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Successful Self-Publishing: How to self-publish and market your book in ebook and print

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,147 ratings  ·  216 reviews
Do you want to successfully self-publish?

There are thousands of new books being published every day, but many self-published books quickly sink to the bottom of the pile.

Many authors are frustrated because there are so many options for self-publishing, and they don't know which one to choose or what will be best for their book.

Others spend thousands of dollars to
Kindle Edition, 81 pages
Published December 16th 2015
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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 ·  1,147 ratings  ·  216 reviews

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Una Tiers
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book provides a lot of valuable information. The information, while more self-promotional than I am comfortable with, can help the pre-published and published author. I like the idea of following blurb structure of best selling authors and changing a book cover after release. For the published author it has ideas to polish your books and marketing.
Kristen Kieffer
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great, quick introduction to the world of self-publishing. This is Joanna Penn's free non-fiction resource, and I highly recommend it!
Sunshine Rodgers
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J.P. Willson
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
There is a ton of information in this book that I as of yet had not had the time to fully explore. I will however use this as a reference for my first completely self-published book which I am planning in the very near future. Before starting this endeavor I just had so many unanswered questions as to how to go about this and that and the other thing. After reading this it has indeed put my mind at ease on some of those issues and given a little more confidence as to where to find the answers to ...more
Nikki Moyes
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing-books
Not a bad overview of the self-publishing process. Each topic covered is listed in the book description so you know what will be covered. There are lots of links to further information, mostly directing the reader to the author's website and other books. This is just an overview so it doesn't go into great depth about any topic, but still contains useful information.
Harrison Lamb
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Helpful for new authors who are just getting started with self-publishing.

Joanna Penn's non-fiction books are a bit of a godsend for authors looking to self-publish, but who are intimidated by the whole complex process and have no idea where to start.

Joanna does a brilliant job of compacting all of the most important information on a topic into easy-to-read summaries and bullet-points over several chapters, as well as explaining why each piece of information is important. In this short,
Brianna Silva
I have a whole host of books on self-publishing that I've lined up to read over the next 6 months or so. This free e-book was a great way to kickstart my in-depth research on the topic as I begin to prepare for my own self-publishing journey... *excited gasp*
C.E. Clayton
Mar 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is fine if you've never looked into any sources on how to even start the self publishing process, but most of the information isn't all that new and mainly just encourages you to get more information from the author's website, which is a very helpful site! But still.... The marketing advice was what I was most interested in and it just wasn't there. The author encourages you to read her other book on marketing instead for more in-depth options, as what is included here is only a very brief ...more
Savanna Roberts
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Knew a lot of the info already from personal research or simply reading her other books, but still a great, fast read for writers looking to go into the indie publishing business!
Paula Lee Johnson
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it

If you are considering self publishing your book but are lost on what steps you should take, or what all is entailed in the process, this will clear things up for you.
I have downloaded other books on the same subject, but none of them were as detailed as this one.
I also love the fact that the author has self published both fiction and non-fiction, so no matter what genre you write in, the information is still valuable.
There were also a few " Ah-ha" moments for me. Particularly on the
Joy Rancatore
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where would Indie Authors be without Joanna Penn? Just like her articles and podcast, her books are clear and concise with all the information an author needs. This book is no exception to that. She gives practical guidance, shares lessons she's learned along the way and provides helpful links to explain certain topics in more detail. I highly recommend this to any author preparing to self-publish for the first time. Even if someone has published before, I imagine they will learn something from ...more
M.A. Nichols
May 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Having read quite a few books and listened to my fair share of podcasts on self-publishing, this really isn't the best book on the subject that I've come across. It's meant to be a very, very, very basic overview, so there wasn't really anything I got out of it. It's not a remarkable book, but has some good information for someone who hasn't done any research yet.

So, not remarkable, but not bad either. Perfectly average.
Mike Kowis
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very good introduction to self-publishing! This book is very insightful, and I especially liked the helpful links to other resources. I'm a big fan of Joanna and her extremely helpful website. Keep up the great work Joanna!

Another helpful book that I like for aspiring authors is called "14 Steps to Self-Publishing a Book." The 14 Steps book seems kinda similar to this one, but it lays out the self-publishing process in an easy to follow step-by-step guide.
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing-books
Very good and enjoyable read. I have put the cart before the horse on this one though. I need to complete my book(s) and THEN I can worry about the self-publishing side of things. But, this is an ever evolving process, and Joanna Penn is at the forefront of this movement, and well versed in the process. Everything she writes or podcasts on the subject is worth the study.
Rick Allen
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Joanna Penn provides a wealth of information and advice for new writers, across her podcast (which is where I first encountered her), website, and books. This book is a great introduction to self-publishing, and touches on all the topics, with many links to other sources with more details. It led me to buy her book on marketing your book, which I'll be reading next.
Rebekah Morris
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it
While this book does have some very good information especially for someone just starting out to write and publish their first book, it was a little repetitive for me. This is the first of Joanna Penn's books that I've read and I'm looking forward to reading a few of her others.
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you're new to self-publishing I highly recommend Penn's book. It shows you step by step how to get your book uploaded and also has great ideas on how to get it noticed, from keywords and categories and more. It may be pretty basic for some but it's still a wonderful resource.
Chris Mentillo
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing

"Another brilliant piece of work completed by Joanna Pennn - the master in the arts. I only read and buy her non fiction, because I truly trust her, and she is the best."
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
A short, solid book on how to self-publish successfully. I liked this and thought it gave a good overview for someone (like me) who hasn't really done any research on self-publishing yet.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book for writers just starting on their journey. Old-timers can probably find some helpful nuggets of information in here as well.
Zoe Ashwood
This is a great introductory book, describes the entire process and makes it look pretty straightforward! I'll 100% be reading more books from Penn's collection for writers.
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Simply, straight-forward, and exactly what I was looking for.

While there wasn't always a ton of detail, that's ok, as I was just looking into the basics anyway.
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was excited when I found the author had uploaded this audiobook to Youtube so people can listen to it for free. I've read one of Joanna Penn's books before as well as some of her podcast episodes, so I was excited to listen to this book.

Successful Self-Publishing is a great non-fiction book about self publishing and I would definitely recommend it to those who are relatively new to self publishing. It has lots of information about the whole publishing process as well as plenty of resources to
Literati Scottie
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I purchased Joanna Penns book on self-publishing I was skeptical that just anyone would be able to successfully build a career on self-publishing, and Penn proves that such a belief is true. To successfully self-publish one must be dedicated to their project and willing to devote time, funds, and energy into completing every aspect of your book. Penn gives helpful tips from her successful career as a self-publisher, offering a variety of steps to publish in either ebook or print formats. ...more
Feb 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, writing
This was a much better book than I expected it to be. It provides good for thought.
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fairly brief book, as it's free, but still very helpful.
Dale Roberts
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Joanna Penn's "Successful Self-Publishing" is a great primer for anyone just getting into self-publishing. Her writing comes off professional yet relatable and her message is dialed in and on-point. Sadly, some of the content is a bit older with references to the now-deceased CreateSpace platform.

But, for what it's worth, Joanna equips the newbie with all the tools they'll need to get going in the self-publishing industry. If you're already following Joanna Penn's podcast or YouTube channel,
Oct 22, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a decent but very introductory guide to self-publishing that provides authors with some good, basic information about how to self-publish. If you're brand new to the idea of self-publishing or exploring it as an option, it will give you a lot of good information and point you to some other valuable resources. If you've been an indie author for a while, there's not much here that you won't have already heard of. I think I went into this book hoping to get something more out of it, ...more
Robert Ssempande
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book, Joanna talks about different aspects of self-publishing, particularly publishing and marketing a book, and how to go about them successfully.

Under publishing she covers the different dynamics involved in publishing in various formats i.e. e-book, print and audio-book format.

She begins by covering the basics you need to have in place before you self-publish, which are:
-A great book
-Your definition of success
-A great cover design
-A great sales description
-And great choice of
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*This review was originally published on

Book Cover

I like the cover. I think its simple and conveys the message of the book pretty well. I dont know about you, but when I open a book, amazing things come out.

First Thoughts

If youve been following my journey for a while, Im sure you know Im preparing myself for self-publishing. Joanna Penn is highly recommended by a lot of people all over the internet. I thought Id give her books a try.

Writing Style

When it comes to business and
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Joanna Penn is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thrillers writing under the name J.F. Penn. She also writes inspirational non-fiction for authors and is an award-winning creative entrepreneur and international professional speaker. Her site, is regularly voted one of the top 10 sites for writers and self-publishers.

See also Goodreads author's profile as

News & Interviews

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” That’s Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani human rights...
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“Writing is about you.  Publishing is about the book.  Marketing is about the reader.” 2 likes
“Branding is your promise to the reader. It's the words, images and emotions that surround your work and the way readers think of you.” 1 likes
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