Navigating Indieworld: A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing Your Book by Julie A. Gerber and Carole P. Roman is indeed a beginner’s guide. It reads less like a book and more like a series of blog posts. While it did have some interesting information concerning marketing, it did not go very deep with the advice. I don’t find “comb the web for book reviewers” to be very insightful or helpful.
There’s good advice for anyone thinking about marketing a self-published book, however much of it feels geared toward older writers who aren’t familiar with how the internet works. I don’t need a step by step on how to use Twitter, or a definition of what a tweet is, or how a hashtag works. I got it.
In that vein, this book would be great for someone who isn’t sure where to start with the overwhelming idea of marketing. It explains the demonic presence of trolls and how to deal with them. Gerber and Roman suggest ignoring them because most intelligent people can sniff out a troll review, and engaging a troll only leads to pain and misery and often more trolls. Like dandelions.
I’ve been swimming in the indie pool for a while, and to be honest, this book confused me. The format has a few mistakes in the spacing and it looks like they forgot to format the interior. It looks like a blog post – no indentions, space after each paragraph, like the default setting on a Word document.
The section on cover design left me more confused that I was before. And I’ve gotten two custom covers for my books. Their talk of legalities and contracts made me panic like I had messed up the process. They talked heavily of using Create Spaces’s services as if that was the only way to go. I asked around the forums I frequent and other authors suggested sites and people that they’d used, however this method was very lightly touched on.
I didn’t appreciate the way they talked down doing things yourself. That’s the point of being an indie author, right? We do things ourselves with help and feedback from others. We aren’t going to shovel out thousands of dollars for “professional teams” to do simple things that we can learn ourselves or pay a freelancer to do for a fraction of the cost.
They really talked down formatting books yourself, however, I formatted both of my self-published book and they turned out great. If you understand how Word works, you can format a document for an ebook or print book.
Overall, I gave this book a 3 out of 5 because while it had some interesting content, the disarrayed organization felt like a collection of blog posts. The advice didn’t go very deep and at times it felt more like a glazing over. This book could have been twice as long if they’d expanded on each topic and organized it better. I read this book thinking that I’d know more about marketing a self-published book than I did before, and I don’t.