Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual, 16th Edition: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book (Self Publishing Manual)

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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.

The bible on self-publishing. Highly recommended by virtually everyone in the industry -- even other authors of books on the subject (many of whom probably followed the advice in Poynter's previous 11 editions).

Customer Reviews:

  • Worth 5x the cover price!
    If you tore this 450-page book into five sections, each section would be worth the full price.

    Dan Poynter has jammed useful advice into each and every page and covers everything from writing your book, creating the front and back cover, how to get it into bookstores, promote it, ship it. He also has links to more detailed articles published as PDF's on his website.

    Not only does he explain what you need to do, he includes URL's and contact phone numbers. He talks about what NOT to do, some of the downsides of self-publishing (returns, scammers) and how to respond to them, and even what life is like after you become a published author. I was amazed how generous Dan was with all his advice. The book is comprehensive and detailed and you will be referencing it over and over again....more info
  • A Very Helpful Manual
    This book is very helpful to anyone wishing to self-publish their own book. It is filled with useful information and leads the reader to other useful resources outside of the book including Poynter's own website. Unfortunately, many of these outside references carry a price tag greater than the cost of this book. All in all, I would recommend this book to any self-publisher as a standard reference guide....more info
  • The Godfather of Self Publishing
    Don't even think about writing and publishing your own book until you have read Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual. With help like Dan's we can eliminate the term `starving writers'. If you are a writer you're obviously a reader which means you should spend some time reading his book because it will shorten your learning curve as well as fatten your wallet.

    Dan has added many a digit to my financial situation and I don't think I could have done it without him. Not in this decade anyway. Authors and publishers are so fortunate to have this type of information available today because it makes it easier for us to have success and enjoy the lives we are passionate about.

    Bob Burnham co-author of 101 Reasons Why You Must Write A Book: How to Make A Six Figure Income by Writing and Publishing Your Own Book
    ...more info
  • The Bible of Self-Publishing
    I have used this book for my most recent book the Zen of Watering Your Garden and for the previous eleven medical books I have written and self-published. I consider it the single most useful book for self-publishing...more info
  • Dan is The Self Publishing Guru and this is great!
    Dan's book is phenomenal. It is power-packed with the information for the person investigating the self-publishing environment. As an author and founder of a local writers group, I continue to be impressed with this book....more info
  • Review of Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual- 16th Edition
    I am the author of a book about my four month old premature daughter born at just 18 ounces For the Love of Rachel: A Father's Story. Even though I worked with a publishing company rather than self published, this book was immensely helpful in totally understanding the process involved with both writing and marketing a book. Whether you are self-published or have a contract with a publishing company, knowing the right way to approach PR and distribution is essential. This book is one of the best that I have come across! ...more info
  • Remarkable Resource
    I used Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual as a guide when I self-published my parenting/healthcare book entitled A Gift for Life: A Complete Record of Your Child's Health History (www.kadonpublishing.com). Poynter's manual is straight forward and very user friendly. I was able to independently produce a quality product without wasting a lot of valuable time. ...more info
  • Common English appreciated
    Very well written. He shows that he knows what he's writing about. He puts otherwise hard concepts in simple language that is easy to understand. ...more info
  • disappointed
    The book's pages were OK but both covers were badly broken. Should not have been sold. ...more info
  • The Classic Work on Self-Publishing
    This is the guide that we here at Cheops Books used both back in 1990 and now in 2007 to bring out our titles To Follow the Goddess and The Black Stone, both novels. The first time we used it for Goddess we sent Dan a sample copy of the book as he invites his readers to do. He pointed out to us that the printer had left some of the pages blank! We hadn't noticed. We quickly searched through our entire 2250 book inventory. We sent back all the defective copies for credit. That's how much interest Dan is willing to show in his readers. If it hadn't been for Dan, we would have been sending those poorly printed books to libraries. Also Dan was the first person to tell us about bound galleys. We had galleys printed for Goddess. We sent them out to all the addresses he lists in his book. We didn't think it was possible, but we actually got a fantastic Kirkus Review in the days when Kirkus didn't sell reviews. Dan is personally responsible for all the books we sold to libraries after that....more info
  • Planning to Self-Publish? Get This Book
    If you are planning to self-publish a book, this in the book you should read.

    Dan Poynter is the guru of self-publishing. The resources and lists in this book are tools a self-publsher simply can't do without. Poynter's advice is sage and extremely well thought out. His book will bring you from someone dreaming of publishing their own book, to a successfully self-published author.

    A. C. Ellis
    author of In Pursuit of the Enemy, Worldmaker, Soldier of 'Tween, and SHADOW RUN: Book I of The Ancients' War...more info
  • Wish I had not waited so long to purchase...
    My adult daughter referred me to this book six months ago, when I was close to publishing my first book. I only purchased it recently, but oh how I wish I had done so at the moment of her recommendation. It is an invaluable resource of information, practical references and insight into the publishing and marketing responsibilities of the author. After reading 1 chapter, I knew I had found THE resource I needed....more info
  • Thank you Dan!
    I am the author of 8 books [..]. From my very first release ten years ago to my latest, I followed Dan's sage advice on everything from production to marketing. I have also referred 3 friends who are self-published authors to this book, and they all found it to be an excellent resource. Glad to see there is an updated edition. I couldn't recommend this book more highly to anyone who is thinking of writing a book to authors who have already done so.
    - Nicole Wilde, author Energy Healing for Dogs: Using Hands-On Healing to Improve Canine Health and Behavior...more info
  • still up there with the best
    Let's face it--there are now about a gazillion books out on self-publishing or variations of self-publishing such as subsidy presses (iuniverse, Xlibris) and they all say more or less the same thing. Some of the newer ones concentrate on promoting on the Internet.
    Dan Poynter is the granddaddy of all self-pub book authors--and I actually read one of his first ones. Back then he concentrated on things like what kind of bag you should use when sending a book by mail--bubble or Jiffy. He still goes in for details like that (which can be very, very useful when you get down to the nitty gritty details of self-publishing).
    But he also spends a lot of time handing out names and addresses of practically everybody associated with the business. Yes, there's lots of hype and promotion to buy the reports he puts out, but he's reaping the benefits of years of being the top s-p guru.
    The crazy thing is we are entering a new era of publishing--and everything will be upside down in a few years. But his sections on promotion and publicity are important. And for the neophyte who doesn't have the slightest idea of how to get an ISBN number or register a copyright this plain-talking manual is invaluable.
    There is a cheer-leading section (almost all books involving publishing or self-publishing have them) which is full of rah-rah stuff about how you can make lots of money in s-p. I've learned to skip that section just like I skipped the first chapters of James Michener's historical novels. You just have to cut to the chapters with the meat.But Dan also hosts a very helpful website (www.parapub.com) that includes lots of free info.
    As someone who successfully self-published one book, sold it to a traditional publisher, and is now in the process of self-publishing another more targeted book (Crafting the Travel Guidebook) I have come to rely on Dan Poynter's manuals and his newsletters. He's like the Johnny Carson of the self-publishing world. Nobody can quite take his place....more info
  • It's THE Classic for a Reason
    This is THE classic "how to publish" book for a very good reason: it covers almost every area of publishing in at least modest detail. And it's full of very sensible advice and encouraging words.

    Don't be fooled by the "Self-" in the title. Traditionally published authors should read many parts of this. Anyone who is founding a publisher should, too.

    Some of the suggestions are appropriate only for the smallest publishers, and you may well grow past them. In other places, the techniques will work best for non-fiction, or for niche books. But even in those places, simply considering these ideas, and deciding which are adaptable for your book or company will improve your results.

    If you are involved in book publishing in any way, you should own a copy of this book, and you should read it thoughtfully....more info
  • It's like a brochure
    This is a great book, the problem is Dan has joined the likes of Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazier and many other info sellers. This book is really just a brochure for all the other products that Dan Poynter sells.
    Instead of being a book that gives you 100% of the ammunition you need to publish a book, he gives you a brief overview and then tries to sell you hundreds of other items, this system is great for Dan, but not for the audience, because it's very expensive....more info
  • Less hype and more substance please
    My problem with this book is that it spends probably half the book doing two things that I found annoying: First, it spends lots of time telling you how wonderful it will be to be a published author (prestige, fame, etc.) Second, it spends lots of time telling you how to write the book (subject, how to organize your thoughts, etc., etc.) It does have chapters on how to start up a self publishing business and the nuts and bolts of such things as getting an ISBN and listing it in the necessary databases; however, the book would be half it's size if it only had this basic information (which would not hit the size that the author says is important to justify a good price on the book.) I do not have any thoughts as to a better book on the subject, but I thought people might want to know that this book has what I consider a lot of fluff....more info
  • Self Publishing Bible
    If you want to know how to self publish, this is the book to have above all others. I highly recommend it....more info
  • Nearly everything you need
    The Self Publishing Manual is a much needed how-to guide on how to write your own nonfiction books and then publish them yourself.

    The book covers more ground than most. It includes advice on layout and typesetting, size, cover design and copyrights.
    One thing that annoyed me was that much of the valuable information is referred to in the book but made available only as a paid-for download from the author's site. While some of this information - such as the list of current reviewers - needs to be timely and up-to-date, I felt that in some cases the book was being used as a "teaser".

    These days with the advent of companies like Booksurge (Amazon's PRQ - print required quantity - service) and Lightning Source, opening your own publishing business is within the reach of most people who can organise themselves and are good with software. However Dan Poynter's book concentrates in my opinion more on the logistics of small print runs (eg using offset) than on PRQ, and I would have thought that PRQ is the way forward for most people. I would have liked to see a section for instance on dealing with Lightning Source and Booksurge - and any other similar that I have missed out - along with the relevant advantages and disadvantages of each PRQ company.

    Dan Poynter's book is heaily biased towards nonfiction. This is logical because it reflects how he became a success as an author, but it rather leaves in the cold those of us who publish fiction. However even fiction publishers will find a lot of this book very useful.

    Overall I don't regret buying this book and together with "1001 Ways To Market Your Books" the two of them together solve most of the "how to" problems experienced by newbies to the industry.

    ...more info
  • Dan is "The Man." Period
    What Elvis was to rock n' roll, Dan Poynter is to self-publishing -- The King. His book contains what you need to know to self-publish your own book.

    Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print of Self Publishing: The Contracts & Services of 45 Self-Publishing Companies Analyzed Ranked & Exposed...more info
  • I couldn't ask for more!
    This book is absolutely amazing! It gives so much information about getting started, I couldn't believe it! I would recommend this to anyone serious about self-publishing. There is even a list of places to send your book for reviewing. Buy this book!

    www.fayeknight.blogspot.com...more info
  • Gold standard of any potential author. I used it and it worked for me
    Dan Poynter deserves the highest remarks for his noble and courageous effort to guide thousands of desperate authors yearning for an opportunity to share their knowledge with the world. The $20.00 I spent on this book has been repaid back hundreds of times. I could not be more grateful for gaining the knowledge about book publishing in such concise book, with attractive format.

    The author approaches his reader as an educator with vast knowledge about the vast realm of the economy of printing and publishing. He strives to eliminate any illusion about the hurdles that face self publishers. Questions on the proper print color, best binding format, optimum book size and dimensions, preferred fonts and layouts, difference between copying others' work and copy right regulation, are addressed in great details.

    The book starts with a chapter that explains to the reader why self-publishing is the natural course of affairs for people who have the substance but lack the connections. The book then turns into the process of getting your ideas put in organized and documented fashion. It then explains on what to do with your organized material once you decided to put it in print.

    The book then discusses the processes of promoting, printing, listing, and selling your book. It delves into the fundamental details of each process. It familiarizes the potential author with the many facets of transmitting ideas through paper prints, from the author, the printer, the typesetter, the picking and packing, and the shipping phases of publishing.

    On the relationship between the self publisher and the local and federal governments, the book describes in details how the registration process evolves, what to do to get your book into the right hands for cataloguing and copy rights, and how to manage your own taxes as a seller.

    On the relationship between the self-publishing company and the vast world of book wholesalers, the book offers great details on how to approach those players and what to expect from doing so. Many of the wholesalers described in the book are up-to date in terms of addresses and contact information.

    The most useful section of the book is the book calendar. It has descending order of the steps needed to approach your book project, from it inception to its final appearance on the market place. Compared to other references I relied upon, this book has clear and organized calendar on each step of the process of bring a book to live.

    The drawback of the book is the recommendation of sending too many review copies to popular magazines, newspapers, and book reviewers. Most of those reviewers never proved useful or have any impact on the success or failure of my book. Most packages I sent for book reviews were a total waste of time and money. The best source of getting the book known was through Bowker's ISBN database, the Library of Congress, and the few top book sellers. The public is the best judge on how books rise or fall.
    ...more info
  • Love it, need it, buy it!
    I fully endorse this book as I love it. It has completely steered me in the right directions every step of the way self publishing my first children's picture book. I love it and if you are pondering self publishing you NEED this book. So buy it for sure no matter what type of book you are thinking of publishing...fiction, novel, art or childrens. I am still picking this book a lot even after my book came out. Great tips on writing, printing, promoting & etc! Mommy's High Heel Shoes...more info
  • Great Info
    This book was for my husband who is writing his first book. He looked at lots of other books and none of them appeared to be as well written and comprehensive as this one. It appears to be the best on the market....more info
    This was my very first self publishing book and one of the best. I have only come across three that are priceless! ...more info
  • Amazing book, but too optimistic
    This manual is amazing. But be carefuk: the author is so optimistic that you might end up spending more money than your book can fetch in sales. Also, it doesn't cover legal issues. I'm planning to buy this soon: Business and Legal Forms for Authors and Self Publishers...more info
  • Simply the Best!
    Dan Poynter's book is simply the best reference guide to publishing I've read. The book is easy to follow, full of meaningful tips and information, as well as resources. I hired my book cover designer from the book! BTW, Robert Aulicino! This is just an overall great book.

    I have read the book from cover to cover and reading it never fails to yield some tidbit of info that moves me forward in my marketing campaign for my book due to be released November 2007.

    Adrienne Zurub
    'Notes From the Mothership ~ The Naked Invisibles'
    http://adriennezurub.typepad.com...more info
  • Blueprint to Self Publishing
    My first book was published in November of 2008 and I never could have done it without this great book. Everything you will ever need to know about publishing is in this book. Not only are you given a step by step process in self publishing, but you also get access to Dan's great wealth of information and tools from his website and newsletters. Every option and path that's available to a publisher is in this book. I've bought other books of this kind to see if Dan was missing anything, he wasn't. This is the definitive book for self publishers.Five W's of God...more info
  • Write On, Poynter
    Fantastic resource for every aspect of self-publishing and publicity. Dan Poynter "spills the beans" on the business and takes the terror out of putting it in print.

    Thanks, Dan!

    J. August, author of "myBible: Standing on the Promises"...more info
  • Dan's book is a winner
    Dan updated his book in 2007 just in time for me, before I published my first family history book. Dan pointed out some of the latest features on new digital technology, Print On Demand, recommended paper and covers, that helped me negotiate with several printers on better pricing using these features.

    I learned a lot about the book covers, editing and publishing, organizing your work, writing styles, marketing and distribution, pricing, copyright registration, ISBN registration, besides the technology end and much more. For the great informaiton that he shares, it's well worth the price!

    The only two features I wished Dan would have discussed are picture quality and writing software. I've decided to write a book on these items anyway since most self publishing authors don't seem to promote these two features....more info
  • Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual Review
    Dan Poynter's Self-Publishing Manual is an excellent book. It provides a solid foundation for the new self-publishing author. It is a bit long, but provides a wealth of good information. Buy it.
    ...more info
  • A "Must Read" for Self Publishers and Authors
    I decided a few years to write books on subjects I have great interest in but didn't know how I would get them published. I purchased the 14th edition of Dan Poynter's book and found everything I needed to know to write, design, and self-publish my books. I started my own publishing company, Lucerna Publishing, and published "Pinch a Penny Till It Screams", and "Build Your Own Solar Heating System", with the help of Dan's book. His 15th edition has updated information which anyone considering self publishing must own as a handy reference. You will be referring to it at every step!...more info
  • Doing it Right!
    If you plan on self-publishing or if you already have a self-published book available for sale, this is the book to read. If you are going to do something; do it right! If you read this book before self-publishing, your chances of success will increase dramatically. Poynter's SELF-PUBLISHING MANUAL can make the difference between a hero and a zero.

    If you are low on advertising funds, this book is right up your alley. The author shows his readers how to introduce their books to the civilized world without paying an arm and a leg for advertising.

    Jose M. Paulino
    Author of "The Fraud of The Fraud"
    ...more info
  • Love it, need it, buy it!
    I fully endorse this book as I love it. It has completely steered me in the right directions every step of the way self publishing my first children's picture book. I love it and if you are pondering self publishing you NEED this book. So buy it for sure no matter what type of book you are thinking of publishing...fiction, novel, art or childrens. I am still picking this book a lot even after my book came out. Great tips on writing, printing, promoting & etc! Mommy's High Heel Shoes...more info
  • A must have!
    For anyone serious about writing and publishing their own books, The Self-Publishing Manual is a MUST! Words can hardly describe how invaluable this book is. I referred to it time and time and time again. It's highlighted, sticky-noted, and dog-eared from its continual use. Poynter takes you from beginning to end on what it takes to create a successful book. Though it is particularly aimed at non-fiction writers, I was still able to apply it easily to my fiction title for children, Laura and the Leprechauns. I can't recommend this book highly enough. I would have been lost without it!

    Amber T Kingston
    Author & Illustrator of Laura and the Leprechauns...more info
  • Must own book for anyone who wants to be published
    The book is THE bible for writers who want to have control of their published work. Even if you don't self-publish, you gain an understanding of the writing, publishing, promoting and marketing process.

    The only thing better is to attend a seminar run by Dan Poynter himself. He deserves to be known as godfather to thousands of books....more info
  • Helpful Information
    I purchased several books on this topic. The information is helful but I find out that there is a lot more to learn the more I read. You may want to explore what other useful information you may find online....more info
  • Best for Authors-To-Be
    Poynter's book is the best and most well structured book on self-publishing I have found. It helped me imensely for from an author-to-be to a soon-to-be- published author.
    Self-publishing is a great way to go with a small, first book and the organization tips, calendar, structuring chapters, ISBN #'s and copyright are perfect....more info
  • Advice from 30 Years Ago on Starting a Publishing Company
    This book has two serious limitations:

    1. It was originally published in 1979, and the advice is for the publishing industry as it existed 30 years ago. It describes the old-style way of doing things. The author has a "Volume II" that purports to update to the electronic age, but it does not succeed. (I reviewed that book as well - I returned it.)

    2. Poynter's "Self-Publishing Manual" is not about "self-publishing" in the sense the word is used today. It's about starting your own publishing company, your own small independent press. Today there are other options for self-publishing and these are not covered at all.

    I didn't return this book because it's interesting to read how the publishing industry works, and that understanding can inform an overall strategy. But this book alone does not give you what you need to know about self-publishing in 2009.
    ...more info
  • Self Publishing? You Need This Book
    When I self-published my book, "Welcome Home: A Guide for Foster, Adoptive, and Treatment Foster Parents," I used Dan's book religiously. It's so worn out, I have to order a new copy for my forthcoming book [tenatively titled, 'Diagnosis, Assessment, and Treatment of Foster and Adopted Children, 2009]. I sold 5,000 copies, though two editions. Could I have done this without Dan's book? Perhaps, but he walks you through every step of the way. If you're self-publishing a book, this one gives you more information and guidance than you could ask for. You'll still have to do the leg-work, but he makes it less daunting. ...more info
  • Advice that works
    I'm not sure why I haven't reviewed any of Dan's books before. I've heard him speak, I've met him and I have been receiving his newsletter for many years.

    I'm not a publisher, but I work with publishers and I employed two of Dan's free promotional techniques and have to say, they worked! I've gotten many new clients from doing something that took me only a few minutes and that people thanked me for doing.

    In fact, one of my all-time favorite clients informed me just last week that it was because of one of those little nuggets of wisdom, she found me.

    Dan Poynter's advice was by far the best promotional advice I've ever received.

    I plan to read all of his books a second time in case I missed something....more info


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