Fan To Pro: The Book

FanToProIcon And it's done.  The Fan To Pro book I've been working on, blogging about, and mentioning for months is done and out at  In a few weeks if all goes well, it'll be available internationally.

It's done.  It still hasn't quite sunk in.

So now, you've got my distilled advice, wisdom, and exercises for turning from geek to progeek, fan to profan, in one handy guide.  From learning to see fandom differently, to career brainstorming exercises, to using fandom as a tool to help you relocate, its all here.

It's been quite a journey – but it's been worth it.  I learned a lot, did a lot, and now I have a single tool that lets me help people turn their geekery into their career.  I can hand them a book and say "start here."

So what's next?  Well I promote the book, I speak at more conventions, and I do what I always have done – help people out.  I believe in the power of careers, and in the powers of geeks, fans, and otaku.

Of course there's other books in the works with some similar goals.

So go on, check it out!

Oh, and I've already collected notes for "Fan To Pro" Second edition . . .

– Steven Savage

Book Update 3/1/2010

The latest update on the book:

  • I got a copy from  I'm pretty impressed with the POD quality – it's pretty good overall.  Layout work, cover worked (except for some brightness/contrast on a photo which I miscaluclated).    Print quality is VERY nice.
  • I then proceeded to go through it with a highlighter and find anything that looked wrong and correct it.
  • I changed the font, it was too small – I had gone with ten point which looked horrible.  It's much better in 12 point, which makes the book bigger, but won't affect the final sales price when it goes commercial.
  • I also changed some page breaking and organization – it's amazing how you can forget things like "Chapters are best starting on odd pages".
  • The next copy is coming to me.  If all is well release will go on end of month if not earlier.

What I learned:

  • You need a copy of your book to truly appreciate it if there's a physical copy.
  • Twelve point, maybe even eleven point, but ten point is NOT a good idea for most books.
  • Underlines can look bad in books too.  I understand they're frowned on.
  • Converting to PDF's is quite an adventure.  This time I had to make sure my formats were right for large-scale distribution, which meant learning about embedded fonts.
  • Book layouts have TONS of subtleties that you have to learn either via study and practice or painfully experiencing it yourself.  I've learned from the latter.  Among my findings are: chapters should start on an odd page (right-hand).  Table of Contents also starts best on odd/right-handed page.  Changes in font size, even a small amount, change the acceptable amount of whitespace in formatting, and appendices somehow flow better when you have a simple "Appendices" labeled page to break them off from the main body.

So far, a lot more work than I thought.  Then again I learned a lot.  And, of course, this will be used in the next book – and there will be more to come . . .

– Steven Savage

Book Update 2/22/2010

OK the latest update of the book:

  • I had to reset the layout – again – because I found some issues with PDF conversion.
  • The cover was tweaked slightly.
  • I have ordered a test copy.  I already found some layout/paging errors before it even shipped, so live and learn.

What I've learned:

  • Go over proofs very, very carefully.
  • Pay attention to any alerts from your word processor.
  • Pixelmator for Mac is a good, cheap Photoshop substitute.
  • Doing cover and layout work at the end was a lousy idea.  This is probably best done during a book's writing/production to both help you plan ahead and act as a break.  Put together they are frustrating.

The book still looks like it'll be out late March/early April, on Lulu, and the available through other outlets 4-8 weeks after that.

– Steven Savage