Help Wanted: The Book

help wanted pony-express

A few weeks ago I finally finished the manuscript for my upcoming book: The Simple Path to Wealth.


While that’s great news (at least to me), the challenge now is to take it from manuscript to publication, which I plan to do with Amazon.

These next steps are going to require professional help. Since I’ve not done this before, I’ve been sorting out what those steps are and how to find the best people for them.

And the best place to start that search, it seems to me, is right here. After all, the readers of are the smartest, most talented, most professional and most competent group of folks on the planet. From what I’ve seen, the best looking too.

Indeed, already I’ve engaged outstanding talent from your ranks:

  • Lucas, who now provides all the tech support that keeps things humming along so smoothly around here these days and who spearheaded the recent redesign.
  • Tim, my book editor, and without whom there would be no finished manuscript.
  • Mr. Money Mustache, who has graciously written the Foreword for this book.
  • And, of course, Joan and Brian who are responsible for my now famous (infamous?) F-you video.

The fact that these people all love this blog and respect its mission, makes their efforts all the more compelling.

So if you feel the same way, would like to join their ranks and (importantly!) have one of the professional skills listed below needed to make this book the absolute best it can be, please let me know.

Here’s what I’m looking for:

Proofreader. Tim, my editor, has created a list of specific things to check, along with the usual grammar and punctuation.

Fact checker. It has already been fact checked by Go Curry Cracker and The Mad Fientist, two of the financial bloggers I most highly respect. However this was mostly for the concepts presented. They are not professional fact checkers. Now I need a fact-checking pro to carefully comb thru it looking for errors like the one Doug found here.

Interior layout and design. Fonts, margins, lists, sidebars, headlines etc. I know I could do this myself on Amazon, and many do. But in my view this is a highly skilled task best done professionally and by someone who understands what best works for the book’s message.

Book size. Again, I’d be looking for guidance as to what the physical size of the book should be. I suspect there is research as to what works best for each book type.

Cover design. The vast majority of book covers leave me cold. Especially those done for non-fiction books. But a great cover can make all the difference and, again, I suspect there is research as to what works best for each book type.

Marketing. I’m fairly confident the book will do well in this FI community of ours. But I’ve been told it also has the potential to break out to a much wider audience. However, to make this happen will require a professional marketing effort.

Other important task that needs to be done and that I’ve overlooked. Tell me what it is and why you’re the one to do it.

If you are interested, please send me an email: and…

  • Put the task you are interested in on the subject line.
  • Tell me about your professional experience in doing this.
  • Share samples of your work.
  • Tell me what you charge.
  • Tell me anything else you’d like me to know.

Please only respond if you have professional experience in this stuff. While engaging readers who are enthusiastic supporters of this blog and it’s mission is important, that alone is not enough.

I’d also like to hear from any of you who have been thru this book publishing process, especially with Amazon. I’m very much a newbie trying to sort thru all the tasks and processes that need to be done.

So if you can tell me any steps I’m missing, describe in detail how to upload everything to Amazon once it is ready, provide guidance as to timing the process of hitting the publish button once all this prep is done and/or share your experience, please do so in the comments below. That way, other readers interested might also benefit.

Thanks in advance for your help!

And thanks, too, to all of you who have asked about the book over these last couple of years and who have encouraged me to get on with it and keep going. Your interest and enthusiasm has meant more to me than you know.



Recently I was interviewed by Hahna Kane for the Master Your Money Summit. We had a blast!

Here are some more: As Seen On

Speaking of books, here’s what I’ve been reading recently and recommend:

One in a series of novels and short stories recounting the adventures of Bertie Wooster and his “gentleman’s gentleman” Jeeves. If you’ve not read Wodehouse, do yourself a favor.

Aging boomers are urged to kill themselves to save the government money. A humorous cross between Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” and “House of Cards”

Interestingly, it references Bertie Wooster.

Southern missionary packs up his family and heads to the Congo. It doesn’t go well. Narrated in rotating chapters by his wife and four daughters. Compelling tale very well told. Amazing as the style and tone shifts between her narrators.

True story of a Mexican fisherman blown out into the Pacific Ocean and his survival as he drifts across for, well, 438 days. Reads like the great adventure it is. Amazing to note: All of his supplies are lost in the storm but he comes across enough garbage floating in the ocean to replenish them.

Predicting the future is risky business, but Ross makes an interesting case for how markets are changing and what industries are driving the change. Given the current political debate here in the US, I especially enjoyed his section: The Geography of Future Markets.

More books I’ve enjoyed

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Important Resources

  • Talent Stacker is a resource that I learned about through my work with Jonathan and Brad at ChooseFI, and first heard about Salesforce as a career option in an episode where they featured Bradley Rice on the Podcast. In that episode, Bradley shared how he reached FI quickly thanks to his huge paychecks and discipline in keeping his expenses low. Jonathan teamed up with Bradley to build Talent Stacker, and they have helped more than 1,000 students from all walks of life complete the program and land jobs like clockwork, earning double or even triple their old salaries using a Salesforce certification to break into a no-code tech career.
  • Credit Cards are like chain saws. Incredibly useful. Incredibly dangerous. Resolve to pay in full each month and never carry a balance. Do that and they can be great tools. Here are some of the very best for travel hacking, cash back and small business rewards.
  • Empower is a free tool to manage and evaluate your investments. With great visuals you can track your net worth, asset allocation, and portfolio performance, including costs. At a glance you'll see what's working and what you might want to change. Here's my full review.
  • Betterment is my recommendation for hands-off investors who prefer a DIFM (Do It For Me) approach. It is also a great tool for reaching short-term savings goals. Here is my Betterment Review
  • NewRetirement offers cool tools to help guide you in answering the question: Do I have enough money to retire? And getting started is free. Sign up and you will be offered two paths into their retirement planner. I was also on their podcast and you can check that out here:Video version, Podcast version.
  • Tuft & Needle (T&N) helps me sleep at night. They are a very cool company with a great product. Here’s my review of what we are currently sleeping on: Our Walnut Frame and Mint Mattress.


  1. Jon says

    Hello Godfather/Great Uncle Jim:

    Besides having only a B.A. in Communications ( a distant 2nd place to your English sheepskin ) and oftentimes been called the “grammar police” by many o’ folk around me, I must admit my qualifications are slim and none ( and Slim has joined the Pony Express ). I would love the opportunity to give back to you and your quality work these past several years, however. My fee is “free .99 ” but perhaps you could bump my name up to the top of the waiting list for Ecuador. 🙂 Let me know if I can help you in any way as you’ve help so many along the way.

    All the best,


    • jlcollinsnh says


      Your Communications degree far outpaces an English degree. I just wasn’t smart enough to get thru those courses…

      …and I love your fee.

      But I really need someone who, unlike either of us, actually knows how to proofread. 😉

      But you can still help! When the book comes out buy copies. Lots and lots and lots of copies. Oh, and write a glowing reiew on Amazon!

      • Jon says

        I look forward to the book(s)…and hope to secure an autographed copy….perhaps as only you can… “F&@k you very much”
        Signed the Godfather

        P.S. If you’re testing my prowess, the missing “v” on review was not lost on me. 🙂

      • jlcollinsnh says

        Nice try, Jon…

        …but you failed.

        “Reiew” Definition: A review stating only positive things, usually in glowing terms, regardless of the reviewer’s true feelings. Most often found on Amazon.

  2. Jenni says

    My main qualification is that I started editing and proofreading my family’s Christmas letters as a second graders. No joke, I was a better speller than my mom. In all seriousness, I can’t wait to read the book!

  3. Gary Cox says

    I would be glad to review your manuscript, and share my thoughts, my experience lies with the Amazon published book Night Shift RN; How to Work Nights, Enjoy Days.

  4. GO4ITUSA says

    Can’t wait to read it! I’m no professional in any of the mentioned categories but do have some experience in seeing (and slightly participating in) a very successful book launch. That project was to write a composite description of Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger to include his main speeches and bring out the (rather introverted and curmudgeonly) man in a way that would appeal to a broader cross section of readers. The editor of that book cast a wide net to participate in the project to include the best minds in American business (Gates, James Sinegal etc). Professional investors (Bill Gross). Writers. A cartoonist to bring it to life in a not too serious way. And a fanatical nut case who worships the man’s analytical process (that was where I came in to help write Chapter 2). He knew that if he could get buy-in from that broad of a cross section that the book would do reasonably well. Warren Buffett wrote the forward. It’s now featured at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meetings where tons of copies are sold… You can get a flavor here: I thought the process used was ingenious. You seem to be doing this in similar fashion so I have little doubt as to your eventual success. Best of luck!

  5. mattattack08 says

    Unfortunately, I have no skills to offer. But I do look forward to the book’s release and the ensuing nationwide book tour. I’ll be the crazy guy in San Antonio that tries to sneak onto your bus. hahaha…

  6. Andrew Lynch says

    I just sent you a long email with a ton of links and resources for you to check out, but wanted to leave a comment here too for other people.

    I’ve helped out a bunch of authors with the self-publishing process in my last job as Publishing Manager at Book In A Box ( so I’m very familiar with Amazon’s requirements for kindle and paperback self-published books. I’ve also sourced, hired and managed proofreaders, book cover designers, and editors, and can recommend people for you.

    If you want help with the publishing process, let me know, and I’m more than happy to either do it for you, or walk you through it.

    For great proofreaders and cover designers, check out Reedsy:

    For fantastic marketing advice, check out this essay from Taylor Pearson, who sold over 5,000 copies of his book and landed a traditional publishing deal off the back of it:

    And here are some other miscellaneous, useful resources:

    – Taking a great author photo:
    – Writing a book description that works:
    – How to write your author bio:

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks, GCC!

      Hope you have lots and lots and lots of people on your Christmas list.

      Heck. I hope I get a copy from you! 😉

  7. Phil says

    Hi Jim,

    I’ve self-published a few books on Amazon, and I’ve loved the process. I highly recommend my cover designer, James at He has scads of slick, professional-looking, pre-made covers at $45 apiece. He will also custom create a cover for you for an added charge. Additionally, he creates wrap-around book covers for paperbacks for Createspace for $80. Great quality, and great price. He’s worked on four of my books, and I’ve had nothing but wonderful experiences with him. Can’t wait to read your book!


  8. lindy says

    If you want to get this book into libraries, I suggest keeping in mind industry reviews. Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly both review independently published books on a regular basis and the others are starting to do so.
    For a counterpoint to just publishing on Amazon, you might look into IngramSpark. I hear they have a better track record with libraries and independent bookstores.
    Just my librarian $.02. 🙂

  9. Karen says

    Hello! I only JUST found your blog today after following a link from MMM. I’ve been a freelance writer and editor for more than 20 years (and a deep interest in personal finance for about as long). If you’re looking for a proofreader, feel free to shoot me an email. 🙂

  10. Julie and Will says

    Hi Jim,

    Sorry for the delay in responding to your message. (We’ve been traveling the last few weeks.) We’d be delighted to review your book if you can send us the advance copy and details! Just let us know.

    Julie and Will

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