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I Became a Programming Book Author at 23 and It Went Bad

At 22, 4 years into my software program engineering profession, I obtained an enormous probability: to put in writing a technical guide about Fullstack programming with Django and React. On this article, I am going to share how I obtained this chance, what the method was like, the challenges I confronted, what I did proper, and what I might have completed higher.

I hope this text helps aspiring authors create the perfect model of their guide and likewise helps them not make some errors I made. With out additional due, let’s begin with the article.

The Alternative

In late 2021, Packtpub offered me with a suggestion to writer a guide on full-stack growth using Django and React. That was not my first collaboration with Packtput as I reviewed just a few weeks in the past the guide Full Stack Improvement with Spring Boot and React – Third Version written by Juha Hinkula. However going from a technical guide reviewer to a technical writer, initially, I skilled self-doubt:

  • Considerations about my youth and inexperience in guide writing.

  • Consciousness of the numerous distinction between a weblog and a guide.

  • Not sufficient years of expertise in Software program growth.

Nonetheless, I acknowledged these ideas as impostor syndrome and selected to confront the problem. My position targeted solely on writing, not the advertising and marketing, publishing, or distribution features. I noticed this as a possible increase for my skilled profile.

The transition from running a blog to guide writing required adapting my strategy. Not like blogs the place exterior assets can complement explanations, a guide calls for complete explanations and visuals. I studied numerous programming books, analyzing their strategies and integrating these into my model whereas sustaining the essence of my weblog’s content material.

However the largest problem was the writing. The best way to condense sufficient details about Django, React, Docker, and AWS in a 420-page guide? What does the pondering course of seem like?

The Course of

Earlier than beginning the guide, creating an overview is essential. This lengthy doc outlines what will likely be lined, ranging from the names of the three most important elements, to chapter titles, all the way down to the content material of every chapter and what readers will be taught from them. That is necessary for planning the guide’s content material and getting early suggestions, which is vital to the guide’s success.

The writing course of required persistence, self-discipline, and creativity. I approached it by pondering of the guide when it comes to chapters and divided my course of into three most important steps:

  1. First, doing analysis, writing the code, after which documenting the code.

  2. Subsequent, determine the extra advanced elements of every chapter and current them visually.

  3. Lastly, the writing and correction section.

The final half is probably the most time-consuming. Writing an in depth 32-page chapter entails explaining the code, clarifying the ideas, describing the visuals, including additional assets for readers, after which reviewing all the pieces to make sure the grammar is right and the concepts movement effectively. After this, I submit it for additional revisions. This course of is exhaustive however important for creating a top quality guide.

Whereas working full-time, I needed to be very organized to handle writing the guide with out getting overwhelmed. I put aside two hours every morning for writing, as I am extra artistic then, and spent six hours on it over the weekend.

It took me 13 months to complete the guide, the longest I’ve ever labored on a single venture. I made certain every chapter was well-written and simple to learn for our supposed viewers.

The a part of the guide about deploying with Docker, GitHub Actions, and AWS companies stands out. The optimistic and useful suggestions from readers has been very rewarding. It feels nice to know my work helps others and that they provide concepts for making it higher.

An enormous thanks to Packtpub for giving me the prospect to put in writing this guide.

The Aftermath

The launch of my guide initially went effectively, with good promotion on social media and different platforms. Nonetheless, issues modified when detrimental evaluations began showing on its Amazon page. Attributable to these evaluations, the guide was finally faraway from sale in August 2023 to guard the fame of each the publishing firm and myself because the writer.

It is disappointing and irritating to see 13 months of labor finish like this. However, on the finish of the day, a guide is written for readers to purchase and revel in. If they don’t seem to be pleased with it, then it is an issue. The shopper’s opinion is essential on this enterprise. Buyer is king.

However, the evaluations are literally constructive. However what killed this guide? The errors.

Nonetheless, upon nearer examination, the evaluations supplied constructive criticism. The first situation that led to the guide’s downfall was the presence of quite a few errors and typos. As an illustration, in Chapter 1, whereas explaining the configuration of the Postgres database in Django, I mistakenly typed 5342 because the port quantity as an alternative of the right 5432. Such errors usually are not solely arduous for readers to identify and proper however may also trigger appreciable frustration and waste their time.

Aside from the errors, I’ve additionally observed issues I ought to have corrected on this guide in terms of the content material, the group, and the advertising and marketing to spice up gross sales.


Writing my guide “Full Stack Django and React: Get Palms-On Expertise in Full-Stack Net Improvement with Python, React, and AWS” has been an enlightening journey, stuffed with precious classes and alternatives. This is what I’ve realized and plan to use to my future writing endeavors:

  • Take Satisfactory Time for Assessment: I noticed that speeding by way of the evaluation course of was a mistake. For my subsequent guide, I am going to allocate 1 to 2 weeks for an intensive evaluation, placing myself within the reader’s place to make sure the content material is obvious and the educational goals are met.

  • Get Numerous Critiques: It is essential to have the guide reviewed by a variety of individuals, together with freshmen and consultants. A newbie can present insights into the readability of explanations and illustrations, whereas an skilled can determine technical errors and counsel enhancements. Having no less than 5 reviewers can assist catch errors early.

  • Market the E-book Successfully: I realized that advertising and marketing should not begin solely when the guide is prepared for publishing. Subsequent time, I am going to start earlier, sharing concepts and the writing course of to construct curiosity, entice potential reviewers, get early suggestions, and create an inventory of potential consumers.

Writing my guide was a journey stuffed with challenges, however it taught me lots and opened new doorways. If you happen to’re occupied with writing a guide, my recommendation is straightforward: go for it. Take note of high quality and hearken to what others say about your work. It’d take some time to complete, however it’s price it on your profession.

I obtained an amazing quantity of assist and emails from readers expressing their gratitude for my guide. Many reached out in search of direct assist and solutions from me. This outpouring of appreciation and engagement was the driving pressure that saved me motivated to proceed writing books, regardless of the challenges I confronted. With out this encouragement from my readers, I might need thought-about giving up on my journey as an writer.

I realized a lot from writing my first guide. Now, I am excited to put in writing extra. I do know the following ones will likely be even higher due to all the pieces I’ve realized.

Writing a guide is extra than simply placing phrases on paper. It is about sharing what and care about. If you end, it feels nice to see folks learn and recognize your work. Additionally, writing a guide can actually assist your profession. It exhibits lots about your topic, and it may possibly result in new probabilities like talking at occasions or different jobs.

So, when you’ve got one thing to share or train, begin writing. The method will be lengthy, however you may be taught lots and have new probabilities come your manner. Consider in what it’s a must to say and begin your writing journey. Your guide is one thing the world needs to see. Keep in mind, the perfect is but to come back.

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