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“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.
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