peeps: Joel Friedlander
Award-winning book designer Joel Friedlander has helped launch the careers of self-publishers since 1994 and writes the popular blog, The Book Designer. Drawing from some of the most useful and informative of his blog posts, Joel published A Self-Publisher’s Companion, Expert Advice for Authors Who Want to Publish, which has been very well-received and highly regarded in indie publishing circles.
The man knows his stuff. He won the AIGA “50 Books of the Year Award” for his work at Aperture Publishing. And the Printing Industries of America Gold Award as well for his book design and production. Born in the Bronx, New York, and educated in Buffalo and Danbury, Connecticut, Joel now owns and runs Marin Bookworks in San Rafael, California.
How Joel Got Started Self-Publishing
Years ago, Joel and his wife, Jill, were studying the subject of an odd “ancient system of personality exploration” where how, just by looking at people, one could determine a lot about them, such as the kind of work they preferred and who they’d be attracted to. There were no books on the subject, so Joel wrote one. Being in the publishing industry, he “realized no publisher would touch it, since it was about a subject no one had ever heard of, by an author equally obscure.” So, they published it themselves.
With basic book marketing, they sold 10,000 copies of it. The book, Body Types, is still in print and selling every month, and do please note, this was first published over 27 years ago, way before the era of the Kindle and easy, very low cost KDP ebook publishing!
Today, besides the publishing blog and book mentioned previously, Joel is also the founder of the online training course, The Self-Publishing Roadmap.
- “The most important thing for nonfiction authors is to get to know your readers, preferably before you write the book! Get into a conversation with them through presentations, blogging, social media, or whatever works for you. This will give you insight into their concerns and what exactly they want to know, and will help make your book way more successful than it might have been otherwise.”
- “For fiction authors, keep getting better at your craft and write and publish more books.”
- “Use good editors and cover designers and stick with it. You need the mind of a marathoner.“