APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book, by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch: Book Review

written by Albie Heigers on December 10, 2012 in Social Media Essentials for Business Owners with no comments

Guy Kawasaki (author of What the Plus!Enchantment, and nine other books) teamed up with Shawn Welch (author of From Idea to AppiOS 5 Core Frameworks, and iOS 6 for Developers as well as the developer of several iOS apps) to write this highly readable, useful and up to date book on self-publishing. Guy asked his followers about self-publishing, and got eight different answers from five different people. He learned first-hand that self-publishing is a complex, confusing, and idiosyncratic process, and co-wrote APE to help people take control of their writing careers by publishing their books.


Guy explains the thesis of APE as follows: “A successful self-publisher must fill three roles: Author, Publisher, and Entrepreneur. We call this “artisanal publishing.” Artisanal publishing features writers who love their craft and who control every aspect of the process from beginning to end. In this new approach, writers are no longer at the mercy of large, traditional publishers, and readers will have more books to read …  Steve Jobs taught me that little details separate the mediocre from the excellent there’s no reason why you can’t make your book look like it’s professionally published.”


The writers take a potentially complex (or at least boring) subject and explain it in a get-up-you-can-do-it way that inspires you to want to do so.


In the AUTHOR section they remind the reader of certain basics of writing, but also provide a very insightful overview of traditional publishing that removes any pity one may have with an industry known to resist change. They show how self-publishing was inevitable, but also has its challenges. (The book presents balanced views throughout, and never promises a problem-free alternative).


As PUBLISHER an author may very well get lost in a maze of possibilities – and their challenges – but the authors take your hand and guide you through; with enough narrative drive to keep you reading through topics such as editing, book covers, selling your book through Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google and Kobo. You won’t get lost about selling directly to readers, using author-service companies, or even using print-on-demand companies. You will even get through pricing and creating audio or foreign language versions! Any less competent writers would have lost me after the first section.


The writer as ENTREPRENEUR gets introduced to guerrilla-marketing, building a personal brand, and then perhaps one of the simplest and most useful introductions of getting into and using social media that I have read to date.