Monday Book Reviews are a new part of the SmallPress Blog. I hope to showcase a variety of books that I believe self and independent publishers should own. The reviews will have two parts, where possible. The first part is the actual review. This will be no longer than one paragraph. Yes, I realize that is limiting (and that is the point). One thing that you should realize is that I will only be choosing a precious few parts of the book to showcase. All of these books will offer so much more and, yes, you should buy these books.
The second part will be the backstory of the book. Who designed it? Who did the cover? Why was it written? I fully understand with this part that some writers will be more forthcoming than others and that is fine. By the way, if you think you might like to have your book reviewed (and it is on self publishing, book marketing, or very related subjects), you can send it to PO Box 19021, Fresno, CA 93790.
Monday Book Review: Plug Your Book!
Plug Your Book!: Online Book Marketing for Authors is a solid introduction for writers wishing to market their books on the Internet, but not sure where they should start. If you have ever looked at the great expanse of the Internet and not known where to start plugging your book, Weber provides the map for you. To my thinking, this is the book that you buy first, and then you decide what else you need to learn. The book touches on several tools with which all book marketers should become familiar. It discusses the importance to an author of having a blog (to create interactive relationships with readers) and why amateur book reviewers have more credibility (and how to get the top Amazon.com reviewers to take a look at your book). Weber also focuses on going to where the readers are and not waiting for them to come to you. He supports being active on MySpace as one way to market to the public and shows you exactly how to do that. And, importantly, Weber also teaches you all the tricks to increase your footprint on Amazon.com.
Backstory from the author, Steve Weber
My editor for "Plug Your Book" was a former colleague from my newspaper reporting days, Julie Bird, who lives in Charlotte, NC now. We did all the work via email using Microsoft Word's "track changes" feature. After the content editing, I hired a copy-editor and a proofreader. I was especially happy with the proofreader who I found by searching the directory of the Editorial Freelancers Association.
The cover was a real challenge. I I hired a cover designer with great credentials and had seven design concepts done. I was unhappy with all of them. Part of the problem was that I was still working with a weak title: "Internet Book Publicity." That's what the book is about, but it's not a snappy title and nothing that people would search for. To get the cover done, I decided to search for stock photography that might work for the cover. I spent a solid week looking at every Internet-related photo at all the stock photography sites I could find. Finally, I came across the image I used on the cover, the face with ethernet dreadlocks, and the title, Plug Your Book!" occurred to me.
I laid out the cover myself using Microsoft Publisher, and did the interior myself using Microsoft Word.