I'm writing 12 books in 12 months

I am following Pieter Levels quest to build 12 startups in 12 months and it inspired me to create my own 12 in 12 challenge. I am going to write 12 technical books in 12 months. This sounds a little bit mental, but I believe it can be done. I have around 20 ideas for technical books and I know what price I can sell an ebook for, and having written a book before (almost 5 years ago now) I know the process and can replicate it for self-publishing ebooks.

I believe I can make a success from this, as it's much easier to sell somebody a one time $39 ebook than a monthly SaaS subscription.

I know what most people are thinking: "You're insane." And you're probably right, but this post helps give me a platform to launch the whole year of crazy-ness and allows me to have all my books listed in one place.

The books

The books aren't likely to be full 300 page ebooks, nor should they. I would much rather pay for an ebook and have 100 pages of good content, than 300 pages that the author clearly puffed out with fluff and bullshit.

EU VAT Regulations

From 1st January 2015, all business selling digital goods to customers in the EU need to charge that customer VAT based on where they are situated, not where the business is situated. This would be a huge burden for me and actually put me off doing this sooner. I have found a service that will take care of all the VAT reporting and payments for me, PayHip – they charge a flat 5% fee plus PayPal costs. This means roughly a 10% cost of selling through them, which is a whole lot better than registering for VAT and building my own system to sell the books through.

What will the books cost

I am going to be aiming to sell these books at $39, this is pretty much what most other quality technical books are selling for and I know I can write well. I wrote my first book 5 years ago and spent 9 months writing technical documentation for Zengenti.

Now I have taken a web developer position at Siftware I will be exposed daily to new technologies and will have to learn things fast. Giving me the tools I need to be able to pull this feat off.

 What if I fail?

I suppose the definition of fail in this instance will be that I don't publish 12 books in 12 months. What if I wrote 6? That's still damn good and should provide me with a good little side income, if all goes well.

How will I market the books?

I will following in the footsteps of many other people by having a newsletter people can sign up to to hear when the book is ready. I will also be writing blog posts with content from the books periodically to get people interested in the books themselves. I also have small sales targets, I am not looking to replace my income and am doing this as a way to make a little extra money, so I can boost my savings and maybe even upgrade my car.

Writing 12 books in 12 months is a batshit insane idea, but marketing them and trying to get people to buy they as well is even more mental than that. But, I am confident I can deliver, and if I don't, I'm still going to have something to show for it at the end.

How am I going to do this, really?

I am reading Amy Hoy's Just Fucking Ship – so far it's a cracking book and will help me plan out the reverse timeline of each book and is helping me map out the exact process of each book. Also writing one book per month should be good practice and it will get quicker and simpler as the year moves on.