Adventures in self-publishing

A fourth of a year back I formed my first particular book and it’s earned me over $5,000 in the two weeks since dispatch day, so I thought I shared what I’ve understood.

I had been examining Nathan Barry’s splendid book Authority and something about it roused me. I started hurling around considerations, things that I knew well and that weren’t particularly verified starting at now, and I turned up Stripe.

I know Stripe very well having used it for a lot of exercises in a past couple of years.

I in like manner know Rails, using it in a huge segment of those endeavors notwithstanding at my typical regular work. I knew beyond question that there were things about portion dealing with that weren’t by and large examined much in the 10-minute Stripe instructional activities.

As needs are begun my multi-month voyage of forming and freely distributing Mastering Modern Payments: Using Stripe with Rails.

Why freely distribute?

For me, it wasn’t even incredibly a request. It is amazingly far-fetched a standard merchant would be enthused about a little strength subject thusly, and paying little respect to whether they were, I required as much control as I could get for my first huge structure adventure.

Likewise, the proportion of money I would get from direct arrangements is incomprehensibly more than I would get from a comparable number of offers if I was getting eminences.

Anyway, why not something like Leanpub? Afresh, it comes down to control. Leanpub gives a productive organization any way I expected to control the entire experience, from structure the book records to the introduction page completely through to the business experience.

A remarkable bit of the estimation of the guide is that the Guide + Code discharge goes with the code for the application that truly sells the book, and with Leanpub that wouldn’t be possible.

Methodology and Tools

My piece strategy is really direct. I make a system, from the begin just wide subjects for parts or sections. I adventure back, play with the solicitation a little maybe, and after that start adding more detail to the system.

Sometimes I get depleted with that and start filling in pieces with structure. This is a comparable methodology I’ve used for most of my blog passages and it’s been extremely productive.

Modifying was much more noteworthy occupation for the guide than it has been for my blog, clearly. I finished a first pass by hand on genuine paper with a genuine red pen and subsequently arranged that according to another pass on the PC.

Not long from that point onward, I released the guide as preorders to my mailing list (more on that underneath) and they gave gigantic measures of analysis, reaching out from linguistic missteps to bug fixes directly through to strange state contribution on the shape and motivation behind the guide.

I can’t thank those observers enough. They made it possible to have a cleaned thing on dispatch day.

The gadgets I used for most of the structure strategy:

Emacs and Markdown mode. The book is completely written in Markdown, beside not a lot of zones written in unrefined HTML. I use the incomparable Markdown Mode for generally all that I form since it basically just gets everything right.

Converter. I use Pandoc and Flying Saucer by methods for an area event of Docverter to amass the various plans of the guide.

Rake and Redcarpet. I made a couple out of different custom Markdown renderers using Redcarpet that do things like component code tests with Pygments, check the sentence structure of most of the Ruby code tests, the dreadful little animal most of the associations in the book, finally render out the part by section list how I lean toward it.

Gimp for the spread arrangement.

I’ve openly discharged the code that I used to build the book. It’s very sure for Mastering Modern Payments and the technique that I, over the long haul, picked, in any case, I’m certain that it will offer inspiration to others that may consider a comparative kind of freely distributing undertaking.

It fuses the pdf format and layout I use, close by the Rakefile that contains most of the method of reasoning for structure the guide in its various associations.


The primary concern I did after truly forming MMP was to set up an introduction page and start social affair email addresses. On July fifteenth I started selling preorders, which for this circumstance contained 30% off the last sticker price as a byproduct of a pushed copy of the guide close by standard without fail revives as people sent in the analysis.

This winds up having been significantly fulfilling and uplifting. Preorder arrangements totaled over $3,000. Numerous people were charmed enough with respect to this dare to pay early. In the event that you’re working up an information thing you should think about some as sort of preorder game-plan.


I kept a direct journal all through the essential piece time period and including most of that I formed for around 70 hours.

The full-scale hours spent in the general endeavor is apparently twofold that since I didn’t check an incredible piece of the progression of the sidekick Rails application, changing the guide, creating messages to customers, nor of most of the other little assignments that go into an endeavor along these lines.

The best driver by far was HN traffic from two posts on dispatch day, August fifteenth. The second most prominent driver was an association in Ruby Weekly.

I acquired an advancement on/r/rails and upheld The Changelog computerized communicate, neither of which clearly made arrangements yet may have driven direct site visits and arrangements later on. There was absolutely not a huge amount of time to place thought into following visits from The Changelog so I don’t have any quick numbers.

Since dispatch day the purpose of entry has gotten 6,084 fascinating site hits driving 136 arrangements for a general change pace of 2.2%. Before dispatch day, the mailing summary changed over 30% for preorders.


Get help sooner all the while

When I started this endeavor I was autonomous of any other person which hampered adjusting and investigating a lot. I didn’t get my first sweeping external review of the thing until after I had sold an underlying couple of copies. Next time I’ll gather a few strong specific examiners early so they can start scrutinizing drafts before generation.

Form more guest blog sections

This is something that Nathan grasps in Authority and I basically didn’t have space plan astute to get to. I simply had one guest blog passage on dispatch day and it didn’t make much traffic using any and all means, also bargains.

Next time I’ll have at any rate three masterminded, similarly as having consideration in the appropriate step by step flyers and computerized communicates set up until now.

Make logically pertinent substance for my email list

At an advantageous time, I was sending interesting little Stripe and Rails things to my mailing list, anyway after preorders started it advanced toward winding up thing invigorates unfailingly.

I think at some point or another I started overselling them. For my next thing, I’m going to endeavor to trade thing revives with entrancing, noteworthy information that isn’t honestly related to the thing.

Make an effort not to have such a lot of going on while making and selling

I had too much various things going on when I dispatched. Here’s an abbreviated timetable for dispatch day and the going with:

I contemplated the wedding and pushing outstandingly forward of time, so for what reason did I pick August fifteenth? Nonattendance of essential thinking, obviously.


I’d like to acknowledge the open way to thank my life partner, who has persevered through this errand just as most of my exercises over the span of the latest two years. She’s the most dumbfounding, understanding person that I’ve any time met.

I’d moreover want to offer thanks toward Michael Buckbee, Andrew Culver, and a whole host of different people who kept me roused and on track, fitting beyond what many would consider possible.

This undertaking has been an astonishing foundation. I’ve discovered such an incredible sum about how to produce a thing, how to amass a horde of individuals, and how to make a triumph, and it’s not in any case wrapped up.

I’ll be releasing discontinuous updates with cures and new information since both Stripe and Rails are both dynamic, advancing things.

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