Emailing a Book Guy

I have a book about local hiking trails I really like. It’s quirky and knowledgeable and full of useful information. At time it eludes to some kind of online version of itself, but isn’t definitive, and the book is starting to feel just a smidge long in the tooth.

I thought, gosh, this would be such a fun project to build into a website. I don’t want to presume the author even wants to do that, but if he did, that sure would be neat. I was already imagining all the structured data we could build it around. Maybe we could find a sponsor for the project. Or only expose part of the data for free and have paid signups for more. Or have it be online free but have an offline app. Who knows.

On the inside cover is the guys email address. So I shoot him an email.

Hey [Book Guy]!

I imagine you get a good bit of fan mail from your fantastic hiking guide(s) so I’ll echo that: wow, thank you, they are the best.

I’ve been a web designer/developer for the past couple decades. I’m a couple years new to Bend and loving it, in thanks partly to your guide.

What do you think about turning the guides into a modern website? I imagine you’ve dabbled with this is the past, but it doesn’t seem like there is much of an online home for them now.

I have plenty of ideas, but of course, first I’d want to know your own ideas and how you could see this being of benefit to you. I imagine it could help sell books, help it live on forever, and potentially even be a small business of its own, and most fun of all: continue to be a great resource to people in a new format.

This isn’t a sales pitch. I don’t even do client work typically. I mostly teach people to build websites better. I’d be doing the work pro bono, and likely using it as teaching fodder. I just think it would be a very fun project and good for the community, and hopefully you!

I didn’t hear from him for like three weeks. I even did that thing I generally find obnoxious and sent a follow up email. That did the trick and he answered back.

We ended up emailing back and forth 5 times maybe. We talked about lots of stuff. We got into his life and business and all the good and bad of it all. It was fascinating for me.

Then it didn’t work out. Just didn’t feel right as a project.

Oh well, I’m glad I emailed.

Author: Chris Coyier

Hucklebucker.

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