Try ‘taster book’ if new to self-publishing

If new to self-publishing, consider doing a “taster book” first. A taster book has a low word count (and subsequently few pages) that you can use to learn the self-publishing process. If a fiction writer, it might be a collection of two or three short stories; if a nonfiction writer, it might be a three or four brief articles.

Like a sample taste of a food, a “taster book” can give you a good idea of what is to come before you pile your plate too high. Because the volume is short, when errors are made in formatting, the book can be quickly corrected. And because the volume isn’t the one work you really want to be known for or sell to promote your business, if it doesn’t turn out perfect, there’s nothing lost. Indeed, you can keep correcting and reloading until you get it right or even can pull it from the market.

Almost anyone new to the self-publishing process will find elements of it confusing and make a few unintended errors the first time they go through it. Still, the process is simple enough that with familiarity comes ease of use. Think of it this way: The first time you got behind the wheel of a car probably felt a bit overwhelming and probably loaded with a few lurching tops and starts. Now that you’ve driven a vehicle for thousands of hours, however, it’s second nature and you even anticipate potential driving problems (bad weather, taking detours, erratic drivers ahead of you) before encountering them.

Of course, if your taster book works out, you now have the advantage of being able to offer two books for sale once the title you really want to publish is available for sale.


My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.