Join The Self Publishing Revolution

By: James Martin

self publishing guitarThis is the first of a series of articles by guitarist and author James Martin, where he will discuss his journey as a self-publishing author of guitar teaching books.

Part 1 – In The Beginning


Last year I finally completed a project I’ve had in mind for the last seven years, ever since I became a full time guitar teacher – I published my own guitar tuition book.
It’s been quite a journey, and I have to confess there were plenty of times I doubted I would ever see the end of it, but holding the finished product, seeing it on Amazon, in the hands of my students and on the shelf at my local music shop, I can say hand on heart it was worth it.
I’m sure there are plenty of other guitar teachers out there who have also fancied the idea of putting their lessons into print and creating an additional income stream for themselves, but are probably put off by the arcane complexities of desk-top publishing, self-publishing, literary agents, marketing, and tax complications, there are endless reasons to not do it.
There’s only one reason to set against that- you want to do it.
So, where to start? Well, first off, it’s important to have a clear idea of what your product is supposed to be.
For my book, “Zero Point Guitar,” I had the idea that I wanted to take students from absolute basics through basic chords and rhythm skills.
I wanted them to understand basic and useful theory concepts such as the chromatic scale and the Nashville Number System, and have the technique to be able to jump in to real world musical situations and create rhythm and lead parts on the fly.
I then devoted the final chapter to ear training ideas, helping the student to be able to figure out and learn songs for themselves.
There are many subjects that I left out – 16th-note advanced syncopated strumming patterns, extended chords beyond major, minor, 5th and suspended etc., as well as specialist techniques such as tapping or sweep picking.
The reason being is that this was never intended to be an exhaustive guitar bible, it was simply supposed to equip the student with the basic tools with which they could develop themselves in any way they wanted to.
So, step 1 – Set out your limits and stick to them.In part 2, we’ll talk about the planning phase – till then, get those quills at the ready!

This article has been independently supplied by the author and expresses the author’s own views and opinions; the article does not purport to represent RGT’s views or policies.

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