Modular Front-End, the book
I'm writing a book! It's titled "Modular Front-End" and targeted towards back-end developers of all sorts, although it will have a few chapters about Rails projects in specific. It will solve your issues with keeping your front-end code clean and reusable. My current talk (by the same name) got a lot of developers enthusiastic about the topic, hence the book. It should provide you with all the practical information needed to effectively work with reusable front-end code (not unlike Bootstrap). For more information about the book or to stay updated about the release status, head over to the books' website.
Enough about the contents of the book; let's discuss how I approach "lean writing". The principles for what I call "lean writing" are based on the book "Running Lean" by Ash Maurya, which is recommended reading material if you want to do anything "lean", like running your startup company. Based on a single blog post and responses after my first two "Modular Front-End" talks I made the assumption that back-end developers would want a resource that doesn't teach them how to write front-end code, but how to manage it.
I still had to validate that people would actually be interested though. I wouldn't want to spend a lot of hours writing a book nobody wants to read. To actually start dedicating time to writing I set a threshold of a hundred interested people, who took the time to leave their name and e-mail address. I wanted to reach that threshold before the end of June (a full 31 days). So I wrote a table of contents and put it on a (not too pretty) website with some more info about the book and myself. At the bottom is a form for those who want to receive a mail when the book goes on sale. I tweeted a link to the site and mentioned some people I know on Twitter to tell them about my book, which lead to retweets. Right now (that's 25 hours after the site went live) I had about 700 unique visitors and 130 sign-ups. I don't know what's normal, but it looks like a great conversion rate. Sure, numbers will drop significantly over time, specially since I received quite some attention from well known Rubyists on Twitter. I'm still pretty happy though and am hard at work writing the book now I know people are interested!
Expect some future posts here detailing how the process goes. Not limited to writing, but covering "virtual goods" sales tools, payment providers, customer feedback, iterative writing and self-publishing in various formats. It's a first time from me, so there's a lot to learn. So far I've received great advice from Jim Gay, who is writing and selling his "Clean Ruby" book. I'll try to be transparent here, so other aspiring writers and self-publishers can sell their work too. Stay tuned!