Q&A from the live webinar, Self-Publishing 101, with Jane Friedman.

If your question wasn't answered during the live webinar, Jane wrote answers to you below.

Can you comment on cold calls from publishers who say they are interested in helping your self-published book succeed?

I would run in the other direction and not work with a company that solicits you in this way. Instead, use this site to find and evaluate service companies:


Or you can ask me for my resource list (jane@janefriedman.com)


Can you say more about getting self pub books into the library market? that seems to be changing as d2d just announced a partnership with OverDrive, I think.

Yes, if you’d like to reach the library market with your self-pub work, you can do so through Draft2Digital and Smashwords, which both have distribution agreements with services such as OverDrive.

These PW articles are helpful on the matter:




Do you think touting on your cover that your book has won competitions helps sales?

It can, as long as the awards mean something (have brand recognition) to the person doing the buying.


As a hybrid author, would you recommend selling eBooks only to Amazon? Writing takes a lot of time, so it would be easier to submit eBooks to just one platform.

I recommend distributing widely (uploading to Amazon + a distributor like Pronoun) unless you’re a first-time author with only one book. Then enrolling in KDP Select probably holds the best benefits for you given the increased visibility of authors in Kindle Unlimited.


My first in the series was traditionally published, but they didn’t pick up the second, which I’m going to self-publish. Any pitfalls?

I’ve found this to be fairly common, so you won’t be alone. The biggest pitfall is that you’ll have limited ability to do strategic promotion with that first book (to help with the second or with the series) as long as the publisher controls the rights/pricing.


I have an old nonfiction book (memoir/history) for which I have the ebook rights. The publisher has offered to publish it as an ebook. Would you recommend letting the publisher publish an ebook, or doing it myself?

I’d recommend doing it yourself; you’re likely to earn more money over time unless the publisher is planning some kind of new marketing and promotion push. Even then, I’d hesitate to let go of your ebook rights if you have them.


How do ebook rights work, vis a vis international sales? Still First North American Rights? (Since electronic as obviated geographic boundaries. )E.g., my books are still for sale in UK (big 5), but not in US. How do I handle that?

If you don’t have ebook distribution rights in other territories, you can limit your ebook distribution to just the US (or whatever territories you have rights to). Amazon and others allow you to basically check boxes that say “Yes” or “No” to each territory/country.


I had a book published by a traditional press in 1999. The rights reverted to me years later. I self-published it, but it would be nice to capitalize on the prior sales under the traditional publisher for sales data. How do I do that? Can i use the prior ISBN of the traditional press? Thanks.

You can’t use the same ISBN for the new edition – you must use a new one – but nearly all retailers/distributors allow you to indicate if the book you’re publishing is a new edition or a re-release of an existing title – which would accomplish some of what you’re looking for here.