Technology has made it possible for anyone to publish their book. That does open a lot of doors and is a welcome breakthrough for countless aspiring writers. It also brings with it the necessity for self-publishers to go far beyond what they might first consider before putting their work out there.

I submit here a recent Amazon review I wrote of an ebook I purchased for my Kindle Touch Reader, not to promote the book but rather to hopefully help other self-publishers avoid some of these same pitfalls. The book encompasses some of the mistakes many self-publishers seem to be making.

SUCCESS IS A CHOICE: 20 Action Steps to Change Your Life Now!

As an avid reader, I truly love that technology has made it easier to publish. I’ve often wondered how many great works, perhaps Pulitzer worthy, lay dormant in some steamer truck, long forgotten and never to see the light of day simply because they were rejected by a few publishing houses. With today’s technology, any book can find its way into print, or at the very least, into an Ebook or Ereader format. However, this process does come with its own set of drawbacks and shortcuts must be avoided. What I mean by that is this – just because someone wrote something doesn’t mean it should be published and sold for profit.

It’s imperative that the self-publisher still show much of the same diligence as the old school publishing houses and since that includes judging one’s own work, a new difficulty comes into the fray. It’s easy for the self-publisher to see their work far more praise worthy than it truly is. Very close attention must still be paid to editing. The use of proper grammar and punctuation must be adhered to. Points must be well-developed.

Having said that, we come to the point of this review of the book, SUCCESS IS A CHOICE: 20 Action Steps to Change Your Life NOW!, by Michael Henry. This book is written as an Ebook, perhaps with the intention of later being developed in print form. While the points Mr. Henry makes throughout the book are valid, there is much work to be done here before this book goes any further.

In two different areas of this book, the author talks about the importance of learning to take constructive criticism and it is in that element I submit this review. I found two major criticisms of the work in its present form. One, while the book is laced with solid points, the points made need to be developed further. The subtitle boasts of “20 Action Steps to Change Your Life”. If a reader is to be presented with such a claim, the action steps should be detailed and actionable, not just lightly mentioned then skimmed over to the next topic. Secondly, the writing itself should be more conversational. The book, short as it is, became tedious to read. It’s okay to abbreviate words and use conversational language even in a non-fiction work.

I want to see everyone succeed. I applaud Mr. Henry for the work he has already done here. But my hope is that perhaps he will read this review and accept it in the spirit in which it is given and further develop his work here. The book does have great promise, the advice is solid, but still needs work.

My review may have seemed a bit harsh and I don’t normally write negative reviews, however this ebook was a perfect example of a book “not ready for prime time” if you will. It’s imperative that self-publishers go the extra mile and do the extra work that is necessary for making their book a success. The last thing we want is for “self-published” to become synonymous with poorly written.


Monty Rainey is a District Manager working in the self storage industry since 1996 and currently overseeing 21 stores in the Austin & San Antonio, TX area. He is also a leadership coach and public speaker. For a free consultation, please contact Monty at 830-743-2139 or visit his website at .

About montyrainey

Public Speaker and District Manager. Mission: To empower and inspire others professionally, personally and spiritually to elevate their lives to a higher level.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Self-Publishing, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Self-Publishing

  1. For those of us that are (self-proclaimed) aspiring writers, your review is an awakening, and enlightens us to preventable pitfalls and errors. It’s always better to see these kind of reviews about others and not ourselves. Thanks for the advice.

  2. timjohnson says:

    Thanks for the Ping back Monty 🙂 I think some of our students should read your comments about publishing – they can be equally applied to essay writing.

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