New small and self-publishers often ask how to learn more about publishing. When various books on self-publishing are recommended to them, the response is often something such as, “I will look for these books at my library.”
Now, I am a big believer in using the library system. However, I also believe that when it comes to books you need to run your business, you should be willing to shell out the $20 or $30 cost of a book. Especially when your business is publishing, and you expect others to pay for your books.
Perhaps these publishers plan to borrow the books to evaluate them. That makes sense. There are many books about publishing, so it would be useful to look them over in some detail before deciding which ones will become permanent additions to your collection. If you have a limited budget for educational resources such as books, reviewing several titles can help you to determine which ones will be most useful in your business.
However, you should plan on buying at least two or three books that you will refer to often when publishing and marketing your books. So which books should you buy? That depends on the nature of your publishing business, but the books below should be considered by any new (or even not-so-new) small press or self-publisher.