4 out of 5 stars
This is a book that’s got a lot of great links to blogs, vendors, etc, and is good in terms of offering newbie authors a good starting point in terms of a little bit of everything (from author bios to websites). I didn’t love the WAY he said a lot of it (and it’s definitely said with a specific point of view in mind: on everything from paying for reviews to choosing the RIGHT genre/topic, there’s a lot of advice some authors will be flat out unable to feel “right” about). Still, at $0.99? It was great exposure and kind of a cliff’s not version of all things self-publishing and self-marketing.
In Greater Detail:
1. There’s a lot of really good, and also some tough-to-hear but necessary information in this book: stuff that newbies will really benefit from hearing once, twice, or you know, three or four times. (He admits that there’s a bit of repetition in this book, and makes a point of saying that he hasn’t self-edited it out because he partially feels like if it’s important, he needs to repeat it to make a point sometimes)
2. Lots of great links to useful blogs and/or websites, guides and services. He’s clearly a fan of certain editors, editing services, user guides, sites like fiverr.com and he’s made everything he’s a fan of easily accessible and kind of right-there, so that if he’s mentioning something you’re interested in, and sounds like a good fit, it’s just a short click away.
3. It’s a nice crash course — he’s clearly read a lot of other books, blogs, etc about self-publishing and self-marketing and it’s nice in that it’s a great crash-course of this author says this, this author said that.
4. It’s a super, super, quick read. Between the quotes, the different fonts, the occasional checklists, this is a easy read that you can refer back to if you like…
1. While I agree with even some of the harsher hard-facts he touts, some of it comes across as — if you’re failing, it’s your own damn fault (you choose a genre/topic that just won’t sell, you’re unwilling to x, y, z). I think that’s going to be tough for people who are say, committed to whatever area/topic they’re writing in (though I get and respect his point of: either you WANT to be a starving artist, or you WANT to be marketable, and if you’re going to make a living, you HAVE to learn to market, and to listen to what the market wants)
2. A lot of it is self-referential as well as referencing a specific set of services/vendors. So this isn’t a book you pick up thinking: I’m going to get a fair and balanced view of blah vs. blah. He has a set of practices and also vendors/sites, etc he believes in… and it’s also a little about marketing himself as well. So you have to know that going in. It’s like reading a self-help book by a politician in that way, even though they’re offering advice, there is a little bit of… well, this is my view, and I’m successful, and you should also realize how great I am.
I’m currently trying several of the things he’s mentioned (though in the case of my first two books, I’ve already picked the topic/genre without thinking about market, so there is a little bit of it’s-already-too-late-for-me syndrome), but it hasn’t been long enough for me to know if there’s any benefit. At $0.99, I think it was a good buy: even if the things he suggests end up having little impact on my current book, he’s introduced me to a variety of options, blogs, etc. Even if I eventually don’t use all of them, or replace them with other editors/services etc, it was good all-around think through all the options reading material.