Friday, November 13, 2009

Self Publishing: a Review.

A while ago I mentioned I received a copy of The Step-by-Step Guide to Self-Publishing for Profit! by Christy Pinheiro of The Publishing Maven

This book has raised all sorts of issues for me. I am more than sick of the grind of trying to get my work published using the “traditional” method. I have wondered about self publishing before. I have also put a modicum of effort into researching the possibility of self publishing through Lulu and BookSurge. I have even looked at Lightning Source

Christy’s book injects Amazon’s CreateSpace into the mix. The cost per copy with Create Space seems much more reasonable than Lulu. Also you gain the benefit of automatic listing with Amazon.

With self publishing marketing seems to be pretty much up to an author’s ability to push themselves. But then again it seems that most “orthodox” publishers seem to leave most of the marketing up to authors these days.

I’ve had my manuscript copyedited a couple of times. I’ve also produced an OK cover for the fun of it.

So in theory I could put it all together as a self published book in a fairly short period of time. Marketing would remain my biggest problem.
Damn it would be nice if it was all easy!

Anyway I have put up a review of Christy’s book on Amazon and include it below:

Title: The Step-By-Step Guide to Self-Publishing For Profit!
Author: C. Pinheiro (co-authored with Nick Russell)
ISBN: 978-0982266007
Publisher: Pineapple Publications

Christy Pinheiro and her co-author Nick Russell have produced a very handy guide to beginning a self publishing business. As the title suggests, the book outlines a series of steps to establish a profitable publishing business. The book works as a practical guide for beginners in the industry.

The book can be roughly broken into three sections, each covering a different aspect of self publishing. The first few chapters cover the basics such as: avoiding vanity publishers; the rudiments of establishing a business; and preparing the best possible manuscript by using services like copy editors. The next section deals with: the specifics of publishing using Amazon’s CreateSpace; it also briefly looks at other services such as Nick Russell apparently uses Ingram’s Lighting Source for the majority of his own business. The third section deals with marketing a self published book and developing an income using the internet. Potentially the most valuable section of the book, it looks at various strategies. A myriad of examples are given including: using Amazon’s features; seeking book reviews; promotion using blogging; establishing a promotional website; and generating income using Google’s AdWords and Amazon’s affiliate program.

From a personal perspective, I found Christy’s book informative and helpful. This book has restimulated my interest in exploring self publishing, despite the fact that Christy specifically suggests self publishing works best for non-fiction. The only section of the book that had no direct relevance to me (as an Aussie) was some technical material on registering a business in the US and record keeping for US tax purposes.

Finally as this book produced by POD, a brief word about the book’s physical characteristics is worthwhile. I was impressed by the overall quality of the book. The paper is of good quality. The printing is excellent throughout with no technical errors or problems such as bleed. The cover is full colour and printed to a standard equivalent to any retail book. The only slight quibble I would voice is that the cardstock used in the cover would benefit from being a slightly heavier weight.

Christy has just posted that BookSurge and CreateSpace have been merged by Amazon.

And finally.
A male King Parrot I snapped him up near Badger Creek a few weeks ago. A lot of Australian parrots are fairly easy to photograph, they seem to be curious about what you are doing.

This guy was so relaxed about my presence he took some time out to preen before flying off.


Terra said...

self publishing seems to me to be expensive and exhausting - however since finding a publisher prooves to be equally exhausting perhaps it would be worth a go? I don't know...

baileythebookworm said...

I just finally got my literary journal finalized, edited and I used CreateSpace to publish it -I've bought a book or two from CreateSpace, and I have been uniformly impressed with the quality of the books (fortunately, my journal was no exception to that).

If it's worth it to start getting your work out there without going through traditional publishing routes, I would definitely give it a shot. Although, having a professional editor is something I would definitely recommend (the only reason I didn't hunt one down myself was because my journal was a school project. Next issue might be a different story).

The control over the design of the book offered by CreateSpace was one of its most attractive features to me, even though I about tore my hair out trying to format everything just the way I wanted it. It's an interesting experience to be editor, designer, marketer and publisher all in one, but I had a lot of fun with it.

Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA said...

Thanks Al for the wonderful review! I am actually formatting a book for a friend this weekend, if you ever need my help, and you want to try self-publishing with CreateSpace, just e-mail me, I'd be happy to help!

On a side note, the pictures of the parrot sre so pretty. How you get these shots escapes me.

Wendy R said...

Dear Al

I would say go for it if you are confident in the product and have the energy not just for the production process but for further promotional stuff afterwards. There is nothing --- nothing--- like seeing your own work between covers and knowing others are reading and appreciating it.
Obviously Christy P will be there for email consultation and as well as that your blog is ready built for promotion across cyber space. If you blogged the process then others would be interested, for themselves, but also in the book inself. (And, you have that great cover...)
I think many writers are thinking of taking this route as novels which twenty years ago which would have been welcomed by publishers are being pushed to one side by oddities which sell well but which could never be labelled literature.
And there have been cases here where self-published novels that did well have been taken on by mainstream publishers. In effect yoy have done their market research for them.
So I say - go for it. I for one (of many) would buy one from Amazon.
It's about belief in yourself...

Lisa said...

If you go self-published, the internet is a wonderful way to get the word out quickly. I stumbled upon an author on Twitter last fall and her book really took off all through her own PR efforts. She's published through Unbridled Books and they've got some excellent books but they really leave the PR up to the authors. You know your bloggie friends will help as well!