Interview with Guy Kawasaki, author of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How To Publish A Book
APE is a book that I co-authored with Shawn Welch. The genesis of APE is my experience with self-publishing a book called What the Plus!. During this process I learned what a complex, idiosyncratic, and confusing process self-publishing is, so I decided to write a book to help fellow authors. I divided it into three parts: author, publisher, and entrepreneur because those are the three functions that a self-publisher must fulfill.
A reasonable proportion of our readers are indie authors with a book already under their belt. Is there anything in APE for them or is it aimed only at those about to set out on the journey?
That’s true, but given the choice between being traditionally or independently published, most authors will still choose the former. That is still the right choice in most circumstances, isn’t it?
At an extreme, if a traditional publisher offers you $5 million but grants no control of content and design and says that it will take twelve to eighteen months to get the book on shelves, I suppose most people will take the money. But the average advance is reputed to be $5,000. So for $5,000, are you willing to deal with a traditional publisher?
Let’s be even more accurate. Let’s say it could be $9,000 because if you reject the deal, you’ll probably spend $4,000 of your own money to publish your book. This is a $9,000 swing if you were offered a $5,000 advance. For $4,000 or even $9,000, self-publishing is a viable alternative because you can control your own fate and make more money per copy of your book.
What would you say is the number one mistake most indie authors make?
Some might say that that’s easy for you to say, after all you are the famous Guy Kawasaki. Is it even possible for Peggy-Jo from Ohio to make a dent marketing her book with her fifteen Twitter followers?
Sure, I have an advantage, but I don’t assume that my readers have 4 million followers. I can’t promise that you’ll have 4 million followers after reading the Entrepreneur section of APE, but you have to start somewhere. Also, would you prefer to read the advice of someone who had fifteen followers? What does that say about his expertise?
That’s a very fair point. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
What are the best ways to follow what you do on the internet?
What’s next for you?