Random thoughts

Published eBook: Lead Developer

On march 18 I self published my first book. Lead Developer. And I have been getting some questions on what my proces was.

You can find more info on my book here.

Lead Developer: best practices and tips for lead software developers, by Jeroen Leenarts.

It is really simple. I used LeanPub and just started writing. The benefit of using their platform is that you can write in MarkDown and they take care of the typesetting and making sure you end up with an PDF, ePub and Mobi output.

I wrote the book, which at first launch was a little over 10.000 words in about 3 months time. Since I already had a good set of notes to begin with I knew I had enough content. The first thing I did was create a preliminary table of contents. And based on that I started writing. During the writing I discovered I wanted to group things into three categories. Team, Business and you. Since I wrote everything in Markdown it was very easy to adjust.

I also wanted some graphical content and a book cover. For that I asked a creative friend to draw up some avatars. I really like the results Linda Udding created. And we also made an agreement on what I will pay to her for her work. Since this is a first book, we both did not know how well it would work out. So we agreed on a profit cut until we reach a level of payment that is in line with market standard for the amount of work she did. Since I already had my book’s content divided into three parts by that time it was easy to convert that format into a creative brief for Linda. She was able to create the work in no time at all.

When I set out to write this book I planned on doing it just for the fun of it. If I help on person, great. If I sell no copies at all, that’s great as well. My main goals with writing the book are:

  • Structure my own learnings on the topic of being a lead software developer to become a better one myself.
  • Learn about what it takes to write something resembling a book.
  • Have something meaningful on offer when someone asks how they can support my online activities. Buy my book sounds way better to me compared to “just give me some money”.
  • Be able to put “published book author” on my resume.
  • Learn about what it takes to market a product to some level of succes.

Any income gained from this book is a happy coincidence. And, at the time of this writing I sold over 60 copies and I am looking into ways to market my book more. I hope to hit 100 soon. But who knows, it all depends on wether I can make online appearances, get my book linked more by others. Advice is still welcome at this stage, I have not found “the best way” to do this on a shoestring budget.

By Jeroen

I’m Jeroen a dutch software developer employed by a large insurance company. Mostly I write about Swift code, CocoaHeadsNL and other related topics.