Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Self Publishing for Virgins

Self-Publishing for Virgins: Learn how to organize, layout, design, publish and market your self-published book using print-on-demand with createspace and Word 2007That's the actual title of a book by Peggy McKay. Self Publishing for Virgins. In my online wanderings and gathering information for FundsforWriters, I ran across her book and asked to read an excerpt. The voice was good, clean, nicely informative. So I asked to read the book.

Yes, this is a marvelous primer for the first-timer. This book explains, clarifies and points the reader in the right direction. Peggy writes this book for the newbie, and she doesn't throw a ton of references and choices at the reader. Instead, She took her knowledge and confined it to CreateSpace, MS Word and BlueBeam. That way the reader doesn't have to research technology in order to start learning how to self-publish. I liked the way she painted this picture.

Three simple sections. Before the book is published, how to publish the book, post publication promotion. Voila. Simple. I have no intention of self-publishing anytime soon, but I wanted to read this book. Peggy talks in terms of a master plan, teaching the author to work in terms of a project, not a book. A book is a concept, a widget, a dream, a product, a brand, and a business. It's not just a story. And this book tells you how to handle obstacles like covers, ISBNs, understanding uploading files, commissions, Amazon features, libraries and author websites. It's the whole package.

Yes, there are many how-to books out there. Most of them expect you to already know how the system works. They assume. You get frustrated. Many quit. Some of the books talk the publishing part and skip or skim promotion.

I enjoyed this. I understood this. I appreciated the author respecting me (and others) in needing to know all the A-B-Cs instead of just a few letters in between A-Z. If you are considering self-publishing a print book, and you do not understand the system, this is the book to read.


Karen Lange said...

This sounds like a good resource. I self-published a booklet for homeschool parents before the self-pub buzz was everywhere. I knew little to nothing about the process, and went on the advice from a colleague who had self-published her parenting guides. Looking to revise the booklet, and make it available as an e-book too, so this info might come in handy. Thanks, Hope.

Sun Singer said...

There's a lot of fluff out there about self-publishing, and much of it is presented in such an overly optimistic fashion, many writers must expect to make millions. This book looks good--except for the title.

Sorry, but when I see the title, my first thought is: "well, now there's a book for a very small audience. How many of them are there?"

Hope Clark said...

There are thousands, Sun. Actually, there are more virgins than A lot of people think they know what to do, and the majority of them do not. I think the title makes the book safe enough for anyone to pick up. I guarantee people who think they know the biz will learn from it.