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Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  401 ratings  ·  52 reviews
The Self-Publishing Manual, more effectively and successfully than any other book, has turned writers with an idea into successful authors with books by providing solid, usable information in clear, concise, readable lanugage. This is not the stuff of theory, it is the product of hard-earned experience.
Paperback, 463 pages
Published March 25th 2007 by Para Publishing (first published July 28th 1979)
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David Katzman
Nov 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: authors frustrated with finding a publisher
Shelves: about-publishing
Publishing is a tough game. Little money, overwhelming competition, and no control. For an author who wants to take back control of her own destiny, the Self-Publishing Manual is the bible.

I used Dan Poynter’s 12th Edition as my guide in 2000 when I published Death by Zamboni , and it helped me to achieve a reasonable degree of success. Cult success, perhaps, but success that gives me pride. At the time, I even neglected to follow his recommendations for landing reviews (a mistake I won’t mak
I like the book very much, but really liked the movie much better. Of course, the movie wouldn't be made without this novel, and there was some backstory that wasn't in the movie that I enjoyed. But I thought the movie was more interesting, tighter, and more exciting. It wasn't that I saw the movie before reading the book that pushed me to like the book better. It's just that it was more fun to have Grigg being an unassuming wealthy man, making it big in hi tech, setting up his home as a haunted ...more
Jun 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Okay, I didn't read the whole book. I read eight chapters of a total of eleven. I skimmed the rest because I just wasn't as interested in the topics covered in those chapters. The topics I read about was everything from the idea for a book to actually creating a book and up to promoting said book.

There is so much detail in Dan Poynter's guide that I believe it is a must-have resource for writers that want options to sending in query after query to established publishers who just don't see the va
May 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the best book I've found on the ins and outs of self-publishing, and it's in it's 19 or 20th edition, which says something! Dan Poynter, who wrote it, stays on top of the industry and sends out a regular newsletter that comes to your inbox. It's one of the most valuable newsletters I get. That's one I always open. ...more
Tony Rogers  Jr.
This book is what most people call the "bible" of the self-publishing industry. It provides everything(some material is outdated) you need to get started in self-publishing. I have been recommending it for years to anyone remotely interested in self-publishing a book. Along with this book I would recommend Steve Scott's book 61 Ways to sell more kindle books. ...more
Victor McGuire
Dec 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book to learn more about how to publish my own book. I went to a seminar at Dans home in Santa Barbara and obtained some wonderful tools that proved to be helpful in publishing my book All Systems Go. This book is one of the best in the business.
Beatrice McClearn
This became my bible as I began marketing and publishing Diaries of an Emotional Prostitue. Anyone looking for a quick guide to learning the craft of publishing should read this book before seeking others.
Bill Jelen
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: publishing
This is the one book to have if you are interested in writing a book. Dan is the publishing guru. Whether you hope to self-publish, go Print on Demand, or go with a traditional publisher, you need to read what Dan has to say. The section on marketing is a must-read for all authors.
Linda Wattley
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is very informative and reader friendly. It really gave me a good look at what I must do to self-publish. I would reccommend it to anyone hoping to self=publish
David Goodberg
Oct 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Simply amazing books. It probably helps if you are writing a book. I read an earlier edition 3 years ago and recently finished this nwe edition. Jam packed with vital information.
Joe Waynick
May 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If you haven't read Dan Poynter's books then you're not a self-publisher. ...more
Emmanuel Donkor
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing

This book is responsible for lunching my publishing career. Dan is a veteran in the industry and so it vitally important that we have him as a reference. Good book on the topic.
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought a copy of an older edition of this guide back in 1998, before Print-On-Demand became simple, and followed its more analog to-dos. Mailing lists, advance review copies, promotional ideas, etc. All of it worked for my debut novel, PINS.

Updated versions include the usual suggestions for social media, ebooks, websites, etc. Forget blogs and online listicles. This book has it all, step by step before, during, and after you publish your own books.
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
The edition of this book that I read was published in 2006, so I suspect a fair amount has changed, but this book has a LOT of information. My immediate reaction is "I can't do this!" but the point is that it's a reference book. You don't do it ALL today. It's another of the books that I am going to have to get at some point for my reference shelves. I'm completely overwhelmed, but I have lots of notes that I can go back to and more ideas of what I need to do. ...more
Janet Middlemiss
This book provides valuable advice for budding authors who are considering self publishing. It shares vital information on how-to write, print, publish, market and distribute your book. For authors planning to go down this road, it's a handy resource. ...more
The copy I'm reading is from 2003, so it's a blast from the past. Still a lot of good info in here, but a lot of stuff is out of date. Reading this makes me super grateful to be publishing now, not then, though!

This book is very dense with good information. From what I've seen so far, a current edition would be well worth reading.

So many details, this book eventually wore me down to the point where I didn't want to read any more. Left off p. 217.

p. 62 Get Literary Market Place (UAH librar
Jul 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
The beauty of books is realizing all the things you don’t know. Today I learned that I didn’t know anything about self-publishing. Actually, I never even thought to search for books on self-publishing because I assumed the technological world moved so fast, I would be best served by websites. My hunch is that this is still mostly true, but Dan Poynter’s Self Publishing Manual was published in 2006 and is still insanely useful. For one, it’s a history lesson in publishing—not intentionally, but w ...more
Good information!

Since there isn't much information about the book, here's the table of contents:

1. Your publishing options:Why you should consider self-publishing

2. Writing your book: Generating salable material

3. Starting your own publishing company: Basics for taking the plunge

4. Producing your book: Designing books, typesetting, layout, book printing materials, the printing process

5. Announcing your book: Telling the book world you're a publisher and an author

6. What is your book worth? Pric
Tom Barnes
Oct 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Dan Poynter’s Self Publishing Manual is what the title implies – and a whole lot more. The book is also a marketing guide and goes a long way in the public relations area.
During the course of reading the book I jotted down a dozen or more subject notes and I’ll share some of them with you.
Poynter talks about reviews, testimonials and how your web site is at the heart of your promotional campaign. The section on news releases gives you an example of their format and how to tailor the release to y
Dirk Vanderwilt
Apr 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: authors, publishers
I can't say enough great things about this book. It is simply the best guide for getting into the book publishing business. Though the book touts "self-publishing", the techniques it offers really work for all kinds of small publishers, whether you publish your own material or someone else's. It is easy to read, well organized, and thoughtful.

In a step-by-step way, author Dan Poynter shows new publishers everything from forming a publishing business to printing and binding to marketing and distr
Ryan Petty
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has been the true bible of the self-publishing industry through its many editions. I've read several of them myself at five or six year intervals. I still recommend it frequently and fervently but have begun to add this caveat: that before you do anything by way of self-publishing, you need to read something more current. The world changed with the birth of the Kindle, linking an e-reader to the world's biggest bookstore (Amazon) in 2009, and its been changing at an accelerated rate ev ...more
Dec 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
A great how-to manual. With all self-publishing books, you MUST have a clear idea of what your end product will be, how you want to market your book, where you want you book to appear, etc. before you begin your journey. If you only need some books for your immediate family, thats one way. Want to see your book in bookstores all over Europe? Completely different path. Dan as usual does well to communicate all the options, and its overwhelming.

My best advice? Know where you're going and concentra
Oct 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in self-publishing
Shelves: writing-craft
Quite literally, the bible of self-publishing. Dan covers everything in solid detail except writing the manuscript (which is up to you!). I used this book to publish my first novel I Hated Heaven and have continued using it in the decade since as I continue to self-publish. I speak to dozens of writers' groups a year and always encourage them to read Poynter's book. Even if you're being published by someone else, you need to know what's in this book! ...more
Susan Sylvia
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to publish their book
One of the first books I recommend that my publishing clients buy for their publishing resource library. It's a great step-by-step guide to the process and business of publishing. If you're serious about publishing the right way, check it out, then BUY it! You'll want to keep it handy so you can refer to it often. Dan updates this classic regularly.

Susan Sylvia – Book Designer/Publishing Mentor
Jesse Freedom
I wish there was a publishing book that was geared towards fiction writers. Not that I expect that to happen because they are non-fiction books so they should be written by non-fiction writers.

Anyway this book had some interesting information in at but it kind of drags things out to take longer then needed, and it repeats some things. It also focuses more on marketing then the actual publishing process.
Beth Barnett
Jun 13, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: self-publishers
Useful for getting started with self-publishing, but really, actually doing all the emailing, calling, inquiring, and figuring of quotes is what one needs to understand the process. This provides some basics so you don't feel like a total novice and have a reference from which to start, like sample quote requests, basic advice, lists of different book printers, etc. ...more
Aug 17, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's a pretty good introduction to the subject. I don't think it is very well designed, and Poynter keeps telling me to look at his book for great examples. I just don't think they are that great. But I bought the book, so I guess it worked well enough... Plus, some of his ideas seem a little sketchy to me. ...more
Tyler Woods
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book will probably never reach my "read" shelf because it lives in my top desk drawer as a constant reference.

Dan explains a multitude of detail in presenting your book in its best possible light. For an INDIE publisher, this book is a must.

This and The Chicago Manual of Style , are 'go to' books for authors.
E. Chris
Aug 10, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: how-to
I probably would have appreciated this book more if I hadn't spent the last 2+ years working as a publisher. The information is good for anyone just getting into self-publishing, but it was a little to cheesy and evangelical for my taste. ...more
Timothy L.
May 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want to self-publish this is "the bible." Dan is informational on many levels. Though his was not into the POD thing at this point, many of the details he gives in this book will help you get into print. ...more
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Self Publishing 1 6 Apr 30, 2012 09:38AM  

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Since 1969, Dan Poynter has written and published more than 100 books including Writing Nonfiction, The Self-Publishing Manual, and The Skydiver's Handbook.

Dan Poynter's seminars have been featured on CNN, his books have been pictured in The Wall Street Journal, and his story has been told in U.S. News & World Report. The media comes to Dan because he is the leading authority on book publishing.


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