Self-Publishing – 12 Useful Ideas from Guy Kawasaki

APE by Guy KawasakiReading Guy Kawasaki’s APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur is proving to be straightforward and insightful, just as Joel Friedlander of The Book Designer promised. As an inveterate note taker, I’ve already filled seven hand-written pages and thought some of them might be useful to others.

  • When Kawasaki published his first book, he gave away 20,000 copies and sold 15,000. Who would have ever imagined a ratio like that?
  • He uses crowd sourcing to solicit feedback on his manuscripts.
  • When you publish an ebook, don’t use Times New Roman, Arial or Helvetica. These mark you as an amateur.
  • On Book Cover Archive are more than 1200 examples of book covers. When you create yours, choose a cover design for the ebook version that’s easy to read even in the postage stamp size you see on Amazon or other ebook resellers.
  • Don’t obsess about choosing your distribution channels, you can easily change them.
  • Make sure you test your ebooks on different devices before you launch.
  • Don’t use an author services company to acquire an ISBN. If you do, they and not you become the publisher of record.
  • Kawasaki does not worry about DRM (digital rights management). Nor does he register a copyright for his materials.
  • Offer your book in pdf format to anyone who promises a review.
  • Make it easy for someone to do a review by placing all bio, book blurb, photos and other info in one consolidated spot on your website or blog. This is what Kawasaki’s looks like for his book, Enchantment.
  • Platforms are built on trust, likaability and competence.
  • Repeat your tweets. Kawasaki repeats his four times.

Practical ideas and lots of them. I’ll be back with another set when I’ve finished reading.

6 thoughts on “Self-Publishing – 12 Useful Ideas from Guy Kawasaki”

      1. That’s a great question, Mary. Actually, I didn’t vote because how can you choose from so many great covers with beautiful models? The truth is, they left off many really artistic, beautiful covers such as “Saving CeeCee Honeycutt” by Beth Hoffman and “The Orchid House” by Lucinda Riley, as well as her most recent cover for “The Girl on the Cliff”.

        As to your second question, what makes a successful cover. That depends on genre. It also depends on whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. But if you want to limit the discussion to Historical Fiction, I think it’s only natural from my perspective as a woman, to be drawn to covers that portrays a character that I can identity with, or who is overcoming a particularly difficult challenge.

        But covers don’t have to be necessarily limited to character. It can also portray a particular cause, an abstract concept, a deep yearning of some sort, a striving for an intangible goal or ideal that the reader also identifies with. I remember as a child how much I loved the books of Ken Follett and Leon Uris even though their covers lacked any beauty. What drew me to those books was the abstract concept of striving for a particular goal, or overcoming a particular obstacle. Perhaps people buy books to transcend their own reality and attach themselves to a higher cause. Once a book has reached that level, even a bland cover such as “The Help” won’t stop the sale of those books!!!

        1. Rachel – it’s clear that you are an avid reader, experienced writer and someone who thinks a lot about all aspects of the writing craft. I truly appreciate the insights you add to many discussions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.