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Looking for 1001 Ways to Promote my Free Ruby eBook

I am looking for ways to promote my Free Ruby eBook. I have come up with some ideas. Some zany, impractical and okay maybe a bit stupid.. but some are simple, fun and easy to do. Will you help me come up with even more? Any idea is acceptable... this is just a fun brainstorming session - to spread the free Ruby eBook as far and as wide as it can go!


I think it mainly depends on the quality of the book. If the quality is good, people with tell each other.WANG Chi - April 22, 2008 08:06
If you want more people to check out your book you should make it easier to download. Remove the requirement to sign up and just have a direct download link.polarbear - April 22, 2008 14:03
Seconded. Locking stuff up doesn't do anything for me. You gain more from releasing things for free (if the product is free itself) unless, of course, a mailing list is extremely valuable to you (which may well be the case here).PeterCooper - April 22, 2008 15:22
Good point Peter. I have it locked mainly for the mailing list and as a way to know the number of downloads but then you are making me have second thoughts. Any other way to know the number of downloads?IndianGuru - April 23, 2008 00:19
In terms of tracking the downloads from your actual site, you can see that in your log files or by making a small CGI script that sits in the middle that tracks the download numbers.

For example: .. then that CGI (or a PHP script - more likely nowadays) would just do a Location redirect to the actual PDF file while updating a number in a database or something (would be pretty easy if you used a plain text file or SQLite, etc.).PeterCooper - April 23, 2008 00:58
For tracking downloads, another way could be to use Google Analytics (GA). Rough outline of the steps:

- Create a web page for the book (or modify the one you have).

- Sign up (free) for GA at and then create a web site profile for the book's site/page.

- Install the GA JavaScript code snippet on that page. The GA analysis of the page will get activated in a short time.

- Keep checking the analytics data by logging into your GA account every week or so.

Some pros/cons of this approach:

- not sure for how long Google keeps the data, but it is for a year at least.

- you don't have to write that CGI/PHP program (not a big deal, but will save a little time, also in the maintenance of the program later). Also, using GA means the site on which you have the page for the book, doesn't have to support PHP/CGI, just HTML and JavaScript.

- GA can show the data by different date ranges that you can specify, can show the referring sites, countries/cities from where the visitors came, various other info

- GA has charts so you can get visual reports in various forms about the downloads / accesses to the page.

- you can export the GA data as CSV etc. for storage / further analysis

- you can spot trends - e.g. can see if any blog posts of yours about the book lead to a spike in downloads

- Vasudev RamVasudev Ram - - May 02, 2008 16:39

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