The Savvy Self-Publisher: The Complete Series

Debra W. Englander

Since 2014, publishing veteran Debra Englander has interviewed over a dozen authors about the decision to self-publish their work and their experiences with editing, designing, printing, publicizing, and the myriad other tasks that go along with being a self-published author. Following each interview, Englander talks with other publishing experts, including freelance editors, publicists, agents, and others, asking them for their opinions about how those self-published authors did in their efforts to share their work. The result is an invaluable collection of case studies in self-publishing that offers independent authors advice, warnings, encouragement, and inspiration.


Nita Wiggins
Nita Wiggins describes writing and self-publishing Civil Rights Baby: My Story of Race, Sports, and Breaking Barriers in American Journalism, and an agent and a publicist add their perspectives and offer self-publishing advice.

Nikki Peoples
Nikki Peoples describes how she self-published her sci-fi novel, The Station. An editor and a publicist give their advice on reaching more readers, leveraging the power of social media, and finding the right team of publishing professionals.

Marlen Suyapa Bodden
Marlen Suyapa Bodden describes self-publishing her historical novel Arrows of Fire and hiring editorial and publishing professionals during the process. A publisher and a marketer weigh in with additional advice for engaging with readers.

Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard
A historical novelist discusses her experiences in self-publishing; an editor and publicist weigh in.

Ethan Senturia
An entrepreneur self-publishes a book about the failure of his business. An editor and publicist weigh in.

Vinnie Kinsella
Vinnie Kinsella shares the process of self-publishing an essay anthology, Fashionably Late: Gay, Bi, and Trans Men Who Came Out Later in Life. An editor and a publicist weigh in.

Lucetta Zaytoun
Lucetta Zaytoun discusses the process of self-publishing her debut memoir, It’s Already Tomorrow Here, last year. A publicist and a publishing consultant offer their advice on design, distribution, and long-term marketing strategies to the author. 

Jonathan R. Miller
In a continuing series, Deborah W. Englander consults an author and events manager, as well as a CEO of a book-marketing firm, to provide self-published author Jonathan R. Miller valuable book-industry advice on his novel The Two Levels.

Vinnie Mirchandani
Can the publishing industry’s traditional business model compete with today’s marketplace? The president of a technology advisory firm and self-published author tries to answer that question through an analyst’s lens. Literary agent Cynthia Zigmund and publicist Rob Nissen weigh in.

William Hertling
A successful self-published novelist talks about how he used his background in programing and knowledge of artificial intelligence to write and market his best-selling techno thriller series. Editor Jessica Page Morrell and publicist Jessica Glenn weigh in and give advice to burgeoning self-publishers.

Clayton Smith
Clayton Smith has self-published several books, including his latest novel, Apocalypticon, and used his experiences to cofound Dapper Press, a company that provides essential services like editing, design, and promotion to self-published authors. Editor Kim Bookless and publicist Lissy Peace weigh in on Smith’s process, and such self-publishing necessities.

Beau Phillips
A former radio executive writes about his behind-the-scenes experiences with rock stars, and puts his vast media expertise to work promoting the book. An editor and publicist weigh in.

Keith Devlin
When science author and NPR Math Guy Keith Devlin decided to cut a section from his soon-to-be published book on Fibonacci, he realized he had a unique opportunity—to self-publish the deleted content as an e-book alongside the hardcover book. We hear from Devlin, his agent Ted Weinstein, and publicist Amy Ferro on this uniquely challenging and exciting endeavor.

Jeffrey Blount
In the second installment of our new self-publishing column, indie author Jeffrey Blount discusses his book, Hating Heidi Foster, while publicist Anna Sproul-Latimer and bookseller Bradley Graham weigh in on how to grow a self-published book’s audience from family and friends to a wider community of readers.

Robb Cadigan
For the first installment of our new column on self-publishing, an indie author details the route he took to self-publishing his novel, while editor Paul Dinas and publicist Corinne Liccketto weigh in with post-publication comments and suggestions.