April L. Hamilton's, ‟The Indie Author Guide”
"The Indie Author Guide" by April L. Hamilton was published in 2010. This is a guide for do-it-yourself authors who are considering or already publishing their own books. April has crammed a lot of information into about 300 pages and while it's already 4 years old in a fast changing industry, there's still plenty of relevant information. The author is an experienced writer and supporter of the indie author crowd. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Independent Authors. You can look up more about the author at www.AprilHamilton.com or Publetariat.com.
One look at the title, written entirely in lower case, gives the idea that this book was written by a do-it-your-self-er but it's well organized and comprehensive in coverage. Quick to read with a double column format and interspersed with headings and subheadings, it includes an ample mix of images which make the book easy to scan if you're looking for specific guidance. The material is so well organized and specified that you may not need a highlighter in hand when reading it, although if your prone to dog-earring pages, you're likely to create an abundance of them in this little volume.
Chapters deal with an assortment of things from organizing your computer to branding and author platforms. There's also information on publishing options, formatting, editing and revision.
Inside, you'll find a section on book covers and e-book formats as well as chapters on promotion and for those interested, a chapter on transitioning to traditional publishing.
Bonus material in the back of the book includes not one but two appendixes. The first contains sample worksheets for calculating costs, royalties, break-even points and record keeping as well as worksheets to track contact or membership information, info on author websites and events. The author gives a web-link to download the worksheets online at indieauthorguide.com (look for the "Worksheets" tab). The worksheets download as a single PDF.
The second appendix is an HTML primer in the familiar two-column layout, organized with sub-heads and a number of images so readers can see what the author is talking about. Material includes a brief explanation of how web pages work and goes on to touch on syntax, formatting and dealing with non-breaking spaces. It ends with a section on best practices and a summary table of commonly used tags. It's worth noting that being four years old, the information on HTML may not conform to the latest HTML5 conventions but it still gives the reader a basic understanding of what is sometimes considered scary computer stuff.
Whether you're considering indie publishing or just looking for information on building a platform, this book will serve as a well rounded starter resource, keeping in mind the mercurial nature of the industry. It's not an exhaustive, technical manual but it's pretty darn meaty.
Ironically the book is published by Writer's Digest. Cover price is listed at $19.99 but check Amazon for better prices, my new copy was purchased for $14.99