They say that everyone’s got a book inside of them. Not literally, of course…
The thing about publishing today is that, in terms of technology, it’s easier than it’s ever been. Publishing is becoming less an industry and more the push of a button.
But that’s the mechanics of publishing. That’s the distribution of content which – as we know – is the easiest part in the scheme of things.
Publishing, as an industry, is going through the biggest shake-up since perhaps the invention of the printing press. Book publishers have based much of what they’ve done for the past few hundred years on a business model that’s fundamentally unchanged. They saw that the future of the industry would be pretty much like the history of the industry, but maybe with a few more flashing lights on it.
The Evolution Of Publishing
However, just like the record industry before them, book publishers are slowly waking-up to the fact that they’re no longer in charge. They’re no longer the gatekeepers and guardians of how and where content is distributed. Today it’s us – the customer – that decide how, why and when we consume content.
But publishers are not in the business of selling pulped-up trees, any more than the music industry was in the business of selling vinyl disks or (later) silver ones. Today, the music industry is far more diverse, and more accessible to audiences – there’s much more music being created now than ever before. Musicians are able to bypass record companies, agents and the 101 other links in the chain that have existed to bring musicians and audiences together. Today, musicians can sell, share and engage with their audiences directly – and without having to use intermediaries. It could be argued that book publishing is heading down a similar path.
Enter Guy Kawasaki.
Along with co-author Shawn Welch, Guy has published APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish A Book. The aim of APE is a “how to” for budding authors on how to get their words published.
Whether it’s via a “traditional” book publisher, or going down the route of doing-it-yourself (which Guy rather endearingly calls “artisanal publishing”), APE outlines the (often painful) process of publishing a book. Think of it as a reference manual. A sort of “Everything You Wanted To Know About Publishing A Book, But Were Afraid To Ask.”
Educational, Informative – and Humorous
While it features many real-life stories, APE isn’t simply a memoir of past experiences publishing books. The goal is to educate and inform the reader, something which it does rather well. Rather than favoring one publishing model over another, APE gives a balanced account of the pros and cons of using a publisher vs. rolling-your-own.
As with Guy’s other books, APE is written in an informative yet light-hearted style with short, easily-digestible chapters. The book has a lot of great advice and information, and features lots of links that go into more detail about various subjects covered in the book.
Regardless of whether you feel the urge to write a book or not, I’d say that APE is worth a read.
APE is published today (December 10th, 2012) for $9.99 / £6.42 / €7.93 and is available exclusively on Amazon for the next 90 days.