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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.Read more ›
"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.Read more ›
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.