I just read The Nonfiction Book Publishing Plan: The Professional Guide to Profitable Self-Publishing for one reason: to determine if I could recommend it with confidence to authors who want to self-publish a book, but don’t know how.
Turns out I can — to both nonfiction and fiction authors.
Don’t stop reading this review because Stephanie Chandler and Karl Palachuk’s new-ish book has “nonfiction” in the title. Yes, the first few chapters focus on the advantages of writing and publishing a nonfiction book, but the majority of the 19 chapters are relevant to all books, regardless of genre and category.
Why I read this book
There are lots of other books I could have read, but I selected this one because I’ve read a couple of other books by Stephanie, so I know her work is excellent. Her content is thorough and accurate, and she offers specifics. She also owns a small publishing company, which means she writes about this topic from experience.
I can see that her co-author knows the topic just as well.
Here’s my review.
Lots here for all authors
Chapter 5 has some solid advice for creating your title, and the advice to write your back cover copy before staring to write the book is genius! It will help give you the focus you need to stay on track as you write.
But if you’re already sold on writing a nonfiction book, or if you write fiction, you can pretty much skip the first five chapters and start with Chapter 6, Beta Readers. Beta readers might be even more important for novelists.
You’ll find the specific information on where to find these helpers and how to work with them valuable.
There’s a great deal of information and emphasis on print books, presumably because nonfiction readers often like to read and mark up that format. Planning to publish only in e-book format? Just skip the few chapters pertaining to printed books.
What makes this book valuable
Here’s what I think makes this book useful to people who are new to self-publishing:
- You get clear, specific, and detailed instructions you can trust. The authors both have a great deal of knowledge that they share freely.
- The “Author Interviews” sprinkled throughout take you behind-the-scenes with successful self-published authors. They all answer the same questions. Because I teach how to market your books, I recommend reading everyone’s answer to this one: “What have been some book marketing strategies that have generated the best results for you?” You’ll find their insights helpful.
- The authors often use their own experiences to explain how they made decisions. I particularly appreciate the sections where they explain the options, then add, “Here’s how I handled it.” I like knowing what solution they settled on.
- The authors answer your questions before you ask them. As a moderator of a self-publishing and book marketing group, I know what questions new authors have about self-publishing. I had those common questions in mind as I read this book — and got the answers to all of them. You won’t have many questions left after you read this book.
Is anything missing?
It gave me the level of detail I need to feel like I could take on a self-publishing project with confidence. That’s precisely what I need from a resource like this.
I should point out, though, that I think the content about endorsements in Chapter 14 could have been stronger. The authors focused on getting pre-publication endorsements only from other authors. You also want to ask industry leaders and influencers. Many of them won’t be authors.
(For more on that, see my training program, “Blurbs, Endorsements, and Testimonials: How to Get Experts, Authorities, Celebrities, and Others to Endorse Your Book.”)
Two thumbs up
Too many authors don’t bother to learn the essentials before getting started on Amazon, Smashwords, or anywhere else. Whether they realize it or not, this means they make mistakes that impact their book’s quality and sales.
I highly recommend The Nonfiction Book Publishing Plan: The Professional Guide to Profitable Self-Publishing for anyone smart enough to look before they leap.
Let this resource give you the best start possible.
What other resources do you recommend to help authors learn about self-publishing? Please tell us in a comment.
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