plan on getting a copy.

    2. 1

      Let me guess... his own brain?

      1. 1

        I think he's referring to the tooling. This comment is not very helpful @Zencentric

        1. 1

          First of all, it was a joke... secondly, does it really matter what to use to create a PDF or whatever?

          1. 1

            Actually, I think it does matter. If you want to do a certain thing, don't you also wanna know what tools there are to do that certain thing?

            I can see that creating, let's say, just a PDF isn't too much of a show stopper. However, if you want to create ePub and Mobi, and maybe even an online version (like I do), you better know about a tool that lets you write your content in some agnostic format (like markdown) and then spits out all the different formats you want to support.

            1. 1

              I believe there are so many developed tools that these days it really doesn't matter anymore.
              For example, if you are a developer, who cares which IDE you use? All of them have approx the same set of functionality and it's pretty much question of personal preferences, nothing more. The same here.
              Epub is just another format. Does your book have extensive animations/interactions or some fancy features that CANNOT be done with a regular tool? If so, yes, probably it matters. If no, I don't think so. It's just my opinion though :))) Take it easy :)))

  3. 1

    congrats man, like it a lot. would you mind to screenshot order stats from your dashboard or even better your paypal account?

    and bonus q: where do you source leads except IH?

    1. 2

      I'll definitely post some stats in the near future. Was planning to blog about how I've written and published a book in two months, once it's released :)

      There'll be a lot of learnings and data in there.

      where do you source leads except IH?

      Not sure I understand what you mean by that. Can you elaborate?

      1. 1

        post some stats in the near future.

        that would be kind because otherwise there's a slight aftertaste. This 'x users in y days' is a popular click bait tactic which is unfortunately often abused. So, people give it more power if they screenshot balances from their payment provider. I know those can be faked as well but it's just more work to fake an entire balance sheet.

        re the other q: where did the 50 users you generated come from. also quite important to know.

        1. 2

          This 'x users in y days' is a popular click bait tactic which is unfortunately often abused. So, people give it more power if they screenshot balances from their payment provider.

          That makes perfect sense! Honestly I didn't even think about it this way. I'm also new to IH so I'm happy to learn and improve from here. Will include a screenshot in my next milestone update!

          where did the 50 users you generated come from. also quite important to know.

          Very good point. So looking at the statistics, most of the page views are coming from Twitter. Twitter is also the referrer with the second most sales.

          The most sales I did via what gumroad calls "Direct, email, IM". I assume that's from a newsletter I've sent out about the product at thoughtram - my company.

          Place 3 on the list is rebase-book.com itself, which is also reached via twitter etc.

          I've also added a banner to our thoughtam blog in the article view, so I see many people coming to rebase-book.com from there.

          1. 1

            thanks for the extensive comment! are you happy with gumroad? how is the book format creation with them? and the overall admin/ui?

            1. 1

              Hey @Cass1

              So Gumroad itself doesn't actually create the book for you. All it does is providing a platform where you sell digital (and I think even physical) products. The book creation I have to take care of myself.

              Coming back to your question - I like it cause it's very simple to set up and they also take care of all the different tax scenarios, given that customers who buy your product can come form anywhere on this planet.

              What's also nice is that they allow you to start selling, before a product is actually released (which is the case for me).

              I should also add that I'm only having a basic account at this point. With a premium account you get additional features.

              Anyways, for starters, it's great. I believe in "start less, do more", so if I can keep things super simple but get them going at the same time, that's perfect for me. Can always iterate.

              Does that answer your question?

              1. 1

                one more question: what happens if I sold copies before the actual release but canceled the book? I guess, the buyers get the money back, right?

                So, is the buyer charged right away when he buys the still-to-be-published book or when he finally gets the book?

                1. 1

                  Hey man,

                  also a very good question. Customers are not charged until the product is actually released. If you cancel you sale before it was released, or if the seller cancels the product before it was released, then no one was ever charged to this point.

              2. 1

                perfect! thanks for giving me so many insights. I'll follow you on IH and might come back with more questions, in the meantime i'll check out gumroad more, happy xmas

    2. 1

      @Cass1 I was just about to publish another update here, but it doesn't seem like milestones allow for embedded images (screenshots).

      Am I missing something?

      1. 1

        great, just use imgur or so and link to that

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