Brief Review of “Publishing E-Books For Dummies” by Ali Luke

I wish I had learned more that I didn’t already know here (note: I’ve worked for over two decades in the entertainment business and have a significant background in the publishing realm and the internet space), but this is a reasonable overview book for the complete beginner that’s very clear and straightforward with a reasonable number of examples that are easy to follow.

There’s a lot of subtlety left out in the rapidly shifting marketplace, particularly as it relates to the politics of what is happening as the publishing industry changes, though she at least alludes to it tangentially.

The sections on promoting/marketing ebooks on one’s own were reasonable outlines, but I have a feeling that the actualities of these sections will be lost on most and particularly those without high levels of knowledge about the social media spaces. It’s also deficient for helping tyro users who have incredibly small/non-existent social media followings. Users in this category will certainly need a separate “Social Media Marketing for Dummies Book” or something from someone like Gary Vaynerchuck to cover this gaping hole.

It’s also a bit difficult to take her expertise seriously when some of the meta-data on this very own e-book is a bit “off” on platforms like

I was surprised that Luke’s own twitter account didn’t have a few Twitter lists of some of the authors she suggested following or other interesting/useful lists of editors, proofreaders, etc.

Even outside of the Twitterverse she could have provided (more/better) lists of resources for more easily finding consultants in the areas of editing, proofreading, and even marketing/PR to cover the portions that serious authors will more likely need help with.

Some of the coding and set up sections for things like WordPress and Calibre were nice to see, but most will need to delve in far further to get mileage out of them. Some of the Calibre code and instructions are also now out of date, but those who are adventurous will ultimately find the correct formatting.

I was also shocked to see that she didn’t recommend/cover setting up affiliate codes for one’s own web page/social media presences to capture additional referral revenue. Hopefully future editions will also add in emerging platforms like help authors find/commission portions of the work like book cover art.

For the hobbyist writer, this is a great introduction, but most (including serious/professional authors) will likely find that they’re going to need some significant help and require additional resources to know what they’re getting themselves into and to best leverage the business side of the business.

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