With the arrival of the Kindle a few years ago, self-publishing has become far more mainstream than it used to be. Back in the “old days,” publishing your own book meant shelling out tons of money in the hopes of getting a little in return. Now, it takes just a few minutes to publish your book across numerous platforms (not counting the hours of sweat you actually pour into writing it). Just because something seems as easy as pushing a few buttons, though, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t require a little effort. Yes, anyone can self-publish a book, but not everyone can do it well without a little guidance. That’s where Show and Tell: A Primer for Self-Publishers by Ruth Hagopian, Cathleen O’Brien, and Julie Thompson comes in handy.

Show and Tell is a relatively short book packed with valuable tips to help you succeed in self-publishing. The authors followed their own advice, cut the fluff, and just stuck with the necessary information. You don’t have to wade through pages of rhetoric and “it happened to so and so” stories to get to the real point. Each chapter has a both a show and a tell section, with the “show” featuring a visual representation (usually a humorous cartoon) of the tip the authors are describing in the “tell” section.

The book takes you from the beginning of your self-publishing adventure to the end, detailing the writing and editing process as well as the marketing end of the industry. Throughout the sections, the authors suggest quirky little homework assignments and extra-credit assignments to keep you on the right track. I am impressed with how the authors made Show and Tell such a fun and witty read, considering self-publishing isn’t exactly a subject that screams humor.

The book was created by the driving force behind A Book In Hand, a team that works together to help bring non-fiction book dreams to life. Each author brings valuable expertise to the table, from graphic design to marketing expertise, so readers are given an overall picture of how to succeed in self-publishing. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is even thinking about going that route.