self-publishing: seven stellar starting guides

© jijomathaidesigners 2015

© jijomathaidesigners 2015

At the start of this year I decided to look into publishing some of my short stories. I signed up for Euan Mitchell’s Digital Makeover course provided by Writers Victoria at Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre and started reading up on how to produce an e-book.

Now, half a year later, I am about to self-publish my second short story and I intend to go down the e-book path again when Resilience, my debut novel, is ready for publication.

The hardest parts about self-publishing are the writing and the marketing. The bit in the middle, creating and uploading an e-book, is quite enjoyable and relatively stress-free.

There is so much advice out there for anyone planning to create an e-book and I would like to share with you the books that I found particularly helpful.

David Gaughran: Let’s Get Digital. How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should (2014 –– 2nd edition). A great introduction. Starts with a systemic analysis of the digital revolution. Part two deals with practical aspects of self-publishing, from cover design to metadata. David’s book also includes several success stories and useful attachments.

Euan Mitchell: Your Book Publishing Options. How to Make and Market Ebooks and Print Books (2014). Practical guide covering both e-books and print, from manuscript stage to distribution and marketing. Useful chapter for Australian authors on how to apply for withholding tax reductions in the US.

Mark Coker: The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success. How to Reach More Readers with Your Words (2014 –– revised edition). Thirty practical tips from the founder of Smashwords. Available for download as a free e-book.

Mark Coker: The Smashwords Book Marketing Guide (2013) Forty-one practical tips from the founder of Smashwords. Available for download as a free e-book.

Joanna Penn: How to Market a Book (2014 –– 2nd edition). Joanna generously shares her learning and expertise as an author, entrepreneur and public speaker. There is no magic wand –– just the prospect of sustained hard work, winning over one reader at a time by delivering professional work; and building an author platform, using a range of social media. Tons of practical tips and strategies.

Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant: Write. Publish. Repeat. The No-Luck-Required Guide to Self-Publishing Success (2013). The authors emphasise the need to build up a body of work and to create a sales funnel, where each title helps to promote the others on your list. Discursive and occasionally repetitive but lots of useful advice.

David Gaughran: Let’s Get Visible: How To Get Noticed And Sell More Books (2013). A more advanced read, explaining the intricacies of Amazon’s algorithm, sales ranking and recommendation engine. Includes a section about selling outside Amazon.

I hope you found this list useful. Please leave a comment below if you think of another introductory text that you found particularly informative.

Thank you for reading my post!

5 thoughts on “self-publishing: seven stellar starting guides

  1. Thank you for this practical advice. Ironically, I found the “bit in the middle” to be hair-raising as I feel utterly inept at it, nor do I have the desire to immerse myself in the process. That being said––I recognize how important it is and this list of resources is invaluable. Thank you!
    All the best for your self-publishing ventures. It truly brings a sense of immense accomplishment with it.


    • My Inner Geek just likes tinkering with fonts and paragraph indentations but thankfully there are services available if you don’t want to take self-publishing quite so literally. Thank you Julia––always great to get a supportive comment from a fellow writer!

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