Quill and Quire


« Back to
Book Reviews

The Economical Guide to Self-publishing: How to Produce and Market Your Book on a Budget

by Linda Foster Radke

The forward to Radke’s own self-publication, The Economical Guide to Self-Publishing, is written by Dan Poynter, the author of The Self-Publishing Manual. Poynter’s book is then referred to, or directly recommended, no fewer than five times as a helpful guide for when the road to a successful self- publication gets rocky.

Most likely, both Radke and Poynter are utilizing number three of the “seven soul-searching commandments for self-publishers: Get Endorsements for the Book.” If this kind of rah-rah, marketing-seminar advice starts your skin crawling, as it does mine, then Radke is not the guru for you. Cute penguin cartoons and the self-publisher’s alphabet (“N is for Niche Marketing”) are all part of the approach. At times the shameless cynicism of her promotional techniques becomes a parody of itself. The section on becoming an instant expert on something for the convenience of radio talk shows is a nice, unintentional jab at sham media manipulation; quite funny, in fact, if it weren’t so sadly true. Still, being an experienced self-publisher herself, Radke has included the meat of her hard-earned knowledge in the field.

Would a beginning publisher find some helpful advice here? Certainly. There is some good base line information in the book, but it can be annoyingly vague and common-sensical (for instance, she recommends a call to the local library for help with research). As well, this book is completely irrelevant for the Canadian publishing marketplace. The extensive appendix of useful services and publications has a strict American orientation, though obviously this would be useful to the Canadian self-publisher looking to expand into the U.S. market.

Finally, if after reading this book would-be publishers find the whole idea of self-promotion too daunting, they can contact Publishers Support Services (a division of Radke’s Five Star Publications) and have them do all the work – for a fee.


Reviewer: John Degen

Publisher: index


Price: $19.95

Page Count: 196 pp

Format: Paper

ISBN: 1-877749-16-8

Released: Five Star Publications

Issue Date: 1997-3

Categories: Health & Self-help