Product designers treat books differently. For example, did you know that a more polished manuscript receives *less* helpful feedback? Or that word-of-mouth can (and should!) be designed for, not just hoped for? Or that Beta Readers’ behaviors — especially disengagement and boredom — are even more important than their actual comments? Or that a low price is a deathblow to your book’s future? Or that readers “getting busy” is just a polite excuse that reveals that they grew tired of slogging through low value-per-page and a thoughtlessly designed Reader Experience? And that this is predictive of your book’s post-launch performance. And perhaps most importantly, that you have the power to fix it ahead of time?
In this session, we’ll be spending absolutely no time whatsoever on tactical marketing or quick tricks. Because what matters most is the quality of the book itself. And “quality” doesn’t mean “beautiful prose” — it means delivering on what was promised on the cover in a way that works convincingly for the average reader. This lofty means spending longer on Beta Reading, reader conversations, and rewrites. But that effort will return tenfold in your book’s enduring, organic growth, powered by the heartfelt recommendations of delighted readers.
The talk will draw on Rob’s experience both designing products and authoring three nonfiction titles that currently generate more than $200k per year in royalties (and growing). For the last few months, he’s been verifying that the process works by hosting a community of 100+ other nonfiction authors who are all applying the same approach to their own books at writeusefulbooks.com. It should be a fun and useful session — hope you’re able to join!
Rob Fitzpatrick has been an entrepreneur and product designer for 13 years and has written three books about his learnings along the way. His first, The Mom Test, has earned more than $500k in royalties since its self-publication seven years ago and is still going strong (550 reviews, 4.7 star average). His second, The Workshop Survival Guide, passed $5k in monthly royalties within its first year with zero hands-on marketing and is growing even faster than the first (150 reviews, 4.7 star average). The fate of his third, Write Useful Books, is yet to be determined, but is off to a strong start, providing actionable guidance through all the tools, tactics, and techniques that led to the enduring word of mouth success of his first two titles. Learn more at writeusefulbooks.com or robfitz.com.