I am the perfect candidate to read “APE,” Guy Kawasaki’s new book because I am looking to write a book and I know I will need to self publish. From page one I pay close attention to the book’s message. So these are my initial thoughts on a book I believe I will return to often as Kawasaki states he does with his beloved Chicago Manual of Style.
Given some of the hang-ups and inexperience of non-published writers, it is interesting that Kawasaki begins by asking the question, ”When was the last time you decided to read a book because of who published it.” My truthful answer is that few of us read books based on who published it. This kind of questioning is at the heart of APE and drives the book’s discussion. It is signature storytelling a la Guy Kawasaki — direct and to-the-point in a way that a reader cannot help but appreciate.
In all areas of life, there are no shortages of experts who are prepared to tell us ‘what’ to do but few are willing to tell us ‘how’ to do. Guy was motivated to write this book because he, of all people, was having trouble self-publishing his last book. He decided that he would write a book and explain how to get this done successfully.
Kawasaki outlines the most notorious publishing myths to burst the reader’s bubble about what publishing is and is not. Even though I am one of those people who likes the heft, smell, and feel of a book, by the time I finished reading APE, I was ready to jump ship to ebooks.
Guy outlines the advantages/disadvantages of publishing and makes a compelling argument for artisanal publishing based upon his projections of an analysis of 2011 publishing sales data. He concluded that ebooks had been the most popular format for adult fiction in 2011. This was not to say that ebooks outsold printed books. But it was to help writers appreciate that the ebook trend is growing and that the proper elements for artisanal publishing are currently present.
So this book gives the reader a step-by-step process to move from writing to publishing. Not only does APE outline a process for writing a book, it tells how to finance one’s book using crowdsourcing methods such as indiegogo and platforms I’d never heard of before. Then he tells us how to make money on our books. He uses motivating case studies. Thematically his focus never waivers from helping us understand how to get this done. He moves through the specifics of how to turn a manuscript into a book and the practical aspects thereafter, such as channels of distribution and how to estimate royalty payments across multiple platforms. Then the summaries at each chapter’s end capture the essence of each chapter.
This was a valuable book for me. Without a doubt I will use it to move through my journey of writing my book remembering Kawasaki words: that getting one’s book written and self-published is about starting, continuing finishing. Could it be more clear than this?