Making Nonfiction Pay

I work with many authors who are new to publishing, and they frequently ask my advice about self-publishing or book distribution or marketing. So I am excited to have a new resource to recommend: The Nonfiction Book Publishing Plan: The Professional Guide to Profitable Self-Publishing  by Stephanie Chandler and Karl W. Palachuk.

Although a lot of books out there offer advice on writing, the majority of them seem to be aimed at fiction authors. So I was happy to get a chance to become a beta reader for The Nonfiction Book Publishing Plan, which allowed me to download a free early copy of the book. And I was even happier to discover a book that I can enthusiastically recommend as a resource to any nonfiction writer.

The 19 chapters of The Nonfiction Book Publishing Plan cover every stage of writing, producing, publishing, marketing, and selling your book, including detailed discussions weighing the advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing vs. traditional publishing. Although one chapter offers tips for getting a traditional book deal, most of The Nonfiction Book Publishing Plan is geared toward self-publishers. And it is packed with production advice about everything from formatting footnotes to finding editors to to understanding print and distribution options and navigating Amazon.

Chapters are easy to read and loaded with tips and practical advice and resources for every facet of writing and book production. Chandler and Palachuk have both published multiple books, and Chandler is the founder and CEO of the Nonfiction Authors Association, so they write with authority and intimate knowledge of the industry. In addition, the book includes interviews with a number of successful authors who describe their own writing and publishing stories and offer tips to help writers duplicate their success or avoid their mistakes.

Of course, my favorite chapter is Chapter 7, “Editing Essentials.” Chandler and Palachuk make a strong case for ALWAYS hiring a professional editor—or maybe several editors—for any book project: “Editing is a profession. We implore you to please, please, please hire a professional editor—someone who edits books for a living. This is extremely important and may make or break the success of your book” (pg. 88). Couldn’t agree more.

Success AFTER Publication

The Nonfiction Book Publishing Plan provides many pages of helpful writing and book production advice, but unlike many books about writing, this one also provides invaluable advice about how to actually make money from writing a book! In fact, on page 1, the authors write, “Publishing a book makes you an entrepreneur, and therefore you should treat your book like a business.”

A few paragraphs later, they explain this concept further: “Our perspective is that authors should think beyond the book and use it as a tool to grow a business. This is exactly what we’ve both done, and we want to show you how to do the same.” Over the next 290 pages, they do just that.

I tell authors that writing can be a hobby, but publishing must be a business. And I’m delighted to find a book that not only agrees with my philosophy but can actually teach authors how to move from hobbyist to profitable business.

The Nonfiction Book Publishing Plan officially launches on Sept. 26, but it is available for presale now. In addition, if you buy the book as a presale, you can download a number of free resources and register for valuable prizes. Details are here.


September 20, 2018

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  1. This is by far my favorite review so far! And it means even more coming from a fellow industry pro. Thank you!

    • Thank you for writing such a great book and putting so much useful information into one place!