Because it's now so easy to become an "author," a lot of bad books get published by people lacking knowledge, experience and taste. It doesn't have to be that way -- and it shouldn't be that way. If you want to be respected as an author, and maybe make money, you can't just spray words onto your PC screen, give your credit card number to a company and hope for the best.
You must do research. You must expend effort and devote time. You must understand what makes books fail and succeed -- and decide what success means to you. You must pay your dues. You must do your homework. You must pay attention to those who have gone before you and learn what they can teach you. You must learn what to do and what not to do. You must also learn why, when, where, how and who.
You must write a lot, and study and polish every page. You must understand that you have a lot of work to do after you finish writing.
You can join groups, attend workshops and conventions. You must learn what a 'platform' is -- and build one. You should probably blog, and maybe tweet and maybe tour. You must solicit blurbs and reviews. You must learn how to work with editors and designers and maybe photographers, illustrators, formatters, publicists, book coaches, book shepherds, book doctors, critiquers and marketing experts. You must set deadlines and keep them. You must decide what to do yourself and what can best be done by others.
Fortunately, there are many excellent books about publishing (as there should be). Whether you are a new author or an experienced author, this website will guide you to many of the best books about publishing.
If you read more books and better books, you can publish better books, sell more books and make readers happier. Before you write, read!
This is a website where authors (and future authors) can learn about the books that will help them to function better as authors.
Books are sorted by subject and some books may be shown in several sections. We show the books' covers plus descriptions and at least one comment from a reader, usually the webmaster. There are also links to websites where the books can be purchased. Books are not sold on this website.
Be social: there are links on each book page so you can recommend books on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, and also make comments. Comments are moderated to remove spam, insults and profanity. (Please behave like an adult.)
The site also has an ever-growing page of links to helpful websites and blogs.
You can send email to suggest more resources to be linked, or to comment.
The site's webmaster is Michael N. Marcus, a journalist, editor, publisher and bestselling author of more than 20 books.
Michael's first book was published by Doubleday in 1977. His second book was published by a much smaller company in 1997. In both cases he was unhappy with the books and his earnings.
In 2008, Michael formed his own tiny publishing company, Silver Sands Books, with the plan to publish exactly one book. It was a mostly humorous memoir intended for his friends and relatives. It unexpectedly turned out to have wide appeal and has sold thousands of copies all over the world.
In preparation for his new career as a micro-publisher, Michael purchased and read more than 40 books about publishing. Sadly, many of them were out-of-date and inaccurate and Michael had to learn a lot on his own.
After the success of that first book, Michael published several books about telecommunications and then decided to write about publishing to help others to avoid the troubles he initially endured.
His very first book about publishing was on two Amazon.com bestseller lists, and led to a growing series of books (both p- and e-) covering a wide range of publishing topics.
WHY is there a picture of singer David Crosby up above?
Actually, it's author Mark Twain. Supposedly he became his own publisher after being cheated by another publisher. That's a good reason to self-publish (but don't cheat yourself or your readers).
WHY does this website exist?
The low cost of publishing both ebooks and printed books ("pbooks") has led to huge growth in the number of books published each year. Sadly, many of them are mediocre, or worse, or even much worse. They waste money and time and disappoint authors and readers.
Ironically, some of the worse recent books are written to advise authors; and the newbies who follow the bad advice are doomed to disappointment. It doesn't have to be that way. This website exists to point to some of the best books written to help authors -- and also to warn about some of the worst.
Back when bricks-and-mortar bookstores were common, the staff often engaged in "handselling" -- holding a book and recommending it to a customer. This site should be the online equivalent.
This is a new website, still being developed. We planned to wait until we included 70 books to announce we are open for business. Since we now have at least 75, C'mon in. We still have to fix some links and add more books. Please pardon the disorder. This website provides information about books but does not sell books.
The number of self-published book 'titles' increased nearly 60% from 133,036 in 2010 to 211,269 in 2011, and sales for 2012, 2013 and 2014 will likely be even greater.
American e-book sales rose 117% for 2011 compared to 2010, with dollar sales totaling nearly one billion dollars. In some countries outside the USA, e-book sales growth is even greater than in the USA.
At Amazon.com, e-book sales surpassed p-book sales in 2011 for the first time.
In 2011, Amazon.com had sales of nearly $50 BILLION. It has over 100 MILLION active customers and employs nearly 70,000 people.
The number of 'chain' bookstores in the U.S. decreased by ONE THIRD, from 3,293 in 1991 to 2,206 in 2011. Borders Books went from one store in 1971 to 1,249 in 2003 to ZERO in 2011.
I use eBookit.com for much of my ebook formatting and distribution. The company has knowledgeable and responsive human beings who speak American English, they do great work, they do it fast at a reasonable price, and my money comes in every month. I could not be happier, and I am pleased to recommend the company. /mnm
My books on Amazon.com
Important: Book prices and links shown may change.
Tools for building better books
There are books and courses that purport to teach you how to write a book is a few days or weeks. Since a book can contain just two words, it is possible to write a book in two seconds. However, if you want to write a real book, and a good book, invest six months or more.
Search may not work yet for all terms.
This website has books that can help all authors, whether you have a contract with a traditional, royalty-paying publisher, use a self-publishing service, operate your own publishing company, or are just starting out.
CLICK on animated book image below for info and to order from Amazon.com.