Sunday, December 03, 2006

Doing Your Research For You

One of the problems of the internet as research tool is that it can be very difficult to get answers to specific questions. What is the best way to self-publish? (Don’t.) Who should I use? (Not Publish America.) What should I watch out for? (Scammers.) What should I be doing? (Waiting for traditional publishing to call you.)

Despite the volume of noise debating about whether self-publishing is a viable economic alternative to traditional publishing (ahem), there are actually people who are making an effort to produce guidebooks to this new approach to publication. Finding word of these resources can be difficult, which is why they should be pointed out as often as possible.

Read these texts. You will not regret it.

The first text on the list is called On the Survival of Rats in the Slush Pile by Michael Allen. If you follow that link, you will find it as a free PDF download. It’s 80 pages long, but it looks at the mechanics of the slush pile from a statistical and mathematical point of view. Ultimately, he comes to the conclusion that the selection process is governed by chance and offers some solutions to overcome that problem.

Second on the list is Jeremy Robinson, who wrote POD People: Beating the Print-on-Demand Stigma. This book was written in response to the many emails he was receiving on a daily basis after making a success of his first self-published novel The Didymus Contingency.

Third on the list is the Fine Print of Self-Publishing by Mark Levine. Drawing on his experience as a contract lawyer, Levine lays out the differences between the various Print on Demand publishers working in the industry today.

If anyone else has any suggestions about other books that could be considered must-reads for the aspiring self-published author, please feel free to let me know.