(Available at Amazon)
Do you have dreams of being an APE? No, not the mammal – although that’s cool, too! I’m talking about being an author, publisher and entrepreneur, three roles that used to be mutually exclusive, but now go hand-in-hand if you want to write a book. There’s a lot of work involved just doing one of these jobs – let alone all three! But Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch make the process easier to understand and accomplish in “APE: Author, Publisher, and Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book” or “APE” as I’ll refer to it for the rest of this review.
Guy is a New York Times bestselling author, and Shawn is a former senior media editor of Pearson Education. So it’s pretty safe to say that they know a thing or two about the publishing process. According to Guy, writing a book is “one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but few things worth doing are easy.” That’s putting it mildly. There are A LOT of hoops to jump through when it comes to traditional (print) publishing which would lead you to believe that digital (ebook) publishing is a million times easier. Essentially, all you’d have to do is upload your book to a server and let programs take care of the rest since computers do everything for us these days anyway.
But Guy found out this couldn’t be further from the truth when the publisher for one of his books could not handle an order for 500 copies of the ebook version. After much stress and confusion, the tech company that placed the order had to make 500 individual credit card purchases. Incredible, right? Guy decided to self-publish his next book to avoid similar messes in the future. Unfortunately, he found himself in even bigger ones when he tried to make sense of all the intricacies of self-publishing. In hopes of finding an easier way, Guy teamed up with Shawn. The result was “APE,” a 300-page guide to self-publishing chock-full of tactical and practical information about this confusing industry.
How It Works:
“APE” leads you through the self-publishing maze, laying out exactly what you need to do in order to become a published writer of a print, digital or audio book. It’s broken down into three sections as the title suggests: author, publisher and entrepreneur. No matter how experienced or inexperienced you are, you’ll have no problem following along as Guy and Shawn explain how to execute each role. They recommend that you read through “APE” quickly the first time to get the gist of the process and then refer back to it later when you’re actually beginning to write your book. (CAUTION: Take their advice. Otherwise you’ll get bogged down by details and give up before getting started.)
Although they’ve done the most difficult part for you – the research – that doesn’t mean the rest is smooth sailing. They never stop reminding you that self-publishing is not easy. They burst your bubble early on so that you realize that authors like Amanda Hocking and E.L. James are NOT the norm when it comes to self-publishing. But they also never let you lose sight of the fact that if you’re willing to work hard using the tools they provide, you’ll be in control of your own fate and not at the mercy of publishing companies anymore.
The book itself is a goldmine of information for those looking to get into self-publishing, but it’s also a must-read regardless if you plan to write a book. The entrepreneur section alone warrants buying “APE” because it demonstrates how to build your personal brand. These skills will help you improve your life significantly whether you realize it or not, so it’s better to learn them from one of the top players of the game.
My favorite thing about “APE” though is Guy’s attitude. Although I give Shawn major props (since it’s his wealth of knowledge that makes this project even possible) Guy is, without question, the star here. Those who have been following his career for many years already know what I’m talking about, but allow me to explain for those who are only meeting him for the first time here. Despite all his success with Apple, Alltop.com and his publishing career, Guy is so humble and personable. While reading, you feel as if he’s an old buddy talking to you about his experiences. What’s more, he also encourages you to interact with him, asking you to email him if you notice any errors in the book, to use his name when reaching out to vendors he recommends, and other things. He emphasizes a feeling of community to let you know that in this virtual insanity we live in, you’re never alone in your quest, whatever it might be. Even he gets inspired from everyday people like us, asking for suggestions from fans and followers for different projects which he actually uses in the final product. Simply put, he’s an awesome guy you should definitely take the time to get familiar with going forward.
To read more about “APE: Author, Publisher, and Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book,” click here. And make sure to check out these extras below!
- Bios, picture, and cover: http://apethebook.com/bookassets/
- Website: http://apethebook.com/
- SPIT (Self-Publishing Intelligence test): http://electricpulp.com/guykawasaki/ape/
- Badges: http://apethebook.com/badges/
- Downloads: http://apethebook.com/downloads/ (Includes a test for screening copyeditors, Word template, InDesign template, and contract for hiring consultants)
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