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APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book [Kindle Edition]

Guy Kawasaki , Shawn Welch
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (962 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 410 pages
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Book Description

"Essential reading (and reference) for modern authors, regardless of experience."
- Kirkus Book Reviews
"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." 
-Seth Godin 
Author and founder of The Icarus Project.
This version of APE was updated with the most recent content, facts, figures, tools, and resources on March 5th, 2013. This is version 1.2 (Baldacci).
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 step-by-step, tactical advice and practical inspiration. If you want a hype-filled, get-rich-quick book, you should look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you want a comprehensive and realistic guide to self-publishing, APE is the answer.

Table of Contents

[ Author ]
      1.    Should You Write a Book?
      2.    A Review of Traditional Publishing
      3.    The Self-Publishing Revolution
      4.    The Ascent of Ebooks
      5.    Tools for Writers
      6.    How to Write Your Book
      7.    How to Finance Your Book

[ Publisher ]
      8.    How to Edit Your Book
      9.    How to Avoid the Self-Published Look
    10.    How to Get an Effective Book Cover
    11.    Understanding Book Distribution
    12.    How to Sell Your Ebook Through Amazon, 
             Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google, and Kobo
    13.    How to Convert Your File
    14.    How to Sell Ebooks Directly to Readers
    15.    How to Use Author-Services Companies
    16.    How to Use Print-on-Demand Companies
    17.    How to Upload Your Book
    18.    How to Price Your Book
    19.    How to Create Audio and Foreign Language 
             Versions of Your Book
    20.    Self-Publishing Issues
    21.    How to Navigate Amazon

[ Entrepreneur ]
    22.    How to Guerrilla-Market Your Book
    23.    How to Build an Enchanting Personal Brand
    24.    How to Choose a Platform Tool
    25.    How to Create a Social-Media Profile
    26.    How to Share on Social Media
    27.    How to Comment and Respond on Social Media
    28.    How to Pitch Bloggers and Reviewers
    29.    How We APEd This Book

[ Acknowledgments ]

[ Glossary ]

Editorial Reviews


"As digitization creates a revolutionary opportunity for writers to become their own publishers a new self-publishing infrastructure has emerged. This book will become the standard guide to this new publishing universe."
-Jason Epstein
Former editorial director of Random House and co-founder of On Demand Books.
"APE is easily the most comprehensive, best organized, nuts-and-bolts-useful work on self-publishing I've seen to date. I think Guy has written the bible on self-publishing, and I expect it will be recognized--and widely used--as such."
-Barry Eisler
Bestselling novelist of the John Rain series including The Detachment, Requiem for an Assassin, and The Last Assassin.
"Guy's book is the perfect companion on the journey of independent publishing and great reading for the millions who aspire to become authors." 
-Atif Rafiq 
General Manager, Kindle Direct Publishing at

Product Details

  • File Size: 9397 KB
  • Print Length: 410 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Nononina Press; 1.0 edition (November 30, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,916 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
488 of 499 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's hard not to like Guy Kawasaki. I enjoyed reading APE. I enjoyed reading The Art of the Start and Enchantment. They made me feel good. He writes well, adopts a conversational tone like he's your equal -- like he's right there with you, a friend struggling right along side you.

I like that he's promised to continually update APE. I like his commitment to quality; the book reads well and the copy is clean. His books sure go down easy -- a mixture of a little unique information, tons of generalities, a lot of platitudes and a healthy shot of "you can do it!" attitude simmering right beneath the surface.

The problem, then? He's out of touch. Kawasaki produces a nice book. But it's written from where he's sitting. This is a man who has published numerous bestsellers, has over a million Twitter followers, has given a TED talk and enjoys lucrative speaking engagements at top-tier companies and universities. All of this is impressive.

That's not where most self-published authors are coming from, though.

The first few chapters are spent on throat clearing and general padding such as:

Should You Write a Book?
-->Not a bad question to ask, but seems out of place given the audience -- most people who pick this up have probably already started and want help on the back-end production process.
A Review of Traditional Publishing
An Introduction to Self-Publishing
--> Both of these rudimentary, stripped down publishing histories pale in comparison to what's offered on Wikipedia. More to the point: they are totally unnecessary.
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114 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE self-publishing compendium by a Dynamic Duo! December 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
"APE" is the how-to compendium for today's self-publishers.

Authors will find APE an indispensable resource. Guy Kawasaki passes along his publishing experience in his "no-s***ake," but affable manner. Imagine having an extremely successful uncle in the publishing biz who also has a tech-wizard pal (co-author Shawn Welch) of digital publishing magic. Fortunately for us, this dynamic duo decided to share their publishing know-how.

"APE's" premise is that publishing is a parallel process "that requires simultaneous progress along multiple fronts." Hence, self-publishers are challenged with how to: market, brand, design, promote, publish, distribute, and finance a book-all at the same time. Oh, and don't forget the time required for actually writing the book. Indisputably, each self-publisher is an: Author, Publisher and Entrepreneur.

Reading "APE" is like taking a condensed survey course in publishing; it addresses the range of topics that authors must know about self-publishing. "APE" covers aspects from the existential question of "Should I write a book," to advice on how to create foreign language versions of your book, to guerrilla marketing techniques, and ideas for financing.

Traditional publishers have long prided themselves on their art form and on their discernment abilities. Readers have come to expect and appreciate their expertise. APE's tactics and techniques will enable self-published authors to deliver to readers books that will meet these time-honored and well-justified expectations.

Kawasaki and Welch challenge self-publishers to take up the mantle of "artisanal publishing"--where authors who love their craft must dedicate the time and resources to "control every aspect of the process of from beginning to end.
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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring resource for writers December 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Google Plus may have inadvertently changed publishing forever.

The self-publishing process for Guy Kawasaki's What the Plus? created such a disruption in Kawasaki's life that he wrote his newest book, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur - How to Publish a Book to share all of the lessons that he learned by self-publishing. It's probably one of the most important books in recent memory for aspiring writers or frustrated scribes.

The beauty of APE is that Guy Kawasaki doesn't show people how to self-publish a book. He gives them the tools and insight to publish a good book. Being an occasional reader of printed schizophrenia, I appreciate the distinction.

I'm skeptical of pretty much everything and I had few expectations of APE going in. I read What the Plus? and appreciated Kawasaki's enthusiasm despite the fact he might have been overstating the case for G+ a little. I enjoyed Enchantment very much, though it left me with the impression that Kawasaki was a rose-colored glasses sort of guy. When I was offered an advance copy of the APE book, I expected a feel-good collection of stories.

When I learned that the topic of the book was self-publishing, my expectations plummeted. After all, how would the guy whose advocacy for the concept of "enchantment" tackle self-publishing? Would he write a book of affirmations about self-publishing and tenacity, maybe including an inspiring story about how some ambitious blogger compiled all of her posts into a best-selling book (which is a colossally bad idea by the way). APE could have been a rah-rah book to further the blogosphere's self-esteem movement. But thankfully this isn't THAT book. Quite the contrary, actually.

It turns out Guy Kawasaki is a pragmatist.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Dated yet timely
Useful and motivational overview of the writing to marketing process. The web media info is, naturally, dated, yet shows that some streams have staying power or relevance.
Published 10 hours ago by Elaine Greywalker
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for new authors
Excellent book! Clear, concise, and full of great information for anyone considering writing and releasing a book.
Published 11 days ago by Charlie Camorata
5.0 out of 5 stars Great books. Great methodology
It's Guy Kawasaki. Great books. Great methodology!
Published 14 days ago by Theodore Glendinning
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply a must read for any self publisher.
Quite simply wonderful, well written, easy to understand and this book cuts to the chase when it comes to the pro's and cons of publishing and self publishing. Read more
Published 15 days ago by mark leen
5.0 out of 5 stars All independent authors this way...
DON'T HIT THAT PUBLISH BUTTON! Not until you've read this book first. The information in the book alone has answered questions that I never thought to ask. Read more
Published 17 days ago by SciFiMaven
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I'd seen APE all over the place, including being given away free. I thought it would be a great read, but unfortunately, it was not. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Summer S. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete and practical
I have recommended this book to several friends who are writing as well. There are two things I particularly like: 1) the author guides you through some strategical choices you... Read more
Published 25 days ago by marieke van der laan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Raving Fan
Guy Kawasaki's APE has served as an inspiration to me, and I am sure to many other authors, to have the courage to put in writing valuable information that should be shared. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Jorge Silva
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly Written
Guy Kawasaki breaks this book down into three sections that answer the important questions of authorship: Should I write? How do I publish what I wrote? Read more
Published 28 days ago by Danial Hallock
5.0 out of 5 stars Great APE!
This book sold me on self-publication. Not only did it give me all the info I needed to take my manuscript to market, but it provided insight into the nature of modern, artisan... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Amy Seltzer
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How about an outline?
A book or any content that should be published must be viewed beyond it's context as a book. That's what APE (Author Publisher and Entrepreneur) achieves. I am impressed by facts of where books have become drivers of social change. Independent publishers like myself either detested the time or... Read More
Dec 9, 2012 by Sunil Baskar |  See all 3 posts
Free Download - Not!
I was offered a "free" version of this as a winner of the 2014 NaNoWriMo challenge. The link worked fine as far as the "0.00" balance on the order form...but since I don't have a Kindle, I guess I don't get my free copy. There were also no instructions for downloading to my PC.
Jan 25, 2014 by Marie's Movies |  See all 3 posts
Should I buy APE in Kindle or paperback form?
None of the hyperlinks work in the paperback and it will be out of date sooner, but I have the whole baby highlighted and marked with tabs which are notated. I can't tell you how many times I flipped back and forth and back and forth for direction as I was implementing it. I prefer the hard copy.
Jun 27, 2013 by K. Kirst |  See all 2 posts
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