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  • Caitlyn Lynch

Book Review: Let's Get Digital by David Gaughran

I’m going to preface this review by saying that I have about a hundred books on self-publishing, being an indie author, writing to market, writing methods and marketing your writing. I’ve been looking for the definitive work to recommend to other authors considering self-publishing, just starting out on that road of discovery I’ve been stumbling along for a year or so now.

I think I just found that book, because holy hell this book is AMAZEBALLS.

Gaughran shares his own, hard-won experience and expertise in the market, and not only that, but there are 30 success stories at the end of the book from indie authors, varying from those who launched indie after years of rejection slips, to others who walked away from traditional publishing deals and found bigger and better things as independents.

The first part of the book covers, in really understandable terms, just what traditional publishing is and why it’s no longer a desirable option for so many. Gaughran covers how royalties work and why it takes far, far fewer sales as an indie author to make money. He talks about editors, agencies, and why print books and bookshops are a dying breed.

In the second part of the book, Gaughran guides the reader through every aspect of ebook creation, from cover creation, formatting, uploading to KDP and other sites, and even such detail as the difference between copy editing and content editing, and why you absolutely need both to make your book into a quality product for the market. There are heaps of amazing links to guide you every step of the way – about a third of the way through reading this book, I took it from the Kindle app on my tablet over to my desktop, so that I could click on and bookmark all the links in Chrome.

Finally, Gaughran talks about marketing and why it’s essential for indie authors to get a handle on it. The appendices to the book (make sure you read all the way to the end, Amazon tried to get me to stop and leave a review at about 80% through) have heaps more amazing resource links. I’m going to be sitting down in the next few days to investigate a number of them, as well as implementing some of his recommended strategies, and as usual I’ll blog about my findings once I have some quantifiable results to share.

Gaughran has a second book available called Let’s Get Visible which is purely dedicated to marketing. After finishing Let’s Get Digital I went straight back to the Amazon store and bought it. If there’s even a fraction of the quantity of useful information I found in this book, it’ll be worth its weight in cold, hard cash.

5 well-earned, well-resourced stars. If you are an indie author or thinking of taking the leap to self-publishing, in any genre, you should own this book.

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