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Review: Smart Self-Publishing by Zoe Winters

August 18, 2011

Since I am going to self-publish my own book soon (Little Miss Lovesick is currently scheduled for September 2011), I looked through the Amazon ebooks on how to make an ebook and bought five of them. The first one I read was Smart Self-Publishing: Becoming an Indie Author by Zoe Winters. I think this one was the most expensive at $3.95.

The book is easy to read and I didn't have to read sentences or sections twice to try to figure out what she was saying. It's well organized and moved logically from one topic to the next. Her writer's voice is very apparent and at first I was slightly put off by what almost seemed to be a defensive attitude. Later I decided she's just a “call 'em as I see 'em” kind of person, on this topic anyway, and I warmed up to her voice.

I read the book all the way through so I could make sure I fully understood the entire process of turning my word processing document into an ebook. I used Kindle's highlight feature to keep track of the parts I thought were important enough that I didn't want to have to hunt for them again later. After reading the whole book, I felt confident I could probably navigate the process of making an ebook fairly easily.

In addition to explaining the nuts and bolts of how to turn your manuscript into an ebook, Zoe also talks about what else is required of a successful ebook self-publisher. She gives some time to other formats you might want to consider, like print and audio. I really liked that she talked about the business end of it – budgets and production schedules and marketing plans.

I found the easiest way to read this how-to book to be:

  • Read it cover to cover, highlighting as I go
  • Print out my Kindle “My Clippings” so I have the highlighted portions in front of me
  • Open the book on my Kindle for Mac (or Kindle for PC) so I can see it in a larger screen, and so I can click through faster to find the important bits
  • Make my own to do list

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? Probably, based on what I've read of other books so far


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