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The Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book (11th ed) Paperback – March, 1999

418 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

The bible on self-publishing. Highly recommended by virtually everyone in the industry -- even other authors of books on the subject (many of whom probably followed the advice in Poynter's previous 11 editions). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Now in it's 9th revised edition, Dan Poynter's The Self-Publishing Manual is the seminal, benchmark publication which is "must" reading for anyone contemplating publishing a book. All the necessary questions are answered, all the "tips, tricks & techniques" for successfully publishing a quality title are laid out step-by-step using a very methodical system for producing a commercially-successful book beginning with applying the simple organizational plan to research your subject and put your thoughts down on paper. The publishing information will enable you to get your book into print quickly and easily by going direct and cutting out the middlemen, including getting the copyright for your own book, setting up your own publishing company, and benefiting from the tax breaks. Equally important is learning the secrets of low-cost book promotion, the (sometimes shocking) facts about advertising, setting up a distribution system, promoting your book with feature articles and radio/television interviews, spinning off electronic editions (including selling your information on-line and on CD-ROM). No one should venture into publishing without a thorough reading of The Self-Publishing Manual, and even then, keeping it within arm's reach for continual reference at every step of the publishing project. -- Midwest Book Review

One of the best how-to-do-it books. -- Money Magazine

This is the first book I recommend to those considering becoming a publisher. -- Jan Nathan, Executive Director Publishers Marketing Association --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: 11th ed
  • Paperback: 458 pages
  • Publisher: Para Pub; 11th Rev edition (March 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568600593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568600598
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (418 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,061,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Book Writing and Publishing. (Aviation bio, below).

Dan Poynter is an author of more than 120 books, has been a publisher since 1969 and is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP).

He is an evangelist for books, an ombudsman for authors, an advocate for publishers and the godfather to thousands of successfully-published books.

His seminars have been featured on CNN, his books have been pictured in The Wall Street Journal and his story has been told in The New York Times. The media come to Dan because he is the leading authority on book publishing.

Dan travels more than 6,000 miles each week to share, inspire and empower writers, publishers and professional speakers through keynotes and seminars.

Some of his books are Writing Nonfiction, The Self-Publishing Manual, The Skydiver's Handbook, The Expert Witness Handbook and The Older Cat.


Dan shows people how to make a difference while making a living by coaching them on the writing, publishing and promoting of their books.

He has turned thousands of people into successful authors. His mission is to see that people do not die with a book still inside them.

Follow me:
See me:

Parachutes, Skydiving, and Aviation.

Dan Poynter is a skydiver, parachute rigger and pilot.
He worked as a parachute designer for years and has all the licenses and rating in skydiving.
He was recently nominated to the Skydiving Hall of Fame.
Dan has written a dozen books on parachutes, hang gliding, and other aviation activities.


Para Publishing LLC, PO Box 8206, Santa Barbara, CA 93118-8206, USA.
Bus: +1-805-968-7277; Mob: +1-805-448-9009

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

165 of 182 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca of Amazon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you have ever felt that self-publishing is similar to jumping out of a plane without a parachute, have no fear! "The Self-Publishing Manual" is your parachute! On your way to "landing" your first published book, you will learn everything you need to know.

I think of Dan Poynter as the ultimate "how-to self-publish" expert! He will teach you all the tricks of the publishing trade. As an author of more than 80 books, he also has a proven track record of success. He will convince you that you too can succeed.

The strength of this encyclopedic reference is the author's experience in publishing. Dan Poynter is also on the leading edge of technology. He welcomes the new era of book publishing and prepares writers by giving a "New Book Publishing Model."

If you are looking for a complete reference on writing, printing, publishing, promoting, marketing and distributing your new book, look no further. Whether you just have the concept for your new book or have already advanced to the promotion stage, the information you will need to make your efforts more successful is here!

The "Your Book's Calendar" section is like a true gift for the busy author. This section is vital to keeping your goals and progress in check. It will allow you to digest volumes of information in small sections. You can start with what you have started to accomplish, check the suggested readings and then check off your goals as you reach them.

I especially enjoyed reading the section on professional reviewers. The glossary of publishing terms was so revealing. The "resources for publishers" section was detailed and informative.

This source book also has a companion web site.
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119 of 131 people found the following review helpful By Cathy Stucker VINE VOICE on July 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
Publishing can be a tough business, but with the advice of Dan Poynter you can make your book a profitable reality. 'The Self-Publishing Manual' includes great nuts-and-bolts advice and lots of helpful resources for getting your book written, produced and distributed.
The templates and forms Dan includes are useful, for everything from permissions requests to requests for print bids to discount schedules. Even if all you use are the lists of publishing web sites, printers, distributors, reviewers, etc., you will more than get your money's worth from this book.
Dan's information helped me produce a quality book on a tight timeframe. Not only did I get the book done quickly, it was profitable within one month after release.
I teach a course on publishing, and 'The Self-Publishing Manual' is the text I use. If you want to learn about publishing, this is the place to start.
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205 of 232 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
Poynter is the guru of a certain type of self-publishing author: The writer/hustler who is interested, first and foremost, in making money -- lots and lots of money -- not merely in making information available and earning enough back to make the effort worthwhile. I've done a certain amount of self-publishing over the past couple of decades (mostly genealogical research materials and local history), and while I'm always interested in what he has to say, I've frankly never found a lot of useful material here. All the way through, especially in the early chapters where he's trying to hook you (and remember that his background is in marketing), he insists this writing-publishing thing is easy. All you do is get an idea, read everything about it, put it all in a notebook (rather quirkily for a technophile, he seems to believe in first-draft writing on paper), edit it into a new shape, and Presto! You have a new book, and it's gonna make you rich! Or something. Among other problems, he seems to have only a hazy idea of how the acquisitions process generally works in a large library system. Not to mention comments like "library loans may hurt sales of fiction," and "libraries tend to do most of their ordering around the beginning or end of their fiscal year." Puh-leez. Then there's this, regarding the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998: "Now, anything printed prior to 1922 is safe." Say what? (Even Cotton Mather?) He also seems to think book-indexing need involve only the "indexing" feature in Microsoft Word. Finally, on the very last page (before the omnipresent order form, that is), he says it doesn't matter who the publisher is: "Who is the author? Is she a credible person? No one ever asks, 'Who is the publisher'?Read more ›
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Joseph H Pierre on June 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
In a previous review of the former edition this book, Isaid:

This is a very good guide, especially for the author (orwannabe author) who is thinking about writing and publishing their own work.

These days, the writing of the book, contrary to the belief of many, is not the end of the work. Perhaps the largest hurdle remains: getting the book published and out on the market where people may buy it.

This book looks at those problems, and contains a great deal of very good advice.

Even the biggest publishers take a loss, or just break even, on most of the titles they publish. They are supported by the handful that achieve the most attention, and become big sellers. Like the movie industry, only a few become stars. And, of course, the giant's share of their promotion budget goes to the books which show the most promise, leaving the ones who really need it out in the cold.

It is a humbling experience for a would-be author to go into a large bookstore, see all of the shelves full of books, and realize that his book will just be one more of the hundreds of thousands of new titles that show up each year.

So, this book fills a need. How about publishing? The primary functions of the traditional publisher are selecting books that will sell in the first place, editing, proofreading, design, production and--most important--marketing. In most cases, the new author is the primary marketing agent for his book, anyway. Why should he give up 90% of the sales price when he must shoulder the main responsibility of the publisher?

The author, who created the book, must usually be satisfied with 10% royalties, with the publisher retaining 90% for their production and marketing efforts.
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