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VINE VOICEon 28 July 2006
Most would-be authors in the U.S. dream of signing a four book deal with Random House for over $10 million . . . and then skyrocketing to the top of the best seller list. That does happen, but not very often.

The average new author who attracts a commercial publisher will probably be offered an advance of $7,500 and won't earn that amount back in actual royalties. In the process, the author will be disappointed to find that the publisher does little more than print the book, put it in a catalogue and take orders from those who demand the book. If there's to be publicity, the author must provide it. In exchange, the author will earn less than 10% of the cover price of the book from each sale.

After having been down that route, it's not surprising that authors begin to realize that selling 5,000 copies that one self-publishes can earn a profit of 5-10 times as much with relatively little more effort . . . and not much of a capital outlay.

So, if you don't get that Random House deal, you probably can still earn a lot more money for yourself by becoming your own publisher. There are lots of ways to do this from e-books as digital downloads to traditional hard cover volumes. You can have a printer make a few thousand of the latter . . . or a print on demand printer will make one at a time as you receive orders.

Naturally, you can pay someone several thousand dollars to help you through the process.

But it's a better bet to buy Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual. Dan's forgotten more about how to self-publish a book that most "experts" will ever learn.

This book covers the following important topics:

1. How to decide if you want to self-publish and how

2. Writing your book (from picking a subject to gaining advances)

3. Starting your own publishing company (if that's appropriate for you)

4. Book production (from designing to typesetting to layout to final book)

5. Launching your book (getting on the radar screen)

6. Pricing

7. Book promotion (advertising, publicity, reviews, press kits and interviews)

8. Attracting book buyers (distribution, libraries, schools, promotions, fund-raisers, subsidiary rights)

9. Fulfillment (from your warehouse to the book buyer)

10. Dealing with the changes in your life that follow being published.

The sections are very detailed, reference lots of other great sources (including Dan's own wonderful Web site), suppliers and answers to the most common questions every new author has.

As much as I like this book, I must point out its one glaring weakness. Dan has been a celebrity in the book authoring field for so long that he somewhat overstates how easy it is to attract positive publicity. But if you keep at it, someday you'll find it as easy as Dan does.

By the way, if you ever have a chance to attend a conference where Dan speaks, be sure to attend. He's even more helpful in person.

If you think you might want to self-publish, this is the book for you.

Good luck!
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on 18 October 2008
This is one of the most useful `how to" books that I have ever read, because - although over 400 pages long, and crammed with a wealth of information - it is clear, concise, authoritative and well laid out.

As a new author seeking to publish my first book, I asked a marketing expert where I could get the best written guidance. "Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual," came from his lips without hesitation, and from my reading of this book, I have no hesitation in agreeing with his judgement.

Both interesting and informative, Dan's book is based the experience of not just a few years, but a lifetime's experience.

Graham Worthington, author, Wake of the Raven
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on 21 May 2009
Dan Poynter is the absolute guru on this subject. The detail he goes into on every part of the writing and publishing process will save people hundreds of hours of time and many tears. He doesn't mince words as he tells you exactly what works and what doesn't work. Dan simply tells you what to do - so if you are unsure about any aspect of this game, get a copy of this book today.
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on 9 January 2011
This books gives you some great tips on how to self publish your own book. However its focus is mainly on how to self publish non fiction and is mostly full of American info.

Still i think it is worth buying if your thinking of self publishing. It is the sort of book/index you can dip in and out of when you need a reference and has got some worthwhile information.
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on 2 September 2010
All in all i was very happy to recieve this book , from america, in very acceptible time and in excellent condition. The book itself was bought for my own learning curve, as I am a new author! (hopefully to appear on amazon shortly?)It is very informative and helpful.
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on 1 February 2001
I have come to be skeptical of books that claim to be 'comprehensive', but I can say without a doubt that Poynter leaves no stone unturned on the self publsihing journey.
Peppered with inspirational anecdotes 'The Self Publshing Manual' not only makes interesting reading but also provides budding authors with all they need to know to join the game that have made Penguin, Macmillan and Doubleday household names.
I gather my inspiration from Upton Sinclair who choose to publish the Jungle after scores of publishing houses refused his manuscript. One must ask themselves where would the United States be without this ground breaking look at the conditions of the poor during America's infancy?
BUY IT - that's not an endorsement but a life line in a sea peppered with sharks.
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on 26 September 2009
This book is basically out of date (first appeared in 1979) and written for the US. If you are living in the UK in 2009, you need something else. There is half a page on creating your web page and all the costings are way out of line (much too high) compared to what is available these days with print on demand and modern publishing IT. The resources for marketing your book are heavily biased to the US.
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on 1 November 2012
Very helpful and contains some useful informaton. Dan Poynter knows what he is talking about evidently. He writes as an expert.
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