How we wrote, recorded and published a book in 24-hours

Bryan Harris —  Bryan Harris - February 5th, 2016

The lowdown on what’s going down:

Ever since starting the Videofruit blog, I’ve been hyper focused on one thing: list building.

Growing my list. Teaching you how to grow your list.

Lists are fun. I like ’em.


But focusing on the same topic non-stop for 2 years comes at a cost. I have to say no to a lot of cool ideas I have. So, in 2016 one of my primary goals is to spend more time creating cool crap.

Not with the intent to sell it.

Not with the intent to do a huge product launch.

But just create stuff for the sake of creating it. Cool ideas that I’ve been stuffing away in an Evernote folder labeled “Make this one day.”

So, every month this year I’m going to block out one day to make something cool. Turn one of my weird ideas into an actual product.

Today I’m going to put on my Jeff Goins hat and write a book in 24 hours.

Maybe people will buy it. Maybe they won’t. Honestly, I don’t care.

I just want to make stuff 🙂

(h/t to Amy and Nathan for giving me this idea)

Table of Contents:

8:00 AM Update:

We have a sponsor!

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know I dabbled around with the idea of getting a sponsor for my weekly newsletter a few months back.

The momentum on that project kinda died. But I’ve still been attracted to the idea.

I’ve just been a little conflicted about how to pull it off without it coming across weird.

But for today’s 24-hour product build I decided to dip my toe back into the waters. I talked to my buddy John Lee Dumas and he agreed to sponsor today’s 24-hour challenge.

Today is the last day of the Kickstarter campaign for his new product, The Freedom Journal. Just like today’s product build, the Freedom Journal is a “passion project” (hate that phrase but whatev) of John’s.

If you actually want to accomplish your goals in 2016, you need a framework. The Freedom Journal is that framework.

Go get a copy.

Note: John’s also suppppppper close to the all-time Kickstarter (publishing) record. It would be really cool to see him beat that, so buy 3 copies. Makes for a great Valentine present 🙂

9:00 AM Update:

Made this sweet timeline:

Probably wasted too much time on this, but this is the plan for the day. 3 phases.

First, figure out the product

Second, build it.

Third, do some marketing.

I jumped on a quick Blab to do a quick rundown of the product I chose to build and give you an idea of my vision for it:


Here is the Google doc I’m working from today (has all my notes and such)

• Name of the product:The Short: The 30 effective growth strategies of 2016 summarized and crunched down into one bite-sized strategy guide (or maybe a dripped email course thingy; we’ll see)

• Timeline is set (see the graphic above).

• Would eventually like The Short to turn into a subscription based thing. You pay $10 or $20 or something and get one new cool strategy per day (that’s not the focus of today though).

11:00am Update:

Goals for the 9 AM – 11 AM time frame:

1. Get all of 30 of the strategies listed out (and source docs together for them).

2. Write 5 of the Shorts.

3. Maybe make a decision on whether these will be delivered in a book format or as a email course thingy that’s dripped out once a day.

Here is what we actually got done:

Set up a Trello board and populated it with all 30 strategies that will make up v1.0 of The Short:

Still haven’t decided if it’ll be a book or an email course thingy. Leaning towards course.

We finalized the first 6 strategy guides.

They are:

  • Check out what Neil Patel is doing to get loads of free traffic
  • Check out how Michael Hyatt is using his thank-you page to get 1,000 shares
  • Check out what Jeff Goins did to get his book to #1 on Amazon
  • Check out what Product Hunt is doing to get 20,000 new users in 2016
  • Check out What Steven Kamb did in his pre-launch to sell a ton of books
  • Check out what Ruth Soukup is doing on her closed-cart page

Here is a sample (tell me what you think in the comments):

Full video update of the last two hours here:

CliffsNotes version:

• Got Amber to help proof read what I’m writing

• Put together a template to work off of for each strategy guide

• Got Sam involved to help draft up each strategy guide based on my notes

• Going to start setting up a few of the marketing assets over next 2 hours

1:00 PM Update:

Goals for the 11 AM – 1 PM time frame:

  1. Get 10 more strategy guides finished
  2. Get Infusionsoft campaign built out
  3. Get shopping cart set up
  4. Get sales page roughed out in ClickFunnels (I’ll fill in copy later)

Here is what we actually got done:

Got 9 more strategy guides written and finalized.

Here is what the Trello board is looking like:

The strategy guides we finished since the last update are:

  • Check out how SamCart is getting their customers to fill out a survey
  • Check out how ClickFunnels allows you to get 100% opt-in rates
  • Check out what Brennan Dunn changed on his website to increase his conversion rate by 10%
  • Check out what John Lee Dumas is doing to get backed on Kickstarter
  • Check out what James Clear did to his newsletter page to get more signups
  • Check out how Videofruit comes up with super-effective subject lines
  • Check out what Living Forward is doing to get more pre-orders for their new book
  • Check out what Ramit Sethi is doing to get more traffic (and Twitter followers)
  • Check out what Steven Kamb is doing to sell more books

Here is a slightly more thorough breakdown of the last 2 hours:

CliffsNotes version:

• I had to shoot the vid twice (yay me) b/c I forgot to hit record.

• Gotta get the remaining 15-ish guides done in next 2.5 hours

• We’ll start pre-selling The Short around 3:30 PM CST (Get on the waiting list. It’s the form in the 10 AM update section)

• I need to figure out pricing and final form of the product.

3 PM Update:

Goals for the 1 PM – 3 PM time frame:

  1. Get 12 more strategy guides finished.
  2. Get ready to do a pre-sale to all the folks who signed up for pre-sale.
  3. Maybe figure out a pricing strategy (hoping this just magically comes to me)

Full update at 3 PM…

Here is what we actually got done:

We got all but 3 strategies written up and completed. Yay!

Only 3 more to go.

Here is the latest on our pretty Trello board:

Amber is out with some personal stuff right now, so she has a bit of a back log to work through when she gets back. Might have to go forward without her. Depends on her timing.

We’ve also recruited Jeff (from the Videofruit team) to take all 30 strategies and put them into one gigantic Gdoc and sort them so they’re easy to use.

Here is a video rundown of everything we did in the past 2 hours:

CliffsNotes version:

• We got 12 more strategies written.

•Decided on the format of the final product

• Only selling v1.0 to people who buy today

• I guess we’ve decided to do an audio version as well.

• Yay! This is fun!!

5 PM Update:

Goals for the 3 PM – 5 PM time frame:

  1. Get the Shorts e-book put together and usable
  2. Finalize pricing and packages
  3. Setup Infusionsoft (shipping page, sequence, receipt, onboarding, workshop, audio)
  4. Send open cart email to pre-order (close tonight)
  5. Record audio (edit)

Here is what we actually got done:

We finished the the book!

Look at that pretty (empty) Trello board!

Here is a full rundown of every strategy guide included in it:

1: Check out what Neil Patel is doing to get free traffic
2: Check out how Michael Hyatt is using his thank-you page
3: Check out what Jeff Goins is doing to sell his book
4: Check out what Product Hunt is doing to get 20,000 new users in 2016
5: Check out what Ruth Soukup is doing on her closed-cart page
6: Check out what Steven Kamb is doing to sell more books
7: Check out what Ramit Sethi is doing to get more Twitter followers
8: Check out what Michael Hyatt is doing to get more pre-orders for his book
9: Check out how Videofruit comes up with super-effective subject lines
10: Check out what James Clear is doing to get more subscribers
11: Check out what John Lee Dumas is doing to get backed on Kickstarter
12: Check out what Brennan Dunn is doing to get more subscribers
13: Check out how ClickFunnels allows you to get 100% opt-in rates
14: Check out how SamCart is getting their customers to fill out a survey
15: Check out how Teachable bundles pre-existing content into a giveaway to get more subscribers
16: Check out how Boomerang uses Facebook Ads to get more people to install it’s Chrome app
17: Check out how Sachit Gupta uses one case study to get more clients
18: Check out how Uber used a surprise discount to get more sales
19: Check out how Grant Baldwin launched his new podcast and got 10,000+ people to listen to it
20: Check out how Law Trades uses a really slick survey to get more sales
21: Check out how Videofruit uses Facebook to get a regular stream of customer testimonials
22: Check out how Clay Collins gets existing customers to upgrade their plans constantly
23: Check out how LeadPages manually reaches out to cold prospects
24: Check out how Bryan Harris write 3,000 word blog posts in two hours
25: Check out this ad that Single Grain is running to get more clients for their agency
26: Check out how DashThis is convincing people to tell their friends about them
27: Check out how Growth Geeks uses a countdown timer for new customers to get them to purchase
28: Check out what Robbie Richards did to increase his conversion rate by 12.41%
29: Check out how Gary V is bartering to sell 10,000 books
30: Check out how Unroll.Me make easy money from their free service

That’s a lot.

But that’s the beauty of the Shorts.

One thing that’s always been a frustration for me is that there is more information out there than is possible to consume. Blog posts, podcasts, courses etc. I just don’t have enough time. And then when I do finally get time I have dig through 5 minutes of podcast intros or 2,000 words of fluff in a blog post to get to the meat.

Here is a more thorough video rundown of the past 2 hours:

CliffsNotes version:

1. We finished the book!

2. We figured out our pricing plan.

3. YAYAYAY! (lots of YAYAYAYAY for finishing in 10 hours)

10 PM Update:

Goals for the 5 PM – 10 PM timeframe:

  1. Send out a private open cart email to those who signed up for the pre-order list
  2. Eat food (been slim pickings today)
  3. Go visit a friend who just had a kid
  4. Come back home
  5. Talk to my wife (not much of that today either)
  6. Netflix and chill? (boy can dream)

Here is what we actually got done:

I ate food for the first-ish time today. It was good. Leftovers, but solid.

I tweaked a few things, added the buy links to this blog post and mostly just chilled while watching an episode of Blacklist.

Sales Update:

  • We’ve had 20 total sales so far.
  • 7 people have bought the Ultimate Package.
  • 13 people have bought the Basic Package.
  • 0 people have bought the Bulk deals (interesting).

re: Bulk deals – I probably should adjust these based on the initial (lack of) results to a one-click upsell post-purchase, but I dunno. I’m tired and the point of this isn’t money.

So we’ll see.

The primary goal now is to HAVE FUN. Which has 100% been accomplished.

Tomorrow morning I think I’ll get up super early to record the audio version of the book (gotta have it done by 7am CST).

I’m also working with a few designers to get the Gdoc prettied up into a nice polished PDF as well as getting a proper landing page designed and implemented. Neither of those are essential. More “nice to haves” than “must haves.”

7 AM Update:

Goals for the 10 PM – 7 AM time frame:

  1. Sleep
  2. Wake up and start recording audio around 5am-ish

Here is what we accomplished overnight:

First, I woke up at 4 AM and recorded and edited the audio version of the Shorts.

I just exported and uploaded it a few minutes ago.

Watch the countdown to completion here:

I also enlisted the help of a few designers to work up landing page and nicely designed PDF of the book itself. Unfortunately neither of those were completed within 24 hours.

No biggie though. They aren’t needed to sell or distribute the core product.

Here is a sales breakdown:

The Shorts Basic: 45 copies

The Shorts Ultimate:  19 copies

(and we had one bulk purchase of 3 books)

Total Sales @ the 24-hour mark = $2,225

giphy (7)

We’ll do one more update on the challenge in the next 24-48 hours with the final sales numbers.

The cart will be closing tonight at midnight, so once all the sales are in we’ll calculate them up and do a full rundown here.

Note: If you want to actually buy a copy of The Shorts, do that today. You won’t be able to tomorrow (info on that below)

Final Numbers and Recap

We’re a few days removed from the 24-hour Product Challenge now, so let’s do a quick recap of the event.

First off, sales numbers:

TL;DR: We sold $6,250 dollars worth of The Short.

Package breakdown:

Basic ($25): 123

Ultimate ($50): 34

VIP ($125): 14

Second, adding in the VIP package was clutch.

We initially offered the $25 and $50 package and then offered bulk purchase options.

But after 12 hours only two people had bought the bulk purchase option. So, we removed those and added in a $125 option that included several cool bonuses (that we had made previously).

This worked REALLY well.

In the first 3 hours after introducing the $125 option, we had 5 sales.


Third, this was A WHOLE LOT of fun!

So much so that in a few weeks, I’m going to fly the entire Videofruit team into town to do another one!


Four, how can I buy The Short.

The Short was a one time deal. Just like all of our 24-hour product builds will be this year.

So, keep your head up for the next challenge. We could potentially offer a purchase option of the next product we build and bundle in The Short (or maybe not).

That’s still undecided.

They key is this though, if you want something take action. Quit playing freaking mental gymnastics over everything and pull the trigger when you know something is right.

Love this post on that topic.


Ok, peace out. See you at the next challenge.

PS: Do you have any fun ideas for what we could create at durring out next challenge? If so, leave it in the comment section below. I read every comment.



  • Bryan this is awesome! What a cool idea… I recently discovered you on the SPI podcast and loved your work ethic, ideas and attitude, it was inspiring!

    I will be following this all the way through and am looking forward to seeing what you create!

  • Hey Bryan!

    I love these challenges you do with the live updates. They have so much value! 🙂

    Not to mention the little lines in it that crack me up (Frolick in the grass (unrelated item of the day))! x)


  • Tami Louise

    Bryan, my friend and I just started a Mastermind group because of your guest post on SPI episode 190! Literally broke down the door when we came to work SO excited after listening. This 24 product creation is EXACTLY what we wanted to see you do in order to emulate it. Thank you for sharing the process with us and can’t wait to see each month’s process and creation!

  • Super cool, Bryan!

    I am excited to see how it unfolds and what you come up at the end of the day.

    Keep rocking 🙂

  • dumspirospero

    I’m really looking forward to staying tuned to this today. Thank you for sharing, Bryan!

  • I’m in!!!

  • Draebox

    Hey Bryan! Great idea! Looking forward to seeing you crush this 🙂

  • Ellen

    Wow! What great fun this is! Love watching you build a product in real time. I keep hitting refresh on the updates page to kee up. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Jason Hahnstadt

    First on the list! Woo hoo!

  • Very cool. And I especially like the name “The Short”. Memorable, punchy, totally you.

  • Pretty awesome challenge. looking forward to it.

  • Jason Hahnstadt

    just curious, how many people are working with you on creating this product?

    • primarily me. team is helping with spitting out these updates. might bring in one team member to help draft and edit each Short. we’ll see. doing that now 🙂

  • Super cool, Bryan! Can’t wait to see your process (and hopefully mimic it at some point). Saw your Google doc – how about calling it “The Daily Check”, as in check something off your to do list each day. Each of your items start with “Check out …” so thought it might be a fun play on words. Best of luck!

  • you are amazing!
    Perhaps if one day your wife leaves you … just kidding !!
    Super challenge!

  • Go Bryan Go!

  • jason

    Hey Brian,

    This looks like it will be a great day for my education! Thanks for putting posts like this out for all of us to see. It’s very cool of you to show the process itself!

  • Thanks, Bryan – fun to watch you work! Great product idea.

    Can’t seem to get access to your sample doc – comes back restricted.

    • Try it now. Should be fixed.

      • Yes! And love the sample – delivers as promised: no fluff, just a great idea illustrated and delivered in a single page. Nice.

  • Get it Bryan! Can’t wait to see how this turns out.

  • Epic strategy Bryan! Just curious, are you guys reaching out to the 30 experts first to gather the info that you need? Thanks for this challenge, I’m excited to what happens next!

  • Love the transparency Bryan – definitely demystifying this.

  • Go Bama Boy Go!

  • Ramírez

    You are a true Digital Marketer, not the guy “Get rich in internet in just 3 days”. Thanks for sharing these experiments. I’m interested in buying these strategies.

  • Jason Hahnstadt

    This is awesome…love the Trello board, never hear of that for creating a product. Also how are you coming up with such great content from marketers? Where do you get the ideas that they are using?

    • I keep a file of smart things I see other people are doing. Using that file as the starting point.

      • Jason Hahnstadt

        Ok, makes sense, by the way, my vote is you sell it not drip because I think if I bought it, I would prioritize the strategies based on my needs!

  • Sam Wilhoit

    Bryan – Can you make the Trello board public? FYI – my team know the happiest moment of my day is archiving Trello cards.

  • Jim Hacking

    Well, isn’t this exciting. Finally got around to ordering my Freedom Journal. Signed up for the email updates. Paying close attention to the two hour updates. Learning a ton. I also learned about Bryan on the SPI podcast which was amazing. Geeked out watching the two hour hangout from the last launch. Thought I had to wait until April for the next one. So this has been fun. (But I don’t see the 10 am for for early signup – mine just says Loading).

  • Casey

    Just woke up to this and now I can’t move away from the laptop! LOL. This is brilliant, Bryan – so fun to watch, love the updates, blown away by the content, and soaking up every little nugget you’re sharing. Cant wait to see the final product. And I’m with Keith…your sense of humour totally cracks me up!

  • I like the idea of access and customization. Therefore, if there are ways to build in value and pricing that includes access to you / your team and customization of the strategies to “my” context then that would make things more interesting. Just another perspective.

  • 5pm… here in spain… midnight? auch!

  • Dominik All-in Harman

    Bryan you actually pushed me to doing a similar thingy thing next 24/48 hours o.O

    The Short looks promising, looking forward 🙂

    Good luck!

  • This is awesome Bryan. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  • Might just be me….but Maitre is not pushing through confirmations or even confirmed clicks at the opt-in. This morning I signed up – was around person #15 or so. Supposedly. Never got a confirmation to click on – or any follow up. Just tried again now to resign….and DID get the confirmation email, clicked on it 10 minutes ago – nothing. Again.

    Might be worth looking into….just looking for the link to purchase, Bryan. Maybe post here?

    I may try a third time to sign up and see what happens.

    Anyway, love that you doing this. Amy Hoy’s 24 challenge was a blast back in the Spring of ’15. I assume you followed what she did there. If not, make sure you go to her blog and check it out. She and her team did a *great* job w/ communication, updates and upgrades in the following weeks of her challenge.

    And now..she has a wonderful, fully evolved evergreen product to enjoy. Think she’s pushing $40K w/ it presently.

  • I AM LOVING THIS! Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant and I can’t wait to see The Shorts!!! LOVE – ok I’ll stop using caps now 😉

  • Awesome! The beauty of a team to pull something together and keep accountability in check. These challenges are all about the fun

  • lol @ netflix and chill. We now know what happens when Bryan spends 12 hours straight building a product. 🙂

  • Just hopped on the waiting list. Awesome concept here, this strategy could work well for building a nice Lead Magnet on my site. Might not be able to spend 12-20 hours, but a focused 5-hour session could provide a TON of value.

    Now…need to learn how to cut in front of 139 people on the waiting list….

  • Adrian B. Dean

    Got the link to the checkout page, but it doesn’t appear to be secure. Reached out via email, but given it’s the weekend, I figured I would bring it up here too.

    • Just responded to you. It’s runnoing on our SSL cert. 100% secure.

      • Adrian B. Dean

        Replied back. 🙂

  • Cathy Jordan

    Bryan, you are a BEAST! This is good stuff. I am going to challenge myself more. Thank you

  • Bob Bent

    Brian this is a great motivator! Thank you

  • Justin Merth

    Hi Bryan, I’m just getting started, getting over all of the “you can’t do it” humps in my mind. I just wanted you to know how encouraged and lit up I am after this. I couldn’t follow live, but even watching (and reading) it after the fact, I got a lot out of it. Thanks for taking the time to share the process. I’m going to attempt to put similar effort into my first product over the next 24 hours, while not compromising my time with my wife and kids. 5:00 AM here I come!

  • Lyle Foxman

    Great post and sprint Bryan. I dislike challenges but love sprints, have been inspired for a while and using sprints as a teaching and learning tool. Only 10% of learning is through courses the other 20% is peer to peer mentorship and the other 70% are actionable sprint based projects. Google has mastered the Design Sprint and events like startup weekend are a great place to start.

  • You know I actually signed back up for Trello and laid out my entire podcasting strategy on the board while watching your video (well listening anyway). You convinced me to start using it again. Thanks! Great post.

  • Done! 21 sales Bryan 😉

    • Dang! Good work! What were you selling?

      • Simon

        Pretty sure he meant you now have 21 purchases for The Shorts since your last update said you had 20 🙂

        Love what you managed to clear in just 24hrs. You’re going to do this every first Friday of the month?

        • Exactly! YOU Bryan have 21 sales now 🙂

          • Ahhh! Gotcha 🙂

            54’ish as of now. Recording audio book as we speak. Full update around 730 am’ish.

  • Ellen

    If you purchased the ultimate package last evening how do you get the audio version?

    • We emailed it out about an hour ago. Email me bryan@vf if you didn’t get and il link you up

  • brandon cullum

    This is unreal. I love the real time updates and how you are using blab and periscope to give updates then integrating that all back into your blog post. Not to mention you created a freaking product in 24 hours and made $2000+ in sales…..

    War Eagle good sir.

  • This is inspiring stuff! What do you think the minimum list is for this kind of action? If your list is “warm”?

  • Love this. The Shorts could be an ongoing series… paid newsletter with X shorts per month, etc. I’m buying (and laughing with Netflix and Chill, lol).

    • re: netflix – 😉

      re: subscription – yea totally, would love to do that. this was kind of a validation of interest amongst other things.

      • In The Shorts there is a screen shot of the examples backlinks, sharers, etc. What tool are you using to pull that? Is that BuzzSumo?

  • Aaron Loring Davis

    You sleek sensation!! This was great! Thank you! I bought the The Short.

    Today I’m going to follow your lead and do something similar for my project –

    Bryan has a bit more knowledge on some of the pieces you put in place and a bit more help than I do, so my goal is a bit slimmed down.

    But here goes.

    Big goals for the day:

    – Fully outline the problem
    – Finish Small Business Backup guide
    – Build an automated funnel to collect emails and deliver the product

    My ultimate goal is to build my list…and not sell anything just yet…so all effort will go toward that at the present.



    • Aaron Loring Davis

      This is so much fun!!

      In the last hour I completed:

      – Google Apps domain registration

      – Google analytics installation

      – backupwordpress plugin install

      – sumome plugin install

      – Platform Backup company Facebook page creation

      So far this has been super fun!!

      A few stats:

      – 80+ views on Facebook video

      – 4 views on YouTube video

      – 6 welcome mat deploys

      – 3 list builder popups

      – 1 call from a friend to encourage me and give me a solid tip about Facebook advertising thank you Riaz Fredericks

      – 1 email signup

      I shared this sprint:

      – YouTube

      – personal Facebook page


      In the next couple hours in going to continue writing the guide I intend to release later tonight.



      • Aaron Loring Davis

        This is a draft table of the contents for the guide I am writing today.

        Please be gentle, as I am severely cixelsyd and this hasn’t seen an editor as of yet.

        Let me know if there is anything that should added or removed..

        Head over to to get a free copy once it completed later today.

        Go Panthers!!!

        • Aaron Loring Davis

          Super Bowl Sprint!!! #3

          Over the past couple of hours I was able to write just over 1,300 words for the guide to help small business owners better backup the information that powers their businesses.

          I’m going to take a short break to watch the Super Bowl and take the varmint for a walk and then dive back in.

          To get a copy of the guide once it’s finished (free) head on over to and sign up.

          Thanks a lot!! We’ll catch you on the other side.


          • Aaron Loring Davis

            Super Bowl Sprint!!! Update #4


            Sat back down to write and was having a bit of trouble finding my groove so I’ve brewed some coffee and shifted gears a little…for last bit I’ve been sorting out the automated file delivery for the actual product. I’ve also compiled a bunch of research for the remainder of the writing and started to put together a goodie package for those that get in on this today…I have to say I am stunned by the amount of people that want to read this thing and have already subscribed!!! Many thanks!!

            In the next couple hours:

            – mini workout to re-energize

            – longish dog walk meditation

            – write next sections of the guide

            Head over to to better understand how to backup your business critical data…bonus – I’m going to include an extra special mini list of tools and resources only for those that sign up today.



          • Aaron Loring Davis

            Super Bowl Sprint!!! #5 Finished 🙂



            Thanks again for the idea, Bryan.



  • Mariano Rodriguez

    Hi Bryan, nice! Could you expand how you got the traffic to your pre launch squeeze? was from mail to your list or from other source where you are not well known?

  • Michael

    Nice. Well done. Missed out on purchasing it though. 🙁 Ohwell. (you guys finished it when it was the weekend already here). Good job on it though!

  • Too bad I miss out this, so cool! great job!