My first foray onto the global scene was in the summer of 2016 when I self-published my first book. The topic was both highly technical and highly specialized. These aren't bad things per se, but the manner in which I developed the book was just plain stupid in retrospect.

I started writing the book in the summer of 2015 (on my honeymoon). I correctly identified a gaping hole in the market that my book could plug. I made a few early blunders. While the content of the book is first-rate and contains detailed information difficult to find elsewhere, the organization and flow of the book were rather haphazard. I failed to consider the books readability and laser-focused on the content, dissatisfying some customers. I impetuously cobbled together an outline and didn't think to change it.

At the time, I had no international following and no one with which I could collaborate. I didn't have any friends technically skilled in this topic area. Thus, the book did not receive any "quality checking" as it was being written, but only once at the end. I took three weeks vacation from my job over Christmas break to read the whole book and make small corrections. That was it. No technical peer review, no professional editing, and no external suggestions for improvement. As a result, the book has some confusing typos and errors of fact. All technical books do, but I'll admit this particular work has more than its fair share.

The book is roughly 3,000 pages in length. This was my biggest mistake. In reality, I wrote 4 or 5 books, and should have sold them individually or as a discounted volume set. A single 3,000-page book will be expensive, hard to digest, and slow for even today's computers and smartphones to open and search. With smaller books, I would have increased my sales since customers not interested in the entire body of work could select which volumes they wanted, paying only for those. I've lost out on thousands of dollars in sales as a result of poor product planning.

Although I was the first to market with a complete offering, I could have shown up much sooner with volume 1, then a month later with volume 2, and so on. This would have given me cash sooner (remember, money has a time value) and I would have enjoyed an even longer market dominance period.

The silver lining is that despite my foolishness, the book is a gem of a product and has topped the market for 3 whole years now. In retrospect, a little bit of business sense would have significantly advanced the book's success. For the techies out there, make sure you see beyond the ones and zeroes.

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