Self-Publishing Strategies in 18 Slides

by Joel Friedlander on November 15, 2011 · 12 comments

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Carla King’s Self-Publishing Bootcamp at Stanford University turned into a terrific event. Through everyone I talked to I could tell that it was an engaged and well-prepared group of attendees who were getting a huge amount of information about self-publishing in a few hours.

I decided not to talk about book design but instead did a presentation on figuring out your publishing strategy in an environment with a staggering number of options and a landscape that’s shifting under our feet.

You can get a really good idea of what it was about from the slides. Here’s a selection of 18 drawn from a 59-slide presentation.

Self-Publishing Strategies

Slide 1: Who and what

Slide 11: Motivations

Slide 12: Diversity

Slide 13: The payoff

Slide 25: Save the World

Slide 27: Kinds of books

Slide 28: Books for self-publishers

Slide 30: Production

Slide 32: e-Books

Slide 34: Sample strategies

Slide 36: Sample strategies

Slide 39: Sample Strategies

Slide 40: Summary

Slide 41: Conclusion

Slide 42: Summary

Slide 43: Conclusion

Slide 44: Summary

Slide 45: Order from chaos

I Love to Speak about Indie Publishing

I find it terrifically exciting to communicate the awesome opportunities in the world of book publishing, and that’s one of the reasons I was glad to accept Carla’s offer.

Book publishing right now is a confusing and shifting enterprise being disrupted regularly by new technology. I make navigating that field easier. It’s what I do on this blog, and the feedback I get tells me that with a little explanation people can eliminate weeks or months of frustration and endless confusing research.

Would your company or organization like to find out more about how self-publishing works? I’d love to talk with you about it.

Use our email at marin.bookworks (at) to get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you.

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    { 7 comments… read them below or add one }

    Luciano November 24, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Do you know something about a self-publishing platform called Kingly


    Joel Friedlander November 18, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    @Robby, as you can see I always have a large color photo at the top of my blog articles, and I think it really helps. Most people love photos, and it’s actually fun picking them out.

    @Denise, I find this quite liberating, since for many years we’ve been accustomed to not having color in most books. It’s one of the great things about creating e-books for devices like the iPad, the color Nook and the new Kindle Fire.


    Denise November 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    The discussion of color is interesting. I hadn’t considered that as an option, because it would be price-prohibitive in a print book. But there’s no rule that says the ebook has to be identical with the print version — and in fact, it’s impossible to make it so. I do use a lot of Creative Commons photos on my blog. I wonder now if I should consider adding some to my ebook.


    Robby G November 15, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    Very helpful. And I also agree about color ebooks, that they’re the way to go. Color photos is something I want to incorporate in my next ebook, and on that note, I’ve also began incorporating at least 1 photo into each post on my blog.


    Stephen Woodfin November 15, 2011 at 2:02 pm


    Great information.

    One of the things we are doing at Venture Galleries, because we have a travel theme to some of our novels, is to use eBook enhancements to put a travelogue in the back of the book with pictures of locations mentioned in the novel, along with links to tourism sites about the particular geographical area. We are still experimenting with it in an attempt to put more content in the books without disrupting the flow of the story.

    It’s a great time to be exploring all these eBook options.


    Michael N. Marcus November 15, 2011 at 12:30 am

    Well done, Joel.

    I agree that it’s important to produce ebooks in color, and I’m making the transition now.

    In some genres, color will probably be a major reason for “e” to replace “p.” A POD color book may be prohibitively expensive, but as an ebook, it might not cost more to produce than a grayscale book.

    Color photos and illustrations can greatly enhance how-to books, text books, cookbooks, histories, travelogues, childrens’ books and more. I’ve seen three-year-olds use iPads.

    The combination of color, animation, hyperlinks, music and voice synthesys can make an ebook a powerful teaching device — and very entertaining, too.

    Future books may be very much like websites and movies.

    Michael N. Marcus

    — Just out: “STINKERS!: America’s Worst Self-Published Books,” (information, help and book reviews for authors)
    — Create Better Books, with the Silver Sands Publishing Series:
    — “Stories I’d Tell My Children (but maybe not until they’re adults),”


    Joel Friedlander November 15, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Yes, I think that’s the direction that e-books seem to be going, it’s a little like “back to the future” because many of them look quite a bit like the CD-ROM products of the 1990s.

    You can do a lot of this already on the iPad, which has the firepower and display space to show these books really well. Maybe the market will split into the high-end, color, multi-media e-books on one end and the text-only, $0.99 genre fiction on the other.


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