November 16, 2011

Let's Get Digital: How to Self-Publish, And Why You Should by David Gaughran

You won't make any money from self-publishing.


The internet has revolutionized every business it has come into contact with, and publishing is no different.

For the first time, these changes are handing power back to the writer. It's up to YOU if you want to profit from them.

"Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should."

This guide contains over 60,000 words of essays, articles, and how-to guides, as well as contributions from 33 bestselling indie authors including J Carson Black, Bob Mayer, Victorine Lieske, Mark Edwards, and many more.

It covers everything from how the disruptive power of the internet has changed the publishing business forever to the opportunities this has created for writers. It gives you practical advice on editing, cover design, formatting, and pricing. And it reveals marketing tips from blogging and social networking right through to competitions, discounts, reviews, and giveaways.

If you are considering self-publishing, if you need to breathe life into your flagging sales, or if you want to understand why it's a great time to be a writer, "Let's Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should" will explain it all.

My Thoughts

I have to say, I loved it from cover to cover. He tackles on the myths about self publishing and proves why these allegations are false. Then he also provides self-pubbed authors that have found success in this industry.

Now since I obviously can't break this down into setting and theme, and all that great English teacher stuff, I'll break it down simply: Positives and Negatives.

Simple, right?


1. We learn about the real deal of traditional publishing and self publishing.

I have to say I was blown away about the information on how traditional publishing works. I just didn't realize how much history and how much money is being blown away to produce the lovely books that we see on the bookshelves. And now I know why Books A Million can afford to give us such great prices on books!

I think that writers should read about whether they are on the fence about traditional publishing or self-publishing. It was really enlightening and it really opened my eyes.

2. Myth busting!

I have to say, he didn't bust enough myths for me but he did bust the big myths out there. Like the fact that he busted the "no one will find your work amongst the slush of crap" myth. Which of course is totally false because we still seem to find great books among the crap in the bookstore.

Or about the fact that only friends and family will only buy your books. That's the biggest misconception about self-publishing and it ticks me off. Do you really think your friends and family will PAY for your books when they are truly your friends and family? Um no. They want you to give it to them for FREE. Yes, free. Therefore, that myth is SO busted.

Anyway, he busted some more, but I won't go into them. I'll just have to make one up on my own some day. You never know!

3. The Necessary Steps to be a Self-publisher.

He went over some key points on how to go from obscurity to full time self pubbed author. It's almost like he would be there for every step of the way once you have committed to self publishing. I really enjoyed reading about the process and his own growth from traditional to self publishing. It's really interesting.

4. Success Stories

This has to be the best part of the whole book. To see how people journeyed from unknown to selling 10,000 books is just inspiring. It just shows that it can be done. Not that it's impossible or whatever some traditional published writers/agents/and your friend down the street say, but that it is possible. And there's 33 stories in all. And I think most of them are from people who didn't even land a traditional publishing contract.

So no excuses or using the JA Konrath example of the only way to make it worthwhile in self publishing.

5. Resources

The links are perfect and extremely helpful.

6. Hyperlinks

Very useful to jump to sections you needed to read instead of reading the entire thing (like if you just needed help with the self-publishing part and not deciding to self publish, you could jump directly to that section).


1. The missing links in the book

At first I didn't know about the Resources section, but as I kept reading along it kinda irked me that the links weren't next to the passage when he mentioned them.

I appreciate the quality of links, I just wish that he would have stayed consistent. Like some of the time, he would include links (I think when he used specific examples) other times he didn't put them up there at all.

Now granted, the links are in the Resources section, but it still irked me. Not a lot, but still enough to get under my skin.

2. The Numbering

I have to say, this irked me too. The fact that every section had a number next to the title, just drove me crazy. It just seemed unprofessional.

I know, how picky am I? But that's just my opinion and my taste.

I have to say though, the format was spotless and there were absolutely no typos. And yes, I searched. And at one point, I was like, "Oh? A typo?" Then I read it again and was like, "Oh, good! Never mind!" So yeah, this book is spotless other then that.

So the final question: Would I recommend this book?

Absolutely. Maybe not to people who have already decided to self-publish (like moi). But def for people who are thinking of transitioning from traditional publishing to self publishing. And maybe for people who want to know their options. Maybe they just don't know what to do after they are done writing a novel. They should pick up this book and know their options.

I have to say, this book has to be the cleanest, thorough book about self-publishing I've read. Bar none.

And recently, the author was so gracious to tell me that his book is free (pdf version) here. Make sure to thank him! :)

And now you guys who are thinking about self-publishing have no excuse: Get this book! Trust me, you'll thank us both later (me and the author). Enjoy!


  1. Thanks for the totally awesome article and the great link. I will definitely have to read this. :)

  2. Larissa,

    Thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful review. What a lovely way to start the day.



  3. Hello David and Kathy! Thanks for commenting on my blog! Glad to see some familiar faces. :)

    @Kathy-Def read this! It's an awesome book. I wish I read this earlier, or I wouldn't have made my fatal mistake of not hiring an editor and maybe my book would have had a better starting chance.

    @David-It was trully an honor and a pleasure to read your book. And congrats on guest posting on JA Konrath's blog! I was so shocked and pleased that you were up there! I was so rooting for you! :) That must have been a huge moment and a great opportunity for you. I'm so glad that you're finding success on your journey.

  4. Larissa,

    That was a lot of fun, and it was really great to hear Joe saying nice things about my writing. I've been reading his blog for a few years now, and never thought I would be up there with a guest post.


  5. Hey Dave,

    For years you've been following his blog, and now look, you're on it! Surreal! I'm so happy for you that I could dance. But that would probably ruin the moment, lol. Anyway, congrats again! :)