I Need Your Help! Which Book Would You Be Most Likely to Buy?

I’m in the first stage of writing a book.

I’ve been in talks with two publishers who approached me through this blog. But before I get too far into this process I need your help to find out what the book should focus on.

Shape the future by answering the two questions below…

Thanks to everyone who responded.


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#1 Martin on 04.15.10 at 5:53 am

Ι would have clarified the questions.

I answered paper/big publisher because this is what I choose in terms of fiction books. In terms of tech I use e-books, pdf (for the search).

#2 -e on 04.15.10 at 8:00 am

I answered “Doesn’t Matter” because either physical book option is fine. Really, if I can buy the book from Amazon, then its fine.

#3 Eric on 04.15.10 at 8:39 am

Somewhat ditto the previous comments – for this type of book a physical book is what I want, but I don’t care who published it. I answered “physical/big publisher”.

#4 Robert on 04.15.10 at 9:55 am

I’ll second @-e as long as I can get it from Amazon, then I don’t really care what format it’s in. Assuming, of course, that the content is good.

#5 Sindisil on 04.15.10 at 10:28 am

Just a note that, for this type of book I prefer paper or audio, not ebook.

#6 Phil Derksen on 04.15.10 at 1:11 pm

I’ll start with the subject. I picked “How to Launch a Product as a Solo Founder”, but I’d buy the book on any of those subjects. Looks like the votes are pretty spread out so far too.

For the book type, recently with getting an iPad I’m going as much electronic as possible. PDF, ePub, etc. would be good for anyone who prefers Kindle, iPad or other e-reader formats.

Most of the development books I buy now (especially from O’Reily and Manning) have the option to buy both e-book and hardcopy version, which is nice to have.

Rob, with your speaking ability an audio version might also be worthwhile, though I’m sure it’s very time consuming. That’s how I read 80% of my books these days. You can outsource the reading, but I do tend to prefer the books read by the author. They seem to have more passion in them. Recently listened to Linchpin and Rework this way.

But I suppose if your book has a lot of reference material and/or screenshots, and audio version wouldn’t make sense. Bob Walsh’s “Web Startup Success” book comes to mind.

#7 Rob on 04.15.10 at 1:22 pm

@Everyone – Thanks for the input; it’s extremely helpful.

@Phil – Without spoiling it for people who haven’t voted, my personal desire would be to release it as a PDF with an option for a print on demand version for those who like physical books. And I would plan to record an audiobook version that would be included with either of the above. That’s in my ideal world.

This is part of the struggle and why I wanted to get some opinions. If I go with a traditional publishing house I have less control over the media. If I self-publish I can release in any format and even bundle the PDF and audiobook (which a traditional publisher would likely veto).

So far the numbers look good in terms of my ideal scenario.

#8 Noah on 04.15.10 at 7:36 pm

I put big publisher, but while I’d choose between two similar products that way, I probably couldn’t identify which of a given set of publishers were the big or small. I’m most with the commenter above who’ll buy it via Amazon and disregards the source.

#9 Andrew Ward on 04.21.10 at 1:27 pm

I’d missed this blog post until now. Have you read/seen Tim Ferriss talk about how he chose the name for the Four Hour Work Week? I’m pretty sure he used a Google Adwords campaign with different headlines to refine his search, pointed at a landing page.

I imagine it’s better to see what people will actually click on rather than asking people what they prefer.

#10 Rob on 04.21.10 at 2:01 pm

@Andrew – Thanks for the suggestion. Ultimately I plan to do some testing using AdWords, but I wanted to focus this phase on people who follow this blog. When it comes to deciding on a subject matter for a particular audience, I think a poll will work better.

For the title I will likely use AdWords.

#11 Andrew Ward on 04.21.10 at 3:30 pm

Good point. My bad for reading the post too quickly… 😉 I agree that Tim’s idea would work much better for titles than content ideas.

#12 I’m Writing a Book: “Start Small. Stay Small. A Developer’s Guide to Launching a Startup” | Software by Rob on 05.03.10 at 4:31 pm

[…] this Blog, Micropreneurship, Startups A few weeks ago I asked for your opinion on the focus and format for the book I had begun working on. Today I’m announcing the title, […]

#13 Randy on 11.25.10 at 11:34 am

In the back of the book you say if I didn’t underline, note, and otherwise mark up the book you didn’t do your job… nonsense.

I bought the book to validate my ideas and you did that and more. Not a mark and not a worry…it’s very good book that should be incarnated into other web bootstrap endeavors, such as subscription sites, not just software development.