How I published my first book

My mission to make coding cool

The last couple of months, I have been very energetic. I have been writing a hand full of blog posts and then I thought to myself

“Wouldn’t be cool if I published my own book.”

No doubt I enjoyed writing. But I never really written a story before.

I did some research and found that it’s actually tough to get book published through the traditional routes.

Nevertheless, I started writing my draft.

The Draft

I set myself two rules.

  1. That I will only write when I feel like it
  2. I only write full chapters

I quickly wrote a quick breakdown of the story (I actually didn’t know what I was writing about and this got me to actually think of characters, plots, etc)

This wasn’t complete but just enough that I had the slightest of ideas of were I am heading.

Halfway through writing the book, I still didn’t know how it would end.

This breakdown became my checklist.

(Spoiler alert)

Checklist done on Evernote

Whenever I have covered that plot/idea, I cross it off the list.

It gave me a sense of accomplishments.

I used Google Docs to write the story as it allowed me to write whilst I was on the train on my iPhone. (It’s a 30 minute train journey each way)

The book was based on a young kid who loves computers and programming (I wonder who it was based on) but also has to deal with school problems.

I have never written a book before so it was very difficult to write it for a certain audience. I knew that my audience was going to be young.

I wanted to use this book as a way to gather interest in IT and computing. But I also think it’s a good read for any one, at any age.

I decided I’m not going to send my transcript to some sort of publisher after all. (some say they have a waiting period of 6 months plus) and since this was my first book, I didn’t want to lose interest.

So I got my lovely wife to help me.

She would read every chapter I complete. Which gave me motivation to complete it.

She got hooked at one point and asked me for the ending, even I didn’t know how it was going to end.

Publishing

I finished the draft before the new year, and then just left it there. I didn’t have any motivation again. I felt some sense of accomplishment but I guess, part of me was worried what kind of feedback I might get.

Also I used the excuse that I didn’t have any cover art. I looked at fiverr to see if I could get someone to do it for me. But then decided against it and thought I’d do it myself.

I started sketching the cover art and it dawned on me, the sketch is how I wanted the cover to look like. It only took 30 minutes (with making tea in between).

Lenny Bytes: The Computer Wiz Kid

Hey! It’s my first shot at this, it’s okay.

I spent a couple of times going over and over the book, reading and re-reading. Making sure spelling and grammar are all good. (I hope I caught every mistake)

So it was time to publish. Amazon was an obvious choice for me. It’s were I get all my books from.

I had a look into their Kindle Direct Publishing program and I enlisted. It took me around 20 minutes or so making sure that I had everything in place to publishing it.

*Click* Now it’s published.

You can get the book here Lenny Bytes: The Computer Wiz Kid

What’s next?

My aim with this book was to share a story that drew people into wanting to become developers or have an interest in technology and pursuing it.

I want this information to be exposed to kids so it becomes a path that they might want to follow.

Have you ever heard a kid say “When I grow up, I want to be a developer?” No, me neither.

I want kids to be saying this one day.

There might be more following stories about Lenny and his new adventures (potentially about Froggy Dino-Flap, it’s Lenny’s favourite TV show), but that will not be for a while.

I will however, try to get the LennyBytes.com website up and running. It’ll feature blogs and tutorials to teach kids how to program.

If I were to write another book, I have this idea about two little girls who want to start their own business (It’s based on a game I wanted to develop a long time ago for my two little sisters). This one was meant to promote entrepreneurship and careers in technology. The title will be Maya and Boo Boo Inc.