Book Review: APE by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch, for Authors, Publishers, and Entrepreneurs

Considering writing a book? Or perhaps there’s a manuscript lurking on your hard drive, clamoring to burst onto the small tablet screen. Before you embark on the road to self-publishing, pick up a copy of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch. Just trust me on this one.

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book

Guy and Shawn turn in a solid performance in APE, drawing back the curtain to the wizardry of publishing in the new millennial. Brick by brick, they take you down the path into the land of publishing once  reserved for the few, but now open to anyone. Oz-stensible, you say?

Not at all. The authors share everything the budding author-preneur needs to get up and running in short order.  APE is a solid, no frills guide to self-publishing, or as Alltop founder Guy Kawasaki  prefers to say, “artisanal publishing.”

The book title is derived from the three hats that an artisan author/publisher/entrepreneur must wear. Make make no mistake, it’s a lot of real work–if the notion of self-publishing brings to mind instant riches, lazy writing by the seaside, or editing between bon-bons, perhaps you should move on and leave the heavy lifting to others.

But if you’re ready, technical gurus Guy and Shawn have drawn a superb road map to artisanal publishing. Bottom line: Be Professional. These authors are advocates for excellence, advising on everything from investing in a copy of The Chicago Manual of Style to hiring the best editors and cover designers one can afford. They also recommend professional organizations and services, such as the International Books Publisher’s Association and NetGalley, among others.

An outgrowth of the authors’ experiences in self-publishing an earlier book, What the Plus+, APE is divided into three sections that focus on the activities of the author, publisher, and entrepreneur at each stage of the process.

Twenty-nine chapters feature topics that include writing, funding, crowd-sourcing, editing, sales, file conversion, guerrilla marketing, social media, blogging, and reviewers.

The writing is honest, pragmatic, and professional. After reading this book, it’s clear that Guy and Shawn walk their talk. APE is an excellent tactical guide to writing and publishing that I wish I’d had before publishing my first books, and especially my first ebook.

With more than four hundred links to resources in the ebook edition, you’ll want to invest in the ebook version for ease of use, even if you buy the the print edition for quick bookshelf reference. As a writer, it’s s a small investment for the success of your career.

APE is a five-star read, an essential guide for anyone in the new publishing world.

On Amazon: APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book

6 thoughts on “Book Review: APE by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch, for Authors, Publishers, and Entrepreneurs

  1. Thanks for the review, Jan. I downloaded the book on my Kindle a few months ago, but I haven’t dug in yet. I’m glad to know that they recommend hiring support resources (editors, cover designers, etc.) instead of doing everything. I’m currently writing my first self-published ebook, Math for Writers, and after doing traditional publishing, I’m finding I’m pretty scared of the nuts and bolts of publishing. But I do have a great cover design and a top-notch editor in my court. Looking forward to reading APE.

    • Sounds like you’re off to great start. Don’t worry; there are plenty of resources and answers to publishing questions online. Google is your friend! Using experts for editing, design, and formatting is a wise choice. Some writers might have those tools in their tool chest, but for those who don’t and can afford professional services, their time is better spent writing and building their platform. Authors are entrepreneurs, and as with any entrepreneurial venture, you’ll benefit the most from building a great team. Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

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