Have you ever dreamed about authoring and publishing a book? I had the privilege of getting a preview copy of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book. The authors, Guy Kawasaki (in the photo) and Shawn Welch, walk you through the process of self-publishing – from initial idea to cash flow.
APE is divided into three parts: Author, Publisher, and Entrepreneur. The book is intended to be a manual that you can return to again and again, since the writers hope that you’ll author more than one book once you get started.
APE starts with two excellent questions: “Why do people read books?” and “How will I benefit from writing a book?” The answer to the first question is definitely not “I help the author achieve his or her personal goals.” The first good reason, Kawasaki writes, is to enrich people’s lives. Both writer and reader benefit when a book enables gains in these arenas: knowledge, understanding, entertainment and, sometimes, laughter.
The second good reason is intellectual challenge. Even if no one reads your book, you can write it for the sake of writing it. Memoirs, for example, fit in this category. The third good reason is to further a cause. The final good reason is catharsis. A book can be therapeutic for both the author and the reader.
Bad reasons are popular demand and money. Have you ever told friends or relatives that they should open a restaurant because they were great cooks? Without knowledge of running a food service business – ordering, inventory, staffing, etc. – success is not likely. Making a lot of money is a poor reason, because it is atypical to succeed at that in self-publishing. A more realistic and healthier approach is to believe that making money is a possible outcome, but not the purpose, of writing a great book, Kawasaki reminds.
Once you understand why and for whom you are writing, you are ready to take off. Book writing can be a daunting task, but getting a book self-published is not a walk in the park, either, even with all the modern technology. Kawasaki and Shawn teach you how to successfully publish by yourself or use help to get the job done. They show you the tools, offer links to resources, and give practical tips.
There are many ways to sell your self-published book. APE reveals the pros and cons of selling through Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google, Kobo, and so on. Kawasaki is a social media maven and has some great insights on guerilla marketing online as well as offline. He even casts light on pricing strategies.
In short: this is an excellent guide that I can warmly recommend.