100 Days of Writing

February 10, 2019

I left college in March last year but my graduation ceremony only takes place a year later. I will receive my official degree on March the 15th. A chapter of my life is ending, and there is no more appropriate time to release a book documenting my journey so far.

I have been writing continuously for 100 days, and I have a bit more than a month to get ready. Time to plan.

Yesterday I performed an inventory of my writings and found out I have more than 100 pages of raw posts relevant to the topics the book will be about. I will end up exceeding my initial goal of 100 pages after editing, reviewing, and integrating new complementary pieces. I won’t have to worry about running out of valuable content. More importantly, I am on schedule.

Today I started gathering everything in one Markdown file. I thought about using a traditional WYSIWYG text editor or a LaTeX file, but Markdown has multiple advantages when you are writing a book:

  • Plain text format: you can focus on the content rather than having to worry about how it will look.
  • Easy versioning: Markdown is extremely light-weight. I just created a private Github repository and I plan on storing all the versions of my draft on it.
  • Pandoc + BibTex: You can use Pandoc to convert Markdown files to any kind of ebook format you might need. Epub, PDF, and Kindle in a few command lines! BibTex is used to manage the references you use in your text automatically (no headache).

When I announced I wanted to write a book, I declared I would create dedicated tools on 200WaD to allow anyone to self-publish. I’m going to postpone that.

Instead, I decided to publish it by myself outside 200WaD. There is already a lot of things going on in there and I don’t want to add more on my plate right now. On the other hand, going through all the pain points authors are experiencing will be a valuable lesson for the future of this platform.

In parallel, I’m going to market the ebook the same way I’m marketing my software products. I’ve already been sharing openly how I am writing the book and the content used as raw material. I’m going to set up a teaser website with a form to pre-order and a link to all the related posts on 200WaD. Once the book is ready I will upload it to Gumroad, Amazon KDP, and my dedicated website. I will launch on Product Hunt, Indie Hackers, and other communities of entrepreneurs. Since it’s my first try my expectations are quite low. Let’s see how the wind blows.