Excerpt for #HTSP - How to Self-Publish by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Eric Otis Simmons

Also by Eric Otis Simmons

5 Star Rated "Not Far From The Tree

Information provided in #HTSP - How to Self-Publish is intended to serve as a resource or “primer” for getting started in self-publishing. However, there is no guaranty that self-publishing of any book or other written or spoken language publication will generate any income or guaranty results. In addition to the lack of any guaranty, express or implied, there is also no express or implied Warranty. Purchaser or any third party that receives this publication from a purchaser hereby acknowledges and agrees that the Author makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, at law or in equity, in any respect to any matter relating to the contents of this publication including, without limitation, any strategy, course of action, or other undertaking.

The Purchaser hereby waives any and all claims that may arise as a result of any actions or other activities or lack of same by the Purchaser on any third party that may or may not have resulted from the content contained within this Publication. Purchaser agrees to indemnify and defend the Author, the Author’s representatives, heirs, assigns or designees against any and all claims by the Purchaser of any third party.

#HTSP - How to Self-Publish

Copyright © 2018 by Eric Simmons Enterprises, Inc.

All rights are reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the author.

This book is also available in print - ISBN 9780578409467

Smashwords ISBN 9780463386651


This book is dedicated to my wife Cynthia as we celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary this year. Without question, you’re the best thing that has ever happened to me. You keep me grounded, and for that, I thank you. You are my best friend, and I sincerely appreciate you for all of your love and support over the years.


Many thanks to Carla Burton, Branch Manager of the Dr. Robert E. Fulton Library in Johns Creek, Georgia for suggesting I develop a presentation to share information with others about how I was able to successfully self-publish my first book. Carla’s recommendation spawned the creation of “#HTSP – How to Self-Publish.”

Thanks also to Michael McCree for reviewing this book. As a “Best Selling” Author, Michael’s self-publishing acumen, insight, and ideas continue to inspire and keep me motivated about self-publishing.

About the Author

Eric Otis Simmons was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and moved to Montgomery, Alabama at the age of 13 with his Mother who raised him as a single parent. He went on to graduate from Auburn University where he finished in the Top 10% of his class (B.S. Business Administration, Marketing minor) and earned Varsity Basketball letters as a 5’ 7” walk-on player.

After College, Simmons spent a little over three decades in Corporate America in various Sales/Sales Management roles with Fortune 500 employers IBM, AT&T, GE, MCI and W.W. Grainger. At IBM, he was named “Class President” of the Company’s then world-renowned Sales Training Program and appeared on a WSFA-TV live broadcast entitled, “Blacks in Corporate America.” His domestic and international business travels took him to 37 states and also Paris, Brussels and Hong Kong where he successfully closed sales of $500,000, $1 million, and $25 million respectively. During his AT&T tenure, Simmons was featured in Black Enterprise Magazine’s “Powerplay” section in an article entitled, “The new deal on business entertaining.”

A Certified Wix Webmaster, Simmons started his own website development company, Eric Simmons Enterprises, Inc. (ESE, Inc.) in 2017. The company builds “Personal Brand” websites for High School Student-Athletes to help them get recruited by College Coaches. ESE, Inc. utilizes Simmons’ Copyrighted EC3 Continuum methodology to assist Student-Athletes and their Parents with the critical stages of Engaging Coaches (for Recruiting), Engaging Colleges (for Admission), and Engaging Companies (for Employment).

After roughly 15 years of people urging him to write a book about his life, in March 2017, Simmons released his popular self-published Memoir, “Not Far From The Tree.” The book is dedicated to his Mother and speaks to the invaluable “seeds of knowledge” she instilled in him that enabled him to accomplish some incredible things in life, despite seemingly impossible odds.

At the time of publication of, “#HTSP – How to Self-Publish,” Simmons’ Memoir had been acquired by 25 Libraries, 7 of which are amongst the largest in the Nation. The most notable being the New York Public Library which ordered his Memoir for its prestigious Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Not Far From The Tree and #HTSP – How to Self-Publish

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About the Author


Why #HTSP?

Chapter 1 - My First Self-Published Book

Chapter 2 - Publisher versus Self-Publishing

Chapter 3 - Getting Started Writing

Chapter 4 - Writing Your Book

Chapter 5 - Setting up Your Book Business

Chapter 6 - Identifying Initial Service Providers

Chapter 7 - Pricing Your Book

Chapter 8 - Formatting Your Book for Printing

Chapter 9 - Marketing Your Book

Chapter 10 - Managing Your Book Business

Chapter 11 - Can You Make Money Self-Publishing?


Why #HTSP?

1. A little over a year after its release, Eric Simmons’ self-published Memoir, “Not Far From The Tree,” his first book, had been ranked in the “Top 1%” 25 times and in the “Top 10%” 104 times out of over 8,000,000 books sold worldwide on From 2017 to 2018, sales of Simmons’ Memoir grew 69% year over year.

2. Without paying for expensive book reviews, Simmons was able to convince 25 Libraries, some of which are amongst America’s foremost Academic and Public Libraries, to procure his self-published Memoir not long after contacting them about the book.

3. #HTSP takes the reader through the methodology Simmons used when he self-published his popular first book.

4. #HTSP can be used as a “reference tool” or “primer” for:

  • First-time Self-Publishers

  • People interested in learning more about Self-Publishing

Chapter 1

My First Self-Published Book

Perhaps you are in the same “place” as I was several years ago. You’ve decided to write a book, and you think you want to self-publish it, yet you don’t have a clue about where or how to begin. Looking back, over a 12-year period, I procrastinated at least 12 times before I built up the courage to write my first book. I had a story burning inside of me that I wanted to get out, but I kept coming up with all types of excuses to keep from getting started. Finally, in 2016, I sat down and crafted my first book. I did so without any prior knowledge whatsoever about book writing or the book publishing industry. Part of my motivation to finally start my writing stemmed from me having just turned 60 years old. Not knowing how much time I had left on this earth, I figured I better get busy writing my book before my time ran out. It was a matter of checking off my “bucket list,” so to speak before I kicked the bucket!

A storyteller by nature, people would often tell me they found my life stories funny and interesting. From sisters-in-law (Mary and Juanita) to co-workers to friends, I was encouraged to write a book about my life, and subsequently, I did. At the outset, I had several goals for my Memoir. First, not having a lot of information about my family history, I was determined to leave material behind for my children and their children’s children about our heritage. Second, I wanted to give young people, who like me, may have been raised by a single Black parent, hope that they could achieve and overcome obstacles in life as I had done.

If current sales results and noteworthy clientele are indicators, it’s safe to say; my first self-published book has been a success! What I have found most interesting throughout this process has been people’s fascination with my having self-published a book. They automatically assume I went through a Publisher. I also get the feeling; some think I am “special” now because I’m in a book or because I have written one. I guess this “exalted one” perception, real or imagined, comes from the “prestige” associated with books.

After it became apparent to me that there is indeed a need out there for “current” and “concise” information on self-publishing, especially from someone who’s recently done it, I decided to write “#HTSP – How to Self-Publish” to help you and others get started in self-publishing. In this book, I will share with you steps I undertook to successfully self-publish my first book and this one. My goal is to provide you with an informative tool that is less than 100 pages. The average for this type of book is 181 pages! My objective is to shorten your self-publishing learning curve so that you can spend more of your time writing your book and less time educating yourself like I did when I was working on my first book. With that as a backdrop, let’s begin!

Chapter 2

Publisher versus Self-Publishing

Before I began writing my first book, I was pretty sure I wanted to self-publish the piece. To be on the safe side, however, I did a lot of Google research to gain an understanding of the differences between going through a publisher versus self-publishing. Through research, I felt I would either validate or invalidate my self-publishing decision. Almost immediately, I found out there is a plethora of information on publishing versus self-publishing on the Internet. So much so, I was overwhelmed. Fortunately, I came across an article, “Pros And Cons Of Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing” written by best-selling Author Joanna Penn, who had transitioned from the traditional Publisher route to Self-Publishing. Based on Penn’s information, I created a T-Chart with Publisher on the left side and Self-Publish on the right. Underneath each mode of publishing, I listed the pros and cons. Being a “visual learner,” seeing information in this format would help me get to a final decision regarding how I was going to publish my book.

During my research, I also came across an exercise that I tried. It was to think of your favorite book. Then, think about who the Author was of the book and lastly, think about who published the book. For the life of me, I couldn’t name the specific Publisher of any book I’d read! It was at that point; perhaps, when I began to question the significance of a Publisher. When I concluded my research, I was able to validate “Self-Publishing” as the best route for me to take regarding my book. For me, the “Pros” far outweighed the “Cons.”

Following are notes from my research:



        • Prestige

  • Distribution to bookstores via Sales Representatives

  • An Advance (i.e., upfront money) to the Author

Note: Per Penn, “...the advance is against royalties, which are usually 7-25% of net book price. Royalties can be 10% on average. So, if you get an advance of $10,000, you then have to earn more than $10,000 out of your royalty rate on your book sales before you get any more money.”


  • Slow process. Could take 1-2.5 years before book launch

  • Royalties 7-25% with the latter being generous. Hard to predict cash flow

  • Involves Contracts and could be complex

  • May need an Agent



  • Total “creative control” over content and design

  • Faster time to Market!

  • Higher Royalties. Note: Amazon Kindle can be up to 70%! Note: My current book royalties from all of my service providers range from 16-70%.

  • Retain your rights

  • Pick and choose who to sell your book to and through


  • Virtually, everything is on you

  • You may need to find:

  • A proofreader/editor

  • Cover Designer

Purchase this book or download sample versions for your ebook reader.
(Pages 1-10 show above.)