Dec 20 2012
Once upon a time, not very long ago, books made their way to bookstore shelves only after traditional publishers gave their stamps of approval. Now, with the popularity of iPads, Kindles, Nooks and other e-readers, sending sales of e-books skyrocketing, self-publishing has come into its own, opening up e-publishing possibilities for good authors who might otherwise be overlooked. The only problem is that navigating this burgeoning industry is not always easy. Making the details available in a very readable e-book called APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book, authors Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch have made this complex process very understandable.
APE is a boon to would-be authors. Combining Kawasaki’s knowledge of traditional publishing with Welch’s background in e-publishing, the two have created a book that covers the self-publishing industry from the basic question of whether to write a book to ways to market it effectively once it’s published. Their “goal is to help you succeed as a self-publisher as quickly and easily as possible.”
Based on the simple premise that self-publishing affords authors complete control over every aspect of their books and over the profits as well, the authors point out the pitfalls of traditional publishing while highlighting the benefits — along with the high level of work required — in self-publishing. While getting a book published is still no easy task, Kawasaki and Welch’s conversational tone makes this book quite accessible. Moreover, their insider knowledge of the publishing industry provides readers with a window into a world that is often confusing and frustrating.
As the book notes, traditionally published authors gain little reward for the time and effort they expend writing a book and then conforming it to a publisher’s ideal. The monetary advance, if any, is generally small. To make matters worse, on publication of the book, even the marketing often falls to the author, who generally lacks effective promotional tools. With sound advice and memorable anecdotes of other authors’ experiences, APE provides systematic, but not formulaic, instructions on how to undertake the three roles of successful self-publishing: author, publisher and entrepreneur.
For aspiring authors, whether they have considered self-publishing or always hoped to take the traditional route, APE is an excellent resource. While the first reading may provide an overview, readers will certainly find themselves returning to this book for the wealth of information it provides.