Quick sketch of an Angler Fish I drew last year.
I decided to give away my book, Explanating, for free. The website has links to download the book without charge and also links through to Amazon and Lulu. I asked people to download the free one then, if they enjoyed it, they could come back and buy it.
Twelve months later, I now have the answer.
- Free: 315
- Amazon: 2
- Lulu: 0
Erm. Yeah. Not quite as successful as I would have liked. Still, the point was to measure the 'conversion rate'. Admittedly, it's a small sample size but it would appear to be about 0.6%. At this rate, I only need another 97,465,886 people to download the free one and I'll have made £1,000,000! Sweet!
I'm currently looking for new earphones as my Klipsch ones finally gave out on me last week. Until I get some (Christmas is coming, after all), I decided to rummage around in my 'retired headphones' box (everyone's got one, no?) and found this:
Back when I was using my second generation iPod nano, I needed something that combined the usefulness of the lanyard attachment but with good quality headphones. As I couldn't find anything, I got a pair of Sennheiser CX300s, an old USB connector cable and a metre of red ribbon and made my own. Once the USB end was cut off, I looped it round and glued it ends together then wrapped the join in plumbers' PTFE tape to seal it. The headphones were wired round, fastened with cable ties and then sewn together with the ribbon to make the neck bit comfortable. The iPod connector has two little clips in it which was plenty to hold the lightweight iPod Nano in place under my t-shirt and on that model, the headphone jack was on the bottom so the whole thing clipped together nicely.
The sound quality was as good as you'd expect from Sennheisers and I actually surprised myself with the build quality when I had to, yesterday, dismantle them after almost 4 years. Unfortunately, the iPhone 4 is a little bit too chunky to wear under a t-shirt. I got some odd looks when I tried.
I never really marketed it much but I wrote a book called ‘Explanating’ a couple of years ago. I even decided to self-publish1 and organised ISBNs and everything.
The book is an "illustrated collection of completely plausible but entirely untrue explanations of everyday phenomena". Basically, it's lots of the kinds of things you might make up to explain something to a kid if you really have no idea. Hence the name ‘Explanating’ – it's kinda like explaining but not quite right. It also has a rather nice cheesecake recipe in the appendix. I put it on Lulu and Amazon and didn't really do anything else with it. I did try to get it in the iBookstore but that seems to be a horribly complicated process if you aren't based in the US.
Now available for the low, low price of...
Rather than have the book sit around for another few years not doing anything useful, I've decided to try something new. You can now download the book for free from explanating.com in your ebook format of choice (PDF, ePub, Mobi). You don't have to pay anything.
Unless you want to.
If you read it and decide you like it, you can come back to the site any time and buy it from Lulu or Amazon for £1.71 (or the equivalent in USD or EUR or wherever you happen to be). Or not, you could like it and keep it and not pay anything. It's entirely up to you. And your conscience :D.
Download, read, buy
I have no idea if anyone will actually take me up on this offer but I hope some people do, at least, enjoy the book. If nothing else, make the cheesecake, it's delicious.
And that URL once more