Books on Writing, publishing, Writing Life

Keeping an APE in the Closet

apeI just finished reading APE (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur) by  Guy Kawalski and Shawn Welch. It’s about Artisinal Publishing; 300 pages of information about how to self-publish today. Written by a savvy entrepreneur and his tech associate it  aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of writing, publishing and marketing. It gives lots of digital details and a comprehensive glossary. Got to love glossaries.

Given the present jaw-dropping, ever-changing, crumbling, re-inventing, confusing and I could add adjectives forever and some of them wouldn’t sound nice, state of the publishing industry it seems most writers will be doing some indie-publishing. That’s why I read the book.

What is Artisinal Publishing?

“…a new, cool form of publishing–you heard the term here first!” {i.e., in APE}

Kawalski moves us away from the “vanity press” view of self-publishing to a more hip view that encompasses a sense of political freedom and artistic expression.

re: Branding

“The three pillars of a personal brand are trustworthiness, likeability, and competence: TLC. Trustworthiness means that people can depend on you because you are honest, forthright, and effective…Folks look forward to dealing with likeable people–even going out of their wary to encounter them. …The goal is to establish yourself as a trusted source of information, insight, and assistance.”

re: The three Ds of Self Publishing

“Companies such as Amazon and Apple, along with programmers and geeks,  have produced three fundamental curve jumps in publishing: Democratization. Anyone with a computer and a word processor can publish a book, and anyone with a computer, table or smart phone can read a book. Writing and reading are no longer the provinces of the rich, famous, and powerful. Determination. Authors can determine the success of their books, and readers can determine the quality of what thy read… Disintermediation. Entities that do not add value wither and die. The distribution of books from authors to readers is more direct, immediate, and inexpensive than ever. Gatekeepers must add value or face their demise. “

What do I think?

The book is well worth reading. It has lots of information about how-to get the book published  and  practical ideas on how to sell it. It’s written in clear prose and organized well.

My two criticisms are: 1) he tries to do too much. He doesn’t need to coach people on how to write. There are plenty of books out there that focus on that topic and rendering the discussion down to a few salient points doesn’t work for me. Although I do like that he quoted Elmore Leonard. and 2) he pushes his preferences regarding computer hardware, software and social media and I don’t agree with all of them. The good thing about him stating his preferences (for example he swears by his Mac computer) is that a person who doesn’t have a clue about what to buy will be given some good and workable suggestions. But I’d just like to say that there are other options and he doesn’t make it sound like there is.

End Result: I will keep an APE in my closet. And when the time is right, I’ll let her out.

Did you read APE? Do you have suggestions for other books on indie-publishing?

 

 

10 thoughts on “Keeping an APE in the Closet

  1. With so many sources of inspiration and know how it sometimes seems over-whelming. I’ll keep my eye on APE because it does sound interesting. It is indeed a different world we live in and as someone who’s indie published myself I know it can be done!

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    1. Hi Pat
      I bet a hundred years from now this transition point for publishing will just be just blip in history. But right now it seems quite bumpy. Thanks for stopping by.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

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    1. Definitely. I agree Pat.
      Here’s a quote I think you’ll like:
      “The only really necessary people in the publishing process now, are the writer and the reader.” Russel Grandinetti, Amazon.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

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    1. Hi Anna
      I found it interesting, but I know you know a lot about this subject so it may be old hat for you.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

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  2. Probably won’t get the book, Jo-Ann. I think there are MAC brains and PC brains and I’m in the later group. Not sure we speak each others’ language. LOL And I have enough good writer friends who Indie Pub, I’ll just ask them. Will be doing that with print copies of my first book come this fall. At least fingers crossed that works out. Indeed a brave and scary new world for writers. 🙂 Thanks for your, as usual, excellent synopsis. I’ll FB and Tweet.

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    1. Hi Marsha
      Thanks for the support.
      I’m looking forward to seeing your print copies. I bet it will feel magical when they arrive.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

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  3. Hi Jo-Ann thanks for the interesting article. I agree there are many great books on writing. But it never hurts me to know more about marketing and sales. : )

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