347 sales, #1 on PH & Amazon Bestseller within 24h

The launch of my book Zero to Sold has been incredible.

Yesterday, at 2 pm CET, I launched the book on Twitter. The tweet got incredible engagement: within 28 hours, it stands at 137 Retweets and 769 Likes, with 98 comments. The reach of this tweet has been spectacular: it reports over 100.000 impressions.

For a book launch, that isn't too shabby.

I engaged with everyone who engaged with that Tweet. Took most of my time yesterday. Here are the sales results of the launch.

  • 199 units sold on Amazon (Kindle only, as Paperbacks only start counting when they're shipped)
  • 148 units sold on Gumroad (Mostly from non-Amazon countries like Russia)

That's at least 347 sales. Plus the paperbacks which I expect number somewhere between 50 and 100 orders.

With me making anywhere between $3 and $9 on royalties, depending on the country and format, I'm looking at something between $1000 and $3000 in royalties from the first 24h of launching my book.

I could not have dreamed that. In fact, I assumed that I might sell 50 copies, maybe.

Having both the Kindle and the Print-on-Demand book on Amazon from the start resulted in this little gem that I would have never expected: right now, Zero to Sold is the #1 Amazon Bestseller in the Small Business category.

Small Business Best Sellers

I am still in shocked disbelief. I never expected this to happen, not for months or years.

Earlier today, right at 00:05 PST, I launched on Product Hunt through PH's automatic scheduling. When I woke up 40 minutes later, it was 9:45 here in Germany. I tweeted about the launch, and the 6 votes it already had gathered turned into 29, catapulting me to the top spot. The book has been in the #1 spot ever since.

Other side-effects appeared on my blog. The blog itself received 5000+ visits, many of which hung around and checked out other articles and pages. One of those was my newsletter. In the 24h sale period, my newsletter grew by 8%, adding 108 new newsletter subscribers.

What can I say, I'm still in a daze. So much love, so much support, so much kindness has been expressed to me over the last 24 hours, of which I slept only 4.

I am so glad to have found the Indie Hackers community. This wouldn't have happened without every single one of you.

Now, I'll get back to chatting with people on Twitter. The ProductHunt situation is still happening :D

If you're interested in the book, please check out Zero to Sold.

    1. 1

      Thanks, Rob. Thanks as well, again, for helping me figure out the finer details of self-publishing. I'll pay it forward!

  1. 2

    Congratulations, I got the book after reading a few pages of the sample on Kindle. Easy to read, very interesting. I didn't read everything yet, but I think it applies to an IndieHacker in the early stages way better than some high level Facebook, Airbnb, etc story.

    1. 1

      Thank you. I agree, there is something to the indie hacker journey that is fundamentally different than what any hypergrowth startup manual could ever provide. I mean, everyone has to be scrappy and resourceful in their businesses, no matter how well they're funded. But there is much more personal risk in indie businesses that don't have their assets invested in diversified ways. So particularly in the early stage of ideation and validating audience, problem, and solution, you can't gamble as much as you could with VC money on your bank account.

      That's why I wanted to write the book, and I am so happy you see it being useful for this purpose.

      1. 2

        Yeah, especially the advice of today's big successes is extremely distorted. They have a long journey behind them and don't remember correctly what they did or "romanticize" things.

        I recently read on Twitter a reply by Basecamp to the question how they validated their new app Hey. And the reply was to just build and release it - that's how you test a market.

        Also I read that their marketing is very good, etc. But looking at their followers on Twitter alone -> Over half a million. One tweet and that's all the marketing they need to do. Whatever they have to say, most things would never be very actionable for like 99% of the people.

        1. 1

          Yeah, distorted is the right word. I'm also not completely safe from that, but I try to check my perspective whenever I notice that I am assuming something. And actively mentoring a handful of people keeps me synced with their early-stage reality. Which I really appreciate.

          Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have 500,000k followers and throw products at them. That's probably lots of fun. But it's neither the goal nor the reality of people who are trying to build sustainable, slow-growing, bootstrapped businesses.

  2. 2

    Nice work, just bought it on Kindle

    1. 1

      Thank you very much, that is extremely appreciated!

  3. 2

    This is an awesome success story Arvid! Congrats! Super inspiring as I’m currently writing my personal finance e-book

    1. 1

      Well, thank you! Please let me know when that's done, I still have a lot to learn about that :D

    1. 1

      Thank you very much!

  4. 2

    Congratulations. I'm following you on Twitter :)

    1. 1

      Thanks a lot. I follow you on Twitter, too :D

  5. 2

    Thanks Arvid! Just bought the paperback on Amazon. Can't wait for it to arrive!

    1. 1

      Thank you very much! I just had a few author copies delivered, and they are pretty darn amazing :D

  6. 2

    That's fantastic news Arvid! Great job and wish you continuing success!

    1. 1

      Thank you very much, that is very kind of you to say!

  7. 2

    Congratulations Arvid. Your story is inspirational and wish you success with the book as well.

    If I may go off-topic for a bit, what's the WP theme you use for your landing page?

    1. 2

      Thank you very much. Much appreciated!

      The theme is Penscratch 2, with a number of plugins and stylistic "alterations" (custom CSS overwriting very stupid and obnoxious defaults). It serves me really well. I might actually want to write a blog post about that. A blog post about a blog. Why not!

  8. 2

    Congrats Arvid :)

  9. 2

    Congrats, thanks for sharing, I sounds like I need to checkout your book :)

    1. 1

      Thank you, I would definitely appreciate that!

  10. 2

    This is awesome! Congrats 🎉 to you!

    1. 1

      Thanks so much :D 🥳

  11. 2

    Congrats on your successful launch. I bought a Kindle copy. Looking forward to reading through!
    Congrats again 👊🏾

    1. 1

      Thanks so much! Super appreciated :D

  12. 2

    Paperbacks! Ha ha!

    The quintessential American developer believes in the power of software until it is time to learn something real. 👹👹👹

    Congratulations on your launch and ensuing sales!

    1. 2

      Gotta tell you, I love my Kindle and aimlessly scrolling through PDFs on High-Def screens as much as anyone, but there's something to a paper book that just makes it OBJECTIVELY better :P

      1. 1

        True that!

        I think scrolling erodes our attention span. It kinda goes against the grain of saccadic perception, whereas a page turn on a physical book to transition to the next page that then remains stationary for a while until we have soaked all of the content makes for a huge difference. ♥️

        1. 1

          That's a solid point. And then there is the whole thing with artificial light and resolution.

  13. 2

    Bought a a copy last night - I read your blog posts with respect to Stage 1 and 2 which were incredibly clear and concise. The usefulness density in the book so far has been astounding. Thank you for writing this, Arvid!

    1. 2

      Thank you very much, that's extremely kind of you to say — and I am very grateful to hear such praise.

  14. 2

    Beautiful Arvid!

    Selling a book is a super hard task, I am super happy for you. I bought it this morning. I plan to read it next week.

    I am hoping that can help me to grow nomadmail.io and coffeelist.co, two very different products between them.

    Enjoy this moment! Regards from Wroclaw.

    1. 1

      Thank you so much for the kind words. I bet you'll find something in there for both your projects. Greetings from Berlin! :D

  15. 2

    Hell yeah Arvid! Glad to see you out there shining, I know I got my copy! Haven't gotten a chance to dig in yet but excited for it.

    1. 1

      Thanks so much! I'm having a blast :D

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