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

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.