As many of you know, I’m putting the final touches on my e-book The Art of Being Minimalist.
The Art of Being Minimalist is essentially the culmination of the ideas I’ve put out on this blog, along with my experiences traveling around the country over the last four months.
I’ve integrated some of the best articles from the blog (so you’ll recognize or have read some of the content before) with a lot of all new content that expands on my ideas.
How I went from zero to done in two weeks.
Some people have asked me how I went from having no plans for an e-book to selling in e-book in two weeks.
The truth is that I’ve always planned on having an e-book available through Far Beyond The Stars. This is why I’ve worked so hard on the content here, because I’ve wanted to put all of the ideas that I’ve developed here into an e-book.
The final product came together over the last two weeks. I felt like I had completed enough of the e-book to make it worth reading. So, I finished it.
I’ll be releasing The Art of Being Minimalist on Monday, February 1st at 6am.
I’ll be giving away the e-book for free for 24 hours, with the request that you spread to as many people as possible during that time. I’d rather this e-book be read by 10,000 people, than forcing 1000 people to buy it. All of you reading this now deserve to read it for free, because you’ve been so supportive over the last few months.
You’ve helped me write every word of this e-book, thank you.
I’m going to be offering the opportunity to earn 50% commission selling the ebook to everyone. There are many great minimalist blogs out there, I hope this e-book can help support your writing as well as my own.
Here’s what I’ve learned about launching an e-book. I hope this can help you with yours.
12 things I’ve learned about launching a minimalist e-book.
1, Make the end the priority.
My aim for this blog has always been to launch e-books, much like Chris Guillebeau does at The Art of Nonconformity. Every day I sat down at the computer, and when I wrote I was focusing on the end product. This created a consistency to my blog that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. From day 1 to day 124 this has been about The Art of Being Minimalist, and nothing else.
2, Write content that helps people.
Your blog and your e-book has to have the goal of helping people. Self-referential blogs are a dime a dozen out there on the net, and there is a reason why everyone’s eyes gloss over when they come across a diary blog. This blog and this e-book has always been about helping you, the audience. I want you to join me in living this life of minimalist freedom. I hope this e-book can help you achieve your goals.
3, Give yourself no other options.
I quit my job to become a minimalist and move to Portland. I’ve passed up other opportunities in order to focus on writing this e-book, because I knew I had to create something of value for the community. I also knew that I wouldn’t be happy if I wasn’t creating something that was going to build my legacy project. I was tired of my work going to benefit large corporations, so my focus has been on creating useful information for people. I hope this writing can help you. I also hope that enough people will buy it that I can support myself until I write the next ebook.
4, Write what you know.
This blog and the e-book are about the life that I live. I couldn’t have written this sitting at a desk in an office, because I wouldn’t have experienced the depth of being minimalist that occurs when you get on a plane with all of your stuff on your back. There is simply no way to have that experience while being safe at the same time. This writing wouldn’t have happened without making the leap to see if the life I dreamed about was possible. It is possible, I’ve been there.
5, Don’t stop doing the work.
This is probably the most important. Don’t stop working. I’ve never missed a scheduled post in the last 4 months. Once I settled on a publishing schedule of three articles a week, I didn’t take a break. I did the work every day towards this goal. If I knew I was going to have other commitments, or I’d be out of contact, I scheduled posts ahead of time. It’s a really bad idea to drop off the planet while trying to run a successful blog, if you do that the momentum is gone and you don’t have an e-book after 124 days.
6, Participate in the community.
I wouldn’t be here without the minimalist community. I’ve met some amazing people, and they’ve helped me more than they’ll ever know. See the blogroll on the side to meet some of these awesome individuals. I’ve received emails asking for help that made me think about how to help people better. I’ve received some emails challenging my positions, which made me think more about whether they were valid. I changed things if they were crazy. I stood fast if I found I could defend them. All because of the amazing people who read this blog. Thank you everyone.
7, Choose a mentor.
I also wouldn’t be here without the help of Leo Babauta, the author ofThe Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life. 1, Because the sales of his e-book helped support me while I worked on my own e-book. 2, Because many of you probably found my blog through him. When I say mentor, I don’t mean that I bothered Leo all of the time for help. We’ve probably spent three minutes interacting over the last four months, mostly on Twitter. I wouldn’t dream of taking up any more of his time. He’s made the decision to link to my blog a few times over the last few months, and that has made a huge difference in how much traffic I’ve received. Thank you Leo.
8, Study the best.
I spent the last year studying e-book launches. I did this by watching some of the best. Darren Rowse of Problogger, Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Nonconformity, Jonathan Fields of Awake at the Wheel, and many more. These people are the masters of creating e-books that help people. I spent endless hours reading their material and learning how they do what they do.
9, Spend less time with hype.
I’ve noticed that many bloggers announce the e-books they’re working on around a year in advance, and then every couple of weeks they write a post about how hard it is to write an e-book. That’s cool, but it’s not helping anyone until you’ve finished it. I also have artist friends that spend years talking about “amazing projects that will rock the world” that they never finish. I figured the minimalist approach to launching a blog e-book would be to not speak of it at all until it was ready to go. Then launch quickly, decisively, and actually launch (most people don’t get to the launch point.)
10, Let people help you.
I’m so thankful that I’m not doing this alone. Chris O’Byrne was thoughtful enough to email me a few days ago offering to copy edit my e-book, he did a great job. As you all know, clean copy is definitely not my strong point. I’m so thankful for his help. I’m also thankful to all of the people who have offered to help market the book on their own blogs, such as Tammy Strobel, Jules of Stone Soup, and Chris Baskind of the upcoming blog The Minimalist Century. I’ll be releasing more details on how you can earn 50% commission selling my e-book on Monday. If you want to get on board earlier than that, drop me an email and I’ll get you what you need to make sales and get commission.
11, Ship the e-book.
As Seth Godin writes in his new book Linchpin: the enemy of shipping is the resistance. Making the decision to overcome all of the fears that are associated with publishing a work is hard. I’m sure there will be people who read this book and decide to criticize me for living the way that I do. I’m okay with that. I could have let fear overcome the decision to publish this, but I didn’t. I fought it, I wrote for hundreds of hours. I did all of the design and photography on this e-book. I set a date and I shipped.
On Monday it will be available for the world.
I believe this e-book will help a lot of people begin living a simple and more minimalist life. I hope that you will enjoy it.
Thank you for making this possible.