Before you say, “But I’m not especially fond of primates,” hang on. APE stands for Author-Publisher-Entrepreneur. And I am going out on a limb here when I say that this is one of the most honest, least hypey, overall best books I have read on self-publishing in a long time.
Kawasaki and his co-author Shawn Welch walk you through the steps of writing and publishing your own book with an even-handed, comprehensive and sequential approach. Instead of falling into the trap of “Write and Publish Your Book in 5 Days!,” they admit that it’s more work self-publishing because many more things can go wrong and it’s up to you to fix them.
This book focuses on e-publishing and, while ebooks are currently no more than 10 percent of the market, it is a quickly growing trend.
At the same time, the authors offer all the resources you will need to succeed. Throughout the book, you get cool tools, including easy-to-read charts that help you digest and apply the information quickly. And, because first-time authors are at the greatest risk of being taken advantage of by unscrupulous companies that promise them the world, the section on avoiding the scams is especially valuable.
A review of APE: Author-Publisher-Entrepreneur
I’m starting you off with this hilarious 4+-minute video, called So You Want to Write a Novel. But you can substitute the word “book” for every time “novel” is used because it applies to authors of all kinds. I guarantee this is worth 4 minutes of your time:
The three parts of APE:
To me, a book is a message from the gods to mankind, or, if not, it should never be published at all.*
This section is all about the actual writing process, starting with the right motive for writing a book. (Hint: It’s not to impress or make boatloads of money.) It ends with great advice on how to finance your book.
A person who publishes a book willfully appears before the populace with his pants down…If it is a good book, nothing can harm her. If it is a bad book, nothing can help her.*
Edna St. Vincent Millay
This second third of the book shows us how to turn a completed manuscript into a book. All the complexities are covered, from editing to pricing, selling and distributing. The authors’ focus on the importance of investing dollars in professional editing was refreshing. (It is a crucial area that is sometimes glossed over or skipped completely.)
Smart writers understand that writing is also a business. Really smart writers see themselves as entrepreneurs.
This is perhaps the most important section of all. Because as a self-publishing author, you have no marketing department to prop you up. It all rests on you. The authors share smart ways to “guerilla market” your book, to build your brand and author platform, to leverage the power of social media and more.
Now in describing APE, I won’t use the words awesome or amazing. Those I reserve for things like sunsets and the Grand Canyon. I will say, though, that this book, in my opinion is well worth the $9.99 price it’s going for on Amazon. (If you’d like, you can read more about APE here.)
What about you?
Do you still prefer print books or are you a digital reader?
Have you published or are you considering writing your own book?
Tell us what you think.
* Quotes taken from three of the chapter openings in APE.
* Disclaimer: I did not pay for this review copy, but I don’t write a review of a book unless I really, really like it.