Review of How to Write, Publish & $ell E-Books! by Angela Adair-Hoy
How to Write, Publish & $ell E-Books! is a useful reference, which will inspire authors who are interested in breaking into the low cost, high return, and very accessible e-book market.
Reviewed by Magdalena Ball
How to Write, Publish & $ell E-Books!
by Angela Adair-Hoy
1999, Deep South Publishing Company, $usd8.95
If you are a writer who spends time on the Internet, chances are that you’ve heard of Angela Adair-Hoy. Adair-Hoy is the high profile author of The Write Markets Report, and writersweekly.com, a free freelance writing e-zine with over 60,000 subscribers. She also runs Booklocker, an on-line publishing company, with her marketing guru husband Richard Hoy. How to Write, Publish & $ell E-Books draws on Adair-Hoy’s considerable experience with her own e-books, and provides very simple, easy to follow instructions for helping authors publish and sell their e-books. The book is not a lengthy, or very detailed one, totalling only 30 pages, but at $8.95 it isn’t expensive, and does contain some helpful guidance, especially for an author with little experience of the e-book market. The book has chapters which look at tools needed, where to start writing, how to write the book, formatting the e-book, obtaining copyright, what to charge, how to sell the book globally, how to market using an e-mail newsletter (something Adair-Hoy is truly an expert on), how to obtain an ISBN (and get listed at Amazon), obtaining speaking engagements, a schedule for marketing, and outline which makes for a handy, “stick on the fridge” reminder.
For anyone who has already produced an e-book, this book may be a little too brief and simplistic, covering such things as ISPs, e-mail, fax, deciding what to write about, basic formatting, basic information on setting up a newsletter and promoting it (in brief). However, for a beginner, the simplicity will make the book easier to understand, and for someone who has never created an e-book before, the e-book template alone is worth the purchase price. Adair-Hoy’s friendly down to earth writing style is accessible, and she avoids the use of jargon, making this book a very pleasant read, and perfectly understandable. There are a number of useful links, some of which I haven’t seen elsewhere, plus Adair-Hoy includes her own e-mail address, and offers to help readers with any questions they might have. Considering Adair-Hoy’s many years of working within the Internet publishing business, this offer is also worth the cost of the book.
The only criticism I have is with the book’s brevity. Some of the topics are covered so briefly that they don’t do justice to either Adair-Hoy’s considerable experience, or the complex nature of the topic. For example, the section on Merchant’s Accounts contains only 2 sentences which basically states that you ought to obtain a merchant account to increase your sales by 80% or more, and to find out more, do a search on the merchant account topic. While this brevity keeps the book more current than a series of links would, details, examples, and more links would be more useful than a recommendation to do a search on the topic! Sections like setting up a newsletter, building a website, speaking engagements, and promoting the book are similarly short, and again, it would be nice to see more detail, with some anecdotes from Angela’s own experiences. Otherwise though, How to Write, Publish & $ell E-Books! is a useful reference, which will inspire authors who are interested in breaking into the low cost, high return, and very accessible e-book market.