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Monday, February 24, 2014

Book Review: The Naked Truth about Self Publishing, by The Indie Voice

If you type “self publishing” into Amazon’s search engine, you will get about a kagillion hits. Since self publishing is a kind of postmodern gold rush, it only stands to reason that the topic itself would draw so much attention.

Among the articles, blog posts and books on the subject, one stands out above the rest. The Naked Truth about Self Publishing is an anthology of essays by ten New York Times bestselling authors (all women!) known as The Indie Voice. The book is unique for several reasons. In the first place, its authors are all successful enough to take on the topic credibly.

Secondly, they do so in a technical and practical way, providing so much information that it’s almost overwhelming. Almost.

The first part of the book argues the wisdom of self publishing. (And since so many of the authors have tried life both ways, their thoughts on the subject feel solidly ground in experience.) The second part of the book explains the nitty gritty.

My One Complaint

Many of the women who wrote this little gem are romance authors. So the book is full of goofy double entendres, and has a cover which makes the book a little hard to carry on the bus. The chapter headers include: “Tips for Virgins,” “Multiple Positions” and “Are You Ready to Go All the Way.” That’s clever and all, but I found that the silly chapter titles make it difficult to remember which chapters are here. Maybe I’m a dull person, but I would have preferred titles like: “All That Valuable Stuff About Metadata Is In Here, Stupid.”

For similar reasons, my other beef with this book is the lack of an Index. Since I ponied up for the paper version (I’m a margins scribbler) I don’t have the option to search the book for tips I’ve misplaced.

So Much Good Stuff

Both my complaints are relevant only because there is so much here worth finding! I particularly enjoyed Denise Grover Swank’s chapter about writing a business plan. There’s no fluffy, pie-in-the-sky hype here, only solid advice for how to proceed. E-book pricing is discussed, as well as what to expect in the way of costs.

Jana Deleon’s chapter demystifying best seller lists and sales ranks is unparalleled. And Tina Folsom’s short chapter about maximizing profit on a single book is thoughtful and persuasive. Truly, there’s something here for everyone. Liliana Hart taught me the secret for tagging my e-books on Amazon, and the difference between "categories" and "tags" on Amazon. It's clear from the text that the authors of this book practically live on Amazon, teasing out its secrets, whispering in its ear. And they've compiled much of this wisdom for the taking.

It’s clear from page one that The Naked Truth about Self Publishing is written by competent pros. If you’re in the business of self publishing, ignore it at your peril.


Laurisa White Reyes said...

Thanks. I needed this. Just bought it for my Nook.

Claude Forthomme said...

Thanks, I'm intrigued. And yes, you're right, the cover is uselessly misleading and so are those chapter titles - what a shame because it sounds like a really useful book!

Anonymous said...

How about a link to getting the book?

Unknown said...

I agree. The cover is off-putting. I may consider buying it anyway but . . . I really, really don't like the cover.