14 Steps to Self-Publishing a BOOK

14 Steps to Self-Publishing a BOOK ISBN 9780997994643, Lecture PRO Publishing, an e-book by Mike Kowis, Esq.

This book presents the specifics of the author’s process of publishing his first book. An introduction explains why he decided to self-publish – his only option after receipt of numerous rejections from traditional publishers – and follows with extolling the advantages that ultimately accrued as a result of the decision. Chapter One then recites the 14 steps to be taken; Chapter Two, each of the Writing, Self-publishing, and Marketing Costs; Three, enumeration with detailed description/explanation of Ten Lessons learned from writing the first book; A Conclusion; Appendix containing a Self-Publishing Checklist that largely is repetitive; A short biography of the author again with some repetition.

Discussion: Evaluating this book as a whole is somewhat dichotomous. Its main thrust – to provide specific details required for the novice to self-publish a book that is ‘properly done’ with the fewest possible errors – is excellent. It is short and really addresses all pertinent details. However, this reviewer has questions with the second theme – the suggested time line that admittedly may be faulty interpretation, but if so would seem to profit from extensive clarification. He states in the introduction that upon receipt of his last rejection from a traditional publisher in August 2016, he proceeded with the self-publication that occurred on October 21, 2016. AND in his conclusion he states “To summarize, simply follow the 14 steps above and you should be able to self-publish your tome in about one to two months.”

This time line would seem to be quite difficult to achieve. Not only is time required to write the book, but the publishing process often extends time required simply because of the need to hire quite a number of additional personnel and pursue a number of additional steps. A cover design professional, a graphic designer to format the book, an editor, a proof reader and a printer for the physical act of publishing (especially in all three formats the author employed) all are required which adds not only the time required to perform their activity, but also that needed for ‘fitting your request into their own busy schedule’. Good cover designers are quite in demand as are good editors AND further time is required simply to ‘see how well you can work with a particular individual’. A cover designer and even more especially an editor with whom an author is ‘not on the same page’ can be disastrous. Then the author also lists the need for the activities of “establishing a new business to publish and market” your book, buy a domain and establish a web site, buy ISBN numbers, apply for a Library of Congress number, find a merchant account at your preferred shipping company, and create a social media platform (to promote your book). For these rather numerous requirements listed, it is extremely difficult for this reviewer to visualize how this self-publication could have been accomplished in two months. And incidentally by a man who, according to his short biography, includes functioning as an “Adjunct Faculty Member for one of the largest community colleges in the Lone Star State… ENGAGING COLLEGE STUDENTS in Business Law and Corporate Tax classes” as well as being employed as a “Tax attorney at a Fortune 500 company in Texas.”

Conclusion: A short book (that could even have been shorter by excluding repetition) that definitely provides 5* ranking for presentation of vital importance for the novice. However and most regrettably, a proposal that provides a time for book completion that in this reviewer’s opinion would be most difficult to reach.

3*   5* excellent publishing advice; strong cautionary caveat regarding completion time.


KARAOKE CULTURE ISBN 9781934824597, Open Letter, U of Rochester (NY) nonprofit, literary translation press, an e-book by Dubravka Ugresic. (Translators David Williams, Ellen Elias-Bursac and Celia Hawksworh.)

The author was born after WW II in the part of Yugoslavia that now is Croatia. With cessation of the 1991 war that dissolved the country. She was a “product of Yugoslavia post-war culture that, in spite of its proclaimed future orientation was clearly deeply immersed in the wartime past. I am a witness to the recent “Yugoslav” disintegration, the change of ideological and political systems and the collapse of a cultural system”. (Strategies listed: to erase the past by burning books, deletion of bibliographies, rewritten school texts and official “truths” fabrication of history along with disappearance of an untold number of people.) Ugresic’s firm anti-nationalistic stand exposed her to persistent media assessment naming her a traitor, ‘witch’ and more. This book expresses, quite succinctly in areas, her obvious resentment but also quite clearly describes the tremendous inter-nation hostility that reached quite distinct levels of almost nonsensical proportions; e.g., accusations that although a Croatian, she was expressing too strongly a depth of Serbian influence. She further states that she believes European writers are too accustomed to lugging the baggage of their states with them acting as the country’s representatives espousing its history, politics, national and religious beliefs, its communities and homeland. Her desire would be to see a Republic of Literature established where admittance would be by production of a piece of literature that did not espouse these causes, but instead was pure literary in nature. She believes unfortunately that such establishment probably would be “dangerous for Europe, its foundation and its future.” Her presentation is not limited exclusively to this theme but largely is a memoire that covers a wide range of activities in numerous countries throughout Europe and the United States with often fascinating pertinent remarks. She now resides in Holland.

Discussion: the author has exhibited a superb breadth of knowledge of a vast number of subjects and a skill at very aptly expressing her feelings thoughts and preferences, whether serious or amusing as is her discussion on the almost universal existence of a ‘mini-bar’ in each hotel room and the psychological aspects raised by its presence. A most important inclusion to this book is to give credit to the very excellent manner in which the translators were able to so beautifully capture even many of the author’s innuendos. David Williams, pursuing his doctoral research at the University of Auckland, has centered on Ugresic’s writings and “the idea of a “literature of the Eastern European ruins.”” Ellen Elias-Bursac is an award-winning translator of Yugoslavian writers. Celia Hawkesworth, now a retired freelance writer and translator, was Senior Lecturer in Serbian and Croatian at the school of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London.

Conclusion: The Oxford dictionary states that the origin of Karaoke is Japanese and means “empty orchestra”. For this volume, such a definition provides the large number of ‘unsupported songs’ that initiate interesting corollary thoughts to accompany the book’s descriptive content. The author has set forth many subjects upon which the reader can spend almost endless time pursuing on many levels, not the least of which have cogent similarities to what is happening in today’s chaotic political and cultural structure within the United States and parenthetically I’ve just heard, in the small South American Country of Ecuador. This is a most worthy addition to the University of Rochester’s literary collection and recommended to those who enjoy reading books that simultaneously offer material of interest on many levels.

5* for the reader who enjoys a well-written, thought-producing read.