Two writers discuss strategies for self-publishing in this primer for aspiring authors.
Gerber (co-author of Tortured Souls, 2016), a social media guru, and Roman (If You Were Me and Lived In….Israel, 2016, etc.), a prolific indie author, offer a step-by-step guide to ushering an independently published book into the world, from creating the initial concept to marketing the final product. “You are sending out a piece of yourself to our vast universe to mingle with other notions,” writes Roman. “Uh oh, did I make you feel self-conscious?” With tips on editing, formatting, and investigating traditional forms of publishing, the volume uses personal anecdotes to illustrate the various options available to potential writers. Most of the authors’ advice is reserved for the presenting and marketing of the self-published work, from crafting book descriptions (avoid sounding like an infomercial) to finding a cover (remember the dimensions) to deciding on whether or not to make a trailer (“Who doesn’t like movies?”). Gerber and Roman also tackle the less obvious aspects of self-publication, like deciding which e-readers a book might be available on, how and where to get honest reviews that will attract readers, and how to navigate the world of social media as an author with a product to sell. Alternating narration based on their areas of expertise, the authors employ a mix of conventional wisdom and professional experience to shepherd the reader through the process of becoming a published writer. The authors’ prose is fluid and amusing, and they manage to cover a lot of ground in a relatively short volume (under 150 pages). The book’s brevity works against it at points, particularly in the early chapters concerned with the writing process where the language is rather splashy and speculative (“The story is taking shape; your characters have a personality—you love them; no, maybe you hate them”). Better are the later chapters that delve into the nuts and bolts of publishing, though these topics too are dealt with in a fairly cursory way. Readers just getting interested in self-publishing should find this manual a good introduction prior to reading other, more detailed works in the genre.
A brisk, but informative guide for would-be self-publishers.