Book Review: Nuts and Bolts of Self-Publishing by Chris Longmuir

I could just say, to any novice indie publisher who knows nothing – and doesn’t realise that s/he knows nothing –

This book is a fantastic, easy to read, fun and practical introduction to indie publishing; and anyone contemplating self-publishing should simply go and buy it. And buy the paperback, so you can prop it on your printer, refer to it obsessively, and learn from it, until the book falls open from over-use at certain favoured places.

I could just say, this is one of the best books I have read on indie publishing. (No, it’s not quite the only one, but it is definitely among the best ….) Compact, easy to read and to carry around, easy to love and take to bed in the wee small hours, this book has really helped me so much to lay aside the twin fears of anyone starting out on the indie publishing road, namely, that (a) publishing one’s own books is all too complicated for one to understand and (b) that indie publishing is bound to be too expensive.

Longmuir makes no assumptions about what the reader knows, (which is so refreshing). So she explains just about all that needs to be explained for the serious novice. That might sound like a bit of a contradiction, but we all need to start somewhere. Okay, so in these technological times my age might be against me, but it does also give me some advantages: I know my way around a keyboard fairly well, and I know that there are several ways to find and do things. So I can work out that to de-format a book for Kindle, (before reformatting it, in a mobi-friendly fashion) you can use the ‘find’ and ‘replace’ functions to de-format (which means, take out all the tabs, italics, bold, extra fonts…but leave in the page returns) in seconds.

Nuts and Bolts is gently and helpfully repetitive, so you don’t have to read the whole book again to find a single reference. It also contains helpful checklists.

That there is a definite order to the way of doing things also becomes apparent, but knowing what to do and how and why, is such a relief. And it occurs to me that while I will engage the services of several professionals to help with editing and publishing expertise, there is no better way to get it right than to know a bit about what the whole process involves before making that call or sending that email.

Happiness Matters is my next book, which I am hoping to publish soon, my first outing as an indie author. Meantime, Chris’s book gets full marks from a very grateful reader. Thank you.


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