Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: Making extra income with books
129 points by 1986v on Dec 31, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 49 comments
It seems a good source of extra revenue for many here is with books/ebooks. I am interested to know who has published what (links please!) AND how you went about publishing.

- Did you go with a traditional book (paper/hardback)? If traditional, did you sell online or within an actual store.

- Did you create an ebook? If so, which platform for distributing has worked out the best for you (3rd party, on your own, or a mix)

- Did you go with all text or do you have images or graphics? If you have done both, what can be noticed between the two?

It would also be helpful to know the income you generate, on average, from books (not necessary but I am curious to know). I have always talked about writing a book of sorts but have never fully carried through. I have started off and on and have written many tutorials for coworkers, I would like to take enhance those as well and maybe make some extra income from them. //Insert New Years Resolution Here//

I have co-authored three books:

Practical Clojure (http://www.apress.com/9781430272311)

ClojureScript: Up and Running (http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920025139.do)

Clojure Cookbook (http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920029786.do)

Practical Clojure and Clojure Cookbook were/will be available in B&M stores though those are a relatively small fraction of sales. ClojureScript U&R is print-on-demand/ebook only.

In each case I wrote the books because I felt I had something to say, and was qualified enough to say it. Getting published was mostly a matter of being in the right place at the right time, when the publishers were interested in these books, and being introduced to a couple editors via coworkers and open-source acquaintances.

Niche tech books like this are not a good deal from a purely financial perspective. I make some money, but somewhat less than I would contracting for the time I put in to them.

They were very valuable or forcing me to gain mastery of a topic, and they are quite possibly the best thing I've done with respect to my career.

Thanks, I'm adding those to my to-buy list. Doing some research* on what will be my next all-purpose language and Clojure is currently my best candidate.

* https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6990935

I own all 3 and they're great. Thanks Luke!

Great books, like others have said, thanks!

I'll give a "failure" story.

I was lead author for ebook/print book through Apress - _Hacking the Kinect_ - http://amzn.to/1aljFwQ

It was distributed in stores and online, as well as in ebook form. It has text, graphics, and code.

It generated not much past the initial upfront payment of ~$8000, spread across myself and 3 coauthors.


1) Niche topic, badly addressed. It was pretty hot at the time, but the number of people looking for a intermediate - advanced level text on 3D sensing was not as high as the number of people looking for "cool demo I can type in and make my SparkFun robot drive around a Coke can".

2) Published through agency. I appreciated Apress' work on marketing my book. Everything else I could have handled myself (and probably the marketing too). They also have tough terms - you have to be a knockout (4k+ units[1]) success in the technical book industry to really make money through publishers.

3) Bad print copy. The grayscale used for my book was too dark, blowing away some images. Apress did not want to fix this. I recommend the Kindle version to everyone I can.

Worth it? Yes. It is a great means to open doors and market yourself. Financially worth it? Not through a publisher.

[1] I can't cite this off the top of my head, but that's the number I recall from a few years ago.

Why a failure? As you say this is a niche topic and if the info is correct on Amazon, it has only been out a year and a half.

I am an author of a robotics book in an even more niche topic and I doubt our royalties totaled more than ~$5000 in the 4 years its been out (no upfront payment). I've always considered it as something to put on the CV more than anything else.

I assume he means failure from a financial perspective, given the OP was asking about writing books specifically as a form of income. I have largely the same story, I wrote a tech For Dummies book that sold a few copies but was largely a flop. Overall it was definitely worth it from a CV perspective and as something I can say I've done in my life. But we only got a small advanced (I cleared $4.5k) and then never made enough in royalties to get out of the advance hole. So if looking at things purely from an income level it was a complete failure. But of course there are a lot of decent reasons to write a book besides the money.

I'm currently working on my third book, a book about neural networks and deep learning. Here's the first chapter:


It'll be free online once complete, but I raised money with an Indiegogo campaign (about 10k). I'm self-publishing, in part because I wanted full control over the book. This gives me the ability to experiment with in-text videos, and with other tricks. For instance, when a reader clicks on an equation reference in the text, the relevant equation appears in the margin, as a reminder. Clicking on the marginal equation will take you to the context in which the equation originally appeared. This cuts down on tedious back-and-forth.

My two earlier books were both published in the traditional way:

+ A book for general audiences about networked science, "Reinventing Discovery: the New Era of Networked Science": http://www.amazon.com/dp/0691160198 Published by Princeton University Press.

+ A textbook about quantum computing, jointly with Ike Chuang: http://www.amazon.com/Quantum-Computation-Information-Annive... Published by Cambridge University Press. No e-book at all when first published (2000)!

Both were written with LaTeX, and included many illustrations. "Reinventing Discovery" was actually rekeyed entirely by the publisher, but the textbook was produced from our LaTeX copy.

Hi Michael, I didn't know you were on HN! For those who don't know, "Nielsen and Chuang" is the bible of the field of quantum information science.

The eqref-expanded-in-margin is a very cool idea. It could probably make sense for referencable environments like theorems and lemmas.

Do you have any recommendation for the .tex --> .html conversion?

You may want to check out pandoc[1]. It's what I'm using for conversions for a book I'm writing.

[1] http://johnmacfarlane.net/pandoc/

For tex -> html I use Mathjax to do the hard work, and a hand-rolled script to do the rest. I'm starting to experiment with d3 and AngularJS for features beyond what LaTeX alone can offer.

Would you have any resources to recommend in regards to using LaTeX? I work with plain-text source as my default (Markdown, etc.), but haven't used LaTeX specifically.

I use a pretty vanilla LaTeX setup - edit in emacs, display using Yap, and version control with Git and (sometimes) Github. I use the MikTeX distribution for Windows, but use few advanced features - for me, LaTeX is pretty good out of the box.


I self-published by selling online using Spacebox and Stripe. I only created a PDF, but am working on adding epub and mobi versions, mainly due to requests for a Kindle-friendly version. The book included about a dozen custom diagrams the tied into the text.

Along with the book (http://startsustain.com), about starting and running your own web app, I included a simple project task list and a rather involved spreadsheet for helping to estimate revenue and expenses and easily adjust them to see the impact on revenue. My results might be moderately misleading because this spreadsheet was a significant component of value justifying the price.

The book was all new content, rather than repackaged blog posts, and I sold the package for $99 with occasional sales of $79 and $59. Prior to launch, I built up an announcement list of about 1,600 interested people. I did a poor job marketing to those people beforehand, but instead just sent out a single launch announcement.

It's been available for about 9 months now and sold over 500 copies for a total of about $45,000. I spent about $3,000 up front for cover design and editing.

I wrote a book on software conversion optimization last year. It was an expanded, re-edited collection of essays I had previously written on the topic.


I published it through Hyperink, which is not a traditional publisher. They bring the software and editors (plus associated trades) to get the book put together, I brought the words. No advance, more equitable royalties than traditional publishers would offer, and they handle the mechanics of getting it into Amazon and whatnot.

I haven't run the numbers recently but recall selling somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,X00 copies. I haven't done the math on royalty payments for the year, but would ballpark them in the $5k range?

It would be, ahem, extraordinarily difficult to get a traditional publisher to greenlight publishing on as niche a topic. If I had, I would expect them to offer me $5k as an advance, as that is roughly market for first-time non-technical authors. (At the standard prices and royalty rates 2k units would not nearly earn out a $5k advance, which means that absent additional substantial sales I would expect to never receive any royalty payments beyond the $5k advance.)

I didn't publish the book primarily for economic reasons. If I had, I would have done something a bit closer to the Nathan Barry / Brennan Dunn / etc model. Prominent elements thereof: email marketing as a distribution channel, markedly higher prices ($49 vs. $9), multiple tiers (e.g. book @ $49, book + supplementary materials @ $99, book + supplementary materials + some interactive component at $249), and likely self-published 100% because I'd need more control over the pricing / marketing / etc than any publisher would care to allow me to have.

Other authors on HN have been extraordinarily generous at writing about exactly what is required tactically for successfully marketing books. I'd highly encourage you to read their posts / comments, as they will make it wildly more lucrative for you, if that is part of your reason for writing the book. If you just want the published author merit badge, traditional publishers are a way to get it, and they seem to be totally willing to financially exploit you in return for offering it to you.

I self-published both of my books, and originally fulfilled orders through ejunkie but now use Infusionsoft. Revenue is a little over $50k for each book (and growing), and each took about a month to write.

I really look at my book as paid lead gen for my more premium products. Take a look at my annual report for the year which outlines how I funnel customers through my products: http://planscope.io/blog/how-i-changed-the-world-in-2013/

I self-published my ebook Mastering Modern Payments: Using Stripe with Rails[1]. I wrote about my experience and income a month after launch on my blog[2] (hn comments[3]). Current total revenue is ~$19k, averaging around $2k per month.

[1]: https://www.petekeen.net/mastering-modern-payments

[2]: https://www.petekeen.net/adventures-in-self-publishing

[3]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6320333

I just published a data science book: http://amzn.com/111866146X

I went through Wiley, which is a very traditional, large publisher (my editor is the same as Mitnick's and Schneier's). You seriously limit the royalty rate you're going to get this way, but you're going to extend your reach and marketing ability. So it's a balance, and you need to figure out whether reach or per-book royalties are more important. If you have a small audience and you know you can reach each and every reader yourself (maybe on Twitter or HN or Reddit), then self-publishing may be the way to go.

I chose Wiley, because the audience for my book is broader than most data science books (since it's spreadsheet based), and I wanted to get it in front of your average BI analyst perusing at Barnes and Noble.

The big publisher also did a great job with layout, the book feels great with its matte finish, I had two paid tech editors, a regular editor, a project editor, and a bevy of proofreaders. Big help, that.

But don't be mistaken...the onus is still on you to market the book as well. And it's going to take a lot of marketing to make this a viable career (or even a viable supplement to your income). It's an incredibly taxing way to make a living I'd imagine, and I'm super happy to have a great day job.

Rather, my reason for publishing was that I saw a need for the book, and I knew I could write it. And it took a full year from starting to get it out. So it took a year of hard work, and it'd be a miracle if I cleared twenty grand on it. Not the most lucrative endeavor, but extremely personally satisfying.

To answer some of your other questions, the publisher released in both paper and ebook. Pictures in the book were a real pain in the ass. I spent forever screencapping and re-screencapping spreadsheets. Ugh...

I wrote The Kubic Kat as a standalone SciFi novella, and decide that it would be best to give this way free, in the hope that it would garner traffic to my start-up website, and interest in escaping surveillance. (http://www.tribalcontact.com)

I put it on Hacker news, but it sank without a trace, and yielded 0 comments, and very few downloads. Facebook, twitter, and Google+ have made up 30% of downloads, and Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/392425) most of the remainder. As long as you are on the front page you get good traction, but discoverability is poor.

Indeed, this is the biggest issue I know of. If you can put the book in front of people you can get good metrics (30% of all views led to downloads). But finding a way to get those views is very hard.

A large proportion of backers to my sci-fi novel (http://planetoz.net/kickstarter) came from personal connections, and I forged most of those in person.

While that may have "only" yielded several hundred dollars for this particular project, I anticipate a far greater chance of future backing from them than from impersonal advertising captures. (And I use the term "capture" here with all its connotations.) I also found potential future editors, artists, beta readers, and the like in the process. Even better, I made some awesome new friends.

This all applies to a book that I haven't yet finished editing (23% progress), never mind put up for free.

The insanely successful indie author, J. A. Konrath, explains how he paid his dues with hundreds of hours spent on book tours, convention floors, and the like, all sans publisher compensation. He now brings in six figures or more.

tl;dr - A focus on selling (_selling_) your work to just one person at a time will pay forward in spades, even if it takes a while.

@liamcarton - Feel free to hit me up. We can trade author notes. My email's in my profile. :)

There's a new Stack Exchange Q&A site for ebook publishers and readers. http://ebooks.stackexchange.com/ Once you decide what you want to do, there might be some related information there.

I write fiction, which is a totally different beast from the non-fiction stories you'll find here. Also, I self-publish, so that's even more niche. Still, here's the thousand-yard view of sales.

My first book was sold on Amazon, and podcasted for free on Podiobooks.com. The initial sales were enough to make my car payments for about a half year. Around that time, Amazon made some changes to their ranking, and I dropped in sales by about half. Subsequent books have had the same results (big first few months, but only about a hundred or so per month).

The way you make the most of that is by writing more, and all the normal marketing stuff that you can find online (build an audience). I'm a big fan of Podiobooks.com because, even though it's a bear to do a full audiobook for free, their audience is fairly large and devoted.

As art goes, I was lucky in that I met with a Hugo-award-winning artist (Cheyenne Wright, Girl Genius) who liked my work enough to help me out with covers. I commission each work with him, and he's been a great help to me there.

In case you're interested, here are my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brand-Gamblin/e/B003P4CEFM

Exactly one year ago, I launched my No bullshit guide to math and physics textbook on HN. After good initial traction and good sales, I decided to start a company around the book and work on writing/selling books full time.

- The sales happen mainly through the website http://minireference.com/, which links to the lulu.com for print and gumroad.com for PDF. I also made consignment deals with 4 bookstores to sell the books.

- I have just a PDF-eBook and distribute in only through gumroad.com. Working on getting the epub right, but it is tough with all those equations. Haven't played with Kobo-zon-nobles distribution yet.

- I have a lot of illustrations and diagrams in the book, but not much pictures. Some readers have told me this gives the book a very "dry" look and people would want more visually intensive.

The revenue for this year is ~17k = (9k print, 8k PDF). Hm... I thought it would be more, better do more marketing ;)


Here are some general advice and observation about the business.

1. Self publish. You are not likely to generate lots of sales initially, so keeping good margins is very important. lulu and gumroad are excellent for that.

2. Put in extra effort on copy-editing. A typo in a blog post is excusable, but a typo in a book is considered outrageous by many. You don't want pissed off readers. Also typos make you lose credibility.

3. It takes time. I had written over 100 math/phys tutorials before starting to work on the book and it still took me 1y+ to get it into a decent shape.

4. Have a website. Have a mailing list. Give lots of chapters for free as promo. Last but not least, try to get a swearword in the title ;)


Make sure to read Charles Stross' Common Misconception about Publishing, that does a great job of explaining the industry.


Ive published a biography about a guy called Elon Musk (https://leanpub.com/theengineer). I self-published it through leanpub.com. The good thing with leanpub is that their service will automatically generate pdf/epub/mobi files from one main file so you will save time if you need to make a change. The point of leanpub is that you can improve the book as you get feedback from your readers, so my plan is to collect feedback before the big launch at Amazon.

But don't think it's free money - it's still takes a lot of time to write it and it's still difficult to spread the word about the book.

The Mom Test book (how to talk to customers when everyone is lying to you)[1] sold roughly $5k in preorders and another $10k since launch ~4 months ago. Probably 50% of that has come from speaking gigs where the event bought a bunch of books instead of paying a speaking fee.

It's on Amazon[2] as a paperback via createspace[3] print-on-demand and as an ebook via gumroad[4]. Both platforms have been great.

It took 10 months part-time from first words on paper until the finished book was in people's hands. Editing was the most painful part and took 3 months. I did the first draft on paper, and the revising in scrivener[5], which also handles exporting to all the ebook formats.

I made illustrations for it, but left them out since the layout was taking more time than it was worth and I wanted to ship it.

Incidentally, I'm also working on a book landing page generator called heylookabook[6] . I'm building in some of the marketing best-practices that I learned from working on my own, so it's there if it's helpful!

[1] http://momtestbook.com [2] http://www.amazon.com/The-Mom-Test-customers-business/dp/149... [3] http://createspace.com [4] http://gum.co/momtest [5] http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php [6] http://heylookabook.com

If one does something and he does if often and with passion he definitely has something to write about.

I started writing and finished https://leanpub.com/Privacy_in_Digital-Era still waiting editor to finish and after repairs it goes online. Published are http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HFGSB3K and https://leanpub.com/opensourceencryption

Digital editions for now, print is planed and should be available in month or so.

For writing i would recommend https://leanpub.com, great platform you write in markup and it creates .mobi, .epub and .pdf formats.

After that there is publishing and marketing. Main one's are amazon and apple, smashwords, lulu, nook, kobo etc. Marketing is something i still work on ;o)

Established writers get more revenue which is pure logic by itself, one book is not enough. Extra comes with time, good luck.

I have looked into https://leanpub.com and I definitely like this for a nice starting point and an incentive for keeping the momentum going. It seems it is preferred among some others around here as well. Very insightful, thanks!!

Thumbs up for leanpub!

There is http://writers.stackexchange.com/ maybe you can find something interesting there also.

I'm planning on my ebook at the end of january (http://firemeibegyou.com), based on a post I wrote that was #2 on hacker news (Fire Me, I Beg You) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3837264

I am not going with a traditional book format (at least not initially).

It is an ebook, and I will not be using a publisher. I'll be using it on my own website via gumroad. I really got a lot of my motivation from Nathan Barry & Brennan Dunn.

For this book, I"m going with all text.

When I publish it, I'll do a recap of income generated.

*also, the prices on my page are not accurate. I will be changing those shortly. It's just a landing page now.

The Ruby on Rails Tutorial (http://railstutorial.org/) has been a successful product business (six figures per annum), and in fact I've recently taken the core publishing technology and turned it into a platform called Softcover. It's currently in private beta; sign up for an invitation here:


As part of developing Softcover, I plan to write more about the details of making and publishing the Rails Tutorial (including a more detailed discussion of revenue numbers) starting some time next year. Stay tuned.

I wrote a book a couple years ago called Scalable and Modular Architecture for CSS. I self-published in PDF, epub, and mobi formats. I also had the book on Amazon for awhile through the Kindle program and also have it available through pragprog.

I went ebook to start and then added a print version which I print up with a local printer in batches of approximately 500 at a time. I've since had the book translated into French and Japanese.

I've generated approximately $60k in revenue this year alone, not including revenue from Amazon or Pragprog, which were both relatively minimal in comparison.

Books look more like a marketing tool for a consulting activity to me than a dependable source of revenue. And good books are a labor of love more than anything else.

That's a common sentiment, particularly in the world of fiction books. However, the same could be said of software even though we've seen how much money that can make, even with open-source software.

To paraphrase very financially successful authors like Stephen King, D. W. Smith, and Joe Konrath: "good books are a labor of labor; the more books you write, the more you will sell."

I went fiction and told a story that's been rattling around in my head a while... not making a fortune by any means, but some sales, and as they say, ebooks are forever. Self-published to Amazon, etc. with some of the smaller outfits through Smashwords, which takes a cut from sales in exchange for the hassles of the vendors.

Open Gate - SciFi


Rachael Johnson is soon to graduate from college and begin the rest of her life. Today her biggest worries are dirt and bugs as her friend James drags her underground to go exploring. What she didn’t expect was to find an abandoned city on another planet.

It’s the chance for the human race to leave Earth and have breathing room. A place for the explorers at heart to blaze new trails.

But Rachael is torn—does she call the police or block the cave? Will James agree? How can they keep this secret? How can they not?

And what about the original owners of this new-found world? Where are they, and are they wanting visitors? And don’t forget about the universe of other planets a few short steps away.

Now government is breaking down, there is rioting in the streets and there are roadblocks everywhere. The authorities have decided to arrest them on site. Their decision just might be made for them.

Influenced by Heinlein’s juveniles, Open Gate is a Science Fiction adventure that will appeal to all ages from teens to adults.

I am currently writing Ember.js in Action (http://manning.com/skeie). This book is, of course, through a traditional publishing company. Combined with the fact that this is my first technical book, my royalty rate is pretty low (10%). This is OK, as the book will reach a wider audience that I would on my own! So far, the book is approaching 2000 units in pre-sales (MEAP - Manning Early Access Programme), which make it the 5th most sold Manning MEAP of 2013 :)

I have started work on my next book project, which will be completely free and open sourced. This book will teach JavaScript programming to kids through building a Raspberry Pi powered remote controlled car (or or other vehicle). The content for this book is not yet available online and most of it will be created through a hands on 7-part course that I am teaching during the spring of 2014. You can find a bit more information about this book here: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/open-source-programming-bo...

I wrote a book on Cordova CLI (a niche within an niche): https://leanpub.com/developingwithcordovacli/ (Cordova is the open source version of PhoneGap, which lets you build mobile apps with js/html/css).

It was an ebook, written with Leanpub (very cool publishing platform for ebooks.

I didn't investigate other distribution platforms; I'm just using leanpub--they take care of all kinds of things (refunds, shopping carts, distributing updates to the ebook if/when I publish them) that I didn't want to. They have a pretty nice royalty structure, but you then have to do the marketing yourself.

I created a couple of graphics myself. I think they add something to technical books.

Income: I think I have made 250 bucks since October. Fun to make some money, but obviously not paying the bills.

One thing I didn't see you mention is: how do you market the book? This is a very important thing to think about. Far more important, in my opinion, than the questions you asked.

I took to some time earlier today to share some of my own anecdotal experiences in writing 5 books for O'Reilly Media over the past 5 years in a post entitled "5 Questions for Aspiring Author-Entrepreneurs" - http://wp.me/p3QiJd-53

The questions that I examine are these:

* What are your motives?

* How long will it take?

* To self-publish or not to self-publish?

* Is it a project or a product?

* What is its expected shelf life?

The post is about 2,500 words and the tl;dr is that you should seriously consider thinking of yourself as an author-entrepreneur and thinking of your book as a startup. One other post (from back in August) is also in the book-as-a-startup category and talks about some of the lessons I learned in writing a 2nd Edition of a book that was already somewhat well-established - http://miningthesocialweb.com/category/book-as-a-startup/

Would be glad to chat more if I can be of any help to you. I'm easy enough to find as ptwobrussell just about anywhere.


Thank you very much!

I put together a series on Agile Software Development, basically what to do after you've decided your team needs a ScrumMaster: http://tiny-giant-books.com/scrummaster.htm

Mixed results. I'm happy with the project. It's probably returned somewhere around 5-10k, but it was a LOT of work. For this particular niche and topic, I've decided the communication channel is actually more valuable than the product.

I'll probably go at it again. I have a couple more in the series. The next one will be much more encompassing and the marketing more integrated.

There are some great HN resources for this kind of thing. I think you need something to say first, though. There are a lot of folks who are looking at the money first, the tactics, the strategy, and then the content. That's backwards. The startup ecosystem wants to pitch you the money you could make, then sell you a package of tactics. Not a good road to go down in my opinion.

For a long time, I had been hearing that bloggers should create ebooks or other "info-products" if they want to generate any meaningful income. As a result, I've recently launched an experiment; a small book with tips for storing fresh fruits and vegetables (http://foodconstrued.com/products/storing-fresh-fruit-and-ve...). Definitely not your typical HN content.

It is a simple downloadable PDF and includes text and photos. I'm currently only selling via e-junkie.

It's been less than a month since I created, so I'm not yet ready to say if the experiment was successful. I found the process of writing enjoyable, so I might try another one this year.

In the last month I had success crowdfunding (and subsequently creating) and online course about running a bitcoin arbitrage bot. I set up the crowdfund on https://www.uludum.org/ and added a link to it from my blog, which was the primary source of traffic. I've had just over $1,000 in sales since then.

The crowdfund: https://www.uludum.org/funds/2

If anyone has any questions about 'publishing' or using this model on Uludum, I'm the creator, so I'd be extremely happy to answer any questions. I think it can be a pretty good model for the type of knowledge sharing people are doing here.

I coauthored a book on Radio Frequency Identification[1]

My Co-Author and I probably made about $10,000 each over the years. We would have made more working a minimum wage job during the time we spent writing, but the learning, friendships in the field, public attention and discussions were priceless career builders for each of us.

  * Traditional publisher (online and in stores)
  * O'Reilly created the Safari ebook edition
  * A large number of graphics
1. Glover, Bill and Bhatt, Himanshu. RFID Essentials. O'Reilly Media 2006. Print, Safari Books online. http://rfidessenstials.com

I'm currently writing a book on Django development. Been working on it for 3 or 4 months with another 3 months to go. It's self published but I hooked up with the guys at RealPython for help with marketing and what not. Currently we are running a kickstarter for the book. The link is: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/721054906/real-python-ad...

I wrote a book on neurochips in 2003. Could not find a publisher to help me publish it. I turned it into a sci-fi novel with a character based on the name of this account. I tried to self-promote my book and writings with that name all over the Internet.

After I could not find a publisher, I self published on Amazon Kindle in 2010 and sold thousands of Kindle books.

In 2013, they had invented a neurochip, and then these cyberpunk, conspiracy, and transhumanist forums would link to my Kindle book as an example of the abuse of a neurochip. I got luck and others started to promote my book for me.

It was so popular that I started up two websites to support the book as a 'company' used in my book for part two:

http://blastar.in/ http://www.blastar.org/

The main character Orion, works as a programmer for a medical company. He is programming surgical tray tracking software, and then learns his coworker and manager are doing something else with the code. It is being used a track people with neurochips. His coworker poisons him after his manager fires him and he gets suicidal and ends up in a hospital were he meets Karen who had worked on the neurochip to help out her brother who has schizophrenia, but she learned they were using it for something else, so they did the same thing to her that they did to Orion. Orion is mentally ill and Karen is not, and Orion benefits from the neurochip but finds they left in his debugging backdoor in the code and gets in and finds out there is hidden code for death and unconscious functions. The N-Chip law is passed forcing the mentally ill and people with a criminal record to have neurochips implanted into their brains to control they negative thinking and negative behavior. The US government is controlled by a megacorporation who used two shell companies as a front to develop this tech to enslave people, and have something that replaces the smartphones and tablets. First they have a law passed that forces the neurochip on the mentally ill and people with a criminal record to test it out, and later the neruochip 2.0 will come out as a new way to communicate using wireless networks and hearing audio in your head and seeing video (telepathy via technology).

My problem is that I have a mental illness of my own that damaged the language part of my brain and I get past and present tense mixed up and botched some of the dialog and words. It is an original story and has a lot of interest, but I got nobody willing to help me edit it to make it better. It is only a 99 cent short-story and the Atopia Chronicles came out later with smarticles instead of a neruochip that is a better written story.

All I can say is don't give up writing, get a focus group of beta testers to read your book and find the errors in it before you self-publish it. If I had done that, I'd have a better source of income.

I got someone who wants to turn it into a comic book with his comic book startup, I met him on Reddit, but he cannot find any artists willing to draw the comic and like me he has limited income.

Orion modifies the code in the neurochip to improve his memory and download information off the Internet directly into his memory. There is a lot he can do with the chip I haven't gotten into yet. I've been mentally sick, my father died in 2010, and I got into a deep depression. Best I could do was design some websites to support the book, before I can write part 2. I wrote most of part 2, but Word 2010 crashed and corrupted it, so I had to start over with Libreoffice.

I am helping a few people in my area, all they can afford is a $100 Windows XP laptop without MS-Office so I load LibreOffice or OpenOffice.Org and help them learn it and self-publish to Kindle. So even if you cannot write your own books, at least offer your services to others in your area to help them out with their books. I get mostly English teachers who don't know how a computer works, and I train them to a level of writing on a word processor, printing, and saving in RTF, DOC, and ODT formats and exporting to PDF and uploading the DOC to Kindle, Smashwords, Lulu, Nook/Kobo and others.

This was very insightful, thank you!

Registration is open for Startup School 2019. Classes start July 22nd.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact