Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book Review: Smart Self-Publishing

Zoe Winters details her first-hand experiences with self-publishing in "Smart Self-Publishing: Becoming an Indie Author". She shares the secrets of her success and she tells of difficult lessons learned the hard way. Her writing is candid, honest and entertaining.
This book will serve as a blueprint for self-publishing from beginning to end.

About The Author
Zoe Winters has sold over 50,000 ebooks independently. She's taught self-publishing techniques along with April L. Hamilton at with their Vault University series.
Zoe independently produces a series of quirky paranormal romance books, called The Preternaturals Series. The first book, Blood Lust, is a compilation of her three previously-released novellas: Kept, Claimed, and Mated. Blood Lust is available in ebook and print. The second installment in the series, Save My Soul, is now available.

The Life Of An Indie Author
This book is a crash course on self-publishing. It begins with discussing the meaning of self-publishing and determining if it is going to be right for you. Ms. Winters lists the following "success predictors" in indie authors;
  • You need to be a good writer.
  • You need to have the ability to separate yourself from your work.
  • You have to be a self-starter.
  • You have to be organized.
  • You have to be in it for the long haul.
  • You need the ability to blaze your own trail and forget the naysayers.
  • You need to be a good money manager.
  • You need the ability to determine the difference between quality and crap.
  • You need to have passion.
  • You need to be a self-promoter.
  • You need to know what you hope to gain from all of this.
If you are still interested in self-publishing after reading this chapter, the rest of the book explains the steps that you must take to get your book into the marketplace. She explains her method of writing and editing. The information that she provides about finding critique partners, beta readers and editors is very good.
She provides valuable information about choosing the correct format for your book. Ms. Winters tells of her personal experiences with producing books in print, ebook and audio formats. The author states that "digital is where the money is for indies." She explains the process of publishing ebooks at Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and the Amazon Kindle Store.
Ms. Winters offers detailed information about creating the cover art for your book. She gives advice for working with artists and also explains how you can do-it-yourself (if you have to).
Ms. Winters provides step-by-step details on formatting your book and publishing it. She offers many tips that will help the newbie self-publisher succeed. She is not shy about warning authors to avoid expensive and non-essential services.
The final part of the book deals with marketing. The author provides details on platform building and Internet marketing. She discusses blogging, social media sites and forums. She advises authors on how to approach book reviewers and how to interact with readers. She also offers good advice on contests, giveaways and book trailers.

My Thoughts
I saw this book mentioned in several book reviews on Amazon. The reviewers all noted that this was "one of the best" books on self-publishing.  I purchased the book and was not disappointed. This book is a "must read" for indie authors.
This author is the real deal. She writes about experiences and processes that she has actually done...and her unique personality comes shining through. Great reading!

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