Take Warner Bros cartoons, Mad Magazine and National Lampoon, mix them all together and you still won't quite have Stan Freberg, the original Alfred E Newman. Just so funny you have to buy the album and listen yourself.
I really wanted to like this book and the author is obviously enthusiastic about his subject and makes several good points about self-publishing, and his opinions on the importance of a good cover are particularly insightful, but at the end of the day the question that haunts every independent publisher, be they one-book POD people or directors of small companies like myself, remains completely unanswered. How do you persuade bookstores to stock your titles if they consider you to be a nobody?
Distribution is the key to success, advertising and marketing is pointless if the buying public cannot fall over your product, and good design is wasted if your book is not being seen.
If you are an author contemplating self-publishing your work this is a great place to start. If you are an independent publisher you might do better with Aaron Shepard's (appallingly designed) Aiming at Amazon although both books seem to feel that it's OK to design a book interior with Microsoft Word. (Get real guys!)
There are better marketing tips in John Kremer's 1001 Ways to Market Your Book, but all of these works do nothing to address the overwhelming screams of indifference that will greet your independently published work.
The issue of staying motivated in the face of this, along with the eternal conundrum of cracking Borders and Waterstones, remains unaddressed.
This book is a brave effort and well worth buying, but it will not provide you with all the answers that you need to succeed as an independent publisher.
Despite the awful cover, this book has tons of useful advice to offer the small publishing firm trying to establish themselves in today's very over-crowded market.
I would say that it's not really suited to authors wishing to just self-publish a single volume and who don't want to go through the work of creating an imprint, but for serious small firms who want to get a foothold in Amazon it will pay back its cover price in minutes once you start putting its ideas into practice.
If you want to get involved in the actual business of freelance writing there is no better guide on the market. Andrew Crofts is well known in the book trade as a ghost writer and it is seldom that he doesn't have a book in the best-seller lists, even if it doesn't have his name on it.
Unlike many books on writing, this book actually tells you how to write for a living and is not full of the normal obsequies to editors that usually plague books like these and reveal a definite bias to the amateur.
Not much use if you want to write a heart-felt labour-of-love novel, otherwise excellent.