Sunday, March 17, 2013

Review: APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur

If you are thinking of writing and publishing your own book, stop right now. Go online and buy Guy Kawasaki's and Shawn Welch's new book, "APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur -- How to Publish a Book".

After reading Guy's book, I've learned that the process of writing and publishing is far harder and more complicated than I had ever imagined. At the same time, I am grateful to Guy for letting me know what is in front of me and how to make my journey as an author easier, more productive and potentially more successful. 

Guy has convinced me that self-publishing, or "Artisanal Publishing" as he calls it, is the smartest way to go in this digital age. Traditional publishers are still operating the old fashioned way, acting as gatekeepers and drastically slowing down the publishing process. They do bring a lot to the party: editing, designing, printing, and distributing. But from what I gather from APE and from my author friends, the established publishers really fall down when it comes to marketing today.

As a writer, business owner and consultant who has worked with entrepreneurs for 20 years, the entrepreneurial orientation of APE particularly appealed to me. If you are a person who doesn't want to wait for a secret empire like the traditional publishers to decide your fate, then APE should appeal to you. 

APE empowers the reader/author by breaking down the process of producing a book:
  • Author -- how to write and edit a book well, complete with tips on how to set things up on your computer from the get-go to make the process easier later, how to get people to help you edit and how to hire professionals to help even more.
  • Publisher -- how to design, print, e-publish and distribute a book using the myriad services that are out there to help you. Again, Guy gives you a huge list of the programs, professionals and services that you can use.
  • Entrepreneur -- how to use entrepreneurial or guerrilla marketing to let the your audience know your book exists and then to cajole them into buying it. (I really like that Guy calls this part "Entrepreneur", rather than selling or marketing, as it appeals to my entrepreneurial spirit.)
Following Guy's advice, I read through the entire book quickly. Now, I'm going to go back and use it as a reference manual as I make my way through the nitty gritty of book creation. Since I'm co-writing my book, I'm going to share what I learned with my co-writer.

Guy Kawasaki                                                              Shawn Welch

Got a book in your brain? Get APE, and get going writing. Available on Amazon. (You'll learn why when you read the book.)

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