Non-Fiction: PIY Reviews (Book 1)


Publish It Yourself!

PIY Reviews

This page contains some of the PIY reviews written by readers.


Publish It Yourself! PIY Reviews by Jo Roderick

Thanks to this book I am about to publish my first paperback!

I am in the process of publishing my first paperback book and was seriously floundering through the process. This book helped me understand what the heck I was supposed to be doing and how to do it. I like that Jo stresses quality and have gained enormous respect for people who do quality work instead of putting everything on auto and letting it be good enough.

Typesetting done right is extremely time consuming and a real art. I am not an artist and I don’t have a $700 application to typeset my book, but I spent a lot of time using what I learned and I am almost ready to order a proof copy. My main interest was a paperback book but there is valuable information on all aspects of publishing, some of which I haven’t read anywhere else. If you are thinking of publishing, I highly recommend you read this book first.

Karen Ballentine

Great for people starting out!

Self-publishing is a mine field and information out there is either incoherent, inconsistent, or inconsequential. For newbies like me, it’s hard to work out what I need to know and what I don’t. This book puts all the basics into an easy to read, easy to understand format that is both practical and entertaining.

Most writers, I would imagine, just want to write and dealing with all the book creation and promotion is more a chore. PIY will not make those chores disappear but they will make them a little easier to understand and get your head around. Interspersing the sometimes dense technical information with humour and goodwill makes the information much less intense and or overwhelming and meant that sometimes I even forgot that I was reading a ‘how-to’ book at all, instead just absorbing the information.

Most of all though, it’s just great that all the information needed has been put together into one, easy to access place (and I’ll definitely be dipping into the book again over the coming weeks!)

Riley J Froud

The book to buy if you are thinking of Self-Publishing

An excellent introduction to anyone thinking of trying the self publishing route. Written in a lighthearted style but with a wealth of information the author obviously knows his stuff. I particularly liked the summaries at the end of each chapter, and it helped me to identify the reason for errors I have seen in other Indie books.

As a newbie I would have liked to see more basic information on meta-tags although the book does provide helpful links for further reading.

I believe this is part of a series and am looking forward to seeing the follow-up. Overall I would give it 4 1/2 stars if the system allowed.


The best starting place for anyone looking to self publish

The best starting place for anyone looking to self publish. Great introduction to the subject covering all the essential elements for producing a good quality publication. Chapter on meta tags is brilliant, Jo has demystified the topic superbly. Chapters on typos threw up a lot of points I had’t thought of. Follow this up with Roderick’s other title in the series ‘Format it Yourself. Most helpful series for any aspiring self publisher.


What self-pub indie’s need to know re: marketing, networking & format conversions

I just finished reading Jo Rodrigues’s PIY. It’s a well written clear explanation of issues facing those who want to self-pub an e-book AND it provides solutions and methods for handling those issues. It gave me some much needed insights for determining what I need to consider and watch out for whether I do the tech work myself or hire it out.

S.H. Bown

A good book for the starter

It’s easy book to read and learn from it . Just have to follow his advice and step by step you follow. A book highly recommend for the beginner.


Great advice inside

Good, steady advice for any one who’s interested in self publishing.

Martin Willoughby

Phenomenal amount of information squeezed into a tiny book.

This is a short but extraordinarily comprehensive book. It’s both easy to read and requires your attention, so do yourself a favor and skim through it first, then sit down and work through each chapter slowly. You won’t regret it. As the author says in his intro “there is no shortcut to quality.”

The nine chapters cover all the information you need to create a complete manuscript ready for publication. It explains how to create an effective cover, with a generous selection of easily-understood illustrations; as well as how to create, format, correct, and prepare your “internals” for publishing. Bonus information is included on marketing and why to use a pen name – excellent reasons that I would never have considered but that are so logical and intelligent that I will be penning myself a ‘plume when I finally get around to my scribbles.

Most chapters have takeaways at the end with a summary of that chapter. Use them as a reference, not a short cut. There is too much information in this book to use any short cuts. You’ll be doing yourself a grave disservice!

For the money, while chapter 6 will be considered the most useful, I believe chapter 4: “The Typical Typo” is worth the price of the entire book. If you read nothing else, please, Please, PLEASE study this chapter! As a voracious reader, it is one of my biggest bugbears and I could just kiss the man for putting this chapter together so expansively!

Warning: Throughout the book, there are small personalizations and fun little comments and analogies. Some of them had me snorting in amusement. Do not read this during your coffee break, unless you have tissues handy to wipe clean your screen!

Finally, this is not a how-to book on the actual publishing process. It is how to prepare your book for publishing. I went into reading it with the wrong mindset, so I wish to spare anyone my unjustified disappointment. If you read this book, do so with the idea that you will be creating a complete manuscript: one that is correct in all areas to give you a well laid out, readable, sellable book. Actually publishing it will then be your next step. If you follow the advice given here, working your way through each chapter and following the author’s advice, you will have none of the negative reviews that I see in so many books about needing an editor, a spell check, or a frontal lobotomy!

Buy it now before the author works out that he has given away FAR too much information and turns it into an expensive online course!

Amazon Customer

Get this book if you are self publishing

Having recently finished writing my novel, I’ve been reading up about self publishing, and I’ve been putting off publishing. Someone recommended that I read this series, and thank God I took their advice. Even though I’m left with new questions, many of my old ones are now answered.

At my stage of self publishing, topics like meta tags are over my head, but I am beginning to understand how important they are to an author. Life was simpler when I was young, but so were the options. It’s good to learn from someone writes common sense. I love the free software suggestions mentioned in the book. Running my book through these new programs brought up many new small errors. I can’t believe I wasn’t already using this software before.

What I love about Jo’s words is the honesty. I feel fantasy, and make belief belong in the stories that you write, and not in guides like this. I hadn’t even thought about some of the points raised. I’m looking forward to reading Format it Yourself next. If you are about to publish, do yourself a favour and grab this book.


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