James Altucher: The Why and (More Importantly) How of Self-Publishing Books

So far I’m having a great relationship with my first book’s publisher McGraw-Hill.  They’ve been very helpful and encouraging during the shaping and writing and editing phase so I don’t share the frustrations of other authors.  Hopefully they pull through in the marketing department (show bookings, ads, placement, launch party etc)…we shall see.  But so far, there’s no way in hell I would’ve attempted this project on my own and I’m very pleased with the firm I went with, especially the people I’ve worked with (who are excellent).

But my friend James Altucher has been through the mill with traditional publishers and is now a star author of two self-published books.  To celebrate, he’s written the self-publisher’s manifesto over at TechCrunch.  He goes through his usual laundry list of complaints about the big publishing houses (they do nothing!) but then he gets really specific about how to take matters into your own hands:


There’s lots of ways to do it but I’ll tell you my experience.

A) First write the book. For my last two self-published books, as mentioned above, I took some blog posts, rewrote parts of them, added original material, added new chapters, and provided an overall arc as to what the BOOK was about as opposed to it just being a random collection of posts. But, that said, you probably already have the basic material already.

B) Createspace.com. I used createspace because they are owned by Amazon and have excellent customer service. They let you pick the size of your book and then have Microsoft Word templates that you download to format your book within. For my first book I did this by myself, for my second book, for a small fee, I hired Alexanderbecker.net to format the book, create the book design, and create the final PDF that I uploaded. He also checked grammar, made proactive suggestions on font (sans serif instead of serif) and was extremely helpful.

C) Upload the PDF. Createspace approves it, picks an ISBN number, sends you a proof, and then you approve the proof.

D) Within days its available on Amazon. It’s print-on-demand as a paperback. And by the way, your total costs at this point: $0. Or whatever you used to design your cover.

E) Kindle. All of the above (from Createspace) was free. If I didn’t hire Alex to make the cover I could’ve used over 1mm of Createspace’s possible covers (I did that for my first book) and the entire publishing in paperback would be free. But with Kindle, Createspace charges $70 and they take care of everything until it’s uploaded to the Kindle store. Now you are available in paperback and kindle.

If you have a book idea that needs to be released and cannot find someone to publish it, make sure to check out the whole article below.


Why Every Entrepreneur Should Self-Publish a Book (TechCrunch)





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