By: David Gaughran
I think it’s important, regardless of what stage you are in on you publishing journey, to try and understand as much about the options available to you as you can before making any major decisions. There is quite obviously a rather large discussion going on about publishing right now. There are those who say that you should self-publish, and there are those who say that you should publish traditionally through the publishing houses. I’ve discussed a bit about both sides here before. I still am not entirely sure where I sit, but think that, at the moment, I am leaning more towards the self-publishing side. Why? Partially, because I read this book.
Gaughran makes a very strong argument for the self-publishing route. None of which are anecdotal. He backs up his thoughts with some very solid logic and even stronger facts, and really makes a good case for doing it yourself. He doesn’t just tell you to wade in and get your feet wet, either, but makes the argument for still having your manuscript edited at least once by someone other than your mother or yourself. He makes an argument for professional cover designers as well. This isn’t just a book that says that self-publishing is great, now jump in. The steps are outlined and ready for you to discover the path you will take with your creation.
If there’s any one thing that the book is thin on, it’s extreme detail. For instance, Gaughran writes about using professional cover artists and editors, but doesn’t go into a whole lot of detail about who, where, when. He also writes about the process of getting your work loaded into the various publishing services, but again doesn’t go into the exact detail on how to do that. Which, I think, is good. He actually expects you to learn how to do those things. The information is freely available in several locations, and is really just a search away, so why waste the readers time hand-holding them down the path.
The book is an excellent primer on self-publishing, and is by far the best book on digital self-publishing that I’ve read to date. This will sound a bit strange, but with some non-fiction books, you come away with the desire to read other books on the exact same subject so that you can learn more on the subject. I didn’t with this book. In part, I think that is because there is plenty of information there, and what detail is missing, Gaughran points the reader in the right direction to find that detail.
The book is currently available digitally only. You can pick up a copy of Let’s Get Digital for the Kindle at Amazon (and support this site while you’re doing it). Also, I’ve added Gaughran’s blog to the blogroll in the sidebar if you’re interested. He posts regularly, and continues the conversation on self-publishing. He’s also listed the other ways you can get pick up a copy of the book (including a free pdf version) on his blog: Let’s get Digital.