Top positive review
A Complete, Enlightening Approach to Self-Publishing
January 6, 2014
Lately I have been reading a number of books on creating and publishing non-fiction books on Kindle. Most of them give pretty much the same advice, some longer, some shorter. This book is well-written, more opinionated, more complete, and the best I’ve read so far.
If you’re reading this, you know what Kindle editions are. Createspace is also owned by Amazon and produces paperback books by “print on demand” technology. The result is that if you are also published through Createspace you can sell paper versions of your Kindle e-book. The author points out that to publish first on Kindle, then Createspace, is harder than adjusting your book and uploading to Createspace first, and then, from there, generating the Kindle edition.
The author’s main theme is that you should try to produce a book for Createspace and Kindle at the same time. Doing a Createspace book makes the Kindle edition follow on very easily and naturally. A friend of mine has tried this and even a year after publishing he says he gets about 50% of sales from each source. Incidentally, this works for fiction as well as non-fiction although the author of this book has experience only with non-fiction.
On balance the author’s theme is very persuasive. Moreover, he gives lots of tools, perhaps too many. He gives advice running the gamut from picking a chair in which to write all the way to preparation of your cover and manuscript and uploading it. He covers the usual material on researching key words to see what topics sell best. He goes over the usual material on optimizing your key words, title, covers, and book description. He discusses marketing and the value of social networks – again ground covered by others. Yet, he has some opinions at variance with the majority of writers on this topic. I tend, in the absence of experimentation, to believe his experience and reasoning.
The advice appears to be very sound, and is just enough different from some of the prevailing conventional wisdom to be provocative. The result is that this book helps you think through all the stages of publishing your book and the choices you can make. It should be in your writer’s library along with some of its competitors.
If I have any criticism, it is that certain portions of his book are TOO detailed and complete. It is sneakily encyclopedic. For instance, he covers how to format and upload your book to Createspace (and Kindle too) in immense detail, and this is right after telling you how you might come up with a topic and set yourself up to write. Obviously, this book is also a reference and would be read several times, at least in part, as you progress with your project.
One very nice feature is the author’s including lots of links and references to useful web sites that most of the authors of similar books have not included. And, he lists some neat tools for writing which most do not mention such as a program called “Evernote.”
So far I have not seen a book on self-publishing through Amazon which is as complete and useful as a permanent reference as well as an introduction to the entire process from wish to royalty.