At the moment, my bookshelf is stocked with how-to books on self-publishing. No surprise there, as I’m planning to self-publish myself this fall. Peter Bowerman’s THE WELL-FED PUBLISHER is worth reading with one caveat. Do NOT let yourself get carried away by the hype in the Introduction, which has subheadings with titles like $118 in Two Months – for Starters. If you didn’t know this by now, then let me tell you now: Most people do NOT make money writing. They have to support themselves by having day jobs, wealthy partners or being independently wealthy. I read Peter Bowerman’s THE WELL-FED WRITER some years ago, and got a little carried away by his optimistic hype.
Having said that, this is a useful book. I recommend skipping the Introduction, which is just a sales pitch and depending on where you are also skipping chapters 1 and 2. Chapter 1 is for those of you who need to be convinced that self-publishing is worth doing. And Chapter 2 is a chapter for all the wall flowers among us who hate promoting our work. If you are like me, and don’t mind doing a little self-promotion (in a polite, subtle way), then I advise you to start with Chapter 3, which talks about how to build a book. I found that chapter invaluable because I am just about to design the interior of my book and create a cover.
There are many more chapters that cover author platform, finding reviewers, building websites, creating distribution channels, Amazon and publish on demand. I have found so many useful nuggets in this book that it is bristling with those green sticky strips. Four stars.