thinking about writing?
If you're not, why aren't you? Sometimes we tend to instinctively disregard ideas or projects because we've idealize them so much in the past, that the mere thought of us performing such tasks is crazy.
The thought of me writing a book was exactly that in the past.
Questions like Who am I to write a book? and Why would anybody read anything I write? were clouding my judgment. And I guess it's only natural, we tend to wanna stay inside our comfort zones as much as possible, in my case that meant writing code, not books. Staying out of the spotlight, where failures are very visible and public.
Eventually, and thanks to my wife's support, I started to realize that up to that point, nobody had said no to me, nobody had told me I was not good enough to publish a book... well, that's not entirely true, somebody had... me!
Once I understood that I was getting in my own way, the crazy questions and the doubts went away, I was going to write a book, I just didn't know how to yet.
Lucky for me, that wasn't hard to figure out, all you have to realize is that all those important big book authors that you love to read, they started somewhere, and when they did, some of them were nobodies, literally nobody knew who they were in the industry or field they became "famous" afterwards. So if they did it, why can't you?
So, you're thinking about writing?
To quote a great philosopher of a galaxy far far away: do or do not, there is no try
Or like I like to say it: do it, of stop thinking about it and move one
Here's what you're going to do, plain and simple:
1- Get a book idea, trust me, it doesn't have to be ground breaking super advance material, n00bs also like to read and learn basic stuff.
2- Start writing, yes, I know, you don't know how to publish it yet, but you'll need one single chapter written to present as part of your book proposal (at least in the tech book industry).
3- Now that you have your chapter, you can go to your favorite book publishers, or (do as I did) go to Amazon.com and search for tech books, write down their publishers and then look those up.
4- Browse their site, there is always a section for authors, where they explain how to send book proposals. They might even have a template for you to download and will consists in things like: a small description of your book, chapter list, page count estimation per chapter (one of the hardest parts in my opinion), similar titles out there already and your sample chapter (they need to read something from you).
5- Send as many book proposals as you can, which will normally imply writing one up and then sending several mails, so it shouldn't take too much effort.
6- Wait and be patient, and most importantly, be ready for the no's. They will come, sometime they might come with details on why they're not interested and in some other cases, they'll simply say "no".
Once that "yes" comes, you'll have to deal with the publisher and reach an agreement on advance fees, royalties, chapter delivery schedule, etc, etc and then, finally , start writing.
Finally, let me provide you with some tips for when you finally make it:
* Write everyday, it doesn't have to be a lot, but being constant works great.
* It doesn't have to be perfect the first time around, if you're stuck with a sentence, a paragraph or a page, just write the first thing that comes to mind, then you can go back and fix it.
* Save some time to read about the subject you're writing. Most likely scenario, you don't know as much about it as you think you do, and that is totally fine, just make sure you understand that and accept the fact you'll be studying and writing at the same time.
* Try to enjoy the process, if you don't, you might end-up quitting and that's far from ideal, specially if you already signed a contract with a publisher.
* You're not going to get rich from writing a book, specially a tech book, so don't do it for the money.
So... are you thinking about writing? Let me know in the comments, did my tips help at all? Let me know down below or share your publishing stories if you have them.
See you in the next one!