Hello everyone. It is the start of a new year and I would like to start the year with something important and refreshing. As the last year went into its final month I was given the opportunity to read a book. Very simply titled APE, I accepted the invitation to read and quickly became immersed. It was not fiction, but it held me spell bound.
Writing is the starting point from which all goodness (and crappiness) grows. Every writer knows that writing a book isn’t an easy process, and neither is it always enjoyable, but it is one of life’s most satisfying achievements.
I started writing when I was in my early twenties and I have found in the last 35 years that writing is not a walk in the garden. When I got an invitation from Guy Kawasaki to read the book.
I was immediately attracted by the Title: Author Publisher Entrepreneur (APE).
I started reading and found myself so immersed in it that I immediately recognized that it is not just a novel or book or non- fiction like any other but the very bible one can use to build a career, a vocation or whatever you wish. It could be financial satisfaction as well as emotional goal. It is a book you want to take everywhere.
I had a problem, Should I sit down study the whole thing? Go back again and again or take a breath and a break and share my thoughts about the book.
Let me explain this way, this will not be a regular review as you might find on my blog. You know we would say something about the book and then interview the author. But in this case I just wish to share.
In my corner of the Universe, we have more self- published authors than traditional publishing houses. My first foray into being an author was as a self- published one. In my country, it is the only way you get your thoughts out of your head onto print to anyone else. You do not get to read other international authors for the very simple reason that years back, the federal government banned book importation. The rationale behind it was laudable but it defeated itself as piracy came in and the publishing promised had a still birth.
Well known authors had their books plagiarized ad nauseam and the easiest way out of the nightmare was to simply publish yourself. So in essence, most authors in my country are authors, publishers, and entrepreneur. They needed to be. But have we been successful with the army of pirates dogging our every thought?
Why do we self-publish? The reason is very simple. Traditional Publishing houses we have are only interested in printing textbooks for educational institutions. It is the only way they can make returns on their investment. They need to have the assurance that the books they publish are recommended texts for educational institutions. So authors who dare to want to publish outside these expectations had to be ready to part with an arm and a leg.
The reading public only reads journals, or newspapers. When an author attempts to publish fiction, his only choice is to find means of ‘negotiating’ with some officials how his book can be made a recommended text. So what he does first is sort that problem out before he approaches a traditional publisher.
Authors who decide to ignore that and go ahead to publish are doing it at the risk of their economic health and wellbeing. I once interviewed a well -known and respected writer from my country and asked him if a writer can make money from writing and his answer was a decisive No.
Now you understand my excitement when I was given permission to read APE. It was interesting to learn that self- publishing was not exclusive to my country but in a developed country like the USA. I learned about Indie publications and stared wonderingly at the veritable world of self- publishing that I could not comprehend. I was struck by this comment in the book.
“Why self-publish, then?
The answer is that self-publishing enables you to determine your own fate. there’s no need to endure the frustration of finding and working with a publisher. You can maintain control over your book and its marketing, receive a greater percentage of revenues, and retain all rights and ownership.
A successful self-publisher must fill three roles: Author, Publisher, and Entrepreneur—or APE. these roles are challenging, but they are not impossible”
That got my attention as I assumed the author was talking to me. I am a confused student of the school that art in its truest form should not be commercialized, but I have learned to review that as I got older. I needed to survive on the only source of living I have..writing. Another excerpt reads:
Self-publishing is akin to launching a start-up. Entrepreneurs must create a product, test it, raise money, recruit talent, and find customers at the same time. Also, we cover the same topic from different angles because of the parallel- processing nature of self-publishing.
My frustration is clear, I cannot simply put everything I learned about APE here. I am not that good about holding your attention. I can only tell you very truly and sincerely that I highly recommend you read the book. It takes you through all the basics you need to learn about being an author and how you can make your creativity productive.
I have a longing to see how this book can get to my country. We need this kind of book. We are a resilient nation and the benefits of the book will clear the fog about the pitfalls of self-publishing.
The book takes you from what we know, traditional publishing, it dissects the issues of traditional publishing, the fantasies of it and the pitfalls therein.
The book explains to me why I should write a book, what my dreams about writing are and why I should also see myself as a business person.
I could not fault it. I am thus not surprised that APE is a best seller and comes highly recommended.
Congratulations Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch.