Gauging Interest In A “Simple Dollar” Book: What Do You Want To See?

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As many of you know, I created a book proposal about two months ago and have been trying to shop it around to book publishers. The proposal describes a book that is basically a distillation of much of the advice on personal finance given on this site and it comes in at an estimated 600-650 pages; in other words, a nice, hefty book that you could read through or peruse for reference.

I have had very little success in my efforts in getting a publisher interested in this book, and so now I’ve hit a crossroads where I need to decide what I’m going to do with this book. I have the basic outline of the book completed and major portions of the content are at various points of completion, and I am quite sure what I want to do with the remaining content.

This brings me around to my readers. You guys are the reason that I’m even moving forward with this, as you have given me the confidence to attempt to write a book. You’re also likely to be among the people that would purchase such a book, because it will be a book-length collection of some of the best material from The Simple Dollar plus some additional writings, organized into book form. If you enjoy this site, this book will be right up your alley. Since I’ll be starting with pretty foundational stuff, it would also make for a great gift for others who may be seeking financial help.

So, I’m going to ask a few questions of all of you to help me decide what direction to go with on this book project. I’ve got some pretty significant decisions to make right now, and I’m hoping that your input will help. Please leave comments – I anticipate this thread will get pretty long, but be assured I’m going to read them all, because you’re the people that are really going to help me make up my mind what to do with this project.

First of all, I am strongly thinking of self-publishing the book through lulu.com. Given that the book would be about 600-650 pages, the price of the book would be somewhere around $25-26, based on my estimations. The book would be listed at major online retailers (like Amazon.com), and I would get a royalty of about $4 if you bought through Amazon (or a bit more than that if you bought it through The Simple Dollar), or $9 or so if you bought it straight through lulu.com. This is a situation that I’m comfortable with, given that this likely won’t be a giant seller (who knows, though… the success of this site surprises me on a daily basis).

Given that, would you be willing to buy such a book? Be honest – I’m not going to be insulted if you say, “No, I wouldn’t buy the book – I’d rather just read the blog.” What I’m trying to determine is whether it really is realistic for me to go through with this significant effort – if I’m only going to sell five copies of it, it’s really not worth the time. If the response is really positive, I may also use this thread to demonstrate interest in the book for publishers.

Also, it would be fairly easy to split this book into two separate books, each around 300 pages. As a reader, would you be more inclined to buy one book at $25-26 or two books at $21-22 each? Or would you buy one of the less expensive books and use that to decide whether to buy the other one?

I hope that this will be the beginning of a discussion about creating a financial advice book based on The Simple Dollar.

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93 thoughts on “Gauging Interest In A “Simple Dollar” Book: What Do You Want To See?

  1. I would definitely pick up a copy! Your site has been a major influence in my new financial plans. I would love to see your guides on how to read a mutual fund, how to eat on a budget, the story of you financial meltdown and recovery as a warning to the readers, etc.

    I’d also rather buy one book for 26 than two for 22. If I’m going to buy one anyway, I’d rather spend the extra few bucks and get the whole thing.

  2. I really like the site–it’s entertaining, inspiring, and kudos to you for pulling your financial self together! But I wouldn’t buy a book of it–i don’t know that you have established what would be in the book that’s not on your blog already. What would make this book different from the books you review? What makes you a better adviser than the financial planners that have books out right now?

    You have alot of great content in your blog; would you have to start saving it for your book? If that’s the case, I think you would do a better service by blogging, honestly.

  3. I would absolutely buy your book, and in the past have purchased from Lulu. I would prefer the more comprehensive book at the slightly higher price because I think it’s a better value. I like blogs, but I keep books on hand because I think they are easier to reference. (I abhor having to go back through thousands of posts trying to find the one that talked about what I need to review.)

    I hope that doesn’t mean you’d discontinue the blog, however. I think it has great value in and of itself, plus it chronicles your journey which is great inspiration. Whatever you decide to do, really like this site.

  4. I would not buy such a book. The primary reason is because there are already dozens of financial books on the market that have similar information. (I wonder if this is why you haven’t had luck with publishers.) In some cases, I have built a lot more trust and knowledge about those authors than you (because of their fame and learning of them in lots of contexts or because they have been around a lot longer than you). The second reason is that I feel content with the amount of info I get from your blog and from other financial blogs I read.

    As for length – the different options seem to be hitting 2 different markets. My guess is that the longer version would appeal to people who already have some knowledge and are getting their finances under control or already have them under control. These people might want a longer book that functions as a reference guide or encyclopedia. However, your average shopper at Borders who is clueless about money probably wants a quick and easy read. 600+ pages would seem intimidating to them.

    Good luck!

  5. I’d be likely to buy the book as a gift, and would definitely rather get one 600-page book than two 300-pagers. I’m the opposite of Kristina–since you have so much great content on your blog, I’ve read far more of your stuff than any other personal finance author’s. Good luck getting things going!

  6. Why not use the blueprint set by countless financial gurus before you and try to go into radio first? I like your message, and it is just different enough from people like Dave Ramsey or Clark Howard or Suze Orman that there could be room for you in the market. But, way too many people out there don’t have the wherewithal to find your message through a blog like this (heck, I didn’t even discover it until recently). And NO one who hasn’t read this blog is going to buy your book save the unlikely event that it simply takes off through word of mouth.

  7. No, I wouldn’t buy a book, primarily because your writing style is much more suited to a blog format. You tend to repeat certain words, phrases, and themes a great deal – it is tolerable when reading blog posts, but scaling up to 600 pages would lead to a lot of irritation. Stick to blogging, you’re doing a great job of it.

  8. I’m sorry…I wouldn’t buy the book. I like my financial information 1 teaspoon at a time, which makes your blog very compelling for me. It’s fresh. It happens in real time and is connected to your real life. A financial book is more disconnected, more staid, more reified (i.e., boring). When I buy financial books, I read them, but I inevitably feel as if I’m being punished while I do so. I only buy financial books written by upbeat, interesting people who have an unusual slant and good information, but even so, these books feel like work when I sit down to read it all. (And I read books constantly.) They are not fun to sit and read, even when very, very well written. But your blog is! Keep blogging, don’t slug it out in a market already flooded with financial books.

  9. Trent I think you should go for it, regardless of what people might say. Honestly you don’t know until you try it, so what if it fails? You can admit that it wasn’t that great of an idea laugh about it and continue with your blog. I only see a win-win situation for you. Honestly go for it. If it fails you can go back and learn from the experience and write a better book.

    You can even blog about the process of how to write a book and how to get a publisher to take it. On a side note Trent, I know many friends who have tried to get a book published and it took them awhile to get someone to pick it up. They went to hundreds of publishers. One of the things they did was ask the publishers why the book was not accepted then used that to refined the book. The one thing that is going to consume a lot of your time is trying to get the word out on the book, that is going around advertising and marketing the book.

    A suggestion is to let your readers get a sample of your work, maybe post a pdf of a chapter so I and possibly others can get an idea of the style and quality of the work.

    Another idea and this is a marketing and advertising one is give a few trusted bloggers such as getrichslowly an advanced copy to review and give their honest opinion.

    On a funny note, if you do happen to make an audio version of this book please make sure the voice does not put others to sleep. I just listen to Neil Fiore of The Now Habit and I was close to stop listening completely, because it would put me to sleep.

  10. Probably not. I read a lot of RSS feeds, but not a lot of books. Plus… I’m about to start law school and we just bought a house, so money is a little tight.

  11. I think I would purchase it if it was actually written and not just a collection of blog posts put in binding, even if it was just the same information available for free on this blog. For two reasons:

    1. Id like to support your site for all the information it has and how it has helped me change how I think about money related things.
    2. All the information on your site is excellent and something that should be in my home. It is something I certainly would re-read every once in a while and to look to for advice and ideas.

    I would purchase the one book for a couple dollars more because as your blog has taught me, it’s a better deal.

  12. I love this site and consider it one of the best finance resources on the web. So much of the content applies directly to me life. I would definitely buy your book, and I would much prefer to buy one book at $25-26 rather than 2 at $21-22. It would certainly be easier on my budget to be able to go ahead and get all the information at one lower price.

  13. Well to be honest, I have been browsing through this site for exactly two days now, subscribed for three and I am pretty sure I would buy your book. I am a senior in high school and want to make sure I don’t fuck things up financially in the coming years. For once finance isn’t dreadfully boring to read through… GET ME A COPY!

  14. Love the blog, but to be completely honest I don’t think I would spend $20-25 on a book. I try to stick to material I can get at the library, but if there’s a book I really want that isn’t available at the library I usually don’t spend more than $10-15 max.

  15. First, go for it! This topic/subject/area/industry certainly seems to be your passion in life (occupationally speaking). I’m with Jake. Also with 600 plus pages you could certainly edit down to the “purest gold” and go from there. Either way, one of the greatest things about the 21st century is that you CAN publish this book with little help from anyone else. Sell a digital copy on lulu, eBay etc. etc. as a test bed. Good sales is another leveraging tool with a big publisher for paper copy. Lastly, would I buy it? If it was 600+ pgs? Only if it was a VERY WELL put together reference book. A medical reference book comes to mind. If its more of a collaboration of posts that reads like a normal non-fiction, then the size would intimidate me. Looking forward to hearing how you progress. Good luck!!

  16. I would definitely pick up a copy. Your site is one of the first I visit daily and I would love to have your advice in my library. Having said that I think you should consider shortening the amount of content into something less dense, 650 pages is a lot. I’m more of a fan of the multiple book approach.

    Best of luck.

  17. I agree with Kristina on all counts. Frankly, I think a 600-page personal finance book sounds a bit self-indulgent.

  18. I would buy the comprehensive single volume (I really enjoy your writing style), but probably would not purchase the separate volumes. I’d also be interested in an audiobook/podiobook (podiobooks.com).

    (In the interest of self-pimpage, if you decide to pursue the audiobook angle, drop me a line – Mer and I would be more than happy to help.)

  19. I’ve had experience with preparing and selling a self-published graphic novel on Lulu, and the experience was quite painless. It’s a great way to make proofs of the book, at the very least, before you hit up bigger printers or publishers. Comics doesn’t have quite the stigma with regards to self-publishing as non-comic books, but print-on-demand services are slowly starting to change that in the “real book” world. ;)

    As for books based on blogs, I just finished Seth Godin’s “Small is the New Big,” which is essentially a dump of a lot of his blog entries into book form. It worked rather well, if you don’t mind a more scatter-shot approach to a book.

    Now, for the length: do you think that 600 pages would be too long? I understand that you’re aiming for the book as being a reference book, and that it’s got a lot of ground to cover. Before you dive headlong into a 600 page mega-project, perhaps starting with a smaller, Lulu-only book that had a great deal of focus would help to lure future readers in to the Website, especially if it hits a particular niche? Your interest and past experiences in frugality and simple living would make (have made) for very interesting reading.

    One final tip from a fledgling self-publisher: if you go solo, regardless of what you choose to write, befriend as many people at your local bookstores and library systems that you can, and give talks and do signings. Remember, as a writer, most local bookstores love you. :) When you don’t have a big marketing budget like you would with a large publisher, building a grassroots movement for your book in your local area can help to get the ball rolling.

  20. I would consider buying the book not for myself but for people who could use your advice but don’t really get on the internet often (like my mother and sister)
    Still, 600+ pages is a bit hefty. I wouldn’t be sure they would be willing to read it.

  21. I read daily, and click the ads for you, but I am unlikely to buy the book.

    There are two things of value (to me) in this blog: that it documents you learning as you go, and that there are a lot of well-informed, insightful commenters (who I’d love to see you engage with more on the front page when there are substantice comments left). Your posts suggest you have little experience with the stuff you’re writing about, and while it’s great to see your ongoing journey to figure through all that, I’m uncomfortable with you giving emphatic advice either on the blog (most of the other bloggers shy away from this) or in print.

    Re length: the problem with long “reference guide” type personal finance books is that they date (taxes, limits, products, etc) very quickly!

    Having said all that IMHO you write very, very well on choices, goals and value of time etc. You’re on more solid ground with this topic and I think this would make a better book *by you* than “chapter 7: how to buy mutual funds” and so forth. I have no clue how you would construct it though! If that’s the content you’re shooting for, I’ll probably buy.

  22. Hi Trent, While I am a regular reader of your blog and have even recommended you to a few friends, I would definitely not purchase your book. Sorry, but I know you are looking for honest responses here, so that’s why I’m responding honestly. There are a few reasons I would not buy your book:

    1 – I don’t think your book would have anything new or fresh to say to me, certainly not enough to warrant a purchase of $20 or more

    2 – In general, I don’t buy ANY books anymore. I just use the library.

    3 – While I like a lot of what you write about, I’m not always in agreement with you and I don’t always feel you are on the right track. I get really turned off when people post comments pointing out some contrary thinking or faulty logic in your posts, and you rarely if ever admit that some of your readers might be right and you might be wrong. To me, this is the mark of a very green person who still has a lot to learn.

    4 – 600 pages???!!! No way Jose! That is just plain overkill!

    All this being said, I’d still encourage you to follow your dream of becoming a published author. I think the key to your getting published, however, would be to have a much shorter book that has something FRESH to say. For example, your stories about your family (parents, grandparents, etc.) are wonderful … perhaps you could consider a shorter book along the lines of “financial lessons I learned from my family”, and tell your homespun stories wrapped up with little financial morals. That would have a better chance than a 600-page been-there, done-that financial advice book.

    Good luck, kid!

  23. 600 pages is two-thirds the size of my Bartlett’s book of quotations, and bigger than any of the business, management, or financial books that I have on my shelf.

    I’m not saying smaller is better, that’s one quote I would not want taken out of context, but I am saying 600 pages seems a bit unwieldy… that’s not a book anybody would take onto an airplane with them.

    It just seems a bit too big, too unfocused. Target the audience of each book more more specifically, and write a series of 3 books of 250pages each that’d look great on a bookshelf together and go for 20 bucks each. ;)

  24. You need to work on your writing skills if you were to publish a book, there is a BIG difference between a best-selling book and a best-writing book, as Robert Kiyosaki would say. If you bash his work, then you know a lot of people would bash your work for poor quality writing skills.

    I would suggest making friends with the English department professor at your local university or contacting your old high school English teacher for some help on your skills if you want people to take you seriously enough.

    By all means go for it. But be prepared to take rejection and IMPROVE ON IT!

  25. I’m with Ursula. Make it considerably shorter than 600 pages. Don’t try to make it comprehensive. Your personal accounts are the most appealing aspect of this website. People love to be inspired by personal stories that make them feel “I can do that too.”

    Maybe you could borrow the format of Ready for Anything and have 52 short chapters, each with a single narrative followed by a moral or principle or value. Title the book The Simple Dollar — and then extend Ursula’s suggestion for the subtitle: Financial Lessions I Learned from My Family.

    I would definitely reach for and look through a 250- to 300-page book with that title and content, although I would probably not buy it, simply because I have had decades of experience in economizing and rarely see any advice on household economy that is new to me. But I can see younger people with less experience buying it, particularly if you avoid abstract advice and stick with personal narrative.

  26. It’s unlikely I would buy it. I already have a lot of really good finance books. So unless a lot of people were to tell me that it’s a life-changing book, I would skip it.

    Another thing to think about is that the people who you want to buy your book (us) have already read most of the things you’ll probably put into it. I’ve been on this blog every day for a long time now, so I doubt I’d see anything new in your book.

  27. Trent, I wont buy the book. Price, 600+ pages etc are not compelling enough. I like your blog, its dynamic, has comments form others, I can search similar themes etc and I can take notes on my computer much easily and quickly than reading a book. Also there may be some information getting outdated by the time its in print.

    But that’s just me and my working style. Most people who may get the book may not be active blog readers.
    Best wishes

  28. I enjoy your website. Whether I would buy the book would depend upon the material in the book. I bought all 3 volumes of The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyzyn, and feel it was worth it. She combines stories/anecdotes/essays/detailed how to information. The detailed how to may be the reason why I want the books as reference, but the personal stuff makes it pleasant reading. You feel like you know her as a person when you have read through the articles. I think you have the potential for a good book or 2, but perhaps you might want to wait until you have been doing this for a bit longer. Dacyzyn waited quite a while before her work was collected in book form, and I think that resulted in 3 volunes that had a waiting and eager readership. I truly get a lot out of your stories about your family, both as a child and today, with the financial lessons you gained from those experiences. Perhaps you might want to take your inability to find a publisher right now as an indication that you have more to learn and a bit more to grow before you are ready for this step. I understand the eagerness to get moving on the project, but it could be that by waiting you will produce something even better than you imagine, with an even bigger audience than you imagine. You can certainly continue to write and work at home on the project, but perhaps don’t rush to publish so soon. I would be happy to purchase a book as entertaining and useful as The Tightwad Gazette. (Your articles remind me of TG, and I mean that as a compliment). Just remember that many of your readers will be making a comparison to that series, and you want yours to be just as meaty. A longer timeframe for publishing would give you much more articles to choose from, and would give you the advantage of having articles written by a person who went through more varied circumstances. In TG, you learn about the Dacyzyn household’s financial strategies from their early days of marriage all the way through having 6 children and beyond. I would have bought 3 more volumes of TG if they had been available, to see how they coped with putting kids through college and life as senior citizens. I think you have that same success potential. I encourage you to keep working at it.

  29. I might buy it. I really enjoy your site, and the book would really fit a niche for me for when I can’t be at the computer, but can sit down to read. It would also be a good way to share. I’ve told several friends about your site, I’d certainly mention the book and share it if I did buy it.

  30. I’d certainly buy it – your insight and advice have made be both grin and scream ‘ah ha!’ when considering my own financial situation.

    What’ve you got to lose? In fact, I bet your fans are loyal enough to host a free ad on their own respective blogs to promote your product.

  31. I’m in the wouldn’t buy it category. I like your blog for the real-life and on-going personal stories. However, I’ll continue to get my investing and personal financial advice from other sources.

  32. At this point, it looks like it probably wouldn’t be worth the effort.

    Also,

    While I like a lot of what you write about, I’m not always in agreement with you and I don’t always feel you are on the right track. I get really turned off when people post comments pointing out some contrary thinking or faulty logic in your posts, and you rarely if ever admit that some of your readers might be right and you might be wrong. To me, this is the mark of a very green person who still has a lot to learn.

    I find this comment basically baffling and somewhat insulting. I could quite easily turn the comments off on this site so I could appear to be some sort of magnificent expert, but with most financial commentary, there ARE differing opinions and I welcome them.

    Ask yourself this – do you see Bob Kiyosaki or David Bach or any of those folks having the courage to write in an open forum and allow people to freely comment and disagree with them? No, you don’t. So when you read their material, you see only their viewpoint. There’s no open and critical review process with their work. And because I’m open and public with a critical review process and invite anyone to discuss this, while they do not and only dispense their opinions without such a review, that makes me look like the fool?

    To you, a “green person with a lot to learn” is a person who is willing to open themselves up to critical discussion and review, while the people to respect are the ones that do not? That seems very, very wrong to me.

  33. I probably wouldn’t buy the book, but that doesn’t mean others won’t. I read alot about personal finance and I am beyond “basic” personal finance advice. I am more interested in advanced topics. I like your blog, it is up to date(a big problem is that the book will become outdate quickly), dynamic, and the interaction with other readers is something that just can’t be done with books.

    I also don’t buy books. I use the library.

  34. One additional thought for you…if you do publish a book, the most useful information I think you could provide would be focused on how to live on a budget and be more frugal. You do a good job addressing that issue in a practical way, especially when so many Americans whine endlessly about how they can’t possibly manage to live on X salary per year. You show that it’s possible to live on less while having a nice quality of life. You show that spending $100 on dinner out or on a show is not the key to “living the good life”. You show that it is possible to trim lifestyle to get out of debt. Your earlier entries (about your old spending habits) highlighted how mindlessly some people spend money and how financially dangerous the “yuppie lifestyle” can be. And you come up with interesting ways to be frugal.

    However, I would not seek other financial information from a book of yours. I get such information from someone like Warren Buffet who has really proven he knows what he’s doing, yet who is still grounded in normal people’s lives. Or from similar experts.

  35. Hi Trent,

    I think asking your readers whether or not they would purchase your book is moot at this point. On your site, you regularly ask your readers to carefully evaluate their purchases and you spend a lot of time and focus on whether books are worth buying in your book reviews. In these comments, it shouldn’t be surprising that while a few readers will say they’ll purchase your book, possibly out of loyalty, many will claim they aren’t interested. You haven’t written the book yet.

    I think this is one of those endeavors you have to decide for yourself. If you feel you can bring a valuable and different,, or a more comprehensive, perspective on the topic, then please write the book. After it’s written, if people judge that you have been successful in putting together something valuable, people will buy your book. Even those people who claim in your comments that they won’t purchase it. It is, after all, very difficult to judge the value of a book that hasn’t yet been written.

    I may buy your book. Or, I may not. Simply telling me that it will be similar to your blog, but with a more linear organization and a more comprehensive outlook isn’t enough information. My decision will depend on the book.

    If you publish the book, I can tell you that I will carefully evaluate the finished product to decide if it would make a valuable edition to my home library.

  36. Trent, the fact that you could not take the constructive criticism I gave you, actually proves my point! You ARE green and you DO have a lot to learn. You can’t stand it when someone contradicts you, and you do not have it in you to stand back and say “yeah, you’re right, there might be something to what you say.” It’s very offputting, IMO.

    BTW, I didn’t mention Kiyosaki or Bach, so I’m not sure why you brought them up; it was a complete non sequiter.

    You stated “To you, a “green person with a lot to learn” is a person who is willing to open themselves up to critical discussion and review, while the people to respect are the ones that do not?” …. Trent, you need to re-read my post. I said you were green with a lot to learn because you never, ever, respond to someone who’s commented with a position contradictory to you or who’s pointed out some faulty logic in one of your posts, with anything other than a “you’re wrong, I’m right” type of response. It’s a little juvenile, really. And the fact that you responded to my post with such illogical statements, again proves my point. :(

    I’m not trying to start an argument or cause hurt feelings … I was just trying to give you some honest feedback in my earlier post, which I thought you were asking for. In the future, I will keep in mind that you apparently only want flattery, whether it’s sincere or not.

    I wish you all the luck in the world, Trent.

  37. I respect the work you have done so far and read your blog, but there is still something missing from your work that will only come with time.

    I would recommend partnering with another writer who comes from a different background to write a book. The best you can do is write about your experience at a young age. You are on the right path with the work you are doing, but a book should include the work of someone who has walked that path for many years.

    I am enjoying reading about your struggles with life and finance, but I’m looking at someone who is still in the early stages. Any book you write 20 years from now will be worth more than gold, but today you are still only finishing the first act in the book that will be your life.

  38. Hi Trent,
    If it helps you to learn from Ursula’s comments, I will share an experience I recently had with you that reflects what she is saying…

    I recently pointed out that you mis-quoted the NY Times graph on class in America. You basically just responded “I’m right and it says so here…” It was clear that you didn’t go to the graph and look at the other spot I was pointing out, which would have showed you why you were wrong and why you misunderstood the graph. Then a second commentor further explained why I was correct. You then removed the incorrect information from your blog entry.

    I was put of both by how you treated my comment and by the steps you failed to take when you, too, realized you were wrong. You didn’t post a comment saying “hey, thanks for correcting me and helping me not perpetrate mis-information on my popular blog.” You didn’t acknowledge on your blog that you’d made a mistake – so, anyone who had already read your post would not know there was a mistake.

    I wasn’t correcting you just for the sake of pointing out a mistake. It was out of a genuine concern that really bad misinformation not be taken by the public as truth. Americans lag behind most of the industrialized world in terms of education, so why put people off further from getting bachelors degrees by making them incorrectly think that only 9% of people have them? I wish that you had publicly acknowledged the mistake and the correction (so that people would take note and not internalize the 9% number) and that you would have shown the smallest amount of gratitude for 2 blog readers who took their own time to help make your site more accurate and trustworthy.

  39. I agree with the idea of tabling this for the short term. You’ve come a long way and have a lot of great content to share, but am I right in thinking that your financial armageddon came a year ago? Just think how much more you’re going to have to share after baby #2 arrives, and you move into the house, and other of life’s adventures come your way.

    I also agree with the keep-it-shorter comments, and finally, I agree that the freshness of a blog may suit your topic better anyway. So, my vote is to hold off for a while.

  40. I would buy the book, given a few particulars. I would prefer it to be one volume because it would be a better “bang for the buck,” so to speak, and it would keep it all together. My interest in it would also depend on the format. I like the blog-style format intermingled with comments about balancing finances and quality-of-life (say, spending time with your family). It would also depend on how book is laid out/the organization of it.

    Also, you mentioned in the subject line: “What Do You Want To See?” I’m currently a college student and I’d really like to see such a book segmented into age-groups – college students/young adults, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. I know there are some books set up like that as it is, but with much different advice and information.

    So all in all, I believe I would purchase such a book. I feel like $25 dollars or so is a decent deal for such a gigantic book of valuable information.

  41. Unfortunately, I don’t buy books at all these days because the library has SO MANY that I haven’t read yet. So, no, I wouldn’t buy it.

    Also, I read your blog because I enjoy your writing and your stories and your thoughts about money, but I don’t feel the need for a comprehensive financial reference in my life.

    I’m sad to say that I feel that the need for reference books is dying out these days. All of the information that anyone could need is on the web, and has a better chance of being up to date than any book in print. Sure, you have to worry about the accuracy of your sources on the web, but that’s really true of books, too, though people tend to assume that books are right. I like to read many many sites to find the answer to a question, then form my own opinion.

    Good luck with your decision, and I’ll keep reading your blog either way.

  42. Hi Trent

    I’ve given you support on the past about publishing a book and I’d still take a copy based on how useful the blog has been to me.

    However, what I’d like to say is that perhaps a focus area would help a lot of your readers take a decision on whether they’ll get a book.

    Or perhaps, you could just take a roundup of all your posts and go through the key themes that you’ve gone though already.

    I for one, would love to have a narrative format (with tips and exercises that you did along the way) of your journey over the past year – from financial meltdown to progress that you’re making and getting now – and all the supplementary material on the blog as easter eggs.

    It would come in at around 200-250 pages and would act as a motivating force for young people in their teens, twenties and thirties to change their lives, financially and spiritually, to get out of the me-too rat race culture.

  43. Eww. I wouldn’t buy it. I enjoy your site because you have good variety and you make for interesting discussions and you’re regular. However I think you’re way too inexperienced to be giving people book-solid financial advice. Although one could do A LOT worse in a book than “Trent from Iowa”…

    If your book was about your own personal financial journey and included biting and witty commentary on personal finance in America for people in your generation …. then you may be onto something original.

    All the best and good luck!

  44. Hi, long time reader first time poster

    I would buy the book, but I think it’s a little bit too early to write it.

    One section I think would be nice is an “extra” cash section. It’s where a person needs extra cash but doesn’t have time for a dedicated part time job.

    Some stuff off top of my head.

    -ebay
    -craigslist some skills you have
    -blah blah

    Good luck!

  45. Even though I read your blog daily, I don’t intend to buy your book because I always try to get my books from the library.

    If I would be buying your book, it’s sure that I would prefer to get 1 book for 25$ than pay 42$ for the same content divided in 2 books. If the total price would be the same or not more than 2-3$ higher, I would prefer to have 2 books.

  46. 1. Do you want a book people will read or a book they’ll just refer to? For the former, keep to the 200-300 pp. range. For the latter, make sure you have a screaming good index (you might have to fight for it) and tight, well-organized writing. I also like a bibliography–they’re links, but offline.

    2. The prices sound like normal (sigh) hardcover prices for these days. I try to get things from the libe, but if it’s really fantastic, I might buy it for a gift. I am working on restraining my library, so it’s less likely that I’ll buy a book for myself unless it a) has sentimental value (unlikely), b) is hard to find, or c) is an important book in one of my “specialized interests.”

    3. Who is your audience? What kind of lexicon do they use? What is their background? I suspect your blog commenters tend to be fairly well educated; is this who you’re aiming for in the long run?

    4. What are you picturing for people to do with this book? Are they new people who don’t have easy web access who are reading it in bits and pieces? Then you can hew pretty closely to the blog structure. Are they people like us who have been following your blog for six months and want to think about things away from the computer? Then you want to add value, at least honing writing and organization to your purpose.

    5. If you haven’t, read something about andragogy. I would focus on learning styles and how to motivate learning–if you help people remember, they will stay persuaded. And maybe you’ll see a group that is being underserved; writing something for such a group would be a win/win.

    6. Second the motion to let a blog-style book simmer for a while longer. But it can be done effectively–I would add _Tog on Interface_ to the list of examples.

    Or you might try other formats, e.g. expanding on some of the longer exercises you’ve done here. There was something like 30 days of values and goals, I think in January because I had to print it out at work when I was crashing on my co-worker’s couch. Not exactly a workbook, but something of a lab manual.

    7. Second the motion to get help/advice! Your local people may be able to help you out (though less likely to carefully read the whole book–maybe do a 50 pp. sample). For that matter, maybe you can consult with English Major for a reasonable fee–I think she’s raising money for the Educational Testing Service–I mean for grad school applications.

    8. Poets are told they have to be at least 10% business-minded. That 10% is in charge of keeping organized, persevering in sending out work, not taking the little rejection slips too personally, and finding support in workshops and communities. In other words, basic emotional and entrepreneurial sense. In yet other words, don’t be discouraged, just work more into your plans for the next 1001 days.

  47. Trent, I have two thoughts on this. First, I would strongly discourage self-publishing: self-publishing now would be a death sentence for potential future books. And second, you have mentioned wanting to publish a novel a few times – are you sure you aren’t sublimating that desire into a Simple Dollar book proposal?

  48. I would definitely buy your book if you go with the single book idea.

    The advice you give on your website is amazing, and if I could find it in book form, I can easily show it to my friends and older people who aren’t as web savvy as our generation. Further, I would buy more than one to gift it to people.

    I have always found your site to be informative and your posts engaging and amazingly well-written. I am anxiously waiting for a book written by you!

  49. Hi Trent,

    I agree with the other posters that 600 pages is too long. I like a financial book that has a unique point of view and that gets to the point. Maybe you could get an editor to help you focus your ideas and reduce the length of the book.

    I’d also agree with the person above that you come across in your comments as highly defensive. I’m sure you get lots of trolls saying ridiculous things, and that must be tough to deal with, but other bloggers that I read take a more open approach to dealing with criticism, and that makes me like them more.

  50. I have some experience with publishing and I think the main thing you’re missing is “platform.” Yes, your blog gets a lot of visitors, which is good, but you personally don’t have platform. By that I mean you’re not a financial expert who can go on radio shows and talk shows and give expert advice. You don’t have a newspaper column or a private practice to refer to.

    I think a few years down the road if you really focused on a few topics, you could develop platform, but the other hard part is that there are many, many other authors already treading the same topic. What will you do that is radically different, that will make publishers want to sit up and take notice?

    You can do that by waiting a bit longer, focusing the book tightly on what you’re best at, and continuing to build the authority of the blog while also honing your writing skills.

  51. Trent,

    Love the blog, really.

    I would be unlikely to buy a book, because I think you are so well suited to blogging, however, how about releasing products via your blog for money instead? If it was compelling enough I’d probably be tempted.

  52. I think writing a book would be a huge distraction from building the blog. In spite a few mistakes and complaints your well on your way to becoming the Andrew Sullivan of the financial blogosphere. Once your noticed by the Main Stream Media than you can think about expanding. In the mean time stick to blogging.

    If you wrote a book I’d probably not buy it, I prefer the blog at this point. Funny thing is in spite how important blogging has become it’s still far from carrying its own. While blogging can lead you to becoming a successful author speaker radio TV personality you still need the MSM to become “big”

    In spite of a few minor (and probably justified) complaints you’ve found a real niche market. Keep up the good work.

  53. Trent,

    I like your site and read it daily. I wouldn’t be discouraged by the number of people who are commenting that they would not buy your book for the following reasons:

    1. You have talked about the virtue of using the library. I have never bought a personal finance book, it seems counter-intuitive to spend money on a book that you could get for free, especially if the book is about personal finance and frugality.

    2. I disagree that your site readers are your target market. You need to target people who are in the position that you were in when you started the site, THEY need it the most and would benefit enough from a book that it might be worth the money. Also, they are more likely to spend money because they have not developed the self control to avoid the spending.

    Good luck, I won’t buy your book but I will recommend it to friends in need of some personal finance advice.

  54. I vote for two separate books. 600 to 650 pages is A LOT of reading, even for a bookworm like me. Moreover, it seems to me the book’s content would fall into two categories: 1) basic financial advice and 2) your personal perspective (on everything from actual finances to time management to simplifying your life to book reviews) — and I would be a lot more interested in #2 (your opinions) than #1, which could be redundant.
    There is already so much information out there about financial planning, from books to blogs to useful but rather impersonal articles at Web sites such as MSN Money and Bankrate.com. What I like about The Simple Dollar is your personal perspective — how you developed the attitudes you have about money, education, etc.; your “financial apocalypse” and how you dug out of it; tactics you and your wife are trying now (e.g. spending no entertainment money for a month, homebrew laundry detergent, etc.). I think that would resonate with readers, especially among the younger generation. Plus, a distillation of your personal experiences and philosophy would be easier to promote (e.g. with anecdotes of your own life so far, plus what readers write in), rather than presenting yourself as an investment advisor.

  55. Hi Trent

    I’m a recent reader. I agree with much of what has been said, if you have to do a book then shorter, and make it personal, that is what sells.

    Personally I probably wouldn’t buy it, because I think the blog is a lazier (ie more efficient) way of reading compared to a book…

    I’m inclined to agree with some of the comments above, you don’t seem to handle disagreements in the comments as well as you could. I will agree wholeheartedly you are better than others, but as a piece of feedback I have sometimes thought “yes the commenter is right or at least makes a good point” and then am a bit disappointed to see you not acknowledge it, or even really engage with it.

    This is a huge contrast to how well you deal with emails from readers, I’ve been really impressed by how you take these and then turn them into helpful posts that everyone can learn from. I suggest you take comments the same way.

    Cheers
    David

  56. I have no idea if I would buy it or not – I don’t usually buy books until I’ve had a chance to look through them, even if it’s a virtual look. That being said, I would still not give up, whether it’s self-publication or a typical publisher.

    If you feel that your book, as is, isn’t getting anywhere, maybe it needs a new angle. Try to find some aspect that other books haven’t reached and emphasize that. Or start full-fledged networking of publishers – see if you can find someone in the publishing field who would be willing to give you input as to why you’re not getting results.

    I just finished reading “America’s Cheapest Family” which I got from the library, and realized that these 2 authors have found a marketing kick by getting their whole family involved. To be honest, I disliked it. I didn’t think the book contained much in the way of new information, and it was extremely dated (hardly any mention of computer resources for saving money, even though the book was published in 2007) but it is obviously considered marketable.

    The only other solution is to keep blogging and hope that in a year or 2, your name will be well enough known that it will be easier to publish something – publishers do read blogs and your’s is still relatively new. I think in the next few years, bloggers are going to start coming into their own in terms of name recognition – it’s already starting to happen to a certain degree.

  57. I won’t buy the book for myself, but I might buy it as a gift. I agree with Eric (and possibly others) above that your blog readers are not necessarily your target market.

    I imagine that you probably won’t pursue this now (since you stated that in your response) but I’d suggest that you leave it on the backburner as it could easily be a good idea in the future.

  58. Hi Trent…

    I read your blog daily (and currently, it’s the only blog that I read regularly), although I am frequently checking out other financial blogs.

    I think you have some great information to offer in your blog and enjoy many of your posts. You seem to have a great desire to help people learn as you are frequently documenting the step by step on how/why you have made xx decision. And a book may be a good way to further that cause.

    While I love the blog, I probably wouldn’t buy the book. While I am a long time, hard core, book buying type of a person, I have been making a conscious effort (in part because of your blog and some radical changes that we’ve made in our lives to fulfill some dreams) to read books from the library. I haven’t bought a book for my self since Christmas which is a record.

    In addition, while I think you have had an epiphany when you experienced your “financial armageddon moment”, I would like to see you get a little more experience under your belt. I think you’ve been at this for at most 1 year. But buying a house, having a 2nd child, continuing on in this fantastic journey that you’ve started, would lend much more credibility to your message.

    Keep up the great blog work. I look forward to reading it every day.

  59. Hi Trent, I read and enjoy the blog daily but I wouldn’t buy the book. I particularly enjoy your book reviews and being pointed to other sites/posts that I wouldn’t seek out on my own, and I don’t see how that could be translated to a static book. Thank you for all the work you put into your blog on a consistent basis.

  60. Trent: I agree with Ursula and others in their criticism about your defensiveness. You do “rarely if ever admit that you might be wrong and some of your readers might be right” when they disagree with you by “pointing out some contrary thinking or faulty logic in your posts.”

  61. I’m sorry Trent, but I also would not buy the book the book you described. I love your blog and read it daily. The problem is that I view you as more of an equal and not an authority on finance. I really love reading about how someone else is recovering from financial armageddon and the steps you are taking to make your dreams happen. I am on the same path. I do, however, feel that you could write a sucessful book. Just not the one you have planned now. Instead write a book, in narrative form, on how you got yourself into your financial mess and the path you took towards recovery. The book should not aim to teach, but rather inspire. I think that book could be a best seller. Personal finance books are just like diet books. They fall into two types 1) expert how to books – advice written that is new and fresh by the most qualified experts in the world -facts facts facts, or 2) books written by lay people who have made it. These books don’t particularly teach us anything new, but they inspire us to action.
    Trent, you are a #2, don’t try to teach us…inspire us and sales will follow!

  62. Trent,

    I enjoy your blog very much and read it everyday, but I wouldn’t buy a 600+ page book as you’ve outlined in this post. Here are my reasons:
    1. I don’t buy books all that often, unless they are related to long-term interests of mine and I can’t find the information elsewhere easily. The library is great!
    2. 600 pages strikes me as extremely long for a personal finance book. I like a meaty book that I can sink my teeth into, but I wonder what do you have to say in 600 pages that couldn’t be said in 300 pages? 600 to 650 pages suggests that “The Simple Dollar” is not at all that simple and good personal finance requires that one slog through hefty tomes first. If I wasn’t familiar with your blog and I saw on the cover of the 600 page book “The Simple Dollar” (as either title, subtitle, or blurb) I would think it was intentionally ironic.
    3. As others have pointed out, the “reference” aspects of the book could/would easily become out-of-date. Since you’re not an expert in a personal finance related field, I would hesitate to use your book as a reference guide. (Especially if after hundreds of pages of detailed advice, you throw in, “Always be sure to check with your advisor/attorney/accountant/tax consultant”!!)

    I’m not that surprised that publishers have passed on your book proposal thus far. Publishers want something that they can sell, and I don’t think reference books sell well unless it’s to a captive audience (i.e., college students). A narrowly focused book on the more personal side of “personal finance” would be so much more interesting to more people!

  63. Trent ~
    With all due respect I would not buy your book as a financial resource. I do think the ideas from other readers that a collection of your anecdotes with lessons would be more viable.

    The key to my position is your inexperience. You just started climbing out of debt and making a plan for your family & futrre. Yeah! But not compelling for me to listen to you as an expert. I’d summarize that as “an extremely short track record.”

    Obviously you strike a chord with many readers in your current writing and approach. So, leverage what you do well. Sell ebooks here. Do speeches that you record and sell too. Tap into the Nat’l Speaker Association for more ideas from developing your expertise & position as an expert through product development and sales. Your message will be welcome and your technical prowess coupled with your exuberant communication would build into a money-generating business.

    from another point of view… Susan

  64. Hi Trent,

    Been reading you for a month, but this is my first post. What about taking some of the best of your posts and putting together an e-book? You could put that up for sale here and use the sales number to gauge whether or not a book might be successful. Writing a 600 page book would take a lot of time and effort, and I’m not sure that the work would pay off in the long run, at least not right now. Maybe an e-book with your current body of work would be a good initial trial run.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!
    Ryan

  65. Mark me down for a book. It’s about time I paid you for something I’ve been reading for so long.

  66. I haven’t been subscribed to your blog for very long, but I enjoy what I’ve seen so far. I appreciate the freshness of regular posts. I’m not sure a book would lend itself well to your material b/c it would get outdated quickly. Also, you use hyperlinks well, and that would be a feature you couldn’t put well into a book. I would suggest putting out a series of e-books with hyperlinks and see how that goes. Smaller bite-sized chunks for folks, and a smaller risk for you. BTW, I’m a book designer who helps ppl self-publish professional-looking books (including e-books) and I have a good editor on my team. I’d be happy to talk about ideas & options.

  67. I would probably buy your book, but not until it was being sold ‘used’! Sorry, I am an avid library patron and I just can’t pay that kind of money for books.

    Also, I agree with the person who says she likes her “financial information 1 teaspoon at a time, which makes your blog very compelling for me.” I am unlikely to sit down and read a personal finance book — esp. not one 600 pages long! — but the blog/column format is very helpful to me.

    You’re doing a great job — keep up the good work!

  68. 600 pages or more is just too long for a personal finance book. Breaking it up into two books or even more (300 pages is also a bit long for personal finance books.)

    More importantly, and this may seem obvious, what is the book about? Your book proposal may be too broad to be of interest to publishers. Narrow it down. I suggest your personal story of realizing how much in trouble you were in financially and how you and your wife figured out what to do. Weave the personal finance information into the story. You do that anyway!

  69. Oh, I forgot to mention, I think you’re an excellent writer. And I don’t mean “good writer for a blogger” (i.e. knows the difference between ‘loose’ and ‘lose’) either :)

    Tom Purl

  70. So…

    The problem with a 600 page reference book is that, especially in the area of personal finance, that information gets stale fairly quickly, so I’d be unlikely to invest in a written reference. $25 is a pretty expensive book for me; I’ve bought exactly one new book over $20 in the past year, and that was McGee’s On Food and Cooking, you’d have to convince me your book was going to be roughly that valuable, which is a very high standard to meet.

    Rather than trying to write a book that includes everything you’ve talked about on this site, I think it would make much more sense to take a theme for which you have a particularly compelling perspective (like combining frugality with green living, the intersection of personal productivity and personal finance, or financial advice for twentysomethings) and expanding that content into a 150-200 page small book. I suspect you might have a lot more luck interesting a publisher in something more focused, and I as a reader would be much likelier to pick up a shorter, smaller book.

  71. I have to admit that, as much as I like this website, I would not buy the book if it was simply the same information reprinted in a different format. After all, wasn’t it you who taught me not to pay for something when I can get it for free? :)

    Gal

  72. There are several members of my family who would benefit from your style of financial advice, but who just won’t go to a blog to get it.
    Of course, they ask me where to search for help, and I tell them “The Simple Dollar” but they won’t make that leap.
    A book would provide a place for them to find the advice and share it with others.
    Of course, a 600 page book is a little daunting. So maybe you should start a bit smaller.
    Might I suggest a slimmer “starter” volume for the newbies and a more comprehensive version for more advanced disciples?

  73. Trent,

    I love your blog, and it’s become a wonderful part of my morning routine. It’s always a welcome reminder – or gentle educator – of little things I can be doing every day to reach my goals.

    I don’t buy books for myself; I only borrow from the library. However, I frequently give books as gifts. I do think the shorter version of the book could make an excellent gift for high school grads, college grads, newlyweds, and other people who are “starting out”. If the shorter book was largely fundamentals, interspersed with your wonderful anecdotes, plus ideas on where to look for deeper information, I’d strongly consider it.

  74. Sorry, but I wouldn’t buy it either. I seldom buy books, except as gifts, and I’d fear insulting the recipient by giving them a sort of Self Help book, no matter how good of a read.

    I really enjoy your blog posts, for the variety, and the personal honesty. It’s that interaction between personal posts and commentary that draws my interest into personal finance blogs (I also read Boston Gal’s open wallet, and My Open Wallet), and I can’t imagine how that would translate into a book.

  75. You are a capable writer and a man of great energy. But before devoting your time to a book as opposed to say, enrolling in an MBA, MS or writing program (you’re in Iowa after all!) ask yourself:

    1. How new are my ideas for solving the problems of debt that inspired my own journey of financial reconstruction?

    2. Is it possible to further satisfy my writing aims and increase my income from the existing blog without self-publishing?

    3. The Simple Dollar covers a vast amount of territory. How would I choose a narrower topic on which to focus a book?

    My 2 cents is that 650 is too long and indicative of a problem limiting yourself to a deep focus on one area. Also, remember that the younger the reader, the less likely he/she will be to buy a book versus reading blogs. I haven’t read all of your posts, but I can’t detect a unique-to-Trent system for attacking debt and rebuilding a financial life. So partnering or maybe casting your name out there as a reviewer to established finacial magazines might be another way to satisfy what you want to accomplish.

  76. I would buy the book for my sister and my mom, and most likely one for myself. I’d rather buy the larger book at $25, then the two smaller ones. Anyway, thanks for this blog! I read it religiously every day.

  77. I would definitely be more likely to buy one book at $25-$26 than two books at $21-$22…that’s just a smarter personal finance move (if the two books added up to the same number of pages/amount of content as the one, as you suggest they would). I would definitely give the book as a gift, but would probably use the site before I would buy it for myself, simply because I’ve already read much of the site’s content, and it’s easy to access online.

    However, I might be inclined to buy a separate book that was totally about food, eating frugally, cheap recipes, how to grow things yourself for cheap, etc. That could (in my mind) be considered a “kitchen book.”

    Keep up the good work! I link to you in my blog (kimskitchensink.blogspot.com) all the time!!!

  78. Meh. I wouldn’t buy it because:

    -I refuse to take any part in this blogger-turned-author trend. Seriously, can it just stop? Compelling blog entries do not equal great pieces of literature and/or reference.

    -I’m not sure that your advice is really aimed towards my demographic. I’m a single, childless woman living in a major metropolitan area. You’re married, with children, living in a cornfield. I really can’t relate sometimes.

    -As other people have mentioned, you don’t exactly strike me as an expert. Sorry.

    -You contradict yourself sometimes, and it’s annoying. (You’ve mentioned buying a late model Lexus. Why? So you can give the illusion of wealth? Even though you’ve supposedly learned your lesson about such things? Seriously, just buy a Toyota. It’s the same thing.)

  79. Trent, you wrote

    Ask yourself this – do you see Bob Kiyosaki or David Bach or any of those folks having the courage to write in an open forum and allow people to freely comment and disagree with them? No, you don’t

    Yes you are right, I have not been able to locate their blogs with visitors commentary.

    I was amused by what you said about the “courage” part.

    If I recall correctly, Robert Kiyosaki has been on PBS with callers on the show LIVE with questions and comments, has been even in seminars with Donald Trump where attendees were able to ask direct questions and comments.

    I don’t know what your defination of courage is but you have to admit, to be able to stand up and talk about his approach in front of millions worldwide is some type of courage.

    Second, you wrote

    I find this comment basically baffling and somewhat insulting. I could quite easily turn the comments off on this site so I could appear to be some sort of magnificent expert, but with most financial commentary, there ARE differing opinions and I welcome them.

    First of all, turning off the comments would indicate two things, that you refuse to grow, and that you do not support the First Amendment. Making such a comment is a sign of unprofessionalism. Do you hear Ted Turner threatening the world to cut them off from CNN or AOL?

    I didn’t think so.

    Third, as I mentioned before, if you wanted to improve on your skills, create a team. Two heads is better than one. Three head is better than two.

    A team might include an agent to shop around, an editor to clean up your work and present it in a professional manner. These two people would help you refocus your book so you can reach your target group.

    Plus, cooler heads prevail. For example, the writer may take it personally, the agent won’t, the agent will listen and express the views in a neutral manner, and the editor will listen to your concerns as well as the general view of the publishers and the readers.

    You do have a good strong site, just improve each time you read a constructive critique. All you have to do is keep a list of various points brought up and turn that list into a checklist.

    For example,

    Does my article reflect the everyday American budget?

    Does my article seem limited to Iowa? etc..

    Stuff like that. Go for it Trent, bust some corn!

  80. Hi Trent,

    I love your blog but I’m not sure I would learn enough to justify buying a book – your blog more reinforces things I already believe, if you know what I mean? Also, these days of Amazon means $25 is a very high price for a book, I’d try to shorten it significantly and drop the price to under $15. I think you have a lot of great information to share with the world and I think you writing a book is a great idea, just maybe the steady readers of your blog aren’t the target market? more like the people who *should* be reading your blog but aren’t! (or the occasional readers) I hope that helps.

  81. I’d love to read a book of yours, but 600 pages is a definite no-go in my opinion. Try releasing several much shorter books on different topics. For example, people don’t need advice on getting out of debt AND retirement investment at the same time in life. I think one thing scaring publishers away is the 600 pages thing; nobody reads big books anymore. Try first pitching the idea of one or more smaller (200 pages) books. It should be around $14 paperback, IMO.

  82. You’ve mentioned buying a late model Lexus. Why? So you can give the illusion of wealth? Even though you’ve supposedly learned your lesson about such things? Seriously, just buy a Toyota. It’s the same thing.

    Buying a late-model Lexus, for me, is a fun pipe dream, nothing anywhere close to reality – I think you got the wrong idea somewhere. I likely wouldn’t buy one even if I had a million in the bank, but I will say I’ve driven one and the experience was quite enjoyable. It’s a fun thing to think about, much like my vision of having a lake house.

  83. I think I would buy a shorter book in the $15-20 range and use that as a gauge to buy the next book. A big thick book isn’t convenient on the metro or to carry around in general. However, 300 pages is ok.

  84. I would only buy such a book if I could get it as a download for keyword searching. After all that is how I view a reference book.

    However, maybe a better method than publishing the book is to publish short 25-50 page guides on different financial topics for say around $15/each and package several of them into packages. (i.e. getting started with personal finances, beginning investors, etc). I would make these PDF downloads only though.

  85. First off, thanks for the help regarding my blog yesterday!
    I second RL above. My suggestion was similar – make a 6-pack or 10-pack. At the beginning of each book, you would have a list of what’s covered in the other books for review. That would work as a marketing tool for people who find any volume of the pack. If they like what’s covered in one volume but don’t have it, they could end up buying the volume.
    Your fans, (I for one), would get a volume set and then distribute/gift the individual units to several people. If the books are as good as I/we think they would be, then people would come to get the whole collection. What would the title be? I am sorry if you have already covered this… Of course, “The Simple Dollar, vol. x” is not bad at all. You could sell each volume/part/unit for $5 (sorry! but the set would be $30 or so…)
    An additional advantage is that you will not have to significantly alter the way you write. I saw a comment about your style being suited to blogging. I am not sure about that, I think you are a good communicator and you have great things to share. A lot of times that’s all people care about. One last thing… small volumes may be easier to read than a 600 page book.
    Would I buy your book? I will more than likely buy the broken down set than the 600 page one. Oh, and you know, you could publish a smaller volume at a time, and gauge your results from there – start with “The Best of The Simple Dollar”…. Sorry, too excited!

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