How to Publish an Indie Book: An Asymmetrical Guide

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The Minimalists recently did a presentation at Pioneer Book, and my husband brought back a copy of their guide, How to Publish an Indie Book (by Colin Wright). At first, I was skeptical. I thanked my husband for being supportive of my writing, and thought back to some other “how to” books on publishing. Some of them were helpful. Most of them told you to drop everything and relentlessly hound publishing agencies.

These guys, however, have an interesting perspective. They tell you to avoid the publishers. And while many established authors will tell you to avoid self-publishing, it should be noted that this book is self-published, and we bought it. So I gave it a shot.

One of the first things they note is that self-publishing used to be a bad idea. It meant ordering 5,000 copies of your own book and then desperately hoping you could sell them all and make a profit. Now, however, there are a lot of companies (Amazon is my current favorite) that will publish on-demand, one at a time. You don’t have to pay up-front, which means even if you only sell three books, you don’t lose money.

This is probably the best how-to book I’ve ever read. It’s short, to the point, easy to read, and exhaustive. It walks you through the writing process, editing process, formatting process, and self-publishing process, with notes on which companies offer which services, and why you might prefer one over the other for certain types of books. It has helped me out tremendously – I’m now planning on publishing a book within the next few months.

I would highly recommend this book for any aspiring author, or even just any person who wants to improve their writing. I think the editing sections would be a great read for a high school student who wants to improve his or her English grade. (There is some occasional strong language, fyi.) And I now have a resource to go to, whether I want to publish a novel, a friend’s poetry collection, or my child’s first incoherent attempt at storytelling. If you’re a writer, go online and buy it. ♥

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