I had always wanted to be a published author and I never imagined that I’d have the opportunity to become one until much later in life. I had thought that I needed to become a world class expert or have decades of experience in some particular topic. While those things definitely help out authors, I was reminded by a friend that sharing my journey of how I started learning to program computers was enough to get started with, especially since there wasn’t much literature out there on the topic!
I’m going to share how I became a Co-author of “First Year In Code” 🎉 by getting out of my comfort zone and the book publishing journey that went behind it.
How the Opportunity Arose
In March of 2019, I had seen a post on the awesome developer social community site Dev.to.
At first when I read the blog post, I didn’t think much of it. I also thought it was strange that someone was looking for co-authors for a new book idea on the internet in the open. Two weeks past by, and by chance I saw a tweet on my twitter newsfeed by Isaac (lead author) giving a last role call for co-authors for his First Year In Code book. Thought I didn’t feel ready and didn’t know what I was getting myself into, I knew I probably would never get an opportunity like this before.
So, I decided to reach out to Isaac via email and share a bit of my background and story, and to my surprise he invited onboard to be a co-author of the book!
After Isaac onboarded me to the team, we divided the work of writing the different chapters with the other co-authors. I can’t emphasize enough how working with a team on this book made the experience much more enjoyable and bearable. When your publishing alone you have to deal with self-doubt and perfectionism by yourself and find several people with the correct background to proofread your book to ensure it makes sense for the intended audience.
The book was launched 5 months later from the date of announcement on Dev.to. We had a great a launch and reception thanks Ben Halpern the creator and founder of Dev.to who became a sponsor for the book and big announcement!
Since launching, the book has been read by thousands of people not only within the US, but also around the globe. I still get twitter messages from some readers from all over the United States, Europe, Africa and Latin America thanking me for the stories I shared in my journey towards becoming a software developer.
This book wouldn’t have been possible if were not for Isaac Lyman’s and the rest of the First Year In Code team. For me this experience is a remminder that you dont need to feel comepletely ready to get something started.
If you’ve ever wanted to publish a book, I highly recommend you explore the co-authoring path as it can make the whole process of publishing a long piece of work more manageable and enjoyable with other people at your side.