In order to be a successful self published author you must be an APE: an Author, a Publisher and an Entrepreneur. Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch have put together a book that is a how-to manual on the process of self publishing.
APE is a very easy to read book that I read through quickly. One of the great things about the kindle version is all of the links – about 400 of them. The links provide a great resource for self published authors. They tackle each element in a different section of the book, starting with Authors, moving to Publishers, and ending with Entrepreneurs.
They provide a very good overview on writing – perfect for a new or aspiring author. They provide both tools and inspiration for writing well and For a more comprehensive read on the writing process I recommend Stephen King’s On Writing.
The next section is all about publishing. They give resources and opinions on the best ways to self publish: where and how. Are you better off only going digital or should you sell paper versions also? If you go with paper versions, should you go with Create Space or another company? Should you join Amazon’s KDP Select program to promote your book? Reading through this section will help you make the right choices for your book.
In the Entrepreneur section they outline the steps needed to effectively promote your book. If you have a blog and have spent any amount of time learning how to promote your blog much of this information will be familiar. It’s still a good overview and most will be able to learn something new.
I didn’t agree with everything in the book, mostly the fact that they recommend certain products as being completely necessary. You don’t need a Mac or Microsoft Word to be a self published author. Scrivener is a great tool for writers, just because it sounds too confusing to Guy doesn’t make it useless. I’ve used Microsoft Word and Scrivener to write novels and Scrivener makes the writing process so much easier! It was also slightly self promotional for Kawasaki’s other books.
Overall, I would recommend APE to other self publishing authors, unless you’re already so successful you don’t know what to do with all the money you’re raking in! There is a lot of helpful advice, and as with anything else, take what works for you and ignore the rest. Be willing to try something new but don’t take anything as gospel. Self publishing isn’t something that fits neatly into a box. Some things that work for you won’t work for me.
If you’re looking for more resources on the topic, check out my Writer’s Resources!