Read Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch new book’ all important conclusions about “artisanal publishing” here.
“Nuts, bolts, and inspiration too. Once again, Guy delivers, kicking the shiitake out of anyone who would tell you that you shouldn’t, wouldn’t or couldn’t write a book.”
With Shawn Welch, a tech wizard, Guy Kawasaki wrote “APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book” to help people take control of their writing careers by publishing their books. The thesis of APE is simple but powerful: When a self-publisher successfully fills three roles—author, publisher and entrepreneur—the potential benefits are greater than with traditional publishing.
Guy and Shawn 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.
APE is 300 pages of tactical and practical inspiration. I decided instead of writing traditional review, just to collect together all most important conclusions in the end of any chapter of the book – like attempt for synthesis of authors ideas about “artisanal publishing” in 1300 words:
“A successful self-publisher must fill three roles: Author, Publisher, and Entrepreneur—or APE. These roles are challenging, but they are not impossible — especially if people who have done it before explain it to you.
Writing is often a lonely and difficult process, so take a moment to reflect on the good reasons and bad reasons to write a book. We still encourage you to do it, because it is one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but few things worth doing are easy.
Traditional publishing is under siege by many forces, and it is not appropriate for many writers. Self-publishing, on the other hand, is the best thing that has ever happened to writers.
The advantages of self-publishing far outweigh the disadvantages for most authors. You can use self-publishing as the end goal or a means to a traditional publishing deal.
Ebooks and tablets are rearranging the publishing landscape. Right now, only about 10 percent of publishing revenue comes from ebooks, but the technical advantages of electronic publishing are enormous. This doesn’t mean that printed books will disappear anytime soon, but for a novice self-publisher, ebooks are probably the way to go.
Let’s just cut to the essentials: write with Microsoft Word on a MacBook Air, and use Evernote, Dropbox, and YouSendIt. Let’s start writing!
There are three stages of writing a book: starting, continuing, and finishing. They all require a combination of determination, desperation, and denial that all writers, at some stage, detest. Force yourself to make a little progress every day and, after a year or so, you’ll have a book and you’ll say, “That wasn’t so bad after all.”
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. You’ll only achieve this potential if you write a good book and market it well, but at least self-publishing is an open and fair business.
The whole point of self-publishing is to produce a book faster, better, and cheaper than a traditional publisher. These ways of avoiding the “self-published” look are simple and easy, and they increase the attractiveness, professionalism, and marketability of your book.
Not to get too metaphysical, but a cover is a window into the soul of your book. In one quick glance, it needs to tell the story of your book and attract people to want to read it. Unless you’re a professional, hire a professional to create a great cover because, in spite of how the old saying goes, you can judge a book by its cover. Or at very least, people will judge a book by its cover.
The simplest path is to write your book in Microsoft Word and upload it to Kindle Direct Publishing. If you need some help, or don’t trust uploading a Word document, author-services companies can help. If you know what you’re doing, print-on-demand can offer the best profit per book.
Many self-publishers only need to use the online reseller channel. There are five great choices: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google, and Kobo. They operate in similar ways, and they are an easy way to break into self-publishing.
Selling your ebook directly to customers is one of the most profitable channels of distribution for a self-publisher. You won’t benefit from the ongoing traffic of a reseller such as Amazon, but if you can drive people to your website, direct selling can work.
There are hundreds of author-services companies that would love your business. It’s impossible to review them all, but this chapter provided a framework. Our advice is that you do as much as you can yourself (with the exception of copyediting), and only buy the services that you absolutely can’t or don’t want to do.
Don’t forget that many people still prefer a printed book, and ebooks account for approximately 10 percent of the US publishing business. However, you don’t want to end up with a garage full of unsold books, so find a printer that will print on demand like Lightning Source or CreateSpace (without the author services).
Every format of a book needs a unique ISBN; all ebook platforms (Kindle, iBookstore, Nook) count as one format and thus only needs one ISBN. The hundreds of self-publishing vendors work in pretty similar ways: provide information about your book, upload the cover, upload the manuscript, and in less than a week, you’re in business. The most important step in this process is crafting the book description, so spend a few hours making it as compelling as you can.
Pricing is an art, not a science. There are many factors involved to consider and many theories to test. However, one of the advantages of self-publishing is that you can alter your pricing to see how it affects sales, so our recommendation is that you take your best guess and adjust from there. We think it’s better to guess low and work up; at least this way more people will read your book as you find the right price.
We hate leaving any money on the table, so translating a book and creating an audiobook version are interesting to us. However, both these processes are expensive and time consuming. In most cases, traditional publishers don’t rush these versions to market either. This is one area where we recommend that you take a cue from their practices.
Author beware: keep an eye out for companies looking to take advantage of you. Learn copyright laws to protect your work but also to avoid infringing on others. Protect yourself with work-for-hire agreements. And finally, self-publishing gives you the ability to revise your book quickly and efficiently, which is something traditional publishers cannot do.
Amazon has publishing covered from A to Z (Amazon to Zappos). Self-publishing is an Amazon world, so you’d be foolish to ignore it.
For self-publishers, guerrilla tactics are the way to gorilla-size success. The cost for most of these ideas is $0, and the expensive ones are no more proven than the free ones. This is because the quality of your book and the quantity of your moxie are more important than the amount of money you’ve spent.
Social media is the trifecta of marketing: fast, free, and ubiquitous. There are general-appeal services such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Of these, Google+ is our favorite. There are also social networks for readers and writers. All of these services provide great ways to build your platform.
These are the essential elements of an enchanting and effective social-media profile. Just keep in mind that your profile has to attract followers in a HotOrNot, at-a-glance world filled with attention-deficient people.
Finding, writing, and sharing high-content posts involves a great deal of time and effort, but this is essential to developing your platform. These tips will make you as efficient as possible, but you will have to pay your dues. The fact that building a platform is hard means that many authors won’t do it, so you’ll stand out from the crowd.
Commenting and responding on social-media services is what separates a good platform builder from an average one. Don’t think of a comment or response as one-to-one communication. They are ways to demonstrate your openness and humanity to everyone who’s watching, too.
Shawn and I want to tell you to go APE: Author a great book, Publish it quickly, and Entrepreneur your way to success.Self-publishing isn’t easy, but it’s fun and sometimes even lucrative. Plus, your book could change the world.”
Get “APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book” on Amazon.
Special Thanks to Mr. Kawaski for giving me the opportunity to be among the first to read his new book!