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If you're an author or plan to become one, do yourself a favor and read this book
on December 2, 2005
I've read most of the available books about self-publishing and can recommend this one wholeheartedly. It begins with the premise that authors must think of their writing as a business. Even before writing, you need to research who the audience for the book will be, and how you will publicize the book to them when it's finished. The author advocates focusing your marketing efforts not on paid advertising, but by building an informative Web site that will provide free advertising.
This book lays this groundwork, then proceeds through the practical steps of how to have your book manufactured, distributed, and publicized. All of the other self-publishing books talk about these things, but this book actually gives you the nuts and bolts of how to go about it.
The author is able to give you these specifics because he has self-published several successful titles himself. He actually shows you the financial results from his previous books and explains why today print-on-demand is the best option for most authors -- instead of going through a subsidy press or even a trade publisher.
I read this book about four months ago when I was in the midst of writing my first self-published book, "The Home-Based Bookstore." The advice helped me immensely; I know I would have made some costly mistakes without it. And I've referred back to this book at least a couple dozen times since then.
When I finished reading "Print on Demand Book Publishing" (the first time), I e-mailed the author with a few additional questions (he prints his e-mail address at the end of the book and invites inquiries). Basically I asked him what type of discount I should apply to my particular book and what my online strategy should be. Later that same day, Mr. Rosenthal graciously responded with a lengthy reply chock full of specific advice. I'm sure I would not have gotten better advice if I had hired a consultant, assuming I could have found one well-versed in this field.