75-day Getting Real book update Jason 18 May 2006

28 comments Latest by JF

It’s been about 75 days since we released Getting Real, the book, in PDF format. The last update was at the 30-day mark so here’s the second update.

The book has sold between 8000 and 14,000 copies depending on how you’re counting. We’ve completed about 8000 transactions for the book, but about 730 of those were for the 10-copy license. So if we take 730 out of 8000, and multiply 730 times 10, then add those together, we’re around 14,000.

The revenue generated so far is a hair under $175,000. The book has also generated a fair number of reviews. Thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to publish their thoughts.

We were originally shooting to sell between 20,000 and 50,000 (depending on how you count the 10-pack licenses) copies in the first year. Seeing that we’re only 75 days into it we’ll hopefully hit our target. Once we get a few more months under our belt we’ll share some sales charts to show sales growth, slowdowns, etc.

To answer an FAQ: We still don’t know if we’re going to do a print version yet. If we do it will be a second edition with some additional essays. We most likely won’t be taking the current version to print.

Thanks to everyone who’s purchased the book so far — we hope you’ve found it valuable. If you haven’t bought one, please get yourself a copy today. Once you buy it you’ll have it within minutes. Thanks again.

28 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Jesse 18 May 06

Congrats. I haven’t read it yet, but everyone I know that has says it’s well worth the money.

Todd Walsh 18 May 06

Interesting figures. Jason, I’m curious why you are posting this though? Also, did you decide to go PDF only to somehow make it a “greener” project. Curious, and stoked for you guys.

Sheldon Kotyk 18 May 06

I still think a DVD of one of your seminars would be a cool thing for those of us who have a team that can’t read :)

JF 18 May 06

Todd, we’re posting them to show that self publishing is a viable and profitable route for an author/company with a built-in audience. We want to encourage others to consider this route instead of the traditional publishing route.

We published in PDF because of the flexibility, mainly.

Stefan 18 May 06

Seminar-DVDs!!! That would be amazing!

Brandon 18 May 06

Not to get off-topic but videos of the seminars would be great! You could host them online, offer DVD’s or host them with a third party service. Any way you do it, I know they’d be very popular.

John Ounpuu 18 May 06

You’ve probably heard this before, but many of us fans of the book would love to see a hard copy. I know someone who paid to have it bound at Kinko’s. Lulu.com comes to mind as an option that doesn’t stray to far towards traditional publishing.

Michael Hyatt 18 May 06

I am the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. I read the book and then had our VP of IT read it. We both loved it!

We have a business imprint called Nelson Business. If you are interested in talking with a conventional publisher, please email me at my personal address above.

I think the book has real potential in the retail bookstore market. Thanks.

Michael Hyatt 18 May 06

In case my email address didn’t come through (I don’t see it in the comments), it is michael.hyatt@gmail.nospam.com. Just remove the “nospam” part.

Spike 18 May 06

Yum. Christian book publishing.


Don Wilson 18 May 06

You think these numbers are good? Think about it if you released a dvd or download-only version of your Backpack/Basecamp workshops.

I’d definitely buy a video since I’m more of a visual person.

nek4life 18 May 06

My favorite thing about the book is how it’s dedicated to me on everypage! Now all my family and friends that I’ve passed the book along to know just how important I am to 37 Signals. J/K :) In all seriousness I’ve really enjoyed the book and yes I agree seminar and conference DVD’s would be the poop. Thanks again for the great book.

phil 18 May 06

You could hook up with cafepress.com and have them print on demand (one-offs)… just a thought.

it’s hard to get suits to read PDFs.

Nick D 18 May 06

Yeah, paper books are too inflexible, too static. Almost like a website without a blog. There is no way to constantly reiderate unless you go with the traditional “edition” (first edition, seconds edition). With e-books, you can keep expanding on the ideas, make the new edition free or discounted to your existing customers. Similar to the constant reiderate in software with versions. With paper books, there is a risk of having a surplus of physical inventory if the ideas in the book become outdated. This sounds too similar to the “web apps as a service” vs “shrink-wrapped box of CD-ROMs at the computer store” methods of selling software.

Eric 18 May 06

What kind of professional publishing company solicits in blog comments?

awww, big deal 18 May 06

37s themselves have made pleas to pick up cellphone interface projects, bank software…

Todd W 18 May 06

So, how do those of us that have purchased it get the update?

Gabriel 18 May 06

Hehe Jason, reading the headline “75-day Getting Real book update” I instantly jumped to the message in my newsreader, read through the entry (twice) and was wondering, where I could download the “update”. This was before I realised that you’re doing an update on the stats ;) … omg…thanks for sharing…

Mike Papageorge 18 May 06

@Gabriel - Me too! Obviously today’s caffeine intake was low…

Thijs van der Vossen 18 May 06

I regularly give books to clients if I think the content may be relevant for whatever we’re doing for them.

When I bought ‘Getting Real’ I agreed to the statement that ‘I’m purchasing a single copy of book for myself and I won’t make copies of the book or distribute it to anyone else. If someone else wants a copy I’ll encourage them to purchase their own.’

I don’t want to do that, I want to buy a few copies of the book and give them away. According to the statement I can’t do that or am I nitpicking here?

Walker Hamilton 18 May 06

@Eric - It seems to me that this guy is genuinely a follower of and believer in 37signals’ beliefs and ideas. Does this mean that just because he’s working at a publisher he can’t be excited?

It doesn’t even seem that he would directly benefit from this as it appears he’s just a mid or low-level employee in a division that wouldn’t even be publishing this book.

Let him be excited about the idea.

JF 18 May 06

I think it’s smart that a traditional publisher would speak up and make a relevant pitch in the comments. That makes me think they’re an untraditional traditional which is a good thing in my book.

Kevin 18 May 06

I agree with JF, who says biz can’t be done through blog comments. I closed a website deal today with the guy taking a dump in the stall next to mine.

Scrivs 18 May 06

Comment of the day right there.

Sammy 18 May 06

I agree with JF, who says biz canít be done through blog comments. I closed a website deal today with the guy taking a dump in the stall next to mine.

Kevin: I beg of you. Please do not tell us about the site.

Bill P 18 May 06

Michael Hyatt was mentioned in an American Airlines on-flight magazine article - one about people who use the ideas espoused in ‘Getting Things Done.’ it’s a good read.


I read the article on my flight to the ‘Getting Real’ workshop, and recognized him as the publisher of all the John Bevere books.

So yes, he does buy into the methodology - and 37S shouldn’t have any problems trusting him….

Geof Harries 18 May 06

Jason - I’d like to ask the same question as Todd: How do those of us that have purchased grab the update? I bought the PDF the first day it came out but have never downloaded a newer version.

JF 18 May 06

Geof, there is no content update. The update is on the sale figures, not the content.

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