I recently asked Susan Daffron of Logical Expressions, and an expert on self-publishing some question about how therapists can get started with writing and publishing their own books. Here’s what she had to say:

1. Many therapists have lots of knowledge that would transfer well to the written book, yet most have no idea about what the first steps might be for publishing a book. What are some of the first steps that you need to take before undertaking writing a book.

The first thing is to research book publishing. Go to the library and/or buy books on publishing. Mistakes can be expensive and writing a book is a lot of work. As with any business endeavor, educate yourself first.

2. What are the benefits you’ve seen that people receive from publishing a book? 

A book gives you credibility and shows you are an expert. It can lead to PR opportunities and help you get more speaking engagements and clients.

3. Is an eBook or Kindle book as valuable as a print book? And what is the difference between eBooks, Kindle books, self-publishing and traditional publishing?

From a professional credibility standpoint, an ebook is not as valuable as a print book. The decision to go with traditional or self-publishing depends on your goals for the book. You should do your research before getting started, so you don’t end up losing money or getting scammed by subsidy or vanity press.

4. What are the benefits of self-publishing when compared to traditional book publishing?

You can make significantly more money and you know the book will definitely be published. Getting a traditional publishing contract requires writing a book proposal and possibly getting an agent.

5. What would a therapist need to consider when deciding between self-publishing or traditional publishing?

Evaluate your goals for the book and the pros and cons of traditional vs. self publishing. Both options have advantages and drawbacks.

6. We are hearing more stories of people doing very well with digital publishing using the Kindle platform. Is it relatively easy to convert your self-published book into the Kindle platform?

It can be easy, depending on the software you use and your tolerance for technology. It’s akin to creating Web pages. If the idea looking at HTML code makes you cringe, you won’t like doing ebook conversions either.

7. What do you recommend a therapist’s first steps might be if they want to self-publish a book?

Do your market research. Find out what other books exist and spend time learning about the publishing industry.

8. Are there self-publishing platforms you recommend or perhaps think should be avoided when self-publishing?

Subsidy or vanity presses are almost never a good idea. Many people regret taking that route.

9. Where do you see self-publishing going in the future?

Many years ago, only tech-savvy people could create a Web site. Now anyone who can log into a blog platform can create a web site in about 5 minutes. Much like creating web pages, creating books has become vastly easier and less expensive. When more people started blogging, junk content flooded the Internet. In much the same way, today more drek is being introduced to the book marketplace and many people cry about the “death of publishing.” However, just like online, good content gets noticed. This trend will continue into the future. It’s more important than ever to write a good book and make sure it is professionally produced.

10. Are there any resources you provide or can recommend for therapists that want to start the process of writing a book for self-publishing?

Complete answers to each of these questions could be a 600 – 2,000 word article. My website The Book Consultant has many articles that go into much more detail than I can in a blog interview.

Note from the interviewer: 

If you’re interested in getting started with writing your digital book, check out the new free online software www.pressbooks.com that helps you easily write and convert your digital book.