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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's Get Digital
Any potential reader's first question about a how-to book should be, does the author know what he is talking about? In David Gaughran's case, it might be reasonable to wonder. He's published a few short stories and this book. While that might not seem like much in the way of experience, it also proves one of his contentions, that self-publishing is something that anyone...
Published on 15 Aug 2011 by BigAl

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mr Motivator
First off, this is not a "How to", but is a good kick up the backside as to why you should. If you've already failed the scenic route, agents and publishers all rejecting you, then perhaps you should try the alternative. Guaghran writes well in an informative manner but you will still have to do the hard work yourself.
One thing I disagree with is paying for...
Published 10 months ago by William J. Fox


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's Get Digital, 15 Aug 2011
This review is from: Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should (Let's Get Publishing Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Any potential reader's first question about a how-to book should be, does the author know what he is talking about? In David Gaughran's case, it might be reasonable to wonder. He's published a few short stories and this book. While that might not seem like much in the way of experience, it also proves one of his contentions, that self-publishing is something that anyone is capable of doing.

Gaughran had been writing for years, attempting to follow the traditional route to publication. While he'd had agents that were interested, he had not yet broken through. Then he heard some stories about authors who had found success through self-publishing and others, previously traditionally published, who decided to spurn traditional-publishing to go it on their own. He began researching self-publishing, and shortly after starting blogging about what he had found. His blog quickly became one of the go-to sites on the subject. Many of his popular blog posts were reworked for inclusion in "Let's Get Digital."

The book has three parts. The first and the last are of potential interest to any reader, even one who knows they'll never want to publish anything.

Part I makes the case for self-publishing -the "why you should" portion of the subtitle. It gives an even-handed view of where the publishing industry is today, where it is going, and makes the case for self-publishing. While acknowledging that everyone has different goals in their writing, Gaughran makes a solid case with ample facts, figures, and research as support for his contentions.

Part II covers the details of self-publishing. Along with appendices, this section tells you what you need to know to produce your book. Among other subjects, he explains those things many self-publishers skip, almost guaranteeing failure. Why the cover matters and the reasons you need an editor along with formatting and promotion are among the subjects covered.

Part III are a series of short success stories from thirty-three different authors who are happy with their self-publishing experience and tell about their route to success. These serve as inspiration and, if you pay attention to what they say, validation of all the things Gaughran has said previously. I imagine this section could also serve as a great starting point for readers to find new authors that interest them.

Lately several books on the subject of self-publishing have hit the virtual bookshelves. While many of them have good ideas, "Let's Get Digital" is the first I've seen, that I felt was both credible and comprehensive. I'd recommend it to any writer who is considering self-publishing or anyone interested in the current state of publishing.

**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for anybody considering self-publishing, 21 July 2011
By 
Craig Cripps (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should (Let's Get Publishing Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Let's Get Digital is a book of three parts. The first part explores the 'digital revolution', why now is a great time to be a writer, and lessons the publishing industry should learn from the music industry. With sections such as "Could Piracy Be Good For Authors?" and "E-book Dominance Is Inevitable" this section is the definitive statement on the state of digital publishing at the moment.

The third section is a series of success stories. 33 different writers, some well known and some not so much, talk about how they got into digital publishing and the kind of ride they've had since. Some of these stories are a bit on the short side, but all of them are interesting and inspiring. You really get a feel for how digital self-publishing is empowering so many different writers, and could do the same for you.

The second part of the book is what I like to think of as the meat in the sandwich. Or the burrito maybe. I never did like sandwiches all that much. But then burritos have a really thin wrap, which is a little unfair to sections one and three, so maybe sandwich is a better metaphor after all...

Anyway, the second part of the book is meaty, telling you exactly what you need to do to self-publish. From writing to formatting to promoting, taking in cover design and editing along the way. There are other books which go into more detail about specific aspects, but 'Let's Get Digital' gives a really good overview of the whole process, with pointers to where you can get more information if you need it. It also goes a little more into the 'why's than many books do, with two parts of the section on promoting your book titled "Don't Be A D*ck" and "Do Unto Others." The advice to stay on the ethical side of the line has to be good for anybody seeking longevity in their writing career.

All in all, this is a must-read for anybody who is thinking of self-publishing. Whether you're a traditionally published author thinking of moving their back catalogue onto Kindle, a new writer who's frustrated with how long it takes to get an agent, or just someone who has a couple of poetry collections they'd like to share with the world, you'll definitely get something out of this. For the price, it's a bargain.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mr Motivator, 25 Sep 2013
By 
William J. Fox "KillerBill" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should (Let's Get Publishing Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
First off, this is not a "How to", but is a good kick up the backside as to why you should. If you've already failed the scenic route, agents and publishers all rejecting you, then perhaps you should try the alternative. Guaghran writes well in an informative manner but you will still have to do the hard work yourself.
One thing I disagree with is paying for an editor up to $2,000 a time. If I had that kind of money to throw around why would I need to write for profit? Apart from that I've read many a book with some incredibly funny typoes or spelling errors so the editor did not do the job right anyway. Get family and friends to read your work. As long as they tell you what's wrong you can put it right. If you do write then you're probably a reader so you can go through and edit yourself.
A couple of things you should take note of. Even if you do get a deal, the advance is probably all the money you will ever see as a new author and you lose the rights to republish for some time. If you do self-publish electronically there is no stock to keep track of and your back catalogue can be on sale for as long as you want.
Finally, no advice is any good unless you have something to sell. Being an author is about writing, selling will follow if what you do is any good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly useful, 27 July 2012
By 
Mo "mo79uk" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should (Let's Get Publishing Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
While about to dip my toe in the self-publishing waters I realised I needed a bit of hand-holding, and this seems to be the perfect accompaniment. It covers why you want to make the jump (although, for most people the obvious answer is 'agent/publishers aren't interested'), how to go about it, from formatting your book etc. to other things you need to know, like tax issues.
I found it a little strange though that a European author would write so much from a generally American perspective. While this is undoubtedly to get the bigger audience, the message wouldn't have been diluted by addressing it as a European.

A couple of things that I didn't like though were the pointless 33 interviews with authors. This was just padding. Half a dozen would've been acceptable as these are generally gloat pieces. They explain that an author did well but their variables mightn't match yours.
Also, this non-fiction book doesn't assume that you would be writing non-fiction either. A few pointers on writing anything other than short stories and novels would be appreciated as they can be a harder sell. There's no Amanda Hocking of non-fiction yet after all.

That aside, it's very cheap and gave me most of what I wanted to know.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate self-publishing handbook, 14 April 2012
By 
Cora Buhlert (Bremen) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should (Let's Get Publishing Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
"Let's Get Digital" is a must for everyone who is considering creating and publishing their own e-books.

Of all the many self-publishing how-tos and handbooks that are currently flooding the market, this book is definitely the best, chock full information, tips and helpful links.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Overview, 8 Oct 2013
This review is from: Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should (Let's Get Publishing Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I would strongly recommend Let's Get Digital as the first port of call for any writer contemplating self-publishing or to any other interested party who wants to know more about this phenomenon. The book gives a tour of the changing world of publishing,its economics and enough overview information to enable a reader to drill down into more detail of individual components of the process, while not inundating him/her with initial detail. But if it's detail you want Gaughran provides plenty of links and recommendations to other resources.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tonic if you're doubting the wisdom of going it alone, 2 Aug 2013
This review is from: Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should (Let's Get Publishing Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I read David Gaughran's book, 'Let's Get Digital,' because, as a self-published author of e-books, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect upon the development of the e-book industry.

This review relates to the first part of Gaughran's book, because, having been through the technical processes of publishing and promotion, etc., the second part was not so relevant to me. But, having skimmed through Part 2, I imagine if you're new to e-book publishing, this would be a useful condensed guide and maybe a helpful forerunner to the inevitable -and, I hasten to add, ultimately rewarding!- wade through the weighty tomes of Mark Coker.

Part 1 was, for me, a very enlightening and motivating read. I know Gaughran has a vested interest in bigging-up e-publishing but if, like me, you've embarked upon the self-publishing journey, without really considering what's currently happening in the world of traditional publishing, his arguments are well worth reading.

The success stories of authors in the final part of the book are also necessarily up-beat. What's interesting though, reading through them, is the randomness of people's success; these weren't always writers who were particularly driven or focussed about succeeding in publishing - they, were, however, most always authors who were very committed to the writing process.

I would recommend this book to all self-published authors as a means of reflecting upon the development of e-books and as a tonic if you're doubting the wisdom of 'going it alone.' Reading 'Let's Get Digital' does give you the sense that you're part of a growing community that's growing in confidence about its identity and legitimacy.

It's a well-structured book so whether you're an aspiring author, an existing author or a curious reader, you will easily be able to navigate your way around it and dip into relevant sections when you want to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long winded, 13 July 2013
By 
G. H. Price - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should (Let's Get Publishing Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Gaughran tells you self-publishing is easy, but goes on and on, so you wonder if it is worth the effort.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Essential, 17 May 2012
By 
D. M. Harris (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should (Let's Get Publishing Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This book is quite simply essential for any writer considering self-publishing their work, whether they are previously unpublished or have had a traditional publishing deal in the past. David breaks down the background to the digital publishing revolution, and explains why self-publishing is the best option for any writer who wants complete control over their work, to get their books out to readers sooner rather than in years (or never!) - and why this is a financially smart move too.

The second part of the book explains the 'how' - simple, sensible advice on how to produce a professionally edited, great looking book and distribute it on major platforms (Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, etc.)

The final part of the book is a set of testimonies from self-published writers who have done well. It doesn't add much to the book in the way of hard information, but it does add weight and real-world examples of what David's talking about.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why you SHOULD read this book if you want to self-publish, 13 May 2012
By 
Clare Davidson (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should (Let's Get Publishing Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
As someone who is considering taking the plunge into the world of self-publishing, I found this book incredibly useful. Far more than a how-to guide, the book is divided into four sections:

Part One focuses on the digital revolution and gives some relevant and fascinating details on what is happening in the publishing industry at the moment. Usefully, it also includes some number crunching on royalties. This section is a real eye-opener. Crucially, Gaughran doesn't just focus on the US publishing industry, but casts his net worldwide. As a UK writer I was especially happy to see this.

Part Two looks out how to actually go about self-publishing on platforms such as Amazon, Barnes and Nobel (not useful for me as I live in the UK) and Smashwords. It covers everything from self-publishing myths to formatting, uploading, pricing and marketing. I found the marketing section especially useful. For me, this section was the most useful (in a practical sense), full of no nonsense advice that will help you to make the best impact with your e-book when you do publish.

Part Three contains 33 success stories from self-published authors in a variety of genres. These were inspirational and served to prove that it is possible to find success (of varying degrees) without the help of a big name publishing company.

The final section is an appendix about practicalities and resources. The resources section is incredibly useful, as is the section on copyright and ISBNs etc.

The entire book is written in an engaging, yet informative style that never becomes condescending. It isn't a one stop shop for all you'll need to know, nor does it pretend to be, but any extra information you might need can be found via the links in the resources section.

If you are thinking about self-publishing, this book is a great starting point, both in terms of the advice contained within and the information about the "current" state of play.
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