Consulting With The Book Designer

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  • Are you thinking about publishing your own book?
  • Do you want to get in on this work-at-home business but don’t know how?
  • Do you have a book you think will sell but don’t know what to do with it?
  • Do you want to become a print on demand publisher but you’re holding back because the way it works is very confusing?

Don’t you wish you could sit down with someone “over a cup of coffee” and just ask all those questions you have about self-publishing?

Well, now you can (but it will have to be a virtual coffee, sorry).

I started self-publishing in 1986. Since then I’ve helped dozens of people realize their dream of publishing a beautiful, professional quality book. In these consultations I want to help get rid of the confusion and get you real answers to get moving toward publication.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Analysis of your book or your concept, if you don’t have a manuscript yet
  • Recommendations of how to produce your book, including specific vendor referrals
  • Cost estimate of your book production
  • Either a 30- or a 60-minute phone consultation in which we’ll address all your questions. Afterward, I’ll send you an MP3 recording of our conversation so you can review it any time you want. That way you don’t have to get distracted by taking notes while we’re talking.
  • You’ll also get a “plain talk” evaluation of your book or concept. No fluff and no flattery, just an informed opinion that gives you specific things you can do to move to the next step in your publishing journey.

“Joel Friedlander is THE go-to guy on everything self-publishing. Less than a year ago, I had a phone consult with him that changed my life, literally. I had an idea I thought was a good one for a book. I didn’t want to wait to find an agent or publisher. I wanted to get it out immediately. Joel helped me every step of the way — from procuring ISBN’s to typesetting. Along the way, he gave me referrals to a book designer, a web designer and a publicist. He provided the roadmap, the guidance, a sense of confidence and all the information I needed to make my dream become a reality. I am infinitely grateful.” – Glancy Gabrielle

Is This A Good Idea for You?

A self-publishing consultation would make a lot of sense for some people, but not for everyone. Here are five scenarios where you could profit from this investment:

  1. You don’t have time to figure out how print on demand, digital printing, online ordering, book distribution and ecommerce work. You would rather cut to the chase and get busy selling books.
  2. You’ve been reading blogs and articles, and every time you think you’ve figured out the best way to produce your book you run across some other information that makes you think perhaps that’s not the best way at all. You’re stuck in paralysis by analysis because you just can’t figure out how all these pieces fit together.
  3. You sense that your book might have good sales potential. You want to publish it yourself but you’re wary of sending signals that you don’t even know you’re sending that will tell everyone “hey, this is a self-published book.” You want a book that can compete toe to toe with books from big publishers, without any of the screwy mistakes self-publishers make.
  4. You are about to sign a contract with a “self-publishing company” or a “subsidy publisher.” Put the pen down and send me an email instead. There’s probably a better solution, and I’ll help you find it.
  5. You already published your book with a “self-publishing company” or a “subsidy publisher.” Now you realize they are not selling your book, and that even if they did, the book is too expensive, and you receive too little for all your trouble. You want out but don’t know how to go about it.

You have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain:

  • Clarity about what your book needs and how to get it
  • The next steps you need to take to move forward on your publishing journey.
  • Cost savings that can run into thousands of dollars by using the right vendors for your project.
  • The confidence to really enjoy self-publishing and to make the most of it for yourself, your family, and your readers.

What Does It Cost?

The cost is $350 for a 60-minute consultation, or $175 for a 30-minute consultation. Compare that to the $2,000 – $50,000 paid by competitive self-publishing authors to get their books into print. Having the right plan in place can make a huge difference.

I know there’s a lot of information out there on the internet about self-publishing. There’s a lot right here on my blog. But what I’m offering is a consultation that’s specific to you, your book, and your goals.

Not only that, but I guarantee that you will receive far more than your money’s worth from our talk. See the testimonials below the submission form.

So it’s up to you. You’ve got the questions, and I’d love to help out. Complete the form below. I look forward to hearing from you, and about your publishing plans.

  • Please specify a few dates and times when you can be available to consult with Joel. Please note that Joel is in the Pacific Time Zone and conducts consultations between 1 and 4 p.m. his time, Monday to Friday. We will review the options you have provided and confirm a time that works with Joel's schedule. ​Please note that we require a minimum of one week of lead time to organize and prepare for consultations.
    Consultations are conducted via phone or Skype. Please select your preference.
  • If you wish to conduct a consultation via Skype, please provide your Skype ID
  • Please provide a brief description of what you would like to achieve or what your principle takeaway for the consultation should be.


“I highly encourage anyone writing their first book to consider having a consultation with Joel, as I have done. I just wish that I would have heard about him a couple of years ago, at the beginning of this project. He has provided valuable insights as well as a practical road map for my next steps. He has also kindly responded to the occasional email after the consultation when I had some other things pop up.”–Luis Arrondo

“I got a tremendous sense of focus and a clearly defined path forward from my hour with Joel. What I brought to it was lots of good material and very vague ideas of how to create from it a successful ebook, so I am light years ahead of where I was. I now know how to prepare the market for my book as I write it, how to build my list, how to treat my material to have the widest possible impact, and how to start with the platform I already have, and how to use the book I write to propel a needed shift in my business life. Best of all, this came as custom advice, based on what I, uniquely, have to offer — I could have researched on my own forever and not found that. By consulting with Joel, I have saved myself time, money, and Heaven knows how much waffling. I feel super-charged!”–Elatia Harris, Cambridge, MA

“Joel, your teaching materials are tremendous help to me. They cover virtually every area I need.”—Joseph P., Chicago, IL

“Your advice is a tremendous help to independent publishers but will help all authors who want their books to succeed.”—Mike Larsen, Larsen-Pomada Literary Agency, San Francisco, CA

“I cannot say enough about Joel. Every day I’m in awe at how he shows one how to make the self-publishing process simple.”—Sylvia Hubbard, founder of The Michigan Literary Network, Detroit, MI

“I have been able to go from being stuck and not knowing what to do with my completed manuscript, to having a well-prepared book that is ready for self-pub.”—Margo Gallagher, Petaluma, CA

“My first book, The Book of Palms, just won the IPBA Benjamin Franklin “Book of the Year Awards” Silver Medal for 2011. Without Joel’s help my book would never have been published. Thank you Joel!”—Tom Millea, Carmel, CA

“I’m new to the self publishing arena and I find myself coming back to Joel’s website, information and vast resources time and time again.”—Annette Elton, Longmont, Colorado

“So you’ve written a book, you’ve published it—now what? If you’re lucky, you find out about Joel. He’s helped me avoid many of the pitfalls of self-publishing, from layout mistakes in ebooks to acting gauche while you’re trying to get the word out.”—Henning Bauer, San Francisco, CA

“Joel does a spectacular job of creating an overall perspective, combined with the best practices, details, examples, steps, techniques, etc. of the specific tasks that need to be D&D–either Done by the author or Delegated to someone who does it. I appreciated his ability to effectively teach to different experience levels, without overwhelming newcomers or boring experienced types.”—Roger C. Parker

“You have the most comprehensive and up-to‐date blog on self-publishing on the internet. I read you all the time and always learn so much. Thank you for the work that you do—it makes my life a lot easier.” —Janet Bennett, Vermillion, OH

“The clarity of your writing combined with the obvious insight is what I valued most as, to me, that seemed to be your most unique trait or value.” —Joe Reisinger, Placencia, Stann Creek District, Belize

“Joel, thanks so much for your information which proved to be quite helpful starting out! It is so easy when you have an expert going along before you to ensure you’re making the correct steps.” —PJ, Peoria USA

“Joel, Your posts have become invaluable to me—I would not miss even one. Your information has expanded significantly the direction (and success) of our business. Keep up the great work!” —John Harding, IDKPress, Los Angeles, CA

“I have just begun receiving Joel’s blog. It is by far the most informative site for self-publishers that I have found anywhere. I look forward to receiving it each day.” —Will Gibson, Pacific Grove, California

“Joel is full to the brim with great information for authors of all kinds. I wouldn’t dare limit his knowledge to only those who want to self-publish. I think you’ll be impressed with the way his mind works and, not to mention, his calm approach.” —Paul Larosa, CBS News, New York, NY

“Joel is a fountain of useful information. And he is willing to share it time and again.” —Eugene A. Miller, Mill Valley, California

“If you go to only one place for help with your book, Joel’s web site should be it.” —Peter S. Hart, Oakfield, New York

“Joel, your teaching is superb!” —P.I. Barrington, Los Angeles, CA

“Your blog is one that I have bookmarked and subscribed to. Not only do I get timely advice as an author, but your archives are full of rich, go-to info for every publishing issue I run across.” —Tony Eldridge, Forney, TX

“Joel, your articles consistently deliver more comprehensive information than I could ask for. The publishing industry is fragmented and polarized as it rumbles through the biggest transition of our time, and you manage to straddle every issue.” —Suzanna Stinnett, Sausalito, California

“I’ve always found your articles full of wisdom; I never come away empty-handed, and considering I read an awful lot, particularly on the internet, that’s a solid compliment.” —Hazel, Brisbane, Australia

“Joel, when it comes to self-publishing there are very few who compare to the value, insight and clarity you provide. Yes, I bookmark many sites… but your site has a permanent hot-button on my toolbar! You’re that important to my success. Thank you.” —Jaime Buckley, South Jordan, UT

“Joel, I can’t tell you how happy I was to find your blog. It’s been such a help to me! In a world full of “rah rah” and “you can do it,” it has been wonderful to find so much actual PRACTICAL advice on things most others don’t talk about.” — Jaimi Sorrell, Memphis, TN

“Joel, I always look forward to your daily posts. They are consistently interesting and useful for the start up self-publisher.” —David Johnson, Minneapolis, MN

“For me, you have really made indie publishing accessible… Thanks.” —Jackie, Bath, UK

“Fantastic job, Joel. You make everything clear and simple.” —Susan Russo Anderson, Chicago

“Joel, Your daily blog posts have saved me countless hours, not to mention money, of wasted effort by clarifying important topics or simply making me aware of issues authors new to self‐publishing have never considered.” —Kevin Sivils, Katy, Texas

“Joel, your blog posts and book have been like AAA road maps and tour guides for this traveler on the journey of self-publishing.” —Clay Clarkson, Monument, CO

“There is no one I know who does just what (Joel) does, or who could do it any better.” —James DenBoer, Sacramento, CA

“Joel, you are my go-to person for anything I need to know on self‐publishing. No one explains it all as well as you. Thank you!” —Marcia Richards, Oneonta, NY

“Joel, I always benefit from the concise information you provide. Thanks very much for your ongoing encouragement, and for sharing your expertise during this era of quantum shifts in the publishing industry.” —Marcia Quinn Noren, Soquel, CA

“Joel, you exude common sense in a polished, practical package. Thanks.” —C. C. Hope Clark, Chapin, SC

“Joel’s writing style is clear and easy to understand. Add in his wealth of knowledge and his blog is a must for anyone interested in self-publishing.” —Judy Baker, Sonoma, CA

“Joel, I’m enormously grateful for all that I’ve learned about internet marketing and so many other related topics you’ve written about. I’ve been a fan for a year and will continue with you as long as you’re writing. Thanks so much.” —Joan Chamberlain, Chesterfield, MO

“Joel knows how to get to the heart of the matter. His examples and how-tos are meaty and relevant; he’s seasoned and knows his material inside and out. Would openly endorse anything that he puts his name on.” —Dr. Judith Briles, The Book Shepherd, Denver, CO

“This is the most informative, accurate, and helpful online source for self-publishers that there is.” —Roemer McPhee, New York, NY

“Joel’s blog is one of the most valuable resources for self‐publishers on the web. Even if you have no intention of getting into the nitty-gritty of designing your book, Joel still provides budding authors/publishers with all the tools they will need.” —Deb Dorchak, Las Vegas, NV

“Joel, your reverse method for self publishing was really a great help to me and I am already making good use of it.” —Bill Benitez, Austin, TX

“Joel, your advice and tips are golden! If it had not been for your online resources, I’d never have achieved my dream of seeing myself in print. My book is ranked Top 10 in several Amazon beauty/fashion categories!” —Audrey, Houston, TX

“I spoke with Joel for an hour and he helped me focus my energy in a more positive and constructive way. Confused about what steps to take in order to monetise my blog, Joel pointed me in the right direction. He is a wealth of information and happy to share his wisdom in an easy-to-follow and pleasant manner. He is, without a doubt, the go-to guy for self publishing!” —Karen Nolan

“Joel was amazingly informative, addressing my quesitons about self-pubishing, blogging and book design. I feel like he’s given me a great deal of expert advice that will get me started on my project, cutting out many months of guesswork on my part. Thanks Joel!” —Ben Hummell, San Rafael, CA

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