ForeWord Reviews

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A Cheap and Easy Guide to Self-Publishing E-Books

Foreword Review — July / Aug 2000

“Soon, to say that you are a published novelist will be no more remarkable than to have called yourself a quilter a century ago,” according to a recent New York Times book section article. This book shows its readers how to make that prophecy come true.

Perkins, former schoolteacher, former stage hypnotist and now Internet author of e-books, tells readers exactly how to follow in his footsteps. He relies heavily on Websites such as MightyWords, an e-publisher which will publish any manuscript that is not obscene or hate-centered. It will retain that manuscript for sale on its site as long as the author pays the $1-a-month charge for listing.

Perkins suggests his readers take as their book subjects their “interests in life,” as well as their work activities, and lessons learned along the way. The lessons don’t have to be long ones, either. “Remember that an e-book can be only five pages long or it can be 400 pages long. Whether you are finding solutions to problems, writing a great short story or even a complete novel, you will find a market for that e-book if you follow the easy steps presented in this book.”

Wannabe authors may be shocked at the amount of work involved in those “easy steps.” Perkins asserts they must get a Website, learn at least some basics of web page construction, write HTML code, prepare an attractive site, draw traffic to it, exchange information with newsletters and electronic magazines in return for their promotion of the author’s book, among other activities.

A tireless salesman himself, Perkins assures his readers that if they work assiduously at these tasks, they will sell books. He does, however, slide over the long, hard haul any Website-owner faces to attract viewers to the site. He also overestimates the sums authors can charge for their e-books. For example, he suggests an average $10 price, but charges twice that for his books. A check of several e-publishing sites shows average prices in the $4-$6 range.

There is worthwhile information in this book, and a would-be author is the best judge of how much effort he/she wants to put into the after-writing efforts required by a potentially successful book.

Jean Goldstrom