This Self Publishing Book Won't Be at Your Bookstore

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Aiming at Amazon, by Aaron Shepard, describes a new style of self publishing based on print on demand with industry leader Lightning Source Inc. and book marketing on Shepard shows how new publishers can increase their chances of success by bypassing bookstores and self publishing companies entirely. He also shares tricks for book promotion on Amazon that are not generally used or even known by most publishers, large or small.

Aaron Shepard's new book on self publishing won't be at your bookstore. And that's just the way he likes it.

Aiming at Amazon: The NEW Business of Self Publishing describes a new way of self publishing that is much simpler and leads to higher sales with less effort. Shepard recommends a strategy based on working with print-on-demand industry leader Lightning Source Inc. and marketing on

"My motto is 'Forget Bookstores,'" says Shepard. "I love bookstores, but bookstores don't love self publishers. The answer is to focus your efforts on Amazon."

We've all heard of Amazon, but what is Lightning Source? A tiny Web-based operation?

Far from it, says Shepard. Lightning Source is a sister company to Ingram Book Group, the largest U.S. book wholesaler. It's also print on demand's "man behind the curtain" -- the service that provides printing and distribution to nearly all the big self publishing companies like iUniverse and Xlibris.

"When you work with Lightning Source," says Shepard, "you get the benefits of print on demand without paying the middleman."

One of those benefits is a direct line into, where all Lightning Source books automatically get listed. And on Amazon is where Shepard does most of his marketing.

He must be doing it well. Of the 11 books he has published previously under the Shepard Publications name, almost all have sales rank averages in the top 100,000. His book The Business of Writing for Children has been Amazon's #1 bestselling children's writing guide for most of the past six years.

"Most publishers and self publishers don't understand Amazon," says Shepard. "It's a whole different world. Once you decide to ignore bookstores, it leaves you the freedom to do what's needed to really sell online."

Unlike many, Shepard didn't turn to self publishing because he couldn't sell his work to others. In fact, Shepard's children's stories have been bought by a number of top book publishers.

"There's more prestige if you sell to big publishers," says Shepard. "But by self publishing, I'm making more money -- and having more fun -- than I ever did before."

You can find info on Shepard's book on his Publishing Page at The book itself is available -- where else? -- on Amazon.

He wouldn't have it any other way.

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