Disclaimer: I received an advance reader copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Bootstrapping for Indies by Simon Whistler is a quick, informative guide to help beginning and/or would-be indie authors find cost-effective and/or free ways to publish their books. To give a frame of reference, the book took me roughly an hour to read. The book is divided up into concise sections, making it just as easy to read out-of-order as it is to read it chronologically.
Despite the brevity of the sections and entire book, Bootstrapping for Indies does provide a comprehensive overview of all aspects of indie publishing. Whistler provides tips for cover design, editing, formatting, marketing, etc. In each section, Whistler gives multiple options for how to accomplish the stage of publishing cheaply or for free. He also warns authors about ways in which they may end up spending more than their budget in each area. This transparency helps authors choose the right methods for them as well as avoid costly strategies.
Likewise, Whistler gives several outside references for authors. These either direct authors to services that may interest them or explain in greater detail the concepts discussed in the book.
Most importantly, Whistler helps authors prioritize where to spend their budgets. His general ethos is to spend what you can in vital areas and then, once your book starts earning money, reinvest in the areas you did not spend (as much) money on originally. This mentality may be difficult to embrace, given that authors want to put out a fantastic book right away, but Whistler makes a compelling argument, especially in the spirit of saving money.
I only had two criticisms about Bootstrapping for Indies. First, most of the information in the book will be old hat for authors (even unpublished authors) who have done research on indie publishing already. However, for those who have not done much research, it is a great starter guide. Second, the last section of Bootstrapping for Indies cautions authors to the risks to “bootstrapping.” Specifically, it warns authors that bootstrapping may not always create the best impression for readers, which of course, could result in poor sales and/or reviews. On one hand, this honesty is necessary and well-placed. On the other, it is a bit intimidating and could, in many readers’ eyes, undermine the “perfect it later” mentality that Whistler tries to instill in his audience.
Overall, Bootstrapping for Indies contains several clever cost-cutting strategies and resources for new indie authors. It is a clear, concise read that indie authors can digest all in one sitting or refer back to section by section as needed. I recommend it to any new indie authors who are on a tight budget and looking for creative ways to make their dreams come true despite financial restrictions.
My normal associates store message will not appear today, because Bootstrapping for Indies is entirely free! If you are at all interested in reading it, there is no reason not to grab your copy today!