Self-publishing is more than just writing a manuscript and getting the book into print. It is an entire business and a growing industry. Technology plays a huge role in today's self-publishing industry, allowing a single author to build a successful small business.
Self-publishing is also a jack-of-all trades industry. Not only does the author have to write a good book for the book to succeed, the book has to be designed, both the interior and the cover, a method of printing selected, a business model devised, accounting procedures set-up, a marketing and distribution plan created and put in place, book reviews obtained and entire host of other skills learned, mastered or at least aware of.
I have read dozens of books, some really good, some really bad and some in between. For my next few posts I am going to post the books I strongly suggest authors considering self-publishing obtain and read as part of their self-taught learning curve.
The first suggested books are essentially mandatory reading if you are going to self-publish. Aiming at Amazon, Perfect Pages and POD for Profit are all written and self-published by Aaron Shepard, one of the foremost authorities on today's self-publishing industry. Aiming at Amazon focuses on selling books through Amazon.com and provides an entire business and marketing model for self-published authors using this approach.
Perfect Pages describes how to use Microsoft Word to design and create the interior file of a book for use with a print-on-demand printing and distribution service.
POD for Profit focuses on using Lightning Source as a print-on-demand printer and distributor. The book also discusses all the ins and outs of this business model and using LSI effectively and dealing with the quirks of this POD printer and distributor. Even if CreateSpace is to be used as the POD printing service, this book is mandatory reading.
Morris Rosenthal's Print-on-Demand Book Publishing: A New Approach to Printing and Marketing Books for Publishers and Self-publishing Authors is the best overview of the print-on-demand business model. This book is essential reading in order to understand the business side of self-publishing using print-on-demand.
For those authors who are considering using CreateSpace for POD service and distribution I suggest two books. My own Self-publishing With CreateSpace: A Resource Guide for Authors Considering Self-Publishing and Christie Pinheiro's Step-by-Step Guide to Self-Publishing for Profit!:Start Your Own Home-Based Publishing Company and Publish Your Non-Fiction Book with CreateSpace and Amazon.