Perhaps this is a bad habit I formed while doing my Ph.D. thesis, but I tend to research topics to death. I’m the guy who wants to know everything possible about anything that interests me. Thus, before deciding to start Divertir Publishing, I wanted to learn everything I could about the publishing business. In this blog, I wanted to mention some books that I personally thought were very useful during my research.
Publishing for Profit by Thomas Woll
In my opinion this book contains all of the information one would need to start a publishing business. Every important topic is covered, including why you should define a publishing niche for your business, how to decide on your editorial process, and why returns are such a problem in publishing today. The most recent edition also includes discussions on eBooks and Print on Demand (POD).
Some people might feel that this book contains too much information which is not pertinent, particularly to those who are either planning on self-publishing or who wish to start a small independent press. To those people I would say that to deviate from what is considered tradition publishing and explore new paradigms one must first understand what defines traditional publishing. One must have an understand not just of what is done, but why it is done. Publishing for Profit explains not only the mechanics of the publishing business but also the philosophy behind those mechanics. I would consider this book a must have for anyone seriously considering the publishing business.
The Self Publishing Manual by Dan Poynter
Truth be told, most of the information one would need to self-publish a manuscript can be found for free on the web. The one thing this book does very well is collate all of the information needed to self-publish a manuscript into one place. If one considers Publishing for Profit the textbook of publishing, then this is the lab manual. Woll’s book explains the why of publishing; Poynter’s book explains the how. This is information which is critical not only for authors wishing to self-publish, but also for small publishers looking to get started quickly. I think Appendix 1 alone, which is a “Publishing Calendar” that walks through all of the steps required to publish a book, makes this book worth owning.
Put Your Dreams to the Test by John C. Maxwell
This book is not about publishing, but none the less was critical in my decision to start a publishing company. This books starts by asking a very simple question: What is your dream? It then asks you to answer 10 “questions” about your dream. The goal of these questions is to help you determine what your chances are of successfully turning that dream into a reality. Reading this book helped me to consider everything from my motivations to my available resources as I made the decision to pursue the dream of starting Divertir Publishing. I would consider this book a must have for anyone consider starting a new business.
Future blogs will discuss additional sources of information and how to begin applying this information to the creation of a publishing business. I hope these books will be as informative and inspirational to you as they were to me.