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Review: How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks by Jason Matthews

August 23, 2011

The second book I read on how to make your own ebook was How to Make, Market and Sell Ebooks – All for Free by Jason Matthews. This one was $3.82, the second highest priced of the five books I bought.

The biggest difference between this one and the Winters ebook is that this one is focused on doing everything at no cost. (Except that you paid four bucks for his book; he doesn't mention that. 🙂 ) Jason also explains a lot of the things he does to market his books and gives you examples to check out. He includes how-to notes on things like putting Twitter, Facebook and other badges on your web site so people can follow you easily, and suggests ways to stay organized.

At first, I found the voice and tone of the book to be annoying. I felt like I was reading something written by a used car salesman. But either the tone evened out or I got used to it because, by halfway through, I was fine with it. The other irritating part is that the book reads as if you are an absolute beginner at everything. There were many areas when I did a fair amount of skimming. On the other hand, he discusses so many topics that there's bound to be something you're not familiar with for which you'll appreciate the step-by-step instructions.

Other great things about this book include a “Review List of Highly Recommended Programs and Sites” at the end, an Addendums page on his web site where he will continue to update the contents of the book, and for those who write a review of the book, he'll send a pdf copy for ease of use while you're following his instructions on your computer.  🙂

There were some annoying punctuation errors and sentence structure issues that had me re-reading to figure out where a sentence was going. Jason likes parentheticals, too, which is fine except that it was sometimes confusing when he went off on a tangent in parentheses before he came back to the original point.

Aside from those items (which I was willing to overlook), my only other caution is that taking the free route on every single thing is not always a good idea, but there don't seem to be any warnings to the reader. For example, there are reasons why buying your own ISBN numbers is to your advantage. You can publish an ebook without one, but sometimes a decision may be penny wise, pound foolish. If this is the only book you read on how to make an ebook, you lose out on some solid small business advice. (The Winters book appealed to me in this regard because she explained why some choices are smarter business moves.)

Overall, referring to my previous post and my To Do list there, I think I'm going to end up with a lot of valuable – and different – information from Jason's book. I've printed out my Kindle highlighting and notes, and I'll incorporate them into the notes I made on the Winters book.

Was this book worth my time to read? Yes

Was this book worth the money I spent?  Yes

Was this book long enough to make me feel I got a good value for my money? Yes

Was this book potentially all I'd need if I could only buy one? As a business school grad, I'd say no. But if you're looking to post an ebook quickly and cheaply without thinking about future planning, this would work. Personally, I'm happy to combine the information from both the Winters and the Matthews books.


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