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APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. How to Publish a Book

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In 2011 the publisher of one of my books Enchantment, could not fill an order for 500 ebook copies of the book. Because of this experience, I self-published my next book, What the Plus!, and learned first-hand that self-publishing is a complex, confusing, and idiosyncratic process. As Steve Jobs said, “There must be a better way.”

With Shawn Welch, a tech wizard, I wrote APE to help people take control of their writing careers. APE’s thesis is powerful yet simple: filling the roles of Author, Publisher and Entrepreneur yields results that rival traditional publishing. We call this "artisanal publishing"--that is, when writers who love their craft control the publishing process and produce high-quality books.

APE is 300 pages of tactical and practical inspiration. People who want a hype-filled, get-rich-quick book should look elsewhere. On the other hand, if they want a comprehensive and realistic guide to self-publishing,APE is the answer.

300 pages, ebook

First published December 4, 2012

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About the author

Guy Kawasaki

68 books2,588 followers
I was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1954. My family lived in a tough part of Honolulu called Kalihi Valley. We weren’t rich, but I never felt poor-because my mother and father made many sacrifices for my sister and me. My mother was a housewife, and my father was a fireman, real estate broker, state senator, and government official during his long, distinguished career.

I attended Iolani School where I graduated in 1972. Iolani is not as well known as its rival, Punahou because no presidents of the U. S. went there, but I got a fantastic and formative education there. (Punahou is “USC,” and Iolani is “Stanford”—but I digress.) I pay special tribute to Harold Keables, my AP English teacher.He taught me that the key to writing is editing. No one in the universe would be more shocked that I have written ten books (or one book ten times) than Harold Keables.

After Iolani, I matriculated to Stanford; I graduated in 1976 with a major in psychology—which was the easiest major I could find. I loved Stanford. I sometimes wish I could go back in time to my undergraduate days “on the farm.”

After Stanford, I attended the law school at U.C. Davis because, like all Asian-American parents, my folks wanted me to be a “doctor, lawyer, or dentist.” I only lasted one week because I couldn’t deal with the law school teachers telling me that I was crap and that they were going to remake me.

The following year I entered the MBA program at UCLA. I liked this curriculum much better. While there, I worked for a fine-jewelry manufacturer called Nova Stylings; hence, my first real job was literally counting diamonds. From Nova, its CEO Marty Gruber, and my Jewish colleagues in the jewelry business, I learned how to sell, and this skill was vital to my entire career.

I remained at Nova for a few years until the the Apple II removed the scales from my eyes. Then I went to work for an educational software company called EduWare Services. However, Peachtree Software acquired the company and wanted me to move to Atlanta. “I don’t think so.” I can’t live in a city where people call sushi “bait.”

Luckily, my Stanford roommate, Mike Boich, got me a job at Apple; for giving me my chance at Apple, I owe Mike a great debt. When I saw what a Macintosh could do, the clouds parted and the angels started singing. For four years I evangelized Macintosh to software and hardware developers and led the charge against world-wide domination by IBM. I also met my wife Beth at Apple during this timeframe—Apple has been very good to me.

Around 1987, my job at Apple was done. Macintosh had plenty of software by then, so I left to start a Macintosh database company called ACIUS. It published a product called 4th Dimension. To this day, 4th Dimension remains a great database.

I ran ACIUS for two years and then left to pursue my bliss of writing, speaking, and consulting. I’ve written for Macuser, Macworld, and Forbes. I call these the “Wonder Years” as in “I wonder how I came to deserve such a good life.”

In 1989, I started another software company called Fog City Software with three of the best co-founders in the world: Will Mayall, Kathryn Henkens, and Jud Spencer. We created an email product called Emailer which we sold to Claris and then a list server product called LetterRip.

In 1995 I returned to Apple as an Apple fellow. At the time, according to the pundits, Apple was supposed to die. (Apple should have died about ten times in the past twenty years according to the pundits.) My job on this tour of duty was to maintain and rejuvenate the Macintosh cult.

A couple years later, I left Apple to start an angel investor matchmaking service called Garage.com with Craig Johnson of Venture Law Group and Rich Karlgaard of Forbes. Version 2.0 of Garage.com was an investment bank for helping entrepreneurs raise money from venture capitalists. Today, version 3.0 of Garage.com is called Garage Technology Ven

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Profile Image for Bill Peschel.
Author 29 books21 followers
January 25, 2013
As a writer who has a book in each camp ─ professional and self-published ─ I picked up a Netgalley version of “APE” hoping to learn more about the process and to pick up some good tips. By the time I reached the book’s end, I had three pages of notes and a pounding headache.

“APE” ─ short for Author, Publisher and Entrepreneur ─ is Guy Kawasaki’s guide to all three aspects of the process. Each deserves a book in itself, so trying to cram all that into one is a major challenge, one that co-writers Kawasaki and Shawn Welch failed to meet. “APE” is a mishmash of bits and pieces, divided up into 29 brief chapters, dotted with bullet points, found illustrations, subheads and lists.

The problems with the book are so diverse that it would be better served with a review in list form. Call it “10 Reasons Why I Didn’t Like ‘APE’.”

1. A third of the book is useless.

The first 15 percent, four out of 29 chapters, answers why people read books and why you want to write a book. There is a description of traditional publishing and why this is Bad and self-publishing is Good. This is throat-clearing. The other 15 percent is taken up by a glossary of terms in the back that are obvious (Annotating, Blog, Barnes & Noble); require greater explanation to understand (Affiliate Links); or self-promoting (Alltop, Enchantment).

2. Several chapters are useless.

Chapter 21, “How to Navigate Amazon” lists the company’s acquisitions and its services. Knowing that it sells wine, CDs and clothes has nothing to do with self-publishing. Chapter 17, “How to Upload Your Book,” repeats the procedure for uploading your book to the Kindle that you’ll undergo at Amazon’s website. It’s not a difficult process requiring a chapter. Chapter 29, “How We APEd This Book” breaks down who did what and with what tools. How does it help knowing that Holly Thomson designed the cover, except to please Holly Thomson?

3. “APE” is littered with self-promotion.

Guy Kawasaki wants to make sure you know these things: he’s written a book about Google+ (mentioned 30 times) and the self-branding book “Enchantment” (19 times); that he loves Apple products (too many to count) and that Steve Jobs actually talked to him (three times); that he wrote “APE” because he could not get 500 ebook orders filled from Penguin. This really annoyed him, because he mentions it eight times.

4. Author House is promoted.

The company, recently bought by Penguin, sells overpriced editing, printing and marketing services of debatable value. Kawasaki hedges his recommendation by describing the company as “aggressive,” by mentioning its dodgy use of fake social media accounts, and its problems with disappointed customers. Then he absolves it of blame by saying with 150,000 customers, “it’s bound to have upset some customers. However, I also communicated with several authors who were happy with its services.”

What Kawasaki doesn’t do is follow his own advice later in “APE,” and Google the company’s name with “complaints.” If he had, he would have found plenty of reasons to reconsider his recommendation.

5. Kawasaki contradicts his advice.

He promotes Author House without Googling for complaints against the company. In “How to Build an Enchanting Personal Brand” ─ you know he wrote a book called “Enchantment,” didn’t you? ─ he advises to be likeable by accepting others. Later, he admits wanting to “throw up a little” when a young man wants to write a book about starting his $1 million consulting company. Not very accepting, Guy.

Kawasaki also spends large parts of “APE” complaining that his book publisher, Penguin, was poor at marketing, only to praise McGraw-Hill for promoting his Google+ book effectively. The possibility that some publicists and companies are better at marketing than others didn’t seem to occur to him.

6. Some of his advice is dubious or wrong.

He advises non-fiction writers to break up those long, dull stretches of text. “Real authors use subheds,” he writes, or bullet points. Oh, Guy, the nonfiction shelves are full of books, some of them even best-sellers, who do not feel the need to excrete bullet points of factoids.

“Jerks seldom build great brands.” Like Howard Stern? Tucker Max? Harvey Weinstein? The “Jackass” crew? Hunter S. Thompson? Unless you mean self-important self-marketers trying to occupy a niche; you might be right there.

There’s a long chapter describing the procedure, with the help of screenshots, for using Adobe’s InDesign ─ a complex page-design program, available by monthly subscription ─ to create your book. I’ve used InDesign. It’s a great program, but it complex. I would be leery of recommending its use to someone with no experience in ebook creation, because one mistake in following the directions could leave you lost. (Personally, I rather hire someone to worry about all this, just like Guy did.)

7. Some sentences make no sense.

“Traditional publishers usually create a handful of designs and then ram them down the throat of authors.” A handful for each book? For an entire line? I suppose he means that the publisher who is paying you to publish your book has the right to decide how it will be marketed. Color me surprised.

“Overdrive aside, publishers and libraries haven’t figured out how to lend ebooks.” Huh? They know how to lend ebooks; they’re doing that with Overdrive. If you mean “they don’t lend ebooks the way Guy Kawasaki wants them too, then you’re being more accurate. But still wrong.

On autographing book covers: “You can send autographed covers to readers for approximately $2 each. These fans can replace their existing cover with the autographed one, and they are more likely to show off their covers to friends and relatives.” Does Guy mean dust jackets? That’s the only “cover” I can imagine a reader replacing. And I’ve been at a number of book signings, and at those the author always sign inside, never on the cover or dust jacket, and I would suspect a lot of readers would be nonplussed if they did. But, then, what would Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Washington Post book critic Michael Dirda and best-selling mystery novelist Ian Rankin know about the proper way to sign books?

8. Many chapter quotes are disturbing or make no sense.

The decision to provide a nugget of wisdom at the beginning of each chapter seems like a good idea until you have to find something for, say, “How to Sell Your Ebook Through Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google and Kobo.” There you’ll find Jung’s “As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being,” to which one can only mutter, “ooooookay,” and move on. Then there’s the quote from Fidel Castro: “A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past.” There’s a big difference between a dictatorship that jails dissidents and homosexuals than a revolution in self-publishing.

But the award for the most ludicrous quote has to be Chapter 21’s “How to Navigate Amazon.” It’s long, so I won’t quote it here, but it’s about dolphins engaging in nasal sex.

9. “APE” reprints undigested information.

The two pages on copyright is cut-and-pasted from the U.S. government’s website. There a sentence warning against using song lyrics, a question I’ve seen dealt with in more detail (and with better advice) on writing forums. In the chapter on translating your work, there’s three pages on the number of foreign-language speakers come from the CIA and Wikipedia. Possibly useful if knowing that there are 91 million Ethiopians will convince you to market your book there, I guess.

10. Kawasaki’s snake-oil-salesman attitude.

When we’re asked to watch master swordmaker Gassan Sadaichi “own a niche” by making a sword, I realized what creeps me out about “APE”: It is partially a guide to self-publishing, but it’s primarily a vehicle to promote Guy Kawasaki, his connections, his books, and his AllTop website. Like Seth Godin, Kawasaki follows trends, creates buzzwords, builds networks, and markets books filled with nostrums that promise success (or, as he puts it on page 75: “We’re not saying that you’ll make barrels of money as a self-publisher, but the math works. Self-publishing is an inexpensive business, and the upside potential is there.”) .

In “Dr. Who” terms, Guy is the cyberman of shilling.

“APE” is not a useless book. The advice on editing, while thin, is sound. The explanation of Lightning Source told me things I didn’t know, and the chapters on pitching bloggers and reviewers and creating social media is informative. But these are islands in a sea of mediocre information. “APE” is a frustrating mess that, if it weren’t for Kawasaki’s wide platform, wouldn’t have passed muster at any New York publishing house.
Profile Image for J.F. Penn.
Author 45 books2,143 followers
December 13, 2012
Most books on self-publishing focus on the publishing side of things, but this book does a great job of explaining the entrepreneurial angle as well, which many authors lack (and often have no desire to investigate!)

I particularly liked:
* "artisanal" publishing as reframing the self-publishing stigma as hand-made carefully, with love, instead of mass-produced
* the positive focus on self-publishers/ indie authors as empowered and steering their own ship, determining their own fate - that's the attitude of a start-up and an entrepreneur
* the open-ness and honesty around how hard it is to self-publish an excellent, quality product - this is not a get-rich-quick scheme
* practical tips for how authors can connect to readers - although I thought the focus was on non-fiction primarily (which the authors specialize in, so fair enough!)

I've been self-publishing for 4 years now and I still learned some things from this book, with 90 highlights in my Kindle copy. It's a great primer for newbies but also a refresher for those of us with some experience. There's always more to learn!
Profile Image for Gisela Hausmann.
Author 40 books364 followers
February 10, 2017
Full disclosure - I am a huge fan of Steve Jobs' work and life philosophy, so it can't be a surprise that I read his former chief evangelist Guy Kawasaki's book APE. However, I wasn't all happy.

The book starts great. I thought that particularly the chapter "Should You Write a Book?" is extremely important; also I haven't seen an elaboration of this kind in any other book. In the editing section, I loved Kawasaki's tip "Read it out loud. Read your book to yourself or, even better, read it to someone who cares about your writing career. If you find a passage is hard to speak, people will find it hard to read."

As it can be expected from Kawasaki, the former Apple evangelist, he preaches perfection.
"I’m a “relentless pursuit of perfection” kind of guy. I hate that people might think I’m incompetent because there are mistakes in my book..." Kindle Locations 3468-3469.

Kawasaki even journals his journey to eliminate factual errors, typos, etc.: At first I was in awe.
Then, my issues with the book popped up one after one. For instance, Kawasaki writes,

"There are three kinds of orphans: (1) The first line of text in a paragraph is separated from the rest of the paragraph on the following page or next column..." (same goes for orphaned word = a word by itself in one line.)

DARN, I do that all the time. So, what's the solution? To place that "first line of text in paragraph" onto the next page? That would mean that the text on one of two adjoining pages is two lines shorter than the text on the next page (blank line + first line of text in paragraph = 2 lines). And, where am I supposed to put that orphaned word? Take a second word out of the previous line and increase the number of blank spaces between words in that line?

Since I do not make any other formatting errors Kawasaki mentioned this was the moment when I realized that Kawasaki and Welch only list errors (even show illustrations) but they don't advise on the correct solution to these problems.

Eventually, I got to the chapter about book reviews.
Kawasaki mentions Kirkus Reviews, but he forgets to mention that one review costs $425 (an awful lot of money for indie authors). It's also surprising since he mentions that NetGalley's single-title listing (six months) costs $ 399. So, why did that mentioned content editor not notice that Kawasaki listed the price for one service but not for the other?
Eventually I found more serious mistakes: In his section "DIY Pitching" (including book bloggers) Kawasaki writes,

"Step three is to follow up on your e-mail. A reasonable time to wait (for both parties) is two to three days. Send an even shorter e-mail to ask if he received your previous e-mail and if he would consider reviewing your book. A week later, send one more e-mail. Then give up. It wasn’t meant to happen."

All wrong! A) Anybody who sends three emails in one week will annoy the recipient. B) Reviewers and bloggers aren't standing by to answer emails. C) As a top reviewer myself I occasionally informed authors to contact me at a later time because at that moment I didn't have time to read and review their book. I can honestly say, only two authors actually contacted me, again. Which describes the problem: Sometimes, reviewers (including me) want to see who is serious about promoting their book and will accept the book a few months later. Hence the statement "A week later, send one more e-mail. Then give up. It wasn’t meant to happen." is incorrect.

Even more problematic is the "Guest Topic: How to Evangelize Amazon’s Best Reviewers, by Dr. Bojan Tunguz." Kawasaki writes,

"... In January 2012, Dr. Tunguz is ranked #17 of all Amazon reviewers, with 2,057 reviews and a helpful rating of 95 percent..."

Well, not anymore!!! Dr. Tunguz ranking is #6,158,484; and, apparently, Amazon stripped his 2,057 reviews. Also, his guest topic is quite outdated. After all, it was written in 2012. Since then Amazon has changed its "community guidelines for reviewers" almost half-a-dozen times.

Of course, I did not expect Guy Kawasaki to know that; why would he? He does not even claim to be a reviewer. BUT, remember, opposite to other writers Kawasaki writes,

"I’m a “relentless pursuit of perfection” kind of guy. I hate that people might think I’m incompetent because there are mistakes in my book..." Kindle Locations 3468-3469.
"... If you see any errors, please send me an e-mail at Guy@... You’re going to read this again and again..."

And, so I wrote Mr. Kawasaki a nice email. - - In fact, I not only informed Mr. Kawasaki what was wrong/outdated with the guest posting about Amazon top reviewers, I actually wrote him a correct guest post. He replied quickly, "Your list is quite good!" but stated that he wasn't going to change/edit his book.

As an author myself, I thought I knew what his "polite" reply meant. Certainly, I would not accept a guest posting from just anybody who wants to contribute, even though in this case I came with fabulous credentials. Therefore, on the day when I received Kawasaki's email (December 23, 2016), I thought that Mr. Kawasaki just said a few polite words to "get rid of me." In my mind, he immediately was going to find an expert of HIS CHOICE to have the outdated content fixed. And, so I waited with reviewing his book because I was waiting for an update... that never came.

This from the man who says of himself "I’m a “relentless pursuit of perfection” kind of guy," a guy who asked for input and prides himself with striving for perfection?

At least until now, 6 1/2 weeks later, "APE" has not been updated. Updating 4-5 pages (Kindle) should not take longer than 2 weeks (the most).
Of course, this also means that other parts in this book could be outdated. Who knows how many other experts followed Mr. Kawasaki's call for corrections and updates?

Here is what is so annoying about this situation:
Nobody asked Mr. Kawasaki to include a paragraph "... If you see any errors, please send me an e-mail at Guy@... "
It was his choice. If he doesn't want to update, he should not write it. Neither Mark Cuban, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, nor any other celebrity authors whose books I read ask for notifications about errors.

However, this type of presentation "I care about every tiny problem..." is exactly the same impression politicians (DEMs and GOPs) have been creating for decades. Eventually, people find out that they don't care...

In 2016, Americans voted for Mr. Trump, not because they thought he was the most qualified candidate but because they were tired of hearing what qualified candidates would do, promises they didn't fulfill in the past, just like the relentless-perfection-guy Mr. Kawasaki doesn't care that the top reviewer in his book isn't a top reviewer any longer and that this former top reviewer's tips are outdated.

Here is the news: Polishing a certain image when in reality you don't mean it is OUT - the latest since November 8, 2016.

Lastly, a glossary that represents 14% of the book's volume? In large parts this glossary which includes words like agent, Amazon Prime (according to a report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners 54 million Americans, nearly half of U.S. households are enrolled in Amazon Prime, hence I don't think that the word needs to be explained), blog, blogger, buzz, Copyright, etc... seems like a filler.

Let's face it, an aspiring author who doesn't know what an agent, a blog, or a blogger is, isn't going to make it in this competitive world of self publishing.

Disappointing on a few levels.
2 stars

Gisela Hausmann, author & review expert
Profile Image for Aaron.
Author 4 books80 followers
August 18, 2015
Guy Kawasaki is very straight forward and the end of his book description sums up the book well when he advises to look elsewhere if you want a "get rich quick" type book. That statement alone is the main reason I decided to read his book. He gives you the hard facts of how difficult it is to become a successful self published author. By successful I'm referring to a commercial success, as in, many copies sold in a short amount of time with less money spent on marketing than earned in royalties.

Anyone who publishes a book is a success. That alone takes some level of skill, talent, courage and hard work. To me, the books telling you how to sell 10,000 copies in 30 days are no different than the books telling you that you can have a six pack of rock hard abs in 30 days with little sacrifice and effort. If it were so easy we'd all be best sellers strutting around at the beach with our washboard abs but we're not.

I gave "Ape" a four star rating because some of his ideas and data are dated and echo the same advice given by countless other bloggers and authors. Then again, this industry is moving faster than what the "experts" can cope with. "Ape" is refreshing and honest in its approach to becoming a-better-self published author rather than a-$richer$-self published author.
Profile Image for Kenya Wright.
Author 97 books2,170 followers
January 2, 2013
I believe this is THE book to get if you have never published a book OR only published one. Right now, I've been self-pubbing and working with my publishing company for a while because of that, I didn't learn a whole lot from the book. However, I recognized that there was a mega amount of wisdom in this book for people who havn't.

I reccommend this book to anyone considering self-pubbing.
Profile Image for Brian Rathbone.
Author 49 books1,601 followers
March 9, 2013
My only wish is that APE - Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur had existed back when I started publishing my work. While I don't agree with every recommendation Guy makes, I do agree with the vast majority of them. Now I have a resource I can point authors to that will bring them up to speed, which will allow me to focus on more advanced methods of guerrilla marketing. Well done.
Profile Image for Matthew Trinetti.
40 reviews131 followers
February 1, 2013
I picked up this book for three reasons:

1. I'm helping my friend and author Stephen Markley publish and market his next book about our trip through Iceland.
2. I have aspirations of writing and publishing books of my own.
3. I'm a complete novice when it comes to #1 and #2.

So my take-aways are coming from someone who wants to absorb as much about this industry in the shortest time possible, is willing to hustle, and is diving in head-first with a beginner's mind.

How This Resonates With Me (with quotes from APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur):

1. The publishing industry is experiencing a revolution.

Guy is a strong proponent for self-publishing and ebooks, but he gives a very unbiased pro/con analysis of self-publishing vs. traditional publishing and ebooks vs. physical books. Moral of the story: there's no clear-cut winner. Ebooks and indie author are changing the game while the clunky, old traditional publishers fight tooth and nail to hang onto the world they once knew. Vive la révolution!

For example, while ebooks are experiencing incredible growth, they make up only 10 percent of all publishing revenue -- physical books still make up the vast majority. Still, ebooks aren't going anywhere. The internet is democratizing book publishing, much like it has democratized everything else.

And there's an additional challenge for us the readers: there'll be a LOT more options to choose from. Readers will need to become better at filtering quality from noise. This is where recommendations from friends come into play (i.e. social media).

"While printed books may never die...we’re not going back to a time when there are no ebooks."

2. Don't let money be the driver.

"In my book (pun intended), a book should be an end, not a means to an end. Even if no one reads your book, you can write it for the sake of writing it."

In Guy's opinion, there are a only a handful of reasons to write a book:
To add value to people’s lives.
To master a new skill.
To evangelize a cause.
To write for yourself.

Notice how money is not included in any of these. Like most things in life, the concept of making money is an important factor in making a living, but it shouldn't be the driving force behind a book's creation.

"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. May you be so fortunate as to experience both."

3. Writing and publishing a book is a bitch. (And even if it gets published, it's still a bitch.)

I'll be honest, I had simplistic, grandiose visions of writing a book about my journey through Europe and having it published. Then APE put my ass in check.

Even if you write a book and are fortunate enough to have it published, Guy duly notes:

"The relationship between author and publicist is usually the most contentious one in publishing because no author has been happy with his publicist in the history of mankind."
Having your book published doesn't mean you've "made it." You'll still need to hustle your balls off to promote it.

I still want to write a book and tell the full story of my journey, but my expectations are much more realistic now.

4. Don't give up.

"First, rejection doesn’t necessarily mean your book isn’t good. Second, rejection doesn’t necessarily mean you should give up. Third, you may have more than one book in you, so you can use each book to build your customer base and get closer to success."
Guy lists a handful of authors who were once rejected by publishers -- Stephen King, George Orwell, John Grisham, Jack Kerouac. Heard of 'em?

If you feel compelled to write a book, do it. Maybe it gets published, maybe it doesn't. Maybe the purpose of writing it isn't to be published. Maybe there's some other reason. Maybe it gets you closer to the book you were meant to write that is meant to be published. The good news is that the buck doesn't stop here -- we live in a world where self-publishing is an actual option. An ebook can be available for purchase on Amazon within hours of its upload, and a printed book can make it to your doorstep within a matter of days.

I'll also use this statement to make a bigger point -- I think way too often we view rejection as permanent defeat, whether it's writing, applying for a job, or getting a girl/guy. I'm constantly challenging myself to remember this because it's so easy to forget. The fear of rejection is a big reason I filmed Being Bold in Zadar, Croatia. I knew I'd be rejected more than not. I realized I needed to become comfortable with rejection so wouldn't paralyze me from taking action.

5. Be prepared to get your hands dirty with self-publishing.

APE is filled with very specific and tactical advice, like:

- Use Microsoft Word to write the book (or alternatives like OpenOffice Writer, Scrivener, or Apple's Pages)
- You'll need to create multiple file types of your book depending on where you choose to sell it (Amazon Kindle uses MOBI; Apple iBookstore and Barnes & Noble use EPUB), yet none of them will deliver your book exactly like on your Word document.
- "Use a 10-point font with a 1.5 (or 15-point) line spacing."
- How and when register an ISBN (International Standard Book Number).
- Watch out for widows, orphans, and dumb dashes (huh? my thoughts exactly).

Be ready to get your hands dirty with self-publishing. If this stuff makes your head and heart hurt and you want to just focus on your craft of writing, hire a friend to help you (like me!).

6. Self-Publishing is like a choose-your-own-adventure book.

Depending on how hands-on you're willing to get with your book, there are a gazillion services there to help you. You can pick and choose your own destiny.

- Want to sell your book as an ebook, but don't want to deal with all the platforms individually (Amazon, iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, etc.)? An author-service company like BookBaby or Lulu can help.
- Want to just sell PDFs on your own website? Try Gumroad or E-Junkie.
- Want to sell physical books through Amazon? CreateSpace or Lightning Source got you covered.

7. The smartest writers are entrepreneurs.

"Entrepreneuring is the most neglected and hardest of APE’s three roles because it involves marketing and sales, which are foreign concepts to some authors and despised by the rest."
This is the reason I want to help my buddy Steve. Most artists, writers, and other creatives I know have a hard time selling and marketing themselves. They want to work on their craft and create stuff. It's understandable. That's what they're good at.

To succeed as an author in the brave new world of self-publishing you have two options: 1) hustle and market your own book, 2) "hire" a friend or someone else to help you hustle.

Guy suggests guerrilla-marketing tactics like offering your book for free in exchange for reviews, optimizing your title for Amazon and Google, and reaching out to top reviewers on Amazon.

There are a bunch of gems in the 'Entrepreneur' section of this book, and I plan to use many of them as we promote and market the Iceland book. The goal of guerrilla marketing is maximize marketing muscle with the least amount of money possible.

"[T]he quality of your book and the quantity of your moxie are more important than the amount of money you’ve spent."
Profile Image for Historical Fiction.
919 reviews577 followers
January 27, 2013
Oh my goodness I can't get over how great of a resource this book is! The sheer amount information it provides is amazing but the straightforward manner in which it is presented is nothing short of genius.

I think APE covers the basics very well (how to navigate various publishing sites, publication costs, pricing, etc.), but it is the other seemingly obvious, but largely ignored concepts they tackle that I appreciated most of all. Things like the importance of a cover image, editing, marketing tactics, the list is endless. As a reviewer I routinely see self-publishers fail to fine tune their work, but also fail to grasp their role in promoting their efforts. This book addresses all these issues and more, offering up honest perspective and observation as well as solutions to the myriad of obstacles facing self-publishers.

Kawasaki and Welch make no excuses, outlining everything a self-publisher needs to be aware of in one easy to read volume. Never before have I come across a guide book I would recommend to those looking to self-publish, but as the saying goes there is a first time for everything. APE is an absolute must have for anyone looking to make their work a success!
Profile Image for Brendan.
Author 18 books170 followers
July 14, 2014
Downloaded for free from some author thing I subscribe to. Skimmed it.

This is a valuable resource if you know absolutely nothing about publishing. If you know anything at all about publishing, even what you've gleaned only from reading blogs and twitter, there's really nothing for you here. It's very light on the "Entrepreneur" section, because of course nobody actually knows how to sell books. To his credit, Kawasaki is nowhere near as annoying as most successful self-pub authors, but he doesn't really acknowledge the whole "I built a gigantic internet following because I was employed by a gigantic corporation to do so" factor of his success.

Other than that, two quibbles. One is the assertion that Google Docs doesn't really work for book-length manuscripts. Nonsense. I wrote my last novel completely on Google Docs.

Also: Kawasaki is nowhere near critical enough of the protean scam artists at Author Solutions. He implies that they offer very little value for their high priced packages, but falls short of the condemnation that a company that preys on people's naivete and optimism deserves.
Profile Image for Marc Ensign.
Author 2 books4 followers
November 29, 2014
Which do you want first? The good news? OK...I guess...I usually pick the bad news first, but I guess this will work too. Here you go.

The good news: this book was awesome! Without question the best "write a book" book I have read (out of about 10...half of which I couldn't even finish). If you have the slightest itch that you want to write a book, stop what you are doing and run to the nearest iPad or Kindle and buy this book. It will help you determine whether you should write a book and what to do with it once you have written it. It is nothing short of brilliant. And no, I am not getting paid for this review. Nor am I sucking up either. The book was THAT GOOD!

OK, I'm sucking up a little. But it really was awesome!!!

The bad news: back to the drawing board. I read APE after finishing my book and it sparked so many ideas that I am now giving my book away as a teaser for the full blown "knock you out of your chair" version that APE has inspired me to write which will be done in about 2 months.
Profile Image for Nick.
Author 22 books98 followers
January 7, 2013
I'm a huge Guy Kawasaki fan. His books always add usefully to the sum total of human knowledge, and his openness and enthusiasm always make the addition fun. This book is no exception. It's everything you need to know about self-publishing, and I mean everything, including the correct file extensions for uploading your precious work to iTunes, and that sort of thing. Guy has done it all himself, and he walks you through the process. If you've ever wanted to create a book, and don't want to deal with traditional publishers, then read this book first, for God's sake. It will save you from yourself and your mistakes. It is the ultimate how-to self-help manual for self publishing.
Profile Image for K.M. Weiland.
Author 29 books2,275 followers
August 14, 2014
I put off reading this book despite the general buzz because I figured it would be covering material I was already familiar with. And I was right; it's pretty entry level stuff. But it's a very good introduction to the finer points of becoming an independent author. It's not the definitive guide by any means, but I wish I'd had a guide this good and this thorough when I was starting out. Even now, I definitely grabbed a handful of interesting tidbits for refining my production and promotional processes.
Profile Image for Michael Estey.
69 reviews5 followers
April 10, 2013
Author ~ Publisher Entrepreneur

Guy Kawasaki
Shawn Welch

Guy Kawasaki has written several bestsellers, Enchantment, What the Plus, The Art of the Start.
Shawn Welch also has written three books but in his genre. I haven't a clue what they are about, way too technical for me.

As a member of the ape Community on Google+ and since I've written my own first book.

a g h o s t s t o r y

Destined to be on every book shelf in N. American and Britain.
What the heck, S. America, Australia,
Europe and the Orient. Did I mention Africa?
Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, where ever.
On every Kindle ever sold.
In every Library around the world!

I even want it reviewed on Amazon
as many times as ape is.

Oh! Did I mention I am self-publishing.


I'm sixty-three,
I can't wait for a traditional publisher
to tell me I have a best seller on my hands.
Times: "they-are-a-wasting."

Big deal, if it makes money.
That's not my motive.
All I want is a book.
A book to hold in my hands.
or a Kindle if I had one.
A story someone might like to read.
And really enjoy.
Which of course they will.

I just had too get this book.
Everyone was raving about it.
ape this, ape that,
Guy this, Shawn that.
Everyone "goo goo gaa gaaing" about them.
Especially Guy.
I'm jealous!

ape what a strange name for a book, I thought.

So, I typed ape, in the Amazon search box
and searched their books for ape.
There it was...
and there it was a lot cheaper on Kindle.
Almost 1/2 price.
If I had a Kindle I would have used that,
because there it was, in black and white
a lot cheaper.

Kindle the future of books.
What? A gorilla tearing up the city.
Is that a man in a costume
from one of those old Japanese films.
Is that the Empire State Building in his hands.

I had to have it. I ordered it.
It came, I read, I will conquer.


The first chapter:
Question? Should you write a book?

Answer: Umm...too late, I've already written the book. I mentioned it earlier. Remember?

a g h o s t s t o r y

Talking about putting the horse before the cart. But for someone just beginning.
He tells it like it is and then asks, man to man like,

Will your book add value to people's lives?

I had to ponder that question.
Yes, I said. My book will.

He also asks, is my heart into it?

Of course. I've been up for months,
working late into the night, many a night.
Hardly sleeping.
No pay, rarely showering, hardly eating.
Shunning friends.
Yes, is my answer my heart is into it.

He lists two bad reasons for writing a book,
You listen to others,
They are saying you've got a story there, young man.
and money, bad, the root of all evil.
I don't want any of it.

Are You Kidding, Dog?

Works for me, I don't listen to anyone, and money
never had it, so I won't miss it.

Would be nice, to have a hit, best seller.
Now that's what I want.
I'm "shooting for the stars."
I believe in myself.

They go on to talk about Traditional Publishing which isn't new to anyone. We all know how long it takes to get from idea-editor-publisher-to you. Too long.

We all know they fleece the crap out of you. So, nothing new there. There used to be a stigma about self-publishing but no more. To be published by an established publisher would be great, but it rarely happens and I'm not waiting. I hope you aren't either.

Many a good book "never" got published just for this reason alone. If a publisher doesn't like your work, it's filed into bin 13, the garbage. More likely it sits on the corner of his desk awaiting him to read it. Months could go by. Like I said, I don't have time.
I have other stories I want to tell.

They explain the advantages and disadvantages of self publishing. The escalating rise in Ebook sales.
Tools to use. Right down to what type of computer you should be using, a MacBook Air. Not cheap.

ape starts off with, "How to write your book." Like I said. Too late.

But for others. Articulately explained, along with financing, money you'll make, editing and how to avoid that self published look. Interior and cover design with lots and lots of tips.

ape also explains in depth, how it all works: online ebooks, direct sales, marketing, print-on-demand and how to sell your book, direct sales, converting files, the tools needed, testing, How to set up Pay Pal, using Smashwords, Createspace etc., uploading, pricing, audio and foreign languages, legal issues, using Amazon and other sites, building your brand name, choosing a platform, profiling and sharing on social media, blogging, finally getting reviews.

This book is jam packed full of useful dynamic information. Using the ape format. I'm trying to follow, step by step.

Unfortunately, I'll be doing all the work myself against ape's principles. But you "gotta do what you gotta do."

Easy to read, you can almost hear Guy talking as you read, and I've never heard his voice. Strange. Plus it is explained so well, I even understand. Any ape'r
can too!

I highly recommend this book for anyone
self-publishing for the first time or for the one hundred time. You will learn something that's for sure. It's an education in itself but then... A Dog's never to old to learn new tricks.

I'll be a monkey's uncle, I'm an ape'r.
I give it two thumbs up!

A great read.
Michael Estey
Profile Image for AennA.
48 reviews35 followers
January 8, 2013
When I started reading APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur--How to Publish a Book, I never expected how comprehensive the concept of self-publishing would be discussed. Actually, the book didn’t just discuss the concept; it’s more of the process of self-publishing.

Of course, we know that self-publishing is not just easy as writing a book, and then have it printed for selling. It is more than that. APE gave more thorough insights on the process of self-publishing.

Released on December 10, 2012, and is initially available in Kindle ebook, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur--How to Publish a Book is a brainchild of Guy Kawasaki, written with Shawn Welch.

Kawasaki came up with this book to share whatever he learned about his experience in self-publishing Kawasaki had his first-hand experience in self-publishing when he launched his book, What the Plus! He decided to self-publish What the Plus!, when his publisher of Enchantment failed to fill an order of 500 eBook copies of the latter.
There, Guy Kawasaki learned that “self-publishing is a complex, confusing, and idiosyncratic process.”

Guy Kawasaki is the author of What the Plus!, Enchantment, and nine other books. Previously, he was the chief evangelist of Apple. Shawn Welch, on the other hand is the author of From Idea to App, iOS 5 Core Frameworks, and iOS 6 for Developers as well as the developer of several iOS apps. Together, these two released APE to help the authors in controlling their writing careers by publishing their own works.

Here Guy Kawasaki talked about how an author has to be an APE, meaning an Author, Publisher and Entrepreneur in one. It does sound easy, and complicated at the same time, and APE will help you through the process, from being an Author, to being a Publisher, until you became an Entrepreneur.

What I can primarily praise in this book is about how comprehensive and helpful Kawasaki is in sharing almost every basic thing one must learn in self-publishing. One wouldn’t feel deprived with information once you get hold of this book. This is not the kind of book that the author wrote just to brag about his experience, and how successful he turned out to be, without sharing any help or assistance to be like him.

APE can be treated as manual in “artisanal publishing”, as Kawasaki and Shawn call self-publishing. You will not just be reading a guide book on the right process, but you would be holding a guidebook in its trade secrets and practices.

As you start your basic “training”, you will be asked “Should you write a book?” Here you are presented with an author to author (that’s you) pep talk on why you should pursue your writing career. Do you have the right reasons? The right objective? Once you know your reasons, you will then know the background of traditional publishing, and the evolution of self-publishing. A presentation of the pros and cons of the two existing publishing processes are available, so you would know if self-publishing is really your kind of thing.

A lot of must-learn is discussed in the book, from how to properly write a book, from the utilities in writing your book, the proper book style, the writing format, and there is so much more. I wish I could tell you more in details about it, but I would be rewriting the book in that process.

Once you are done being an author, you know will have to be a publisher, to partially accomplish your goal in self-publishing. You will be taught how to edit your book, how to improve the look, how to get book cover, and other how-to’s to prepare you in self-publishing. Of course, you have to be oriented in book distribution, dealing with suppliers, on how to sell your books, converting your files, and even the basics of InDesign so you can use it in your ebook publishing.

To complete your being “APE” you will be guided how to be an Entrepreneur. Here you will given basic inputs in guerilla marketing, on working with social media, on how to pitch for reviews, and other trade practices one must know to succeed in self-publishing. I am surprised on how even the smallest details is being shared through APE.

The eBook copy of APE has a lot of links, which one can check online and would really find useful. On the other hand if you are reading the hardcover edition, you can visit the book’s website and check the section where you can check all the links.

If you are an author, or a budding writer and wishes to publish your book, maybe self-publishing can be your chosen path. You can find a lot of useful information in Kawasaki’s latest book. This is as comprehensive as you want a book to be.

Read more of my bookish and not-so-bookish ideas at http://atubofjellybeans.wordpress.com
Profile Image for William Arsenis.
Author 1 book14 followers
December 22, 2012
Over the years, I have read a host of books on publishing, self-publishing, and marketing. Before APE: AUTHOR, PUBLISHER, ENTREPRENEUR—HOW TO PUBLISH A BOOK (simply APE for the remainder of this review), I thought I had a pretty good take on the latest in publishing and marketing.

Apparently, I’d only scratched the surface.

In this ever-changing world of publishing, APE is about as current and thorough as it gets.
APE deals extensively with Amazon, but it covers many other publishing options as well:
For ebooks, APE covers Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and Kobo.
For printed books, APE goes over various POD companies, including, of course, Lightening Source. (But information on author-services companies and POD options is available in abundance from many sources.)

I was especially impressed with the following topics (I’ve never seen them in any other book):

Financing options such as raising money through crowdfunding
Crowsourcing for feedback and copyediting
Do-it-yourself file conversion from Word to various ebook formats
How to price your book
How to create audio files and foreign language translations
How to guerrilla-market your book
How to make a great profile for social media
How to post, comment, and reply on social media
How to pitch bloggers and reviewers

These nine items are by no means all the book covers, but for me, they were a major eye-opener.

APE is the best-looking, most professional independently published book I have ever seen, not only making a real-life example of everything the book expounds, but raising the bar for all non-fiction books in general. And the editing was superb; I didn’t catch a single mistake. (A book on publishing blemished with mistakes would have immediately raised a red flag.) It was as visually appealing as it was easy to read; even the highly technical section on converting a Word document into various ebook formats flowed so smoothly, I didn’t have to re-read a single paragraph.

Guy Kawasaki has the guts to voice his own opinion. I really respect that. He doesn’t hesitate to say Windows sucks and Apple rules. Oh, and love his sense of humor!

At one point, Guy Kawasaki discusses the advantages of ebooks over printed books. One of these advantages, he says, is privacy. He gives the example someone reading on an airplane. With an ebook, people around you can’t see what you’re reading. Kawasaki says, “Maybe you’re an S&M fan so you’re reading a book about Microsoft Windows or Fifty Shades of Grey. With ebooks, there’s no external cover to reveal your literary tastes. For all people know, you’re reading War and Piece...”

I highly recommend Guy Kawasaki’s book to anyone considering publishing. It’s ranked #1 on Amazon for publishing & books. It’s funny, easy to read, and chock-a-block with useful and up-to-date information.

Guy will tell you the advantages and disadvantages of every option he covers, be it a comparison between traditional publishing and self-publishing, or Hootsuite v Hibari. He also pushes Microsoft Word, believe it or not, saying it is the best software for writing a book. He doesn’t even try to sell Pages, though he does mention it as an option for writers on an extreme budget. That’s cool coming from a guy who used to work for Apple. I wish he’d taken a bit more time with Scrivener. I didn’t get the impression he’d actually tried it before dismissing the program as being too organized for his mind.
Guy calls ‘em as he sees ‘em. And this is a man (I almost wrote “guy”) with a hell of a platform. I read his book carefully, and I’ll be using it as a reference from now on, though, as he himself admits, information on indie publishing changes all the time. In a year or so, this book could very well be old news. (Look for APE version updates.)

APE is full of practical advice and information I was hearing for the first time. I wish I’d known a tenth of this years ago, before I published my first novel.
Whether you’ve published before or not, APE is an absolute must for any author hoping for success.
Profile Image for Anne O'Connell.
Author 8 books24 followers
April 22, 2014
I've lost count of the books, blogs, websites, newsletters and videos out there that I've read, listened to and follow on how to do it all when it comes to self-publishing... some are extremely helpful and others, not so much. APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur is one that I would highly recommend as it will take you through the entire process from sitting down and writing to how to get the word out. It explores various publishing platforms, how to distribute (individually and in bulk) through eBook sales platforms with tons of detail on the hows, and pros and cons of each along with recommendations of software to make your life easier, such as Schrivener which they describe as “not so much a word processor as a ‘writer’s studio’ that is a powerful content generation tool for writers.” It’s a resource I’ve just downloaded and plan on using while writing my next novel.

They recommend contracting out things like editing and design to ensure a more professional look and outline sources like Guru, Elance and Crowdspring as well as Edit911 if you’re looking for subject matter experts (it's one I had never heard about).

They also address some of the nitty gritty such as what to include in the ‘front matter’ of your book. They even outline what they consider the six variables of how to price your book. The options on pricing strategies are endless and there are even examples of several strategies and case studies to show how they are implemented. Additional revenue sources are explored in depth such as creating audio books and translating to other languages. The authors even give advice on how to avoid getting ‘ripped-off' along the way.

The authors are so passionate about sharing what they've learning they have committed to making sure that we have the latest and greatest. They'll be updating the eBook every month! Once you purchase a copy you simply update your version through the ‘Manage Your Kindle’ page. I'll look forward to testing that out.

The references and resources are endless so get ready to take lots of notes. You may even want to join the community they have started for authors, writers, editors and publishers called APE on Google-Plus.

Profile Image for Jack Dermody.
Author 2 books
August 31, 2013

"This is Self-Publishing 101 AND 102 -- a roadmap!"

Would you consider the audio edition of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur - How to Publish a Book to be better than the print version?

No, the audiobook cannot -- by the very design of the book -- be better than the print version. I listened while on a 7-hour drive then immediately ordered the print version. APE is one of those books that even Kindle fanatics will want the print version of. The reason: lists, lists, lists...references...contacts...a roadmap for five years of training and work. Smell the book, write in it. bend the pages over.

What did you like best about this story?

If you have already published an e-book, half the book is old hat but, believe me, you will learn who the big boys are and how to play better than you might have thought you could on your own. We are easily lured into Amazon's publishing wonderland and that may still be an option, but we learn plenty about good options for printing, distribution, marketing, etc.

What is your opinion of narrator Lloyd Sherr?

Lloyd Sherr mercifully read at a fast speed so that this data-heavy book stayed interesting. Loved his voice and upbeat tone.

What insight do you think you’ll apply from APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur - How to Publish a Book?

I am starting the next book with the best outline ever. I am mounting the biggest campaign of my life to engage a large crowd of supporters, influencers, editors, and buyers. The steps outlined in the last 10 chapters provide a roadmap for success. I can feel, taste, and fully imagine what success looks like.
Profile Image for Roger Mendoza.
Author 15 books34 followers
November 18, 2016
I really like this book. It covers the self-publishing process from beginning to end. I like that the authors provide a glimpse into the process they used to publish their own books as well as suggestions/recommendations for printer companies, distributors, reviewers, tools, marketing, etc. This is a worthwhile book to have in my bookshelf, especially with the post-it flags that I've decorated the topics that I found the most important. There are a few things that need updating since this industry changes so rapidly (the book was published in early 2013 - nearly four years ago). For example:
- Pubit is now nookpress.com.
- It might be better for authors to use ingramspark.com (instead of Lightening Source). With Ingram Spark, users are able to use them to distribute EPUB e-books. And they are a tiny bit more user friendly than LSI.
- Calibre has improved considerably in the last three years. It can import MS Word files. And it allows you to edit the html files if desired.
- I use Adobe InDesign for my picture books (484 pages with 1500 images), but I find it hard to use it for my fiction novels. I prefer to go from word to Adobe Acrobat PDF for paper and Word to Calibre for EPUB, and word to Amazon's converter for MOBI.

Even with these needed updates, I think this is a definite must-have. I would suggest that the self-publisher use this book as a guide and then get further information from the respective vendor for more detailed (current) information. They also have a web-site for more tools/info.
4 reviews1 follower
December 10, 2012
My first thoughts after completing this book were that self-published books will now become as accepted as books published by one of the big name publisher. I also wondered what leaders in those publishing houses are worried about now.

Kawasaki and Welch clearly make a great team, leveraging off each other’s strengths to deliver what I believe will become THE guide for authors and aspiring authors everywhere. Many of us have that gut-tugging feeling that there is a "book in us" but have not really had any idea where to start and a roadmap to follow. APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur fills that need very well. By breaking the book into three distinct sections of Author, Publisher and Entrepreneur they provide a feeling that this goal is achievable one step at a time.

You are able to look over the shoulder of an extremely successful author who has now gone down the Publisher and Self-published paths, learning the easy and the hard challenges that you will need to deal with. You will learn not just the tools and the process helpful in writing your book, but learn from a master of the social media marketing world the significant benefits of leveraging the social platforms of the day. A book well-written but unknown to others will sit on a shelf and be forgotten. Follow the recommendations and guidance contained in this book and the odds of getting it noticed are substantially higher. I view this book as a game-changer for authors everywhere.
Profile Image for Tara.
15 reviews9 followers
December 10, 2012
APE is a fantastic resource for anyone writing or even remotely interested in writing a book. Guy and Shawn offer a combination of hands-on advice and inspiration that isn't available anywhere else. But beyond that, it's a must-read for anyone interested in the book world and publishing. The storytelling and "insider" peeks into the publishing industry elevate it beyond a how-to book.

It is accessible, straightforward, and at times really funny! After all, it's not often you'll hear Microsoft and erotica mentioned in the same breath; but Guy pulls it off when talking about ebook privacy: "People around you cannot see what you are reading. Maybe you’re an S&M fan, so you’re reading a book about Microsoft Windows or Fifty Shades of Grey. With ebooks, there’s no external cover to reveal your literary tastes."

One of the best takeaways for me was the emergence of what the authors call "artisanal publishing." If writers can find a way to successfully play all three roles -- author, publisher and entrepreneur (with a heavy focus on marketer) -- self-publishing will become a true craft with a high-quality product. Unproven authors will have a chance to get their books seen by the masses, and readers will have more choice, beyond what only publishers deem worthy.
Profile Image for Julie Dargis.
Author 10 books11 followers
February 2, 2013
For any independent writer who would like to enter the world of independent publishing, "APE" is a must read. In clear, understandable, and often humorous language, Guy Kawasaki is a myth-buster. With co-author Shawn Welch, they have crafted a look into the new world order of books. "APE" is the most up-to-date account of all aspects of self-publishing currently available, guiding independent authors from production to publishing to market. I read the book through once, and will return to many of its chapters again and again, as I continue to navigate through shifting sands and endless channels. Guy is the rudder who is also very much enjoying the ride.

The most striking aspect of the book is how generous Guy is with his knowledge. As an established writer, he is taking the journey--alongside those who dare to branch out on their own--as both a mentor and a friend. As a visionary--crowd sourcing many of the chapters to further build a platform of open information.

This book is my go-to reference guide for both information and inspiration, and I highly recommend it.

Thank you Guy and Shawn.
Profile Image for Darren Turpin.
12 reviews7 followers
December 19, 2012
Although this book is primarily intended for someone who is interested in self-publishing their own work, I'd heartily recommend it to anyone involved in the the publishing industry, particularly on the writing side.

The first two sections - Author and Publisher - offer a good general overview of the range of processes and decision-making elements that go into producing a published book and the third - Entrepreneur - offers great potential value for anyone who wants to achieve real and lasting success as a published author.

The main takeaway from this final section of the book is that there's great value to be found in building a strong platform from which to engage with and grow your audience and then continuing to delight them as your career develops; something which anyone with long-term career aspirations in mind will surely benefit from.
Profile Image for Dave.
Author 15 books20 followers
February 3, 2014
Good solid book on how to master self-publishing from all angles.

I really liked that the authors covered every aspect of the process, but I found some of their advice may have gone too far. I can understand the preference for using Microsoft Word on Mac. I do almost all my work in MS Word, and on a Mac, but I do think the suggestion of going out to get a new Macbook is going a little overboard. They really are good computers, but as someone who puts down a ton of words every year, I get concerned any time anyone recommends a laptop keyboard for sustained writing.

I also found it odd that they referred to Eink Kindles as "tablets," as a person who owns both, I feel comfortable saying they are very different devices.

Still, it is a good book and I do recommend it. I just can't countenance giving it a perfect mark.
Profile Image for Steven Ramirez.
Author 13 books172 followers
December 28, 2012
One of the challenges of being an indie author is wading through the incredible “wealth” of content written about the world of self-publishing. I use the term wealth loosely because much of what’s out there is opinion rather than fact. Well, here’s some great news. Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch have done the hard part for you. Specifically, they have cut through the crap to get to the real story on how best to self-publish.

This book does not go into great detail on any one area—it wasn’t designed that way. But it does document the authors’ conclusions on how best to proceed based on the many books they have published both separately and together. Even if you think you’re a self-publishing expert, I am confident you will be enlightened.
Profile Image for Cathy Spencer.
Author 9 books12 followers
March 14, 2013
This is a really valuable book for self-publishing authors or for any authors who want to promote their books. Nitty-gritty nuts and bolts stuff from formatting your book for Amazon to print-on-demand publishing, etc. . . . The author speaks from personal experience, and he co-wrote it with a tech-savvy guy. Lots of good ideas.

One more thing; as a Canadian, I was unable to buy this as anything other than an e-book from one of the big online book stores, but I wanted the soft-cover version. The author's e-mail address was listed, so I contacted him to tell him of my problem, and he e-mailed me back from his phone the same day with a link where I was able to purchase the soft-cover book. I appreciate that kind of service.
Profile Image for Jayme.
Author 1 book1 follower
February 1, 2013
Guy Kawasaki writes an incredibly detailed book that teaches anyone interesting in becoming a published author the ins and outs of online publishing in addition to the traditional route.

His chapter on digital publishing is so detailed with critical information that I'll be going back to look up my highlights and bookmarks on the Kindle Fire.

His last section on how to market your book is also detailed and helpful for those who have no concept of marketing content.

I loved this book, the tone, the style, and the friendliness he writes with. EVERY single person contemplating becoming an author needs to read this right away.
Profile Image for Kent Winward.
1,662 reviews45 followers
September 12, 2013
This is far and away the best and most comprehensive guide to the new world of publishing that I have read. It works far better for non-fiction and could be flushed out more for how to deal with writing and authorship that might attempt to transcend genre. Probably not fair that the co-author doesn't show up on GoodReads. I got the audio first, then the Kindle version for future reference and follow-up. Having published several books as a publisher, I can tell you that if you are trying to do the writing or publishing gig in any way, this is the best I've seen.
Profile Image for Warren Talbot.
Author 6 books25 followers
December 25, 2012
Excellent resource for any author looking for help and guidance around self-publishing. Guy and Sean do an outstanding job walking the reader through the untamed world of self-publishing - from creation of the book, to marketing, and beyond. I learned more from this one book than going through the process myself 3 times.

This book will provide practical and actionable advice you can use immediately to get your book to market and growing sales.
Profile Image for Dawn Lennon.
Author 1 book27 followers
January 27, 2013
A must read for anyone who's ever thought about writing a book and for existing authors who have hesitated to try self-publishing. Guy Kawasaki has a gift for identifying an informational need and filling it. This book covers all the essential bases, resources, and steps for self-publishing both ebooks and print-on-demand. His experiences working with tranditional publishers and with self-publishing provided the expertise and spark for write this invaluable book. I am duly inspired!
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