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The Fine Print of Self-Publishing - Book Review
Mark Levine introduces his expertise by giving all readers a dose of reality right from the beginning. As he talks about the changes in the publishing industry today, he reveals a very true, albeit seldom understood or known, publishing fact.
In today's publishing environment, the old adage that traditional publishers are the Holy Grail of publishing is simply not true anymore. Writers don't have to wait to be lucky to get a publishing contract. In fact, Mark points out that today, even with a publishing contract, a traditional publisher pushes the marketing side of the business back onto the writers shoulders.
Mark then points out the reality of this new change. If you, as a writer, will have to shoulder a good portion of the marketing to make your book sell, then why not self-publish, and keep most of the profits yourself. Traditional publishers still only give the writer a small royalty per book sold. So now, you can see how the tables have turned.
Mark takes you by the hand and walks you through the changes in the publishing industry since 1992, when he first decided to write a novel. During this experience, Mark learned that there is an inherent flaw that makes it harder for book retailers to take self-published books seriously. He teaches you about this and shows you how to change it.
This book starts with the basics of self-publishing. Mark begins with the definition and moves through the little understood differences between self-publishing and vanity publishing. Next, you will learn the differences between self-publishing and traditional publishing.
Chapter two teaches you how to choose a self-publishing route that will work for you. Next, Mark tackles a topic seldom addressed in the tomes published about self-publishing through years past. He teaches you what you should read over and over again, and that would be the contracts. Mark reaches into his education and experience in law and dissects the various contracts used by Print on Demand and vanity presses today.
Chapter four explains why you need to read this book. Mark teaches you here how to compare all the print on demand companies that are available today. He shows you what you should be comparing and why. Mark starts out making an excellent point, many of us when we go to buy a car or TV research the products first. How many of us, know how to really research and compare print on demand companies?
This is a must not miss, essential chapter. Mark goes through the contracts and all the profit points to help you make the best decision possible for each of your book projects. However, I do feel it should have been the preface. Either way, this brings you to an understanding you will not find in any other book on this popular subject.
Next, you will learn of the nine qualities of a good self-publishing company. This is essential information that you will use over and over again for years to come. I feel this section is the single most important section, because it teaches you how to figure out if the publishing company you are considering is one where you will make a good profit and be able to hold onto your rights.
Chapter six goes into the detail of the fine print of publishing contracts. Although at first glance it may seem too technical to bother with, I found it was easy to understand and gave me a whole new perspective and understanding.
Next, you will learn how to analyze a publishers contract and services offered in chapter 7. Chapter 8 is a list of outstanding self-publishing companies using Mark's criteria he has taught you in this book. Next, you will find a list of pretty good self-publishing companies. Chapter 10 brings you publishers who are just okay. This book would be remiss without chapter 11: Publishers to avoid.
A great summary, and a list of things to do after you have found a publisher for your next book, is detailed in the final chapter.
I have learned a lot from this book. I am able now to find publishers who are right for me and my writing projects. All without having to test each one, and learn through trial and error, which is what Mark has done.
If I had to find something to improve upon in this book, it would be to ask Mark to add a final chapter with all the criteria for finding the best publisher listed in workbook form. This way, I could apply everything I learned in a quick and easy way, without having to make up a summary sheet of my own.
Other than that, this book is a home run and must have book for everyone who self-publishes or is even contemplating this route. I give this book 5 stars because it is an excellent resource and instruction manual.
Mark has a website that he updates frequently so you can feel confident that you will find the most up to date information all the time. No more losing out because the information is a few years old and no longer valid.
You can visit Mark's site here: Book Publishers Compared.com
Note: I purchased this book to review and read with my own funds.
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