Then I saw "jordanmorgan10" :). For those who don't know, Jordan has been very active in this space for years, I remember him from the early days of Swift, it has not been an overnight success.
Amen to that! A long road to get to this point, no doubt. I hope to see you back in the iOS/Swift world someday, a lot has changed around here :)
Is this actually competitive with your earnings as a dev? Your post implies it’s more than you may usually have access to.
The answer doesn’t have to be yes for this to be a noteworthy success
So for opportunity cost, I’m kinda thinking about the apps I could’ve shipped or have worked towards in that time. In many ways, I was just hitting my stride and figuring out a lot about the business side of app development when I embarked on this project. So, I’m giving up shipping apps to “ship” the book, and that has been the hardest part for me.
My partner is doing her dissertation on pay transparency as a recruitment tool and Buffer's model was an inspiration for the study.
In a 60 second spike
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_Figures Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan in the eponymous West Virginia pay transparency law. Excellent book.
Buffer ranks high in the search results. They are definitely a leader in SEO on this subject.
Keeping salaries private is a huge arbitrage advantage for the corporation. At work, when discuss compensation, I will openly and freely disclose my total comp. As a senior persion, this has shined a huge light in vast sea of darkness.
The autofaq for this search is interesting.
I think pay transparency is universally good, and that in orgs where it was introduced that they have other problems that are only brought to light by pay transparency.
I think if folks leave or complain, that is entirely fine. I have done that and see other folks do that when they realized the disparity, this is good. This is the market at work. For anyone that claims to be free-market, but also doesn't believe in pay transparency is a hypocrite and wants to keep employees in the dark while maintaining their window of arbitrage.
That makes sense
The fact that he's advocating how easy this could be, without alluding to his already-pre-existing direct user base -- one could relate this to Tim Ferris, IMO
If that is the takeaway, I truly wasn't careful or thoughtful enough with how I worded this post. Definitely not easy, still isn't. To throw myself a bone though, I have never had a HN trend or anything - so I kinda wrote this on a whim instead of doing a blog post on the book's one year anniversary and walked away. Then it picked up on me.
> I settled on adapting one of my more popular [blog posts] that I keep updated through each version of iOS into a five book series (one for each topic of accessibility, design, UX, APIs and a catch all bonus one).
They have a blog, around for years, and a post which is popular compared to others, constantly updated and comprehensive enough to be the basis of a book.
Really doesn’t sound like an overnight thing. And not surprising to pass 10K followers when you have such a free offering.
Step one is build the asset and the following. The book is almost the easy part relative to that.
But some don’t realize they can just….provide something useful and people will follow them. And others do have an audience and don’t realize they can make a product for them.
Sounds like a simple, control experiment. It's just -- will you do it?
While no books related but apps, I know 3 or 4 Indies who are a wonderful living (close to 1mil) with their apps and their social following isn't huge - but they are great of marketing outside of it. Not the same thing, but kinda the same thing.
Take away that, and no matter how good that book was, sales would be closer to 0.
Actually getting this success is more likely like this:
- spend last 5 years getting followers on Twitter by writing engaging content, reply to others.
- spend also many years in your website and include a mailing list
- email your email list regularly with very interesting things
- spend 1 year to write a book
- send a blast email and tweet about your new book: Most likely people will buy whatever you say at this point because they trust you already.
This is the secret formula, which is hard work and 99.99% can’t do this consistently. (In addition, but not really required, also be smart and bring something new to the table)
From the author:
- I wrote on my blog for nearly a decade before I could launch a book that I sold.
- Announce it, ask for email sign ups if they are interested, keep them in the loop, and then launch. The mailing list had about 1,000 people on it once I launched (about two months from announcing it to doing the early access launch)
- I settled on adapting one of my more popular [blog posts] that I keep updated through each version of iOS into a five book series
Actually full details are here
I run an interview website called Taaalk, I'd be very interested to interview you about all of the above if you're interested. You can join here: https://www.taaalk.co/t/invite/publishing-a-book-with-early-..., invite code: 134563712
So $80 per copy sold?
There were times the load on server was so much I would spin off new servers in real time and paid business users used to see difference right away.
The trick is to launch, get feedback and iterate. And above all listen to your customers.
Marketing it mainly just through Twitter. I have written about iOS development for a long time, so I had somewhat of a small but established presence in that community. I’ve also done paid ads, sponsored podcasts and newsletters. Podcast sponsorships seem to have performed the best.
In terms of keeping fresh, that’s a great thought - but I because I spend so much time researching, reading docs, watching WWDC sessions, I feel more sharp than ever. I’m just aching a bit inside not being able to apply those lessons to my own apps. Once I finish the first version of all five books, I should be able to restore some balance there…I hope!
To be honest, I would probably use it to catch up on chores, appointments, maintenance, etc. But perhaps with some time I would create more useful things than I do now too.
Edit: I made a post to discuss continually updated books that could exist: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31536185
Super minor nitpick: instead of “My early access eBook over iOS made $120k in 1 year” shouldn’t the title be “My early access iOS eBook made over $120k in 1 year”?
The thing is, I’ve made a lot of things that didn’t jack crap. I launched four apps before I made one that mattered. I wrote on my blog for nearly a decade before I could launch a book that I sold.
But on the other hand, I know several indies who hit it right out of the park. It’s so hard to say. It’s part marketing, knowing where your audience is, making something actually good and then luck. I think that there is an art to all of this, but having been on both side of the fence, I think dumb luck does factor in.
Also, quick story - an app I made in 2012ish, I thought for sure was gonna do great! It was a Christmas list app, and I launched it in November. I woke up the next day and I saw…one sale. Later that day, I found out it was my boss’ daughter who bought it. Haha, so, you never know!
In terms of marketing, it sounds so simple but it’s the first I’ve actually done this process:
Announce it, ask for email sign ups if they are interested, keep them in the loop, and then launch. The mailing list had about 1,000 people on it once I launched (about two months from announcing it to doing the early access launch).
> I settled on adapting one of my more popular [blog posts] that I keep updated through each version of iOS into a five book series
Would you mind sharing how you built up a twitter following? Just consistently posting useful tweets?
One thing that might help is I wondered - who do I love to follow? Why do I like following them? And for me, it was people who would teach me something, inspire me with their work or were just simply nice people to be around.
(Remember also to thank that spouse of yours at home!)
Honestly, it feels like you don't know what it's like to not have money? That kind of financial security makes a huge difference.
I grew up with a single mom who provided for us on food stamps. She had about 6 jobs while I was in high school. My dad was not around for all of my adulthood, and my grandma provided a lot for us financially.
Because of these things, I learned the value of saving for a rainy day, and the value of money. So, when I stumbled into tech, and then I woke up one day and had money - I have always held on to it.
Is this even a human being writing this article or a machine learning experiment?
It’s been a great place to write, rock solid sync and it formats code samples the best out of the software I’ve tried.