How to Be an Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur

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BOOK REVIEW

I want to tell you about a book so awe­some that I have just read it in the course of a week­end — and I don’t gen­er­ally have time, or make time, to power through some­thing that fast! (By the way, I am get­ting no ben­e­fit by pro­mot­ing this book, since my “dear” state leg­is­la­tors opted last sum­mer not to allow the Ama­zon Asso­ciates affil­i­ate pro­gram to be used in Min­nesota any longer. BOO!!!) Any­way… on to hap­pier things:

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

Book cover image: “APE: Author, Pub­lisher, Entre­pre­neur — How to Pub­lish a Book”

The book APE: Author, Pub­lisher, Entre­pre­neur — How to Pub­lish a Book, by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch, con­tains a wealth of infor­ma­tion about just what its title says. Chap­ter by chap­ter, the authors demys­tify the process of self-publishing — that is, being not only the author but also the pub­lisher of — a book. With­out talk­ing down to the reader, Kawasaki and Welch (along with a few inter­est­ing guest authors, clearly noted) offer step-by-step guide­lines regard­ing tech­nol­ogy, processes, inno­v­a­tive approaches, and anec­dotes to make it all both real and realistic.

Though I appre­ci­ate the great amount of knowl­edge shared through­out the book, my favorite sec­tion, and the one I think may well prove most use­ful to my clients, is the one on “entre­pre­neur­ing” one’s book, as the authors call it. Some of their sug­ges­tions go against the recent grain — such as not putting as much stock as is com­monly advised into blog­ging if you tend to find it dif­fi­cult to keep up with at least one post a week (ahem… yeah, I know…), but rather putting your energy into Google+ (about which Kawasaki dis­closes he has also writ­ten a book, “attention-grabbingly” titled What the Plus!), Goodreads, and other social media which have space for you to emu­late blog­ging at no cost and on a time frame that works bet­ter for you (more fre­quent brief posts, such as sta­tus updates, and longer, blog–style posts now and then). That’s just one idea among, lit­er­ally, hundreds.

Author Guy Kawasaki

Author Guy Kawasaki

Author Shawn Welch

Author Shawn Welch

Not sur­pris­ingly, I was totally won over — well, I would have been won over if I hadn’t already been won over — by the authors’ strong push for the value of copy­edit­ing and their list of text-related sug­ges­tions for how to make your self-published book not look self-published. Regard­ing the for­mer, they made my lit­tle heart go pitter-patter by stat­ing unequiv­o­cally that try­ing to save money by cut­ting copy­edit­ing or going cheap with copy­edit­ing is a really “dumb” thing to do (yes, that was their word!). I don’t agree with them because copy­edit­ing is how I make my liv­ing; rather, I copy­edit because I agree with them. A book rid­dled with errors is nei­ther cred­i­ble nor pleas­ing to read; it is my plea­sure to help APEs make their books cred­i­ble and pleasing.

And their sug­gested ways to keep your book from look­ing self-published are tech­niques I whole-heartedly believe in, a sam­pling of which I share here in my own words:

  • Use smart quotes, not dumb quotes (talk­ing about the punc­tu­a­tion marks here).
  • Cap­i­tal­ize head­lines prop­erly: i.e., don’t lower-case short words just because they are short (“is,” “be,” etc. should be capped); don’t cap every word just because you think that will lend empha­sis (that’s what ital­ics are for, even in titles).
  • Don’t use quo­ta­tion marks in an attempt to lend empha­sis either; they have spe­cific pur­poses, among which empha­sis is not one.
  • Use active-voice verbs rather than pas­sive ones (e.g., “The APE book was devoured by me in only two days” is not nearly as pow­er­ful, or pleas­ing to the ear, as “I devoured the APE book in only two days.”).

In addi­tion to the infor­ma­tion con­tained in the book itself, over 350 links to use­ful resources are included in the elec­tronic ver­sion; if you opt for the print ver­sion, those same links are pro­vided to you, free of charge, at the APE The Book web­site, along with many other tools for your use.

APE has over 600 five-star reviews on Ama­zon as well as an addi­tional 100+ four-star reviews, and is pro­claimed “Essen­tial read­ing (and ref­er­ence) for mod­ern authors, regard­less of expe­ri­ence” by Kirkus Book Reviews. I could not agree more! Whether you are presently author­ing, pub­lish­ing, or entre­pre­neur­ing (mar­ket­ing) your book, “go APE”! — grab a copy of this book today!

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