April L. Hamilton opens up this fascinating book with a portrait of what an India Author actually is. She examines Indie versus Vanity publishing, the vanishing stigma of Self-Publication, Common misconceptions of Indie Authorship, tools for the Indie Author and finishes up with goals for Indie Authors.
Chapter two is the next logical step which is missed a lot of the time. How to get your hard drive and email organized for maximum success. Next April walks you through how to create your brand and why it is so important.
In chapter four we begin to discern between self-publishing, vanity publishing, subsidy publishing, print service providers, print on demand, and rights, royalties, and advances. The end of this chapter includes ISBN number information, how to get your book into bookstores, how to choose a service provider, along with the all important task of crunching the numbers.
Chapter five gives you the basics for formatting your book. It presents the steps in an easy to understand and follow manner. You will learn about styles, how to build a manuscript shell, creating a separate chapter shell, and getting everything ready for the printer.
Editing and revising is the next subject in chapter six. This essential step is taught in a way to help you
do it yourself. April also discusses content rights and workshopping.
Another time saver is chapter seven called: Designing Your Own Book Cover. Book covers are one of the hardest elements for most writers to conquer. There is a fine line between acceptable book covers and those covers that are close...but just don't cut the mustard. If your cover is not right you will lose sales. So this is a must know section.
Chapter eight teaches you how to print your book through a print on demand (POD) print service provider. April covers the basics to the advanced here. You learn the advantages of POD, how to set up your book and manuscript, the review setup, and the review proof. Another great tip you won't find elsewhere is how to customize your book's page on your provider's bookstore website.
The next three sections take you through epublishing formats, having an author platform and promotion of your book. Finally April rounds everything out with the last section on how to make the transition from Indie authorship to mainstream published author.
What I love about this book is the variety of worksheets in the back. Here you will find a worksheet to help you compare service providers. How to compare publisher- printer upfront costs. A worksheet that walks you through calculating per-copy production costs. How to calculate author copy cost. Next is a worksheet designed to help you figure out your net author royalty per copy sold by booksellers.
Another fantastic worksheet teaches you how to calculate your net author royalty per copy hand sold for mail order. And a companion worksheet: how to calculate net author royalty per copy hand sold in person. Your next order of business is to know your break even point. And yes, there is a worksheet for this as well.
There are worksheets to help you track your sales and expenses, figure out your profit or loss. And you can use her additional worksheets to keep track of contacts, both print service providers and other service providers, fellow authors, and industry contacts. Next your scheduling just got easier with April's speaking and signing events worksheet. You will love her author platform administrative records worksheet. It will have you selling and organizing your book sales faster than anything else I've seen.
Now I really do not think there is anything missing in this book. When you are ready for a website for your book you have a worksheet that spells out all the must have's and steps to accomplish this task in an easy manner. And when there is a website can a blog be far behind? Of course not. Next you find a worksheet to help you get your book or author blog ship shape.
One of the hardest tasks for selling online is keeping track of online communities and membership sites you belong to. Well, not anymore. Yes there is a wonderful worksheet for this as well. You can also keep track of professional associations, and bookseller references.
I know all books have a weakness. And it is important to know what that is. However, in this case the only weakness I could find is not on April's part. It is on Kindle's part. I bought the Kindle version of this book and when I saw all the wonderful worksheets I knew I had to have the paperback version as well. I think Kindle should upgrade their technology and allow for printing.
Other than that, I vote 5 stars for this quick, easy to read, essential Indie Author manual.
Note: I purchased this book to review and read with my own funds.
The Indie Author Guide: Self-Publishing Strategies Anyone Can Use