Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Free online preview of revised Aiming At Amazon

For several years Aaron Shepard's Aiming At Amazon has been the authoritative guidebook for self-publishing authors who hope to sell their books on

(It's a lot better than the stretched-out Sell Your Book on Amazon by Brent Sampson. Sampson, who would like readers to use his own publishing company, used big type with large "leading" between the lines and huge margins and big blocks of white space to artificially increase his page count by about one third. Aaron's book is not as pretty. It has about the same number of pages, but has MUCH more useful advice and information. Sampson touts "Top-Secret Tips Guaranteed to increase sales." They're not secrets, or guaranteed.)

I had several books published by "real" publishers before and was screwed and disappointed, so I've decided to try self-publishing my next books. I learned a lot from Aiming At Amazon and Aaron's other book, Perfect Pages.

I'm particularly grateful for one bit of advice: "Set the book aside for a month or two."

The book that I am now about to send to the printer was theoretically finished last spring. I put it away and ignored it all summer and when I looked at it again in September, I made it both bigger and better. Thanks, Aaron.

Self-publishing is a very fluid field, and much has changed since Aaron's book was published in 2007.

In that book, Aaron advises authors "to keep your books relatively short" and that "people prefer short books."

The first Aiming At Amazon has 171 pages. The new "2009" version is more than double the size, and I'm glad that Aaron has decided to ignore his own advice. The world has changed a lot in two years. Aaron has learned a lot, and the guru has a lot to teach us.

Among the new topics in the book is Amazon's Create Space self-publishing print-on-demand program. Aaron says it's easier to use than Lightning Source and I was all set to make the switch -- until I read the rest of the chapter and decided to stay with Lightning.

Anyone who is considering self-publishing should definitely download the freebie draft of the book, and buy the real thing -- from Amazon of course, when it's printed on paper.

CLICK for the page to download the free preview. On that page, scroll down a bit and click on "Download the Draft"

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