Wondering what your “hourly rate” is when you go out and write a tech book?

Wondering what your “hourly rate” is when you go out and write a tech book?

Normally, publishers tell you to do this for “exposure,” but we all know you could lose your life as a result. Seriously, it’s a big gamble even for publishers – plus all the extra costs of printing, marketing, publishing, wholesale prices, etc., and you really don’t have anything. “Exposure” does not pay the bills.

There’s a better way to do this: self-publish and learn the basics of marketing to sell your book to the right readers. As an added bonus, you’ll get to know each of your readers and build strong relationships with them – which is great for you because you can adapt your book to the needs of your readers because they feel like there’s a real person out there listening to them.

In order to achieve this, you have to keep costs low and profit margins high. Selling a lot of books with little to no profit is bad, because the market for highly specialized books is limited.

(Rule 0: Have good content that’s relevant to your target audience.) It goes without saying!)

  1. Rule 1: Don’t be a publisher. Self-published the book.
  2. Rule 2: No third-party sales channels. /b10> No Amazon/Kindle, iBookstore etc.
  3. Rule 3: Do not use DRM. /b10> DRM has never stopped anyone from pirating.
  4. Rule 4: Publish in PDF format. /b10> It can also be used as an EPUB, depending on the topic/audience. Please do not use the Dead Tree version.
  5. Rule 5: High price. /b10> Pricing by the value you offer isn’t about what it feels like to be right.

Obviously, no publisher has excluded middlemen. Of course, you have to learn how to market your book – you can’t just sit there and wait for someone to buy it. You might say, “But Thomas, you have 1 billion followers online, you sell your stuff yourself!—— I hear that a lot, but “influencers” (in a very small circle) don’t make your book a bestseller.” I have to try to do a good job of marketing like everyone else.

Just like any other skill, marketing is something you can learn

For such eBooks, email lists work well. For those who entrust their email addresses to strangers (i.e. you), you need to give them something useful in return – for example, a coupon code that allows you to buy cheaper books, free chapters, or weekly tips and tricks.

Doing email marketing well is a small job, but it will pay for itself. If you don’t market, you can’t sell. The other things you should try to do is conduct interviews on podcasts and write guest blog posts on blogs related to your topic.

For retina afy, I build my initial interest by giving away a “retina afying” flowchart (which was downloaded nearly 100,000 times) for free, and I send weekly emails to those who sign up to learn about the book, each with some quip and reasons why retina afying is important and necessary, why the book makes it super easy, and a word from one reader (collecting these!)

Additional sales channels can cost you time and money

As for the rule 2-100% profit will go to you (deduct the payment fee). For some topics, third-party sales channels do work, but most highly specialized technology topics are not among them. (If you sell more than 100 copies, you’re selling more than most self-published authors.) But most of these authors failed to generalize properly. )

Once you have determined the price (you first need to determine the price, remember not to base the price on what you think is appropriate, see Article 5), in order to be profitable and worth your time, you should calculate what you want the minimum hourly wage to be. For example, Hysen. I spent 50 hours doing research and writing, and probably another 30 hours on marketing. As of August 28, 2015, I’ve sold more than 3,000 copies of the game, with total sales of more than $60,000. If you use PayPal sell eBooks, you can assume that you’re going to end up paying around 5%. That put me at more than $700 an hour when I was writing a book, and it only increased as sales increased.

By the way, looking at hourly charges can tell you your target copy number – if you plan to charge less than a certain number, it’s not worth writing this book. My lifetime sales target for this book is 3,000 copies (which I reached in two and a half years). As a comparison, JavaScript performance rocks! The book, written by Amy and others in 2008, has sold 2,686 copies so far for $79,964.96. (This doesn’t include some of the website licenses we sell).

Digital rights management won’t work – it will only annoy your customers

No DRM (Rule #3) is obvious. It will make it harder for you and your readers, destroy things, be ugly, and most importantly, it’s never stopped anyone from pirating. Don’t waste time on this.

As for Rule 4, depending on your reader and the subject of the book, just one PDF is enough. For example, I sell retina afy. I’m just acting as a PDF file. Now some people will criticize you, but the book has a lot of illustrations, screenshots, and tables that can’t be formatted with EPUB (which means it doesn’t take weeks), so I chose to just use PDFs. If this isn’t a book specifically about design and UI issues, you might want to publish it in the form of EPUB. (I’ll discuss the toolchain I use in a coming post.) )

The last point, and probably the most important one, is the high price.

Your readers get great value from your book – the corresponding price

If someone works for $100 an hour, read my Hayson. My eBooks may save them a whole week of research time, such as reading blog posts, compiling information, running tests, trying across browsers, and so on. That’s $4,000, while a book only costs $29. If you study it yourself, less than 1% of the money you lose. I’m an expert on this, so it could take you more than a week and you’re not sure if you’ve found the right answer.

Never forget that your target audience is professionals. They spend their money every day on what is useful and valuable to them. Spending $29 on an e-book worth thousands of dollars is obvious to them. (Heck, I probably should have set a higher price for it!)

This way you can sell your own books, provide great value to people, and make a decent profit.