Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote and Sell Your Own Book
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on May 15, 2012
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 That may have been fine in 2010, when this fifth edition was released, but I think it's a little out-of-date now.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. It covers every single aspect of the self-publishing process in incredible, accessible detail, but it's irrelevant to anyone outside the United States (perhaps the information applies to Canada, too, I don't know, but the authors do tell Canadian readers to basically do their own research into taxation), and fiction writers will have to search for the parts which are relevant to them.

There is a lot of valuable information in this book, but if you are interested in buying it, I would wait until the next edition.
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on July 17, 2012
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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on December 19, 2011
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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on October 9, 2010
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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on July 4, 2013
This is the BIBLE when it comes to self-publishing. I have a ton of self-publishing books I bought prior to this book, and none of them stand up tall next to this one. This is the only self-publishing book you will need as it provides all the information you will ever need. Don't fall for other "guru" types in the self-publishing industry. Most of them are gimmicks. Marilyn Ross is the one who has been in this business for decades, and she knows what she is talking about. The book is very organized and provides a ton of samples.
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on April 4, 2013
Wow! This book helped my self-publish my first book. It is very thorough and provides tons of information. Sometimes there was enough information to make the book a bit overwhelming. When that feeling came, I'd go to the back of the book and look at the checklist to give my mind a breather.

Definitely a book to have for any person considering self-publishing. Most of the information is timeless, but make sure to get the most recent edition if possible, as so much is changing with technology.
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on October 21, 2013
With this book, you won't need any other on the subject of Self-Publishing. Veteran writers, Marilyn Ross & Sue Collier, deliver their in-depth knowledge on every aspect of the publishing industry; no questions left unanswered. It should be classed as a reference book with no less standing than an unabridged dictionary. Bravo, Ms. Ross & Ms. Collier. Like your other publications, The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing is thorough, candid, and worth triple its price; it's the ONLY book a self-publisher needs.
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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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on February 15, 2013
This is a no-nonsense, down-to-the-last-detail reference book on self-publishing. I bought a much older edition when I first attempted self-publication 20 years ago. With the valuable advice and information from Tom and Marilyn Ross, I managed to roll out 2 books. I left the scene due to family commitment. Since then, the book has been completely re-written and with so many years of experience on the topic, it's not surprising that Ross and Collier could produce such an indispensable reference for newbies and people like me who are making a comeback.

It's a thick book divided into 6 parts:
1. Today's Publishing Scene
2. Start Up Considerations
3. Creating A Quality Product
4. Killer PR
5. Selling Books
6. Propelling Your Business Through The Stratosphere

I guess most of us can skip Part 6 for now, but the authors are really quite down-to-earth, encouraging without being over-optimistic and what I like most about this book over many others, is that goes down to the nuts and bolts of the business. The authors are not writing from their own experiences alone. They are also writing from others' experiences over the decades. This makes this book a bible for self publishers. Worth every cent I've spent on it.
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on January 31, 2012
There are a lot of books available about self-publishing today. What there is not a lot of are books written by people who have actually done it more than once with good success. Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier write about the whole self-publishing industry from their vast experience.

It is one thing to study and research a topic and then write about it. It is entirely different with this topic. You can't simply study the subject and then write about it. In order to really understand it, as well as give genuine guidance you must self-publish your own books. This is one area where experience and practice outweigh research and study.

What I love about this book is it's breadth of detail in all the areas you need to know about in order to self-publish successfully today. The publishing industry is changing by the day. How do you, a writer, stay up on the changes? Not to mention learn how to discern what areas you can do it yourself. While outsourcing the things you can't personally handle.

This book starts out with an overview of today's publishing scene. In this first section you will find information on the rewards and pitfalls to avoid. You will find many success stories to learn from. And detailed information on Print on Demand (POD) and Subsidy publishing and some opportunities in between them.

Part two talks about the actual start up process to become successful. It covers finding profitable markets, how to capitalize on new trends, different nonfiction topics that sell very well. It ends with details for fiction books, editing as well as tax considerations.

Part Three address how to write a quality book that attracts customers. This is essential if your goal is to write multiple books and build loyal buying fans. Included is how to get your books printed in an affordable way. Next they tackle copyright registration, and book binding options.

Part four talks about killer PR, which our experienced authors call "The Great Equalizer." They begin teaching you how to launch a great nationwide marketing plan. How to get reviewed. They include a special section for Fiction writers. They also cover Internet PR and advertising, newspapers, Radio, TV, and book signings.

Next you will find out how to sell books the usual way...through book wholesalers in part five. In part six they tackle nontraditional ways to sell your books for even more profit potential. Here you will learn about selling at seminars, trade shows, classes and online social networking.

The finale of this fine book is part seven. Inside this last section you will find out how to position your book and how many books you have to sell to attract a big publishing company to pick up your book and publish it. The traditional publishing industry is leaning more and more on waiting until an author has some sales and a small following before they agree to publish it. This works well for everyone and should be a part of your long term goals.

To help you put this huge volume of information together you will find a self-publishing timetable, a sample marketing plan, Canadian resources and much more in the appendix.

Although I love this book and it has been a great resource to me personally. I think the authors could have gone a little farther in producing a website or newsletter that will keep us all up to date. There is nothing mentioned about ePublishing on Kindle and the other eBook eReaders that are all the rage today. And, they left out Create Space where you can publish your own paperback free and have it distributed to all bookstores at a wholesale price they can afford for under $40 the first year.

I do feel this is a must read and study for anyone thinking about self-publishing today. However, I urge you to supplement this book with some others that are up to date on ePublishing and low cost and free POD options now available.
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