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Self-publishing: Textbooks and instructional materials
Atlantic Path Publishing, USA, 2004
by Franklin H. Silverman
208 pp., illus. b/w. 6 X 9 paperback, $32.95
ISBN: 0-9728164-3-7

Reviewed by Nisar Keshvani

The success of any book depends heavily on the author’s ability to address its readers’ needs. Professor Silverman’s book “Self-publishing: Textbooks and instructional materials” hits this mark, spot on.

This 208-page book – a practical guide to respectable self-publishing begins by challenging the common perception in academe, that self-published books are either unworthy or not respectable.
Professor Silverman explains how, when, and why self-publishing is a respectable alternative in academe. He realistically analyzes the benefits and risks of self-publishing for academic authors and goes on to discuss print and electronic options and to explain precisely how to accomplish the various self-publishing tasks.

He says: “ … (Many college faculty) tend to assume if you have to publish it yourself, there must be something wrong with it, and, consequently, the publication isn’t worthy to be considered academically respectable.

If you tend to make such assumptions and are willing to read this chapter with an open mind, your beliefs about the respectability of at least some self-published textbooks may be challenged.” (pp. 1)

Aimed at academic and scholarly writers, college instructors, and curriculum developers, the book examines the details of scholarly publishing, provides an overview of entire publication process and discusses technical details (copyright issues, marketing, typesetting, financing and approaching publishers). For the adventurous, the book also presents how one can establish a publishing company.

Of particular interest to me, were the sections on electronic publishing (electronic books), developing online resources, financial considerations and designing a marketing campaign to promote one’s book.

Silverman definitely practices what he preaches. His book is endorsed with forewords by Ronald Pynn, Executive Director of the Text and Academic Authors Association and John Vivian, President of the Society of Academic Authors.

If there was a sequel to this book, I’d recommend exploring publishing for the digital realm. These days textbooks and instructional materials are outdated even before they hit the stands. Trends in international publishing dictate that hybrid publishing, downloadable electronic books and materials associated with regularly updated websites or cdroms are the way of the future.

First published by the Leonardo Reviews and
Leonardo - Volume 38, Number 5, October 2005, pp. 429-430 - Review

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