A Library for Self-Publishing Success: Must-read Books for the Indie Author

self-publishing success

Everything you need to achieve self-publishing success is contained in these seven books. So put down your pen and get readin’!

There are so many people who are either writing books or who want to write books. You’re reading this post because you are probably one of these people. Well I’ve got bad news and good news. The bad news is this is a super tough business with few winners. It’s much easier to write a book than to sell a book. The good news? If you take the right actions, you can be one of the winners and have success with your book.

When would-be authors find out that I’m an author/publisher, they always ask if I have any advice on getting agents and finding publishers. I do. And it’s always the same. Number 1: Self-publishing is your best bet, so learn more about how to do it yourself. Number 2: You MUST read a few books that will guide you in the right direction. Dan Poynter’s was the most impactful for me when I started writing back in 1995. Since then I have read many others that have guided me on my literary journey, and many are perfect for authors getting started today.

Learn from these books, and you will succeed!

78 reasons: self-publishing success tips78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published and 14 Reasons Why It Just Might
by Pat Walsh
Stop writing that novel now and read 78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published! Pat Walsh is not only spot on the money with his advice, but he’s also super entertaining. Walsh covers mistakes to avoid and the correct actions to take. What’s the #1 reason your book may never be published? It’s the obvious…

manual: self-publishing success tipsDan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book
How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book is the BIBLE of self-publishing, hands down. This book is why mine have done well. The reason why my first book sold out of its first printing of 1,000 print copies was mostly due to working with libraries. I’ve sent copies of all my books to Dan thanking him for writing this book. Sadly, Dan passed away last year, but his work will help countless authors for many years to come.

1001 Ways: self-publishing success tips1001 Ways to Market Your Books: For Authors and Publishers by John Kremer
My print copy of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books is filled with my hand-written notes and bursting with sticky-note bookmarks as well. This book is 10 years old now, but the ideas are evergreen. Your head will be swimming with ideas after reading this one.

: self-publishing success 101Self-Publishing Books 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Publishing Your Book in Multiple Formats by Shelley Hitz
This Kindle eBook Self-Publishing Books 101 is FREE – get it now! It is my opinion that Shelley is today’s Dan Poynter. Her books and advice are golden. She shares the details of self-publishing plus great marketing tips. She is the real deal and this book proves it. Did I mention it’s free?

Advertising: self-publishing success tipsAMA Complete Guide to Small Business Advertising by Joe Vitale
More about marketing with AMA Complete Guide to Small Business Advertising. This is a classic by Joe Vitale, who you may remember as a contributor to the bestseller, The Secret, not to mention Vitale’s dozen other titles. In this book, you will learn the foundations of marketing, persuasion, copywriting, and much more. You’ll have to get a used copy because I believe it’s out of print.

Copywriting: self-publishing success tipsThe Adweek Copywriting Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America’s Top Copywriters
by Joseph Sugarman
The Adweek Copywriting Handbook is like a college class in copywriting. You’ll want the print copy of this one to keep as a handy reference – mine is packed full of bookmarks and personal notes. Now here comes the good part: after reading this, you will be fully prepared to write the letters and ads that will help sell your book. And if you’re still reading, this book explains why. I’ll leave that for you to find. (Hint: it’s on page 59).

100 Secrets: self-publishing success tipsCa$hvertising: How to Use More than 100 Secrets of Ad-Agency Psychology to Make Big Money Selling Anything to Anyone by Drew Eric Whitman
I bought the print AND Kindle version of this one. The review I left on Amazon says it all: “This book is all you need. It took me a while to read Ca$hvertising because it is so packed with great stuff. No fluff, lots of sizzle for a ton of steak! I’ve read dozens of marketing books over the past 20 years, many from the recommended list in this book, and I must say Ca$hvertising is the BEST! Great original material plus it’s like the CliffsNotes to ALL the other books I’ve read, presented in an organized way. EXCELLENT! I will reread this one, again and again.”

There are many other great books I can recommend, but the above are on my desk (or Kindle), always within reach, so I can refer to them all the time. I promise you, everything you need to be successful in writing and – more importantly – selling your book profitably, is contained in these books. So get readin’!


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  1. I’ll have to try some of these books. I already have the Dan Poynter book and find it indispensable. I have just listed my novel True Mercy on Amazon and still feel overwhelmed by marketing, despite reading many articles. Thank you for publishing these recommended books.


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