Top Three Books to Learn About Self-Publishing


Self-publishing is hard. No doubt about it!

Luckily, there are many incredible authors who have successfully self-published and documented their experience. Here are my top three books to learn about self-publishing.

The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing

by The Indie Voice ( Jana DeLeon, Tina Folsom, Colleen Gleason, Jane Graves, Liliana Hart, Debra Holland, Dorien Kelly, Theresa Ragan, Denise Grover Swank , Jasinda Wilder)

Overview from Amazon: The Naked Truth is not just another book about self-publishing. Ten New York Times Bestselling authors share their knowledge, their experiences, and their souls.

Why I recommend this book: This book was written by not one, but TEN indie authors that have cracked the self-publishing code and experienced excellent success first-hand. They are generous with their experiences and knowledge, sharing their wins and loses alike.

Best lesson: Write series. Many self-publishing folks will tell you that the best way to sell a book is to write more books. The authors of The Naked Truth illustrate that wisdom with detailed examples and clarity.

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book

by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch

Overview from Amazon: APE is 300 pages of step-by-step, tactical advice and practical inspiration. If you want a hype-filled, get-rich-quick book, you should look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you want a comprehensive and realistic guide to self-publishing, APE is the answer.

Why I recommend this book: If you are looking to get beyond theory and general advice and down to the nitty gritty details on how EXACTLY to publish and market your book, APE is an excellent resource. I first purchased the paper copy of this book, folding down the corner of pages with resources and links that I wanted to follow-up with later. Once I dog-earred an entire chapter, I gave up on the print version and bought the digital version. The digital version makes follow-up easy as you can easily click-through to the hundreds of resources and links Guy and Shawn include. Both Guy and Shawn advise Writer.ly. We pick these brains regularly. They’re tasty brains, we assure you.

Best lesson: Get help. Your book will sit side-by-side on the shelf (digital or otherwise) with books backed by top-tier resources. Hire an editor. Hire a cover designer. Hire a book formatter that will make sure your book reads well across all devices. Expect to invest money in your project if you would like a professional, high-quality book.

How to Market a Book

by Lori Culwell and Katherine Sears

Overview from Amazon: You’ve written a book–now what?? Whether you’ve recently self-published, have just gotten a book deal with a big publisher, your book is out, or anywhere in between, you probably know one thing–you need a website, and you need to be promoting yourself on a regular basis on social media. But–how? You’re exhausted from having written the book, and frankly, you don’t want to learn about websites, social media, networking, and getting yourself out there. You’re kind of just wishing someone will come along and either do everything for you, or at least explain to you step by step, in plain English, how to do these things and why they’re important. That’s where we come in. We are a book publisher and an author/ marketer, respectively, and we like talking about book marketing for authors. We know that the difference between a successful author and one who is not, (especially in this day and age) is a strong online presence, and we’re going to help you develop one, taking your book marketing plan step by step.

Why I recommend this book: This book is excellent for authors just starting out. If you not only lack an “author platform,” but wonder if that’s just a term for the publishing precipice (such as your desk chair) you are about to leap bravely from, then this is the book for you. Lori and Katherine take time to explain in basic, unassuming detail: author websites, the importance of author marketing, social media, pitching to traditional presses, book promotions, and connecting with readers.

Best lesson: Any author may master the tools for marketing a book with the right investment of time, effort and motivation. Even authors that are squeamish about social media and self-promotion can find a way to sell their books without selling their souls.

What books did I miss? Is there a book that has been a great help on your self-publishing journey? Please do share your top book about self-publishing in the comment below.

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  1. APE really helped me get my book finished. A ton of relevant information and pictures to help guide you along. Haven’t yet read the others, although now I might have to take a look.