Meet Author Alan Forbes

author-alan-forbesToday I had the pleasure of doing a written interview with author and computer programmer, Alan Forbes. Alan specializes in writing programming books tailored to the beginner, and thanks to Alan, understanding of programming languages, such as PHP, jQuery, and Bootstrap, is easier than ever. Let’s find out a little more about Alan and how he got started writing books!

1. Tell us a little about your background.

I’ve been working with computers for my entire career which, so far, has spanned about 30 years. Sometimes I’ve been the actual programmer and sometimes I’ve been the Product Manager/Idea guy. What really sets me apart from the pack is the fact that I can talk to total computer geeks and business people equally well. I have an MBA but I’m not afraid to code something myself if needed.

2. Why did you become a writer?

There are a couple of reasons I decided to become a writer. Like most readers of Indie Author Central, I always had the idea in the back of my head that I should write a book someday, but that day never quite came around. It wasn’t until I discovered Kickstarter and saw people propose to write books and get funded that the light went off. I realized I could find out in advance if there was a market for the book I had in mind. So I made a pitch to the world and was pleasantly surprised to find backers from all over the world.

The other thing that pushed me out of my complacency was the fact that my oldest son was heading to college and my day job just didn’t cover it. So I had to do something, and writing was a talent I always thought was going to waste.

3. Do you primarily write fiction or non fiction?

Non Fiction

4. What have you written?

I have written The Joy of PHP (my most popular), The Joy of jQuery, and The Joy of Bootstrap (my latest). My niche is writing books for beginners, as opposed to writing deep-dive books that only appeal to advanced programmers.

5. Where can we find your books?

I released the books as Kindle books on Amazon first, but later discovered CreateSpace and got print versions done for them all too. Surprisingly, the print editions sell pretty well. Thanks to CreateSpace the books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and lots of book stores I had never heard of before.

You can find Alan’s books by going to his Amazon Author Page here > Author Alan Forbes

6. Tell us about your most significant achievement as a writer.

I think the thing I’m most proud of is when a total stranger writes something especially kind as a public review on Amazon. One woman from Vietnam wrote me and told me she couldn’t afford my book, so I sent her a copy for free. Sometime later she wrote on my Amazon page:

“At the first time, I was unsure about how useful this book would be. I have been reading this book on my kindle about a month and I just found that this book made me learn a lot from reading it. I would like to recommend this book for all the beginners for php and other web-developing purpose. As a non english speaker, I thought that it could be hard to learn from english written books but this book has very easy explanation and also pictures at proper timings, I strongly recommend you to start learning php with this book. :-) Thank you Alan! “

That one made me feel great and definitely inspired to keep writing!

7. Do you have any upcoming projects in the works?

Yes, of course I do! Now that I have the writing fever I plan to release a few books a year. If I manage to do that I should be able to replace my day job income in a couple of years. That’s the goal, anyway! My next project will be to explain Apple Swift– Apple’s new programming language. After that I’ll do  a book about Python. I’ve also been kicking around the idea of a tech-based thriller!

Thanks Alan for taking the time to talk with us and share a little about yourself and your projects. We are so glad you decided to get around to writing those books! Programming is such an exciting field, and I think a lot of people shy away from learning it because they are intimidated. I’ve had “learn PHP” on my to-do list for years now. I’m glad someone out there is thinking about the beginner!

Thanks again for joining us here at Indie Author Central!

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