APE – How to Publish a Book, by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch changed my life. It totally upended my plans, and I happily anticipate it will continue to do. It has become a kind of author’s business “Bible” for me, and this is not said lightly. I am an author, but now primarily an artist founding a Post Conceptual Art theory, called UnGraven Image, which uses original Torah font letters from Bible texts for each and every artistic stroke (representing both the Words of The Divine and the strings of elementary physics’ string theory).
If you are a regular reader of this blog or my Art and Inspiration blog at http://ungravernimage.com/blog , the you know that I have never reviewed a business book, unless it is somehow related to art or inspiration. I may also blog on science, especially neuroscience (and vision) or elementary physics, but I have not reviewed books about these topics.
This review is for Authors, article writers, bloggers and anyone who is even vaguely considering maybe, one day, of writing a book. If this describes you then you need to get a copy of APE the book immediately. That is immediately as in right now – do no pass go, do not collect $200 – just get the book. You can thank me later or even better, tweet or post your thanks to the authors via social media.
|APE was published for almost a year before I casually picked up a copy at the library, because I like Guy Kawasaki’s ideas and have learned a lot from him via You Tube and his blogs, tweets and posts about social media and usiness. I was curious to learn what he had to say about self-publishing an e-book, because doing that was a part of my plan that aimed having a traditional publishing house (the bigger the better, I thought) publish my book.|
My first plan for the new Art of Seeing The Divine book (and shorter introductory version) that I am currently writing had been delayed for several years as I waited for tablets, hand held devices and especially Kindles to achieve the technical ability to display color images well.
My books have many fine art images and inspirational and informational texts. The images are used for special kinds of experiences, like brain games, to help the reader gain a greater visual understanding of reality that I call Awakened Vision, but others call “Bible Eyes”. in print.
Previously, before picking up APE, I had researched publishing and the publishing industry. My plan was to publish first as an e-book, especially using Amazon, gain enough sales to attract a book publisher for a printed version of my own full book.I already knew that I would need to promote my books myself, as publishers spend time on money only on bestselling authors.
So I had spent a lot of time and research on how to promote my book, so that I could convince an agent and publisher that my book would be profitable for them. I figured I needed them to be able to help me get my message out to the world. I had pages of notes and names and addresses and information about publishers and publishing houses and agents. I have information of the sales data for any book that possibly might be comparable to my upcoming book. I was very dedicated and focused on being published by a traditional publisher in print. I understood that it is possible to make more money by self-publishing a print book, but my primary goal is to get my message out, and my second goal is to make money (which among other things I can also use to get my message out).
Since Kawasaki is a well-known New York Times bestselling author, he did not need publish an Artisanal book. Why did he pass the potential for a lucrative book deal to publish this way? We have seen the great changes is the music and video industries, is it true, as Seth Godin says, that we are about to see the same kind of upheaval in the publishing industry?
Then I read APE.
Clearly and simply APE lays out a road map that any author can fairly easily follow that makes sense and I think will lead to greater exposure, sales and control of one’s work.Here’s why the book is called APE: the A in stands for Author, the P is for Publisher and the E is for Entrepreneur.When I picked up the book, I was interested in sections A and E. While they are also excellent, section P, is why the book is now an essential resource for me.
My previous business plan for my book became road kill, run over by APE, since I cannot imagine a single compelling reason why I – or any writer who is not a blockbuster bestseller – can benefit more from a traditional publisher than by going the Artisanal publishing route using the information supplied in this book. APE provides links and contact information for resources, such as editors, formatting, printers, and book and cover designers, plus many creative ideas for promotion, etc.
One of the chief pieces of information that knocked down my previous plan is that now – and this is just in the last few years – authors can sell professionally printed books through bookstores on an on-demand basis, straight from the printer, plus via Amazon (which has its own printing company) printed books can be ordered directly. Thanks to new technologies, Artisanal publishing has become exceptionally inexpensive, while simultaneously growing more lucrative.
I also discovered in APE that a new machine is successfully making its way into bookstores (and may be the salvation for many small local ones) that can print any book, and the end of 2013 year news, is that it now prints in color. This means that a customer can walk into my small town bookstore and less than an hour later the new softcover book requested is ready to buy, just as if it had been in stock all along. Every small bookstore will be able to compete
with the big ones for variety of titles on hand. For Artisanal publishers and authors this means easy and almost unlimited and ongoing distribution.
Not only does this mean that an author does not need to buy and store printed books, but also, there is no longer a large investment of cash needed by an author to print books. Plus, every year the percentage of books sold that are digital increases, although print continues to outnumber digital in sales and volume.
Most importantly to me, Artisanal publishing as it exists today will give me a better chance to get my message out, through an extended and extensive promotional campaign that does not depend upon a publisher keeping books in print or in bookstores. My book will never be out of stock or unavailable or out of print as it can easily be ordered in print for as long as I wish, and this will not cost me extra. APE details how to accomplish this with a unique twist that I will not reveal (so you get the book), and even how to sell books to libraries (where I came upon my first copy).For an Artisanal publishing author sales and promotional activities do not come to an end after the first hectic month or two, but they can build over time.
I have read other books by Guy Kawasaki so I recognize his “voice”, which is friendly and open, and fun to read. Even the more technical information, like formats and publishing information for digital distributors, is simply laid out in a chart.
APE is more than a book, it is an ongoing experience. There is a website that is frequently updated with new information, and since the early copy I first read, there is now even more that interests me (and if you are an author, probably you too). In addition, there is an APE community there is an APE community on Google + that anyone can join for free and participate in the news, advice and information, plus pass encouragement on to others. This means that whatever copy of APE you buy, you will be able to gain the newest information also. Plus at the APE website below, sign up for the mailing list and receive an actually useful newsletter weekly, with more news and tips. [Note: I have largely modeled my own monthly Art & Inspiration newsletter after Kawasaki’s, preferring to offer helpful news and information, rather than pushing for sales. I really look forward to his newsletters.]
At the end of their book the authors put it all together through a detailed account of exactly what they did as authors, publishers and as entrepreneurs up to publication date, to create and launch APE, which, of course is self-published. This serves as a review and is extra helpful at bringing the tasks together into a whole and making one’s own publishing project real and, to me, easier to accomplish than writing a good book.
My own publishing journey for the Art of Seeing The Divine books will largely follow the path set out in APE, but will
incorporate some other parts, like a Crowd Funding campaign, which the authors did not have, but do suggest. As I move through my own journey, I will be referring to APE, because I enjoy giving credit when it is earned, and I would not be on this new publishing path without APE and Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch. I suppose that this review can also been understood as a kind of thank you to them.
Right now, as this blog is posted, Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch celebrating the one year anniversary of APE— How to Publish a Book by giving it away in digital format. This will only last until January 31, 2014 so
take advantage of it immediately: http://apethebook.com/anniversary/?utm_content=buffer20413&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer
Otherwise buy a copy in print or digital format you go to the http://apethebook.com website or through your local brick and mortar bookstore.
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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art at ungravenimage.com. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.
Check out the images and availability of limited and open edition prints — Click: store.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey
A smaller e-book will be available soon that is also filled with art, inspiration and Awakening Vision Experiences. The smaller brand new e-book will be available for free before the launch of the Crowd Funding campaign and that will also be available to mailing list subscribers first.
If you wish to have an advantage and to know exactly when the campaign goes live so you have first choice of the rewards that are for originals or limited editions,and get a copy of the free e book, you can use this link to sign up for the revamped free newsletter: