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Review: APE, How to Publish a Book; Guy Kawasaki, Shawn Welch

APE How to Publish a Book Cover400x639

One of the nice things that happens when you spend time in social networks is that you meet some very talented people. Guy Kawasaki is one of these people and recently he sent me an email asking if I wouldn’t mind reviewing his latest book. To be honest it wasn’t a request I was likely to turn down, especially since the new book is about how to self-publish your book, a subject that is close to my heart, and so it was that shortly afterwards I received a PDF copy of ‘APE: How to Publish a Book’.

The review

I have just had the pleasure of reading the newly released book APE: How to Publish a Book, which sets out to acts as a if not the definitive guide book for all want-to-be self-publishers. Co-authored by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch the book covers pretty much everything you will need to be aware of when wanting to learn how to successfully self-publish a book.

APE is an acronym for Author – Publisher – Entrepreneur. The book is divided into three separate parts, one for each of these, as Guy believes that to be a successful self-publisher, a writer must not only be an author, but also become a publisher and an entrepreneur.

At over 340 pages, the book is quite hefty. However, since it is a vast subject area that it is attempting to cover, containing a huge range of necessary new skills, then a book needs to be hefty to do it justice.

Guy and Shawn have not tried to dumb down what is involved in a project as large as learning how to self-publish your own book. Nor have they attempted to make it sound easy, indeed they mention many times about daunting issues with editing, media formats, marketing, finance and the authors own commitment. Despite all these they have successfully trodden a difficult line and instead of scaring tentative self-publishers away from the idea, they have made a mammoth task and steep learning curve seem eminently do-able.

They have achieved this by combining easy-to-read explanations, real world examples, generous links to good on-line resources and a judicious dose of humour. The book lays out a clear route through all the tasks of writing, editing, cover design and production, all the way to pricing, selling and marketing.

The book is crammed full of good tips on how to make your publishing life very much easier, and blunt warnings where it is far better to seek (and pay for) expert advice rather than producing a poor performing and inferior product.

Having recommended that you employ a professional it then explains how you may obtain free funding for these services with some good suggestions (hat-tip to Guy) about crowdsourcing some or all of your initial editing, research (non-fiction) and cover design, as well as crowdfunding the necessary professional editing services.

Although this book contains a wealth of information, it is impossible to cover absolutely everything due to the vast amount of individual tasks that are actually required to self-publish a book.
Simply put, all the tasks that are required to author a book, publish a book, and entrepreneurial tasks required to gain sales is beyond a mere 300+ pages. However, having said that, APE gives you all the necessary knowledge to not undertake a folly, to not make hideous mistakes, to not waste a very significant part of your lifetime to only learn how not to do something. Of the rest, the parts it either doesn’t cover or only covers lightly, you are directed to external sources and relevant web links are provided.

The book is also supported by the website, which has free additional templates, files, calculators and other useful resources.


clip_image002Is APE: How to Publish a Book, a book worth buying by the aspiring self-publisher?

In one word, yes!

The reason that I recommend you buy this book? Because, in addition to all the information about how to work on your project and how to handle a massive wall of technical issues, there are enough tips detailing how you can make savings in expense and time during the project that ‘APE: How to Publish a Book’ will easily repay your investment.

To look inside the book or read more reviews click on the image to the right which will take you to the books page in the Kindle store.

(Disclaimer: This is a requested review, a free copy was supplied for review purposes and no other payment was involved.)



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