Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Books on Publishing and the Staggering Importance of an Education

As publicly declared on this blog, last month I ordered roughly $200 worth of books from Amazon on self-publishing, book design, marketing, et al. What an education! I am ever so glad that homeschooling taught me to go after education of my own volition, and the more I study the more I learn the value of learning the landscape BEFORE trekking out.

Self and Small Publishing may not be the most complicated of worlds, but it has its hazards. Learning where the well-worn trails are is a great help in getting through the forests and swampy bits. Also, as in any industry, there is a language to learn and a protocol to follow. To all those attempting to publish anything I say, EDUCATE THYSELF.

My favourite books and bits of books so far:

Morris Rosenthal's Print-On-Demand Book Publishing. I loved the chapter on Internet Marketing, and there's quite a nice overview of the whole publishing industry as well. I'm glad I started with this book because the overview decoded a lot of what I've read in others since.

Jump Start Your Book Salesby Marilyn and Tom Ross (working on their Complete Guide to Self-Publishing at the moment). The first few chapters in particular had a lot of good, applicable ideas for me.

Fern Reiss's Publishing Game classic, Bestseller in 30 Days. I haven't had the time I want to go through this in detail yet, but for someone who three months ago wouldn't have known a marketing plan if it bit her on the nose, this compact, day-by-day schedule for marketing a book is an invaluable resource.

One other resource needs a shout-out: I'd never realized before how important Amazon is as a resource, but since they list just about every book available (and some that are unavailable), you can learn much by using it. For example, last night I looked up the title of my book, Lord, Teach Us to Pray, and discovered three PAGES of other books with the same title. I have been planning to make some big alterations to the book and go back to press with it anyway... this is motivation to think up a new title. Ideas, anyone?


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