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How to Self-Publish and Market a Book*

Some Solid Information But Some Gaps and Errors

As a freelance editor and published author myself, I am inexorably drawn to any books about writing, self-publishing, or book marketing. I have read a previous book by this author (the one on creating stories). While I appreciated his knowledge and story-crafting expertise, I did have some issues with the book, especially with the grievous amount of grammar and punctuation errors and a somewhat quirky beginning to each chapter. So I was curious about what this book was going to be like.

The editing seems to be marginally better, although there were still issues with proper punctuation. According to the front matter, this book has been professionally edited, yet the required comma between independent clauses of a compound sentence was only sometimes present. There were a few other missing punctuation marks as well scattered throughout. Words are misspelled (Fivver instead of Fiverr… really?). But I won’t harp on this, though it is a particular pet peeve of mine.

Like the other book, I think this one does a good job of showing one man’s way of doing things in the author/self-publishing space. As you would imagine from the title, this book focuses on self-publishing and marketing, which the author insists must be seen as an integrated whole, not two separate parts. I would agree with that assessment. The information given throughout the book is solid, though I could see the limitations; I wanted to add more info from my clients’ experiences (and my own) to each chapter! I thought that some details given were perhaps unnecessary for a newbie author. For some inexpensive but complex tasks, it is just better to hire a professional than to try to do everything yourself.

I did find some errors of fact that I thought were a little disturbing. For instance, when he discusses using/buying software to format your book, he lists Upwork and Fiverr as a resource to buy software! I don’t think you need to be ordering gigs for software development! Instead, you might consider using someone from either of those places to do the formatting for you. Just a strange little thing that seemed odd to me.

The book is well organized, with the bulk of it being essentially a month-by-month publishing and marketing schedule with each step clearly defined. These scheduling chapters are preceded by an introductory chapter which gives the reader the lay of the land for the six-month plan and defines a few terms. In looking over the schedule, it truly is a good one for a self-published author to follow. Lots of nuggets of wisdom here, even if it is imperfect on several levels. I wish the table of contents showed the self-publishing and marketing tasks for each month. It would have been nice to have this “at a glance” so the would-be author could quickly see where everything was heading. This book would be suitable for authors who are considering this route and certainly for any who will definitely be using it.

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