The Book Publishers Toolkit: 10 Practical Pointers for Independent and Self Publishers Vol. 1

This short volume (est. 52 pages) is a grab-bag of articles, a few of which are, like the sub-title says, practical. Unfortunately, the book is pretty uneven, with a lot of info that feels like filler.

I found the chapter by librarian Abigail Goren quite helpful. She offers insights and useful suggestions about what makes her (and other librarians) want to buy a book, and gives specific outlets where she looks for product.

The chapter on acquiring rights seems overly technical and beside the point for self-publishers. There includes some good specific contract clauses, but I’d imagine any indie publisher would already know this.

The chapters on marketing your book are awfully remedial and don’t add anything that isn’t already quite well represented in free articles online.

Having just published my own first e-book, I found the chapter on e-book conversions missed the mark and glossed over a lot of confusing technical details of formatting.

I was reading a review copy so I’m not sure what the kindle version is like, but the Adobe Digital Edition didn’t have even the simplest chapter navigation.

The book is published by the Independent Book Publishers Association and seems designed primarily as a marketing ploy to attract members (Author-Publisher / Individual memberships are $129/year). It didn’t work on me.

Articles in the book:

* Getting and Using Awards by Kate Bandos
* Tapping Into Twitter Expertise by Kimberly A. Edwards
* Let’s Hear It for the Long Tail by Joel Friedlander
* Acquiring the Right Rights: Will Your Contract Keep Up with the Markets for Your Books? by Steve Gillen
* A Librarian Talks About Choosing Books to Buy by Abigail Goben
* Build a Powerful Platform with a Simple Brand Audit by Tanya Hall
* Marketing Plans for First Books by Brian Jud
* Why Authors Hate Social Networking, and How to Get Them to Promote Books Online Anyway by Stacey J. Miller
* Growing Connections That Count by Kathleen Welton
* E-book Conversions: Ten Pointers to Ensure Reader Enjoyment (and Minimize E-book Returns) by David Wogahn