Guy Kawasaki’s new book and most recent book have departed from his focus on business strategy, marketing, and storytelling to focus on tactical “how-to” guides.
APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book echoes his earlier imperatives to “add value, make meaning”, whether writing or developing an entrepreneurial idea.
This reference manual enumerates the benefits of self-publishing (aka “artisinal publishing”) compared with traditional publishing models:
- Content and design control
- Direct connection
- Price control
- Time to market
- Global distribution
- Control of foreign rights
- Deal flexibility.
He acknowledges drawbacks, but argues that “artisinal publishing” trumps traditional publishing models despite:
- No advance
- No editing team
- No corporate marketing team
- Possibly lower prestige
- Self-service distribution
- Self-service foreign rights and translations
Kawasaki crowd-sourced the origami butterfly concept for his last book cover, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, and applied the same social approach to “beta-testing,” proof reading, critiquing, and editing this volume.
He candidly acknowledged the value of a professional copy editor to ensure that “artisinally-published” books look professional: even with massive iterations of crowd-sourced review, the copy editor found 1500 issues for correction.
He provides clear cost delineations in 2012 US dollars and suggestions to fund the development process, such as engaging in affiliate fee arrangements for products and services mentioned in a book and taking advantage of discounts through the Independent Booksellers Association.
Kawasaki candidly reveals that publishing a book may not be a revenue generator, citing his experience of making more from speaking engagements than royalties on his more than a dozen traditionally-published books
Despite his track record of evangelizing Apple products, he advocated using Microsoft Word for manuscript layout because many who collaborate on an “artisinally-published” book may require this format.
A seasoned marketer, he demystified distribution channels and suggested:
- Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing),
- Apple (iBookstore),
- Barnes & Noble (Nook),
- Google (Google Play),
He clarified the implications of producing digital media in contrast to physical media in discussing distribution through Gumroad for direct sales or printed books.
The latter requires the self-published author to collect, record, and report sales tax for sales within the same state or locale.
As a founder of Alltop and a Twitter evangelist, Kawasaki provided recommendations for promoting awareness of “artisinally-published” books via social media, Net Galley reviewers and bloggers, as well as virtual book tours.
He offers recommendations for independent author and publisher resources including:
The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers (14th Edition)
If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland, which he said “changed my life by empowering me to write even though I didn’t consider myself a writer.”
Kawasaki provided an unexpected “pearl of wisdom,” applicable to many life situations beyond building personal brand reach through “artisinal publishing,” from book enthusiast Marilyn Monroe who said,
“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”
-*What has been your experience in traditional or “artisinal” publishing?
Business Influence as “Enchantment”