Click Here To Purchase A Self-Publisher's Companion

Author: Joel Friedlander

Publisher: Marin Bookworks

ISBN: 978-0-936-385-11-2 (PB)  ISBN: 978-0-936-385-12-9 (Ebook)

This book was my stimulus to learn the underlining feature of Kindle, and it got me in trouble. I have underlined so much of Joel Friedlander’s text that it would take just as long for me to sort out his premier points as it will take YOU to read the book. Therefore, I will personalize my comments.

First, I suspected Friedlander wrote this book to attract clients to his book design services. I started reading with a jaundiced eye, having already tested the waters with a POD “publisher” and got in over my head. Well, as it happens, Joel’s mission is to warn people like me of the hazards likely to be encountered on the self-publishing, print-on-demand route — while convincing us that this is the route to take! He had a blog that is encyclopedic and free; but the “Companion” is that octopus reduced to spider size.

Joel takes his reader gently by the hand. Acknowledging the chaos in the publishing industry today, he attempts to make each discouraged writer feel better about wanting to see her/his ideas in print. Once Joel wins the reader’s trust — see how quickly he got me on a first-name basis? — he gets down to business.

Mr. Friedlander repeatedly asks readers to analyze themselves and their intents. (That is a courtesy that writers’ workshops should adopt.) Almost every chapter includes a new challenge — but you can close the book at any point you feel self-publishing isn’t for you. If you stick with him, you will be enlightened: about the ever-evolving industry of book publishing, and where you can comfortably fit into the scheme of things today.

I consider myself fairly well informed about what’s happening to print, trained in both journalism and creative writing, but I appreciate his fine distinctions, say, between writers’ services and vanity presses.

His advice favors nonfiction. Experts with knowledge to impart will learn about the process of producing a book and what affects its cost. Friedlander alerts them to additional ways of reaching their audiences. He’s very detailed on what and how and when to blog (or not). He explains why indexing will die off.

Fiction writers will enjoy Friedlander’s tone – that of an insider, but not smarty-pants. He is literate, an able historian, a veteran in publishing, and fellow scribe. We may think we can avoid all of that other stuff, some of which only cutting edge, social-media maniacs know about. Squidoo lens? Ning networks? I’m dumbfounded. But I am grateful to know that the few choices I’ve made to publicize my book are on track. And, by Jove, he’s got me thinking about Twitter, which previously I considered twash!

I will not ruin your tour by revealing more about mine. Each writer is unique, and there’s something here for everyone. Travel with Joel to places you want to go. (His chapter headings help a lot.) What you do with what you learn comes down to what you’ll settle for.

One concern: Friedlander is not a kid (though he mountain bikes); still I wondered if he hadn’t noticed that probably 8 in 10 attendees at writers’ conferences are 65 or older. (I am 72.) We have a great deal to say, but with limited energy and financial uncertainty. He warns of the danger of letting ourselves be gobbled up by the complexities of the electronic world. Does he mean $$$$$? He even admits that self-publishers are usually exhausted. So at location 1885 (about 85%) in the Kindle version, he leaves us with “just” two things to do: Create better content, bring it to people’s attention.

Joel: I had flagged long before then, where you started naming all the ways to get known. But I kept on because you are a businessman and a philosopher.

He sends us off with basic assignments: find resources online; build our platforms; be aware of the multiple paths of publishing and choose one based on whether it fits our style; then take out our credit cards.

In a nutshell: This ambitious lad distinguishes between his new title and the many “how-to” books on self-publishing by calling it a “why to;” and I believe its ultimate value is in showing you that, if you are a writer, there is no turning back, whether you leave letters or Letters, and that it is easier than ever to make a good job of it.

Click Here To Purchase A Self-Publisher's Companion