Books Over Bucks Professor Amans Journey with First Book School 1

Books Over Bucks: Professor Aman’s Journey with First Book School

After an unexpectedly long hiatus of two and a half years, we finally reconnected with Professor Aman, the innovator behind the First Book School—a free initiative that has blossomed into a vibrant community of over 13,000 members on, highly recommended by almost all community-based writing forums.

Remarkably, more than 800 books have been published by community members. Now serving as the Director of Marketing & Partnerships at Edioak, this interview explores Professor Aman’s significant First Book School journey:

Q1: Professor Aman, it’s been nearly two and a half years since we first reached out. Can you share with us what has been happening during this time that delayed your response?

Certainly, my responsibilities as a marketing leader in various organizations required full-time commitment, which funded the First Book School initiative. Also, I did not want my managers to know anything. 

Now, I’m with Edioak, where what was a part-time passion project aligns with my full-time dream job. It’s all about the impact, even if my email timing might suggest otherwise!

Q2: What inspired you to initiate the First Book School during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what were the initial challenges you faced?

The inspiration for First Book School began as a challenge among professors to write a non-fiction book quickly. This idea caught on across various universities, leading to our inaugural batch on July 16, 2020.

Since then, we’ve launched a new batch each month, amounting to more than 38 enthusiastic groups. In the early days, I had individual calls with almost everyone—I knew more personal stories than a barista at a local coffee shop! The toughest part? Keeping up as the community grew, both in numbers and expectations.

Q3: What do you believe are the key factors contributing to the success of First Book School, which now boasts a community of over 13,000 members and widespread acclaim across writing forums?

The magic ingredient? No upsells—ever. Each member knew their wallet was safe with us. Also, another  key factor in our success has been the personal touch—every community member has had the opportunity to meet me at least once. Our team supported them from drafting to marketing, even setting up websites and crafting social media advertisements. As our authors began making sales, their success stories became the best advertisements on Facebook groups.

Q5: You decided to keep the First Book School a free community. What motivated this decision, and looking back, how sustainable do you think this model has been?

The decision was fueled by an army of volunteer authors, designers, and marketers who found joy in helping others navigate their first publishing journey. It’s like a potluck dinner; everyone brings something to the table, making it a feast of knowledge and support.

Q6: Despite the clear potential for monetization, you chose not to commercialize the First Book School. Why was it important to maintain it as a non-commercial venture?

Keeping it non-commercial was key to preserving our educational integrity. There’s a different kind of fulfillment in watching someone publish their first book and start earning from it—more gratifying than any profit we might have made.

Q7: How are the courses and community of First Book School being integrated into Edioak, and what synergies do you foresee with this merger?

All our resources and community efforts are merging into Edioak like a dream team coming together. This means even more polished and professional support for our authors, from rookies to bestsellers.

Q8: How have your experiences, particularly with First Book School, influenced your current approach to marketing and partnership strategies at Edioak?

It’s all about authenticity and engagement. First Book School taught me that if you can connect genuinely with one aspiring writer, you can engage a community of thousands. At Edioak, we’re scaling up that personal touch to build lasting partnerships and meaningful campaigns.

As we wrapped up our chat, it is clear that Professor Aman’s adventure with First Book School wasn’t just about herding a flock of eager writers—it was about cultivating a garden where creativity sprouts up faster than weeds in a sidewalk crack, all without the pesky interference of dollar signs.

Now at Edioak, he’s like a chef turned loose in a bigger kitchen, ready to cook up something spectacular that might just change the menu for good. Marching to the beat of his own drum.