I’ve had the delightful opportunity to interview Guy Kawasaki on the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show, where we discussed his book, Enchantment. I enjoyed the book as well as Guy and so I happily agreed to take a look at his new book, APE (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur): How to Publish a Book.
APE begins with Kawasaki’s odyssey of trying to sell copies of e-books through his traditional publisher and describing the #epicfail that occurred, when he had an organization wanting to purchase 500 e-copies of the book and his publisher and their distributors couldn’t make it happen. This experience prompted Kawasaki to strike out on his own and enter the world of self-publishing in order to gain more control.
Kawasaki’s journey is our gain, as his new book, APE, breaks down how to self-publish step by step. He explains that an author is no longer just a writer, but rather an entrepreneur running a business. In today’s competitive market, no longer can the author just write the book, they must also learn to create a sophisticated platform in order to promote their book. Authors know that this is the case even if they are with a traditional publisher, as publishers expect authors to do the majority of the promotional work with each book. Kawasaki also explains the second facet of APE, where the author takes on the role of becoming the publisher and describes what is entailed with this process. He and co-writer Shawn Welch go the distance in the book, explaining the pros and cons of self-publishing, giving advice and links to everything needed to get the process started. Kawasaki also describes royalties and payments in great detail and is open in sharing how it has worked for him and what he has learned along the way.
If you are a published author considering whether the world of self-publishing is right for you, or a first time writer wondering how it all really works, this book is invaluable and a must read. APE provides a very realistic look at the world of self-publishing, revealing the work involved for authors. Kawasaki redefines self-publishing and refers to it as “artisanal publishing”, heralding a new evolution in the publishing industry where the writer and the reader are brought together in a more intimate fashion. In his definition of artisanal publishing, he explains how the author has a more hands on experience and heightened sense of satisfaction in every aspect of their creation in order to be competitive in a market where millions of titles are being released each year.