Today we have something a little different. I was honored to be included in The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide by Joel Friedlander and Betty Kelly Sargent and am pleased to have Joel here to answer a few questions about the guide.
RT: Hi Joel, welcome to BadRedhead Media, it’s great to have you here today. Can you introduce yourself and what you do for those who don’t know?
JF: Hi Rachel, it’s great to be here, thanks for inviting me. After a career in book publishing, advertising, and graphic arts I decided to specialize in book design, and I’ve been designing and producing books for publishers and authors since the 1990s. Today I run TheBookDesigner.com blog, sell pre-designed book templates and other tools for authors at BookDesignTemplates.com, and satisfy authors who want custom book production through TheBookMakers.com. I also speak to publishing groups, writers conferences, and at industry events, and I’m the proud co-author of the brand new reference book for indie authors, The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide.
RT: How did you come up with The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide?
JF: My coauthor, Betty Sargent, and I have been talking for several years about the way book publishing is transitioning away from the centralized establishments of traditional publishing, adapting to new technologies that have brought book publishing within the reach of anyone. When she suggested a resource guide for authors, I immediately recognized how useful it would be and we started working on the book.
RT: Why did you decided to publish this resource as a book instead of a website database?
JF: As authors, we understand the importance of reference works, directories, subject matter guides, and all the other kinds of books that sift through the seemingly infinite number of offerings to present you with verified and curated information. But not everyone is at ease paying for access to a website, it’s a new form of commerce and we would have significantly limited the number of people who would be able to use the information.
RT: What has been the biggest challenge so far in the creation of the book?
JF: Keeping up with the ever-changing landscape for indie publishing. New services appear almost every week, new blogs with great content start up from nowhere. At the same time companies shut down, change focus, or go on holiday. Since we want the Resource Guide to stay current, we plan to “push” updates to all ebook owners regularly throughout the year, creating something of a “living” book.
RT: What has been the best part of launching this book for you?
JF: Without a doubt the best part has been the great reception we’ve received. Initially when the blurbs and testimonials started to come in, I was pretty excited. Then, when we laughed and went to number one in two categories on Amazon.com, I felt like all the work we’d put into the book was paying off because other people realized it would be incredibly useful for any indie author.
RT: How do you hope The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide will help authors?
JF: You know, Rachel, the most common question I’m asked—and others will tell you the same thing—is where to find reliable, professional suppliers to provide the products and services you need to publish a high quality book. The Resource Guide answers almost all of those questions. It brings together in one place the people and companies who can help you prepare, produce, and promote your book. Just think of the time authors will save, and the trouble they will avoid, with this guide in their hands. That makes me excited.
RT: What categories do you expect to add in future additions of The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide?
JF: We are discussing new categories right now, but I can let you know we’ll definitely be adding “Book Shepherds,” “Author Assistants,” and we’re vastly expanding the listings of recommended books.
RT: How do you select resources for the guide?
JF: We started out with a lot of research online, then branched out into industry directories, website listings, trade publications, and into our personal networks. We verify each listing, but we were well aware that the Resource Guide would not be encyclopedic, and we’re really counting on authors and others in our community to help make it even more useful by sending in suggestions. If readers have categories, people, products, or services to recommend to us, we’re happy to have them. Just go over to http://www.spresourceguide.com/contact and fill out the simple form there.
RT: Do you have any other exciting plans for The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide that you can share with us?
JF: We’re just at the beginning of a “soft launch” for the book that will continue into the new year. Watch for more promotions, giveaways, and a great free webinar coming up where Betty and I will combine our years in the publishing business to answer questions about finding, negotiating with, and hiring freelance editors and designers. It should be a lot of fun.
Joel Friedlander is an award-winning book designer and blogger who has been launching the careers of self-publishers since 1994 from his book design and consulting practice at Marin Bookworks in San Rafael, California. Joel is a self-published author and the blogger behind TheBookDesigner.com, a popular and award-winning blog on book design, book marketing, and the future of the book. Joel is also the founder of The Self-Publishing Roadmap, a training course for authors, and TheBookMakers.com and BookDesignTemplates.com, where he provides tools and services for authors who publish their own books. He speaks often at publishing industry events and is a past president of the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association.
Betty Kelly Sargent is the founder of BookWorks, the Self-Publishers association, and the founder of The Educated Author, and writes a monthly column on self-publishing for Publishers Weekly. She has spent more than 30 years in the traditional publishing business, most recently as editor-in-chief of William Morrow, where at one point she had three books on the New York Times best-seller list at once. She has also been executive editor at HarperCollins, executive editor at Delacorte Press, Fiction and Books editor at Cosmopolitan magazine, and book reviewer for CNN. She is the author of seven traditionally published books and one self-published book. She moderates panels and workshops in New York City and Los Angeles and is passionate about helping indie authors learn to navigate the ever-changing landscape of self-publishing.
The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide is the first and largest collection of curated and verified resources for independent authors who plan to publish their own books. Produced by a team with long experience in both traditional and independent publishing, the over 850 resources are listed in an easy-to-use format that includes live links, phone numbers, email addresses and brief descriptive copy. The Guide makes vendors and other resources easy to find by separating them into 33 distinct categories within the 3 main tasks the self-publisher must deal with. How to Prepare, Publish, and Promote their books.
The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide ebook version is updated regularly to provide current information and links in the fast-changing indie publishing world, and the authors are actively soliciting input to keep listings current and comprehensive.
“An essential reference to the best publishing resources for every self published author. Highly recommended!”
—Mark Coker, Smashwords founder
“Most authors are excited about the promise of self-publishing–until they actually try to do it. Then they quickly realize they will need a team of professionals to prepare, publish, and promote their book. And that’s where they get stuck. They don’t have the connections. That’s where The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide is a life-saver. This is the missing link that will enable authors to capitalize on the self-publishing revolution and become captains of their own literary destiny. I highly recommend it.”
—Michael Hyatt, New York Times Bestselling Author and Former CEO, Thomas Nelson Publishers
“Independent authors need a team to help create a fantastic finished product, and finding the right people can be a challenge when you first start out. This book will help authors to locate professionals to edit, publish and market their work—helping them to stand out in the crowded marketplace.”
—Joanna Penn, The Creative Penn
“Time is money. You’ll save a lot of both by referring to this easy-to-use resource. I’ll be promoting this valuable guide and urging my own author clients to use it.”
—Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound
“Finally, a starting point from which to choose products and services, a veritable Yellow Pages for self-publishers. This thorough and respectable list of resources prevents the endless web searches and dead ends that frustrate so many authors, to make the indie publishing journey much less stressful.”
—Carla King, Self-Pub Boot Camp
Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, IndieReader.com, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…), 12Most.com, BookPromotion.com, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs, #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with Melissa Flickinger) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish all live Twitter chats. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.