Self-Publishing Books: A Roundup

POSTED ON Nov 30, 2009

Joel Friedlander

Written by Joel Friedlander

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I’ve received a number of books about self-publishing recently, and from all reports there are more on the way. All of these books have something to offer the author who wants to get involved in publishing their own work. And each has a unique perspective, often based on the author’s experience before they became self-publishers.

Of course, all books in this niche are inevitably compared to the “bible” of the industry, Dan Poynter’s The Self-Publishing Manual, now in its 16th edition. While none can compare for its sheer scope, some of these books may be more relevant to your specific situation, or they may be the perfect complement to Poynter’s book.

The Books in Brief

3687549The Step-By-Step Guide to Self-Publishing for Profit! by Christy Pinheiro and Nick Russell. Pineapple Publications, 7″ x 10″ softcover, 190 pages

Christy Pinheiro, the main author, has a track record as a self-publisher of books for the accounting industry and relies on her publishing ventures as her business, so she has a lot of credibility in this field. Nick Russell is the author of four books on the RV life.

Befitting someone with her strong business background, this book is particularly good on organizing your publishing business, bookkeeping and tax implications. The subtitle of the books is “Start a Home-Based Publishing Company and Publish your Nonfiction Book with CreateSpace and Amazon,” and this is a good summary of the book’s focus. (Note: See the interview of Christy on


  • Well-organized introduction to planning, laying out, publishing and promoting your book.
  • Solid advice about organizing your publishing business
  • Specifically focused on using CreateSpace print-on-demand services and selling on Amazon.

BowermanThe Well-Fed Self-Publisher; How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living by Peter Bowerman. 6″ x 9″ softcover, 294 pages. Fanove Publishing.

Peter Bowerman, author of the popular The Well-Fed Writer (over 50,000 copies sold) starts the book with 4 pages of “praise” blurbs from a variety of authorities, starting with Dan Poynter himself.

Bowerman has a casual style, and breaks up his copy into digestible pieces. His book covers a wide array of subjects from how to position your book to hiring professional help, to the many online ways to market your book, and spinoffs you can create from the book. Highlights:

  • Offers many tips and suggestions for marketing your book and ways to think of new marketing venues.
  • Heavy emphasis on publicity, both online and offline, the “marketing mindset” and ways to publicize your book for free.
  • Various “Case studies,” sections on distribution, and lots of resource links add value.

1-real-cover-underline-130wBecome a Real Self-Publisher by Michael N. Marcus. 6″ x 9″ softbound, 431 pages. Silver Sands Books.

Marcus, the author of six other books and six ongoing blogs, also has a great deal of experience with self-publishing. A subtitle reads, “Valuable advice for every writer,” and that is carried through by the book.

Marcus’ style is the most personal and idiosyncratic of the three books considered here, and he includes a wild variety of topics, tips, hints and helpful asides about the business of self-publishing. Highlights:

  • The author gives detailed information including screen shots for instruction in some basic publishing tasks.
  • The very heavily illustrated text gives guidance from book creation to sales and distribution.
  • Marcus includes detailed and emphatic explanations of the difference between vanity (or subsidy) publishing and true self-publishing, including point-by-point rebuttals of well-known publisher service companies “misleading” statements.

Any of these books will help educate the new self-publisher, and each has unique strengths that may be useful to you. When you get into self-publishing, you will quickly build a bookshelf of reference books to help you with the myriad details of this process, and these three books should find a home there.

Joel Friedlander

Written by
Joel Friedlander

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