Monday, June 16, 2008

The Well-Fed Self-Publisher by Peter Bowerman--Book Review

The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to Turn One Book into a Full-Time Living by Peter Bowerman is a writer's best friend. Whether you're just getting ready to consider your publishing options or you've been published in the past, this book will provide you with helpful information, tips, and links to move your career forward.

Follow Bowerman's experience as he shares everything you need to know about self-publishing; the differences between self-publishing, POD, and traditional publishing; how to develop a "marketing mindset"; and how to parlay one book into multiple income streams.

This and so much more is awaiting you in The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to turn One Book into a Full-Time Living!

I could not believe the amount of information that Bowerman packed into this book. In less than 300 pages I feel I have what it takes to make a move towards publication. Not only has Bowerman put together a strong argument for choosing self-publishing over traditional publishing, he puts the reader in control by providing her with the options--including links to his recommended resources--that she needs to create a book that turns heads; ways to effectively market that book; and ideas on how to use the book as a springboard for other lucrative business ventures.

If you have a desire to succeed as a full-time writer, then you must read The Well-Fed Self-Publisher!

Title: The Well-Fed Self-Publisher: How to turn One Book into a Full-Time Living
Author: Peter Bowerman
Publisher: Fanove Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-0-9670598-6-0
ISBN-10: 0-9670598-6-0
U.S. Price: $19.95

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wellfedwriter said...

Hello everybody,

Delighted to be here on Book Connection! Hope to generate a lively discussion on the subject of self-publishing. The subject is a hot one these days as more and more authors are starting to realize, 1) how hard it is to land a publisher, 2) how much easier the Internet has made the process of self-publishing, 3) how lame the conventional publishing model actually is in most cases: anemic royalties, 18-24 months to publication, loss of creative control, and loss of book rights.

And even after giving up all that, authors who HAVE been given the keys to “The Publishing Kingdom” then discover, to their dismay, how much of their own book marketing they have to do themselves - and usually for a buck a book or less!

With that paradigm, many are understandably saying, hey, if I’m going to have to do most of the work myself anyway, I might as well be making most of the money!

I wish you all the best on your own self-publishing journeys. Know that there are plenty of tools out there (including a few of my own at


Cheryl said...

I learned a lot when I read this book Peter. When I was working on my first manuscript--which is still screaming for edits--I figured the only way I wanted to go was toward traditional publishing. But this book gave me a lot to think about and many reasons to consider self-publishing.

I'm actually getting close to submitting a children's picture book for consideration, but found out that the publisher I was considering is POD. I certainly couldn't tell.

You address self-publishing versus POD in your book. Can you mention a few differences here and why you recommend SP over POD?



Aaron J. Walker said...

Hi Peter;

I know you say in your book fiction is a tough nut to crack.

However, I am wondering if you could offer some update of recent things you may have learned that could help the fiction writer who would like to try the Self-Publishing route.

I'm still of the mind set that trying is better than giving up and following the crowd if it can be avoided.

wellfedwriter said...

Hey Cheryl,

To answer your question of POD vs. Self-Publishing, here's an excerpt from an article, where I cover this:

Compare and Contrast
Any self-publisher who has sold thousands of books by investing truckloads of blood, sweat, tears, time, and cash can tell you that publishing through a POD company is not the same as true self-publishing. A few key distinctions:

* Royalties vs. expenses and profits. With POD companies, you pay less for production (though you’re forced to operate within their parameters), but you’ll probably have to sign a contract that provides for paying you royalties based on net proceeds, and the royalty arrangements can be extremely complicated and confusing.

Because I self-publish, net proceeds belong entirely to me. [OK?]

* Control. With POD companies, you relinquish a huge amount of control over production values, and with the big three and similar firms [OK?] you lose ownership of your book’s ISBN, which means that you will not be listed as the publisher of record in the book world’s databases.

With true self-publishing, you maintain total control over editing and production processes, making crucial decisions about cover and interior design, trim size, paper quality, and timetable. And the databases do list you as the publisher of record because you’re the one who bought your book’s ISBN.

* Rights. POD companies may require that you turn over the rights to your creation – at least for a certain period. The big three own your “produced” files, which means that if they lay out your book and design your cover and you decide you want to leave them at some point, you can take only your original text files.

With true self-publishing, you simply hire service providers to execute various tasks and you retain all rights to your work.

* Costs of copies. If you want copies of your own book, you’ll pay POD firms close to 40 or even 50-plus percent of the retail cost. Many POD companies require their authors to purchase a certain number of copies of their own books at prices considerably higher than typical offset printing unit costs.

With true self-publishing, yes, printing can take a big financial bite, but once it’s paid for, you own those books. Commercial success entails a lot of book marketing and promotion, and that means sending out lots of review copies. Purchasing books from a POD “publisher” – even at 40 percent of retail – means you pay $8 for a $20 title, which puts you way over $10 per package when you factor in packaging, press kit, and postage. You could go broke in a hurry. At my cost of under $2.50 a book (delivered), I’m below $5 for a package – far more do-able.

Let’s not forget direct sales of books at events, seminars, and of course, from the trunk of the car. Paying $2.50 per unit for a book priced at $20, I can sell copies at 25-50 percent off and still make a healthy profit. And when you can discount like that, Econ 101 says you’ll sell more.

Hope that helps!


wellfedwriter said...

Hey Aaron,

Thanks for your note. Can't say I've learned anything new that would help. That said, I've heard from a handful of fiction writers who've bought the book, reference my comment in the book that fiction is a whole other ballgame, and STILL assert that my strategies have really helped them.

So, who am I to tell them they're wrong?

Obviously, given that my marketing approach is built around zeroing in on one's target audiences, the more "niche" your fiction is (i.e., romance, horror, sci-fi, mystery), the easier it will be to reach those audiences b/c there are a lot of sites that will cater to folks like those.

As opposed to general market fiction, for which the whole world of readers is technically your market.

Hope that helps!