Review: Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran

David Gaughran is a 33 year old Irishman living in Sweden. He doesn’t own an ereader even though he’s published more than one digital book. And he knows a lot about digital publsishing.

One of his books is Let’s Get Digital. I’m only about 3/4 of the way through this book, but I’m so impressed that I’m jumping the gun a little and reviewing it before I finish.  This is a book I’d thought about writing, but Gaughran has done such a good job of it that I don’t have to. He’s thorough and balanced in his approach and includes the numbers to back up his arguments. And thanks to the quickness of digital self-publishing, it’s timely: Gaughran includes data through June of this year.

Let’s Get Digital is an overview of the current situation in digital self-publishing.  Part One covers the What — reviewing the digital revolution, Part Two the How — how to do it and avoid commonly made mistakes, and Part Three (which I read first) covers Who — the success stories of 33 self-publishers, most of whom did not have a publishing history before they self-published.

If you want to understand what’s going on in digital self-publishing, Read This Book!

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Review: Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran

  1. This one is already in my TBR pile, Frankie, so I’m glad to hear it’s good! Thanks for the heads-up.

  2. Thank you for the review! I need to start trying to read some books on e-pub and self-pub.

  3. Thanks for the recommendation, Frankie. I actually have the book, but haven’t read it yet.

  4. Hi Frankie,
    How does the content in this book compare to the information on Dean Wesley Smith’s blog? I haven’t made my way through everything he’s written on self-publishing, but it seems pretty comprehensive.

    I can’t believe how fast digital publishing is moving! Two years ago, it was barely heard of. Now it seems like everyone’s doing it.

    • Elise, I’ve read a lot of Dean’s blog posts and learned a tremendous amount from him. I’d say the main differences between Dean’s and David’s content is that in Let’s Get Digital, David’s tone is more moderate and balanced, and the information is more organized. (Which is to be expected, since it’s a book and not a series of blog posts.)

      One other difference is the level of editing David recommends an author get for her work. He’s very much in favor of investing time and money in first beta readers and then professional editing. While Dean says he has his stories edited by a professional, Hugo award winning editor, he’s probably talking about his wife, Kris Rusch. Which is not to say that this isn’t valuable. But what I’ve gleaned from Dean’s posts is that he believes that a writer doesn’t learn as much from revising as from writing a new story. His emphasis is on getting it out there.

      David also encourages writers to pay for a professional cover to create the most professional appearance possible, which Dean doesn’t do. Dean designs his own covers.

      One final difference (that I’ve found so far) is that Dean says he doesn’t do any promotion for his books — as if his blog isn’t a form of promotion — while David spends a couple of chapters discussing promotion. Both agree, however, that the best, most effective promotion for your work is to keep creating and publishing new books.

      And don’t forget the success stories in Let’s Get Digital. They’re worth the $2.99 by themselves.

      Read both Dean’s blog and David’s book. They complement each other well.

      • Thanks for elaborating, and to Elise for asking. There are so many info-packed blogs out there it’s sometimes tough to know if a reference ebook is worthwhile. I’m very glad I bought this one based on your review and comments. I’m especially looking forward to reading the promotion tidbits. Thanks!

  5. Caroline

    Thank you for the recommendation – I am a third of the way through this and love his balanced approach to the topic. I appreciate his discussion of either/or and the benefits of self publishing to all writers. Great read!

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