How I write books
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How I write books

Writing and self-publishing books in the digital age

About the Book

What I have learned about writing books, working with publishers and self-publishing, using and getting sales through Amazon

About the Author

Allan Kelly
Allan Kelly

Allan Kelly calls himself an Agile Guide. He helps software professionals enjoy more fulfilling and satisfying work by improving the way work is organised and requests are made. Happier people and better ways of working make for more effective companies, greater value and competitive advantage.

His wide experience of the challenges faced in software development underpins his advice, coaching, training and writing. He is the author of seven books including "Xanpan - team centric Agile Software Development", "Business Patterns for Software Developers" and "Continuous Digital". He has pioneered techniques such as Value Poker, Time-Value Profiles and Retrospective Dialogue Sheets. His blog is at

Table of Contents

    • Work in Progress - April 2022
    • Preface
      • Why write a book?
      • So who is this book for?
  • I A brave new world
    • 1. What is a book?
    • 2. Why write a book?
    • 3. Its digital now
      • The bookshop
      • Amazon
      • Electronic
    • 4. Publishers
      • Change
      • Services
      • Credibility
      • Royalties and advances
      • Why?
      • Remember this
    • 5. Digital publishing: selling before you have finished
      • Traditional publishing
      • Digital publishing
      • When to stop?
      • Batch processing
      • Publisher cost cutting
      • Print on demand
      • Power to small publishers
    • 6. The Little Book story
  • II Writing
    • 7. When you know what you want to say
      • Talk then write
      • Introductory chapter
      • Editing
      • Less is more, hit delete
      • Authors learn most
    • 8. Learning to write
      • Writing for journals
      • Blogging
      • Presentations
    • 9. Some writing techniques
      • Plan and organizing
      • A question
      • Fieldstone
      • Free writing
      • Dairy/journal
      • Carving out of stone
    • 10. Incremental and iterative writing and publishing
      • Upside
      • Downside
    • 11. The process
      • Start writing
      • Book skeleton
      • Create a book
      • Write, edit
      • Publish and start telling people
      • Continue
      • When will you be done?
    • 12. Knowing you are done
      • How many words?
      • My formula
    • 13. The #NoProjects story
  • III Production
    • 14. LeanPub: Sell before you finish TODO
    • 15. After the writing TODO
      • Copy edit
      • Blub
      • KDP
      • Download costs
      • Print costs
      • Print version
      • Index
      • Illustrations
    • 16. Third party copyright
      • Fair use
      • Ask
      • Copyright on images
      • Licenses and sites
      • Images in books
      • Keeping track of licenses
    • 17. Illustrations
      • Image layout
    • 18. Layout and page size
      • The guts of the problem
      • Page sizes
      • Navigating page sizes
      • Changing LeanPub layout
      • Publishers problems
    • 19. Book cover
      • First cover
      • Graphic artist
      • Many covers
      • The spine
      • Creating the cover
      • Other uses
    • 20. ISBN
      • How to get an ISBN
      • ISBN bar code
      • Registering ISBN
      • Finally
    • 21. Audio book
      • Why do an audio book?
      • How to create an audio book
      • Making an audio book
      • Audible ACX
      • Recording
      • Pricing
      • Royalties
      • Timing
      • Caveat
      • Other audio services
  • IV Publication
    • 22. Amazon KDP TODO
    • 23. Pricing TODO
    • 24. Digital right management
  • V Marketing
    • 25. Amazon
      • It’s a search engine
      • The Amazon feedback loop
      • Paid twice
      • How do I know?
      • Do I like it?
      • Summary
    • 26. Reviews
      • Print books
      • Wait for reviews
      • Your first reviewers
      • Asking nicely
      • Asking loudly
      • Follow up
      • Incentivising reviewers
      • Other authors
      • Amazon only
      • International Amazons
      • Product groups
      • Five star first
      • Publishers and reviews
      • More
      • Putting it all together
  • VI Other things
    • 27. Publisher due diligence MORE-TODO
    • 28. Academic publishing TODO
    • 29. Tools: Text processors TODO
      • Microsoft Word
      • IaWriter
      • TextMate and plugins
      • Pages, Shrivener and everything else
      • Pandoc
      • Endnote and Z…
      • Latex
    • 30. Copyright
      • Give it away
      • Sell it
      • Keep it in print
      • Bringing back copyright
    • Thank you
  • Notes

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