Book review: Almost Done Writing: Now What?

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Associate links, which means if you click on them and make a purchase, I will receive a couple of pennies (at no extra charge to you). 

Does anyone have a book publishing checklist?

It’s a common question in author groups.

In the past, I might have recommended using Google to find one, but now I can recommend Andrea Schmidt‘s new book, Almost Done Writing: Now What? A Guided Workbook for Self-Publishing Authors (Nonfiction).

Take a deep breath

Recognizing that new authors might be overwhelmed by the self-publishing process, Andrea uses words, design, and typography to quietly and gently guide them through the process.

In fact, Andrea’s “voice” is one of this book’s best features. She’s not your cheerleader; she’s your encourager, quietly touching your shoulder or nudging you to take a break when you start to feel overwhelmed.

She's not your cheerleader; she's your encourager, quietly touching your shoulder or nudging you to take a break when you start to feel overwhelmed.Click to tweet

It’s like having the nicest person you know sitting next to you as you take on a new challenge.

More workbook than how-to book

Almost Done Writing: Now What? is a thin workbook that offers an overview of everything from cover design to front and back matter and launch teams.

“Overview” is the key word here, as this is not a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know to self-publish a nonfiction book. Instead, it presents a high-level look at most topics covered, often giving them just a paragraph or two.

Along the way, Andrea  leads you through exercises that will help you create a compelling cover and better understand your target audience, among other things.

And that’s as it should be, since this is a workbook rather than just a how-to book.


From my perspective, Andrea’s thought-provoking exercises are the best part of the book. In fact, the book title exercises alone are worth the price.

From my perspective, Andrea's thought-provoking exercises are the best part of the book.Click to tweet

I also appreciate the various checklists, including those for the front and back book matter. (And oh-by-the-way, much of the content applies to fiction as well as nonfiction.)

Each exercise includes space for your answers or brainstorming. There are also plenty of lined pages for “notes” and, at the end, blank monthly calendars for planning and scheduling.

I’ll admit, though, that I was sometimes confused a couple of times about how Andrea organized the book’s content. More than once, I stopped and thought, “Why is this here, rather than there?

I think that shows that my brain approaches things differently. I mention it only so that if your brain works like mine, you won’t let it slow you down, because it shouldn’t.

And just a head’s up on word choice: Andrea uses the term “advance reviews” for endorsements, testimonials, and blurbs. I think some authors will think “reader reviews” when they see “advance reviews” so I want to get ahead of any potential confusion now.

Buy the print format

If you’re interested in this book, I recommend buying the printed version.

Completing the exercises and activities within the book, rather than in a separate notebook, will make it more useful for you. It will help to have that record in one package to refer to as you move through the publishing process.

Think of Almost Done Writing: Now What? A Guided Workbook for Self-Publishing Authors (Nonfiction) as a friend leading you to the finish line. It will get you there.

Do you have a favorite book publishing or marketing book? Maybe I’ll review it here! Please tell us in a comment. 

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  1. Sandra,
    First of all, thank you again for all that you do. I appreciate it so much. I’ve learned a lot in the past year about marketing my books. I’m going to self-publish this year on Amazon, so I’ve found everything you’ve put out helpful, and well as the conferences you’ve been involved in. Thank you. My favorite self-publishing information is Sarra Cannon’s Publish and Thrive course. You pay for it once, but you can take the class as many times as you need. She built a nice community, and people are always willing to help if you have questions along the way, about anything really. She did not take marketing for her studies. She is an author who did very well and wanted to give back to the Romance community, but writers of all genres have taken her class. She also puts out updates on how to plan, so her YouTube channel is called Heartbreathings. I think you’d be impressed with what she’s accomplished in three years. As for your advice, I find it so helpful. Thank you again for all you do.

    1. You’re welcome, Tricia, and what a powerful tribute to your favorite instructor! Thanks so much for sharing that. I’m sure it will help others and I’m glad you’ve put Sarra on my radar.


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