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How I released my first book

rlxdprogrammer profile image Marcell Lipp ・3 min read

How I started blogging

I started to write my first blog posts almost two years ago. My motivation was to collect and share my knowledge and try to help other developers in their career and daily life. My feeling was that there are already thousands of technical blogs available online, but there’s a lack of blogs which is concentrating on the non-technical skills of software developers, which are giving a good overview on this profession. On the other hand I knew a lot of developers who were technically good, but they still couldn’t step ahead in their career, because of the lack of their soft skills. So I started to write blog posts on these topics. I wrote several of them. Later on I also wrote posts on more technical topics and I also started to publish my posts at several portals and communities, like dev.to or CodeProject.

I had posts which were more popular and others were less successful, but based on the number of readers and the feedback it became clear for me that there are people who are interested in my posts. I collected the most followers on dev.to.

From blog posts to book

After several blog posts I started to think about organizing my posts somehow, to build up a unit from the small posts. Finally I decided to write a book based on them. It is based on blog posts. I organized them and extended them with a lot of topics. Then I wrote it again and realized that some of them have to be rewritten from scratch to reach a higher quality, others need to be strongly reworked or extended. And some chapters were also missing, so I wrote them. I think such work can never be done, but at a point I encountered it as a completed work. At this point I started to think about how to publish it.

How to publish a book in 2020?

First I had doubts if I wanted to publish it at all. The topics I’m addressing are strongly subjective. I’m sure that there are several professionals who do not agree with all my suggestions and there are also one who think that they are just trivial. In case of a technical book the situation is pretty clear and objective. I think in that case it is easier to make a decision about publishing.

Finally I decided to publish it.

I never did something similar and I had absolutely no idea how to publish a book, so I asked my best friend, google to help me.
Google told me that men have two main options: classical publishing through a commercial publisher or self publishing.

In the first case I have to create a book proposal of my work and send it to publishers and they will decide if they want to publish it or not.
This sounds easy, let’s do it. I created such a proposal for my work and I collected around 10 publishers which are publishing books in IT topics and I sent my proposal to each of them.

Unfortunately this method was not really successful for me. From most of them I received negative feedback in some days, telling that it is not matching properly with their profile and future plans.
It is not time to give up, so let’s check the second option.
In case of classical self publishing you should find and pay for some support people who can edit and proofread the book. Also the cover should be designed. Then you should investigate a bit in printing and into the marketing in order to sell it.

Well, that was not really an option for me. I did not have a high financial plan with this book, I did not want to investigate a lot of it.

Finally I found a light-weight option of self-publishing, which can be done without huge investigation. It is called LeanPub.
LeanPub is a perfect platform for publishing a low-cost version of your book in an e-book format.

I decided to publish by using this option.

Take a look at that! I hope you will enjoy reading it:

https://leanpub.com/howtosurviveasaprogrammer

Discussion

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Ben Halpern

Congrats!