A couple of weeks ago I published a survey in which I asked you a few questions about a book on technical blogging I intended to write. The response has been very positive, so today I’m officially announcing that I’ve started writing this book.
I also created a pre-launch landing page where you can signup to receive occasional updates about the progress of the project, and learn of when the book becomes available for purchase. If you are interested, please signup now.
Your feedback has been extremely helpful in determining the goals for the book. While I won’t share the many personal messages of encouragement I received via that surbey form, I’d like to transparently share the quantitative results of the survey, in case you are curious.
Title-wise, people liked Zen and the Art of Technical Blogging and Zen and the Art of Technical Marketing. I went with the former.
A large majority of survey participants have bought an ebook before:
Of the proposed topics for, and goals you’d like to achieve from reading, the book, earning extra income, promoting a startup, sharing technical knowledge, becoming a better self-promoter, and understanding online marketing where the most popular. So that’s what I’ll focus on.
When it comes to formats, most people strongly favoured PDF. I haven’t sorted out the details yet, but I think I will end up producing DRM-free PDF, Epub, and Mobi ebooks. I may also have a printed version as well, if I can find a printing and distribution system that doesn’t have insane markups on each copy.
Regarding price, I suspect a certain bias in the results. When asked how much you’d be willing to pay, respondents will sometimes state a lower number in the hope that this will influence the price and make it more affordable. Regardless, I have not decided yet on the price and it’s something I’ll likely establish towards the end of the writing process, based on the actual value the book ends up delivering. It will most likely be affordable though; anything between $19-$29 for all the digital formats (with a discount for those who signup to the pre-launch newsletter).
To wrap up, these results show that most respondents would be quite interested in buying this book, so long as the conditions are right:
I may occasionally post announcements about this in the blog as the project progresses, but the best way to stay up-to-date is to signup for the spam-free newsletter for the book. I’m genuinely excited about this book and hope that I’ll be able to bring a good deal of value and insight to many people.
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Antonio Cangiano is a Software Developer and AI Evangelist at IBM. He authored Ruby on Rails for Microsoft Developers (Wrox, 2009) and Technical Blogging ( The Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2012, 2019). He is also the Marketing Lead for Cognitive Class, an educational initiative which he helped grow from zero to over 1 Million students. You can follow him on Twitter.