background preloader


Facebook Twitter

The four qualities of a perfect cold email, according to the Birchbox CEO — Quartz. Birchbox CEO and co-founder Katia Beauchamp has never been shy about reaching out to important people. Before starting at Harvard Business School in 2008, she emailed Steve Jobs, explaining that she’d been confounded to learn that her school didn’t partner with Apple.

She asked Jobs to give her the same discount on the Macbook Air that her school offered for the IBM Thinkpad. The Apple CEO responded—and granted her wish. Today, Beauchamp says that cold-emailing was essential to the success of Birchbox—an industry-changing beauty-supply subscription service, launched in 2010, that boasts over 1 million subscribers. When she and her partner Hayley Barna conceived of the company while still at Harvard, they had less than six months to test the service before graduation. “I wasn’t aware of industry events (because I wasn’t in the industry) and we were looking to move quickly and efficiently,” Beauchamp writes via email. Have a compelling, punchy subject line Keep it short The upshot. Book in a Box | Your Book. In 12 Hours.

Shut up and write the book (5 things that have helped me recently) 1. Shut up and write the book. I’m an extreme extrovert, which is really great after I write a book and I have to go out into the world and talk to people about it, but not so great when I need to sequester myself long enough to actually get some real writing done. I do most of my thinking “out loud,” which means ideas don’t really come to me until I’ve expressed them — if I express them through speech, I’m less likely to turn around and go express them in writing… 2. Use the bathroom. I get a lot of good ideas getting ready in the morning — if I have an idea in the shower, I write it down on my Aqua Notes pad, and if I have an idea after I step out of the shower, I’ll use a dry-erase marker to write it on the bathroom mirror. 3.

Mise en place is a French cooking term that means “everything in place.” 4. It might be an obvious point, but it’s crazy how many of my devices tout their ability to distract me as an intelligent feature. More about meditation here. 5. David McCullough agrees: 10 things I learned while writing my last book. My third book Show Your Work! Came out a year ago. I kept a diary while writing the book, but it’s too painful and embarrassing to share in full. So here’s a list of lessons I learned while writing it, adapted from a series of tweets… 1. I drastically underestimated how much physical, mental, and spiritual energy it requires. 2. Get an office, or go to the coffee shop, or ride the train around.

I wrote Show at the top of the stairs in an open loft, wearing headphones to try to block out the cries of the baby. 3. “There’s an awful temptation to just keep on researching,” says David McCollough. 4. I’m an extreme extrovert, which is really great after I write a book and I have to go out into the world and talk to people about it, but not so great when I need to sequester myself long enough to actually get some real writing done. I do most of my thinking “out loud,” which means that ideas don’t really come to me until I’ve expressed them. 5. This has screwed me so many times. 6. 7. 8. 9. Scrivener Writing Software | Mac OS X | Windows. Book Marketing Tools - Creating author tools and providing book marketing tips. Discover Meteor Case Study: How to Beat the Post-Launch Sales Drop - Discover Meteor.

There’s always this debate going on in the bootstrapper community about whether you should share your numbers publicly or not. On one hand, mentioning a hard cash figure is probably the best way to make people pay attention to what you’re saying. Launch post-mortems that go over sales and conversion rates are always popular for that reason. Pros & Cons On the other hand, sharing numbers can sometimes feel a little… icky. It can feel like you’re shoving your success in other people’s faces. And maybe I need to work on my own insecurities, but I know that no matter how successful I am, all it takes is reading another one of these stupid “How I Made $17,000 in 24 Hours” posts to feel like I’m a miserable failure. Life After Launch So it might seem strange that over 15 months after our launch, we’re now releasing our sales number publicly for the first time.

What made us decide to finally take the plunge and share this data? A Few Disclaimers That $300,000 figure is our pre-tax revenue. Learn More. How to (Really) Make $1,000,000 Selling E-Books – Real-World Case Studies. Who will be the JK Rowling of self-publishing? Better still: who will be the legions who make an extra $1,000-$1,000,000 per year? (Photo: The Telegraph, UK) This is a guest post by Ryan Buckley and the team at Scripted. I have added my own tools and recommendations after “TIM” throughout the piece. Enter Ryan Buckley and Team Barry Eisler writes thrillers about a half-Japanese, half-American freelance assassin named John Rain.

Having conquered all that needs to be conquered in the world of commercial publishing, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Eisler’s publisher offered him $500,000 deal for a new two-book deal. The surprise was that Eisler turned down the deal and decided to tackle self-publishing instead. “I know it’ll seem crazy to a lot of people, but based on what’s happening in the industry, and based on the kind of experience writers like you are having in self-publishing, I think I can do better in the long term on my own.”

Why eBooks, Why Now? – Don’t go niche-hopping. 1. 2. How Nathan Barry and I Sold $39k Worth of eBooks (I) Six months ago, I published an eBook about user interface design, and to my surprise that book brought in almost $10,000 in sales in a month. I used to feel pretty good about myself, until I found out about Nathan Barry. Nathan published a design eBook too, but not only did he make more than twice as much as me, he also did it in half the time! I thought I probably could learn a thing or two from him, so I asked Nathan to share his experiences with me in a podcast.

We ended up talking for almost two hours about how to write, market, and sell an eBook. Nathan is also working on a Designing with CSS3 video course. You can listen to the podcast here (or download it as an mp3), and you’ll also find a complete transcript below. And of course, you can also join the discussion on Hacker News. In this first part of the podcast, you’ll learn about: [link] How to come up with an idea, and how to validate it to make sure it’s commercially viable.

The podcast transcript follows: Sacha Greif: Hi. How Nathan Barry and I Sold $39k Worth of eBooks (II) Last week Nathan Barry and I took you behind the scenes of our profitable eBooks, talking about validating the idea, writing consistently, design software, and pricing. Today in part 2 we talk about marketing, testimonials, and getting traffic, and in my opinion this part is even better than the first one.

Enjoy! Nathan is also preparing a video course on designing with CSS3. If you want to quickly catch up on the topic you should definitely check it out. Designing the Perfect Landing Page Sacha: Let’s talk a bit about the landing page and how you designed yours, how I designed mine. Nathan: The first thing I should say is that my page… for anybody who wants to find it as they’re looking, it’s, which is probably longer than it needs to be. That’d be like selling a product purely based on the features.

But, you don’t want to sell products based on the physical features of them. It’s not all about how it’ll help them make more money. Sacha: No. Sacha: Yes. Self-publishing a book, Part 1: Why and How « Lennart Regebro: Python, Plone, Web. Nobody that reads this blog can have missed that I’ve written a book and self-published it. It’s been a long and interesting journey, and I think I should share some of the experience. The book started out of necessity. Not mine, but the community’s. There was no good documentation on how to port to Python 3, and I realized that if it was going to be made, I had to do it, and that it would be a crazy amount of work. So I wondered if there was any way I could recuperate some of that in money. So I started writing, around December 2009 if I remember correctly. At this time I started looking for publishers, as I now believed I could actually deliver a book.

I also talked to Packt Publishing. The option that lay ahead then was self-publishing. But although I had the text, there was a long path to having a book. Like this: Like Loading... Self-publishing a book, Part 2: My tool chain « Lennart Regebro: Python, Plone, Web. As a Python programmer, I’m of course biased towards tools that are written in Python or by Pythonistas or at least feel “Pythonic”. I also had a set of requirements: The tool chain had to somehow support testing all or almost all the code.It had to be able to produce some sort of print-ready format, which in practice means PDF.Being able to make HTML would be an added bonus, as I wanted the option to make a website out of the book. The obvious choice to write this book was therefore to use ReST, and Sphinx to generate PDF/HTML from that. Sphinx goes via LaTeX to generate the PDF and writing it directly in LaTeX would have been an option, it’s used for a lot of technical documentation. But I didn’t feel like learning LaTex, and I didn’t know how good the LaTeX to HTML tools were.

First problem: Testing the code The “canonical” way to test ReST code is to write it as doctests and then run the ReST source code with a testrunner. Second problem: LaTeX Third problem: Fonts The tool chain. Self-publishing a book, Part 3: Editing and Reviewing « Lennart Regebro: Python, Plone, Web. Part 1: Why and HowPart 2: My tool chain When you use a major publisher, you’ll get an editor that is responsible for making the book a good book. But when self-publishing, the one responsible for the outcome is you. There are several areas of responsibility that normally fall on the editor even if the editor doesn’t do it him/herself. Kicking the author Making sure the book gets done is the major role that typically falls to the editor. Without it the other roles become pretty pointless.

Spell/grammar checking Making sure the language is spelled correctly and uses good grammar helps avoid the readers getting hung up on small errors. Reviewing A book of fiction needs to be understandable and gripping, and a technical book needs to have the chapters in an order that means that you don’t have to jump forward in the book to understand it. Technical books also need to be checked for technical errors. Designing The design of the book is up to the publisher when you have one. What I did Like this: