Thursday, January 27, 2011

Do analytics books sell?

Kevin Hillstrom has a fascinating post on brief, technical ebooks (Amazon singles) sold on Amazon here: Kevin Hillstrom: MineThatData: Amazon Singles. His points: interesting content is what sells. Length doesn't matter, but these ebooks are typically less than 50 pages. Price doesn't matter.

Should I jump in? Should you?


Anonymous said...

I think the learnings of experienced data miners is worth buying, and could make interesting and funny reading. Just yesterday evening I was talking to a colleague and am tempted to describe some great projects that worked, failed to take off/sell or never reached true potential/ROI, often for very funny and insightful reasons. I'll be plugging a colleagues book shortly (once I've read the official version). I think you should give it a go!

Tim Manns

Anonymous said...

This sounds very much worth looking into.

Dean Abbott said...

Are you going to write one, Tim? :) I'd be a buyer for sure!

Tim Manns said...

Really? Mmm, now I'm really tempted, but I'm also weighing up the pro and cons;

- Pros:
1) I might be able to get a bit of consulting work if I went solo and started my own business one day.
2) Might make enough money from the books to buy a mid-life crisis sports car...doubtful though :(
3) Might make me remember not to make the same mistakes again :)

- Cons;
1) Other people might read the book and get all the consulting projects
2) I might spend so long writing the book that I'll be too old to drive my the time its finished.
3) Why would you need to pay a consultant mega $$$ if you can buy the book for $2.99 ???

Seriously though I might start pencil-ling(?) a draft in the evenings and see what I've got in a few months time. It'll definiately be a short e-book though.

Will Dwinnell said...

I recall being among data miners at KDD-2006 who thumbed through books at the publisher's tables, putting back (with a disdainful sniff) a number of books specifically because they were compilations. Not that all compilations are "bad", but it often seems that books grow in size, well beyond need.

As an interesting print counterpart to the digital effort Dean mentioned, I have found a number of short, useful books from SAGE Publications. These books are about 80 pages (5x8 inches) long, focus on one topic and generally deliver the goods.