Publishing for Success

This week I’m happy to announce the publication my first e-book, “Outsourcing Web Projects: 6 Steps to a Smarter Business“, now available here at SitePoint. The book provides a winning strategy for anyone who needs to outsource web development work to a domestic or offshore provider, and provides all sorts of tips to help the reader find the right vendor, get a great price, get the job done right, and form long-term relationships with reliable vendors. I sincerely hope that this book is beneficial to the readers, and I encourage any feedback or suggestions which might help to make it as clear and useful as possible. I’d also like to thank the SitePoint staff for being so supportive and pleasant to deal with.

Since the launch of the book I’ve received a variety of inquiries about it from SitePoint users, mostly questions about my motivation for writing the book. In short, the primary motivation was exposure, publicity, and to help my ongoing effort to position myself as an expert in the world of outsourcing and managing web projects. In keeping with Andrew Neitlich’s ‘become an expert in your field’ approach, I am hoping that the e-book will ultimately serve as a marketing tool and drive sales.

Now I find myself in a unique position to put this marketing strategy to the test – can you really get more business by positioning yourself as an expert in your field than you can through advertising or traditional sales methods? Will writing an e-book generate more sales leads than running another Adwords campaign? It will be interesting to find out, and I’ve already made some observations from the first few days. First, I’ve received a surprising amount of sales leads and inquiries just in the last couple of days. Very encouraging! Second, I’ve noticed that these leads tend to be of higher quality then in the past and are generally related to larger jobs or more consultative engagements as opposed to small outsourcing gigs. Also very encouraging!

Hopefully this trend will continue, and the concept of positioning myself as an expert to generate sales will be a winner. The best part is that I had no real dollar-cost during this effort. On the contrary, the only expense was the time that I spent writing the content. Even if I apply my hourly rate to the time I spent writing the book (to take in to consideration the opportunity cost of that endeavor) I’ll still be very pleased if 2 or 3 new clients are signed as a result, and the cost for acquiring those clients will most likely be less than what we ordinarily incur through advertising.

And so the e-book marketing experiment slowly unfolds, and so far so good. To create useful materials that benefit others, get paid for it along the way, and get new clients as a result is certainly preferable to budgeting for advertising and hoping for the best! I’ll keep you all updated on the progress over the coming months, and I look forward to your feedback along the way.

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  • http://www.sitepoint.com Mark Harbottle

    Dave, I’m happy to report that your book is selling like crazy. Hundreds of copies sold already in only it’s first week and with limited marketing!

  • http://www.revmedia.com dhecker

    Great news! Thanks, Mark

  • ASJ

    Congrats!

  • http://www.floogy.com Madmac

    What a unique insight behind the scenes of a publication. We all know, thanks to Andrew N, that the primary motivation for writing an instructional book is to position oneself as an expert in the field, but seldom will an author admit this outright — let alone give us a window into his return on investment! Looking forward to the next update with abated breath.

  • Jason Batten

    Dave, I’m happy to report that your book is selling like crazy. Hundreds of copies sold already in only it’s first week and with limited marketing!

    That’s marketing right there… do you think we are stupid? you could have clearly sent him an email rather than posting it… honestly where’s the class gone from this place…

  • senthiln

    A great marketing strategy. I like your honest answer not trying to hide the real intention. I want to try some of the tips in the book for managing my web portal – SupplyChainStar

    Senthil

  • somecallmejosh

    Great book. Sitepoint does it again.

  • http://www.markbridgeman.com MarkB

    I agree with Jason Batten. It seems all Sitepoint has become now is a marketing vehicle for the books it pumps out. I have bought many of them, and been dissatisfied about 90% of the time – damn your marketing skills!! ;-)

  • http://www.sitepoint.com Mark Harbottle

    MarkB, I’d be interested to hear more about why you were dissatisfied with our books. That’s not consistent with the feedback we get from many of our customers. Which books do you own and what don’t you like about them? We also offer a money back guarantee you know?

  • shadowbox

    Best of luck with that book Dave, but I have to completely agree with Jason Batten regarding Mark Harbottle’s original post – posting something like that publicly just comes across as a very transparent and embarrassing marketing ploy.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com Mark Harbottle

    Believe me, there are better marketing ploys than congratulating an author by commenting in his blog. But whatever you reckon!

  • http://www.satviz.com/GPS_Blog davestarr

    @ Jason … and the “bad” thing about marketing is? Some of us have to earn a living and jobs are only generated by devising a product and getting it sold. FWIW I didn’t consider Mark H’s message out of line at all … people come here for information … the fact that a new product is selling well is most assuredly useful information to those of us looking for news about what works and what doesn’t.

    @ MarkB … how can allegedly excessive marketing convince a customer to keep coming back for more with a 90% dissatisfaction rate? What aspect do you feel is the real ‘hook’? If I could find that out I could turn my lackluster sales career around.