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The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote and Sell Your Own Book 5th Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1582977188
ISBN-10: 1582977186
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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote and Sell Your Own Book
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  • The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, Fifth Edition: A Primer on Contracts, Printing Costs, Royalties, Distribution, E-Books, and Marketing
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  • Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Marilyn Ross is an internationally acclaimed self-publishing authority who has helped thousands of authors sell millions of books. She has been quoted in a multitude of magazines including Publishers Weekly and Newsweek, and has appeared on scores of radio and TV shows, including NPR's All Things Considered.



Sue Collier has an extensive background in writing and editing having ghost-written a half-dozen books and edited hundreds more. The two have been collaborating for the past 15 years on a myriad of projects, but most recently focused their efforts on Self-Publishing Resources, a writing, marketing, and publishing consulting firm that assists authors in surpassing their personal and professional publishing goals.

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Product Details

  • Series: Complete Guide to Self-Publishing Everything
  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; 5 edition (August 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582977186
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582977188
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The subtitle for this book is "Everything you need to know to write, publish, promote and sell your own book," and it truly does cover everything. From getting your ideas, to writing, to taking your author photo, to securing ISBNs, to filing tax forms, to promoting your book- everything is covered here.

I actually gave up on this book 36% in, because it was such heavy going. It's not the kind of book I recommend reading cover-to-cover, it is definitely more of a reference book. I would buy the paperback (because I much prefer hard copy non-fiction to Kindle non-fiction) and keep it on my desk as I wrote, referring to it at each stage throughout the self-publishing process, if I was anything more than a lowly reviewer!

The book is very heavily focused on printing your book, and getting it into bookstores. That may have been fine in 2010, when this fifth edition was released, but I think it's a little out-of-date now. All self-published authors that I know personally are e-focused, and have largely given up on getting into bricks-and-mortar bookstores.

It's also largely focused on non-fiction works, and is very heavily geared towards North American readers. I found myself asking more questions like "How would that work over here?" than I have with any other book or article on the subject.

There is also a crazy amount of self-promotion in this book. The authors each have quite a few other titles to their names, and take every opportunity to hawk them.It's annoying, but a minor detail.

Overall, I thought this book was a pretty decent reference book, if you're based in North America. It gets very technical, which I actually like- it's very in-depth on the printing process, for example.
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Format: Paperback
This is a resource book. I went through most of the links and found they don't exist. And with the sites that are there (after I google them), they don't even do what the authors say they do. It's all fluff and no substance. I deeply regret this purchase.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book had an interesting beginning, but then turned into a text on how to run a business with very little usable information concerning self-publishing. It did have some interesting contact information, but basically said, "the self-published writer is going to lose money." After that, why bother?
There is a new publishing world out there, but this book does not come close. Most books of this ilk are stuck back in 1972.
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Format: Paperback
When we began self-publishing our books over a decade ago, we were looked upon as second-class citizens by most in the publishing industry. Then came incredible advances in desktop computer technology and a struggling economy and e-books. Now ten years and 100,000 copies of our own books sold later, even traditionally published authors have begun to approach us for direction. There are many resources on the subject available in print and on-line available, but it is this comprehensive and up-to-date Complete Guide to Self-Publishing which we highly recommend as stop number one.

Gary VanRiper
[...]
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Format: Paperback
The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing is a very valuable resource for someone who wants to publish a book and get it into the marketplace. I found numerous ideas in this manual that I hadn't seen elsewhere. The authors spend a good bit of time talking about their own efforts, but I didn't find that distracting because the examples they used were pretty spot on. The one caveat I would mention is that this is aimed at someone who wants to publish a physical book and get it into the stores and other places where physical books are sold. This isn't really aimed at e-books, an area that seems more apt and easier to crack for many people who are self-publishing. Still, I would recommend this for anyone interested in publishing a book. For more in-depth book reviews I've done, search for goldenrulecomics on hubpages.com.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The new 5th edition (Aug 2010) is a gem. I judge business help books by how many flags/stickies I add - this one is bursting with flags for my quick reference.

The book's cover tag line is true - eveything you need to know to write, publish, promote and sell your own book. Today's publishing industry is vastly different that just a few years ago. Writers have options to publish paper books, ebooks, booklets, and more. Authors Ross and Collier walk you through the options and point out the pitfalls and issues to consider. There is an entire chapter on cyber options plus a recommendation for a book that focused exclusively on epublishing.

The promotional guidance is outstanding also. The authors discuss nontraditional ways to market your new book - blogs, podcasts, virtual author tours.

I found the suggested timetable to be comprehensive and a very useful tool to map out my new book project.

This book one of the few I have read that also provides information for people interested in becoming publishers of books other than their own. Ross and Collier clarify that with today's technology and online resources, it is feasible for you to start a niche publishing company without a large investment.
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