APE: How To Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki & Shawn Welsh

How to Avoid the Self-Published Look

  • The stigma of self-publishing has diminished, but it still exists. If you follow Guy’s editing tips, you should be able to avoid crappy copy. You should refer to The Chicago Manual of Style when writing the front matter so it looks professional. Guy gives details and also suggests what to do for eBooks. He suggests ways to name your publishing company that does not contain your last name. This chapter contains a long list of gaffs you need to avoid throughout your book. There are too many to summarize here, which is why you need to buy this book.

How to Get an Effective Book Cover

  • Nothing shouts self-published louder than a crappy cover. Start by looking at other covers in your genre. Keep in mind that the cover must look good and be readable when portrayed in the small size used on many websites. Use 60 point fonts and have a dominant eye-catching graphics. Make separate versions for eBook and printed version, which can be more complex. If you are a good writer and editor you probably are not a good designer. You can try crowdsourcing or hire a pro. If you want to hire, contact an author whose covers you like and ask who their designer is. Keep in mind that people will judge your book by its cover.

Understanding Book Distribution

  • The self-publishing ecosystem is idiosyncratic, illogical, and fragmented. This chapter gives you the necessary details and links along with the pros and cons of each option. Your choices are online ebook resellers (digital), direct sales (digital), author-services companies (digital and print), and print-on-demand (print). Don’t worry if it looks like you made the wrong decision as most digital distribution decisions are changeable. The next chapters go into detail of each of the four options. If you choose an online reseller, for example, the next chapter gives you details for Apple, Amazon, Barns & Nobel, Google, and Kobo. There is also specific instructions if you decide to use Adobe’s or Apple’s iBook software to format your book. If this information is too technical for you, consider finding your own geek like Shawn to help.

How to Price Your Book

  • How is the job market for your target customers? How much does the competition charge for books in your genre? Unfortunately, this is process is not a science. High price might imply quality to one person and greed to another. In the end, you need to take your best shot and hope for the best. Guy covers the concepts of providing some formats for free and offering promotions to help establish a critical mass for your book. There is also a chapter devoted to publishing your book in audio format, and translating it into other languages.
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