This short guide covers the nuts and bolts of getting a book published, whether by a publisher or on your own.
Markwith and Olivier (Father’s Secret, 2012) have compiled the basic information needed to publish a book. Most of the information contained in this guide can be found on the web for free, and in some cases, the free versions are more comprehensive. But some of the resources are not so easily found on the many various publishing blogs and writers’ sites, such as the suggestions regarding the Library of Congress and its Preassigned Control Number program. Information about how distributors factor into the publishing process is also helpful, as is data regarding costs. The sample questionnaire for reviewers reading a manuscript draft is an excellent feature. Some subjects get too little coverage. There’s not enough background about International Standard Book Numbers (the unique, 13-digit identifiers for books) and copyrights, and the discussion of publishers’ views on unsolicited manuscripts is confusing. Highlighting the importance of grammar and spelling is a worthwhile addition, underscored by the grammatical and spelling errors found throughout this guide. Although the guide is generally accurate, there are missed opportunities to provide readers with a more direct route to resources. The Bowker.com site does include a link to purchase an ISBN, but the better option might be to visit ISBN.org, which explains more about ISBNs and barcodes, and contains other resources worth reviewing prior to purchasing an ISBN.
A well-organized, brief synopsis of publishing basics, and handy to keep on an e-reader.