10 Assumptions

Updated: • I made some assumptions when I wrote my book. Here are a few them.

The ebook

  1. Somebody will feel the book’s approach is able to solve their problem well enough to buy it. This person is the reader.
  2. The reader may be traveling while reading – she is likely experiencing some level of info-overload and distractibility already, simply from being on the road in a new place.
  3. The reader is likely reading the book on her phone – not just because she is traveling; because that’s where she often reads now, anyway. 1
  4. The reader may be traveling in the PRC while reading. Plan for the GFW. 2
  5. Since Amazon controls approx 80% of the US ebook market, and has over half of other significant ebook markets, Kindle the place to be. At least in English. At least for now.

The mini site

  1. Page load speed matters most.
  2. Mini site is here as a resource for the reader, as an expansion of the ebook. 3 A secondary goal with the mini site is to help a wider audience who either don’t have, or don’t want, the full ebook.
  3. Clear, accurate information is valuable. 4
  4. The Reader may be in The PRC when she tries to access this content, which impacts everything. Build with GFW in mind. 5
  5. Even if the reader isn’t in China, she’ll still want speedy, bloat-free answers to her queries. 6


Note 1

Typically this would add another layer of distractability - incoming messages, etc. Even if many of these comms are lost while in China, even if the notification tray is muted by the GFW, aren’t we already conditioned to interacting with our phones in a certain way?

Note 2

No tracking links because bit.ly, etc. are blocked by the GFW. Keep all external links to a minimum because the reader’s inets may be a no-go.

Note 3

Create and organize content for the mini site assuming the reader is on the road. Answer questions above the fold. Play with: inverted pyramid, nutgraf… and the almighty "twitter:description".

Note 4

The reader can’t assess this for herself, though, if that info is slow to access, buried in ads or otherwise obscured by a distracting reading environment. Thus: Edit real tight. Optimize for search.

Note 5

“Build with the GFW in mind” is not a matter of tweaking towards the end.

Note 6

Optimizely shows how bloat and slow page loads will cost you readers. HT Trent Walton for this useful case study.