Writing about writing a book...

A few days ago I published a post on Medium where I related my experience since I started writing Bootstrapping Machine Learning:

Here’s what it’s like to start writing a book

In this post, I covered a few different aspects of writing a book. Beyond just telling my own story, I touched on the similarities with creating a startup (there's probably more to be said), I mentioned how the ego plays an important part in deciding to write a book (one may say the same of creating a startup), I talked about the tools I use to write my book, and I tried to inspire readers to also get to write their own book. I will probably write some more posts about the process of writing and publishing this book, as this happens.

Regarding Medium, I have to say that I am quite impressed with it. I'd read some very good pieces on this site, but it's also great for writing. First of all, they have the best and smartest editor I've come across on the web. The text looks great, and the editor is true wysiwyg, which is something I'd never seen before. Second, the Medium platform looks like it's good at bringing traffic to your content.

I've had 4k views and 2.7k reads. No doubt I would have had much less if I had published this post on my own blog. Sure, I posted on HackerNews (my first submission!) and that must have brought a lot of traffic. I've had 19 recommendations on Medium and 19 upvotes on HN, but I'm assuming that these weren't exactly the same people, so the Medium platform did bring people to my content and had them engage with it. I find these numbers cool, but what I liked most was hearing people say that they enjoyed what I wrote and that they found it inspiring.

One last thing that was really nice: even though this post did not talk about Machine Learning or Prediction APIs, it brought to my book's webpage a significant number of visitors. This had quite an impact on the total number of people who have downloaded the free sample and on the number of preorders so far!

My next posts in line are technical, and they will be hosted on this very blog this time. Be sure to come back if you want to learn more about how to use prediction APIs to create smarter apps!

Louis Dorard