Write a book and offer it for free to anybody. Why spend your time if you’re not gonna earn any money from it?
It was a long, long time ago, at the end of 2012 when I decided to try to be a lecturer on a short programming course. I didn’t have much knowledge about programming and even less knowledge and 0 experience in writing educational materials.
As the saying goes: “You won’t know unless you try”.
Write a book and offer it for free – first attempt.
My first ever material that was printed and handed out to a dozen students was written with one important thing in mind: “Don’t over complicate and try to sound smart”. Being a junior at that time, I’ve experienced some really difficult books. It’s like authors forgot how was to be a beginner at something. My first programming course i held and the script I wrote an introduction to C++.
Most definitely a big milestone was a Microsoft Excel script since it was the first one to have over a 100 pages. That one was released in 2014.
Finally at the end of 2015 I started working on my first real book that I wanted to publish. Made a decision to write a book about Microsoft Word. I thought it’s not gonna be very long and didn’t wanna over complicate things for my first book.
Boy was I wrong… At the end I finished the book with over 300 pages. It took a long, long time to write everything, create images and keep the context simple, interesting but on the other side also go into depths of understanding the tool.
When the book was fully written, and proof-reading was completed I finally had something I could publish. And oh boy, was I both happy and relieved when I finally got my first ISBN number. It took me over 6 months to do finish this book. Now you might wander why I decided to go through so much work and to give all of these stuff for free to anybody.
Why offer it for free to anybody?
I highly doubt that there would be lot’s of people that would really buy a 300 pages book about Microsoft Word. Not to mention the price of printing such a big book. Then add the publisher’s and store’s commission on top of that and finally add my writer’s commission. That would be a really expensive book and I doubt I would sell any substantial number of books.
Having my personal brand grow on the other hand could be great and bring additional business opportunities in the future. Although I didn’t earn money directly from selling the book I got some really great business opportunities. What’s even more important, I got a great personal satisfaction feeling after seeing that my book was being shared. Not just from person to person but also to be used in school. And even a bigger shock is that reached people and educational institutions outside Croatia. I even got a few queries about selling the book but decided to keep it free for all.
In the end, the book didn’t really bring me any money, but I got offers from several companies to write exclusive materials for them and even to sell my rights to the book. Since the money wasn’t something I could use to buy anything important like a new car or a flat, the book remained free for all. The feeling you get every month whenever you get a new offer or a question if they can use it in class is amazing. It’s worth much more than a few thousand euros.
I also got new ideas for my own business that I plan to start some time in the future thank’s to having a lot of meetings with other companies. I saw their business models and ideas and got a few new ideas of my own.
All of the materials will be down in the link description so feel free to download, use and share them as much as you want. Just keep in mind the materials are written in Croatian so maybe it won’t help you directly, but If you have friends in Croatia, Bosnia or Serbia you can maybe help them.
Find all of the free books and materials here
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