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This post is more than 18 months old. Since technology changes too rapidly, this content may be out of date (but that's not always the case). Please remember to verify any technical or programming information with the current release.

Goal: to create a bachelor cookbook and sell it to other bachelors online. The price of the cookbook was to be very cheap so that it wasn’t too much of a risk. The book itself was supposed to be picture rich and very verbose. It showed how to accomplish tasks that other books assumed a person knew.

Technology/Process: was redirected to /10dish for 10 Dish Cookbook. The thought was at some point to broaden the platform if the cookbook was successful.

This was a one page selling page with a paypal link. It simply talked about the features of the book, the cost of creating your own meals, and compared this all to going out. The cost savings was emphasized.

I also appeared to give an ‘author’s note’ to the potential customer.

If the visitor chose to purchase, it was a paypal IPN process. So they received a success message and then they were emailed a link to download the PDF when paypal finished the transaction. The link contained a special URL that used Zend Framework to read in the source PDF and stamp their name and email on each page.

There was also a coupon system that bypassed the purchase system and allowed an instant copy to be sent.

Lessons Learned

I learned that I really needed to give away a free chapter. Up until receiving the product, visitors did not know the quality of the book. It could have been horrible with no pictures.

After speaking with a SEO expert I know, he set me up with an A/B test. Unfortunately, not a lot was determined from that. His suggestions was to develop the newsletter style approach which seems to work. Hook people for some free information, and make a sales pitch later. I never thought of doing this because when I purchase something myself, I want it. I don’t want to wait till I get a few emails about it first. But, he says this seems to be the best way to market items like this.

Overall, it was a good project. I didn’t sell as many as I’d like but I paid for the cost of the food - and that was enough for me!


Bonus! Download the cookbook free!

10dish Cookbook

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