Idea: Quense's pitch with this book -- an author who has self-published many books writing a guide to authors looking to self-publish their own -- is sharply honed, and the resulting book offers exactly what its audience would be seeking. Quense anticipates the pitfalls and mistakes first-time self-publishers face, and he offers clear, concrete advice for avoiding them, bolstered by strong examples from his own career.
Prose: Quense's prose is unfussy and direct, just what is needed for such a volume. He's also to-the-point, never wandering off topic or attempting to pad the manuscript. Quense emphasizes the urgency of working on a manuscript with editors and sensitivity readers, and it's clear on each polished page that he practices what he preaches.
Originality: There are certainly other how-to books surveying the same field, but what's most original and helpful in Quense's volume is its dedication to offering writers a clear step-by-step guide to their self-publishing journey. Quense organizes the volume chronologically, describing the tasks an author should attend to five months before publication, then four months before publication, and so forth. This approach is unique and helps prevent the task at hand from being overwhelming. Another factor separating Quense's guide from other how-to books: Quense is frank about costs, and he makes no unrealistic promises about outcomes.
Execution: Quense is strong in explaining what self-published authors need to do and also demonstrating why these steps matter. Even authors averse to, say, establishing a social-media presence, are likely to find the advice here persuasive and manageable. Making it all "manageable" could be the book's greatest strength -- and it could only be improved in that regard with a more thorough table of contents or topic-driven index. The structure makes the book somewhat less accessible than it might be to authors who just want advice on one topic, like the difference between a publisher and packager or how to find an artist to design a cover.
Blurb: Concise and bursting with practical advice, How to Self-Publish and Market a Book delivers exactly what its title promises, with clear eyes and little fat.
Date Submitted: October 03, 2019
Hank Quense has done a very thorough job with this book, "How to Self-Publish and Market a Book." He has made it simple to follow and not overwhelming for the average self-publisher. Don't know how to start with Twitter? He breaks it down. Don't know the difference between a packager and publisher? Don't know what the average costs are? Quense knows that too.
It's clear from reading this book that Quense knows what he's talking about from personal experience, and the things he's figured out along the way. Perfect for the newbie who isn't looking to reinvent the wheel.
I recently read a self-published book by an acquaintance and am now wondering if she really checked all these boxes. Could she have had better results selling her book if she'd taken the time to put the books in hands of actual beta readers and not friends? Did she try to speed up the timeline? Did she tick all of the marketing boxes? Did she weigh the pros and cons of ebooks and hard copy?
If I ever get around to finishing the manuscript I have, I will be following the steps Quense outlines with a six-month timeline, to ensure the work is worth the effort.
I loved the information about how to get an ISBN, something I've never really understood. I also loved how he talked about websites and setting up blog tours to really get the most out of your book launch.