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September 2011 - Resources for Self-Publishers

Self-publishing has long been viewed as a last resort for authors who have been rejected by the traditional publishing world. This negative impression may be slowly eroding; there is some definite movement in a more positive direction. The newer possibilities afforded authors through various eBook opportunities, and the availability of promotional web tools such as blogs, book trailers, social sites, and other online author communities, are turning the tide of public opinion. The unfavorable perceptions are also being minimized by some well-publicized self-publishing success stories, in addition to a host of blogs, articles, webinars, podcasts, and videos that offer authors excellent advice and much encouragement by numerous industry experts.

Many of these tutorial-type websites and blogs target self-published authors specifically, and cover topics such as book design and production, ebook formatting, marketing, reviews, promotion, sales and distribution. Others offer similar information, but are either geared to a more general book publishing audience, or concentrate on one area, such as blogging or eBooks.

The Self Publishing Coach is a complete guide to self-publishing a book. The author, Shelly Hitz, who has self-published five books in two years, provides articles and videos giving step-by-step instructions of each stage of the self-publishing process. There is even an article giving specific instructions on how to create and format a self-publishing book template.

The Book Designer is written by Joel Friedlander, an experienced book designer, whose posts include explanatory articles such as "Self-Publishing Basics: Print-on-Demand--What Is It?" Friedlander not only explains elements of self-publishing, but also posts more tool-specific articles about things like marketing. For example, in the article "Marketing Your Book" he talks about how an authors needs to begin marketing a title prior to publishing, and how to market online.

The Creative Penn and Publishing Talk are examples of more generalized websites and blogs. Joanna Penn at The Creative Penn addresses several different topics aside from self-publishing, although on the site there is a tab specifically for publishing. She also has webinars and writes about marketing and writing. One of her articles discusses content marketing and what an author can do to market a book.

Publishing Talk gives tutorials and presents case studies, among other things. But under the "self-publishing" tab, it tackles various issues in the realm of self-publishing in the form of quick blurbs. In the blurb "Self-Publishing: How to Reduce Cost," Piotr Kowalczyk simply says that the best way to cut down on the price of your book is to make it an eBook, which typically cost around 99 cents.

A majority of these sites offer a generous amount of free content and giveaways, including tip sheets and white papers. Most also sell consulting services, books, other helpful products.

Some additional online sources are: The Savvy Book Marketer, The Publicity Hound's Blog, Build Book Buzz, Market Your Book blog, The Book Publicity Blog, ebook Chatter, BookMarket, and A Newbie's Guide to Publishing.


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