Do-it-yourself authors will get a useful leg up on the business side of self-publishing from this slim how-to guide.
Let’s say that you’ve already finished your manuscript, because this uneven primer’s advice on actually writing one—a sample Publishing Timeline relegates the “Write the book” step to “Jan-Feb”—is perfunctory in the extreme. And let’s say that you’ve followed Daniels’ wise recommendation to have the manuscript professionally edited—he provides a list of online editing companies—and that your editor, unlike the author’s, did a good job of eradicating typos and grammatical errors. Now you’re ready to tackle the zillion little details of getting the book printed, copyrighted, distributed, marketed and, above all, noticed—and that’s where Daniels’ understanding of those complex tasks can most help. He walks readers through the minutiae of obtaining an ISBN and barcode, a copyright and a Library of Congress Control Number, things required by vendors before they will stock a book. Getting reviews are a do-or-die necessity—bookstores and libraries, Daniels says, usually won’t touch a self-published book without them—and the sections on approaching magazine, newspaper and online book reviews, complete with formatting and submission requirements and contact information, is especially thorough. Then there’s the fraught process of distributing and marketing; Daniels provides a list of distributors and co-op book-publishing associations, but for rugged individualists who want to hawk their books themselves, he also provides sample advertising flyers and catalogue sheets along with the addresses of hundreds of chain, independent and online booksellers, including black-owned, military, airport and other specialty bookstores. He even has a roster of radio book-review shows that might feature your tome. Self-publishing is a daunting prospect, but Daniels breaks it down into straightforward, manageable steps and gives readers a wealth of resources that will help them get started.
A reassuring, information-packed roadmap to getting into print.