Going APE About Writing and Self-Publishing

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book is the title of the new book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch. Since I’m passionate about writing and publishing, I was very excited when Guy offered me a review copy.

In a nutshell, I thought it was excellent and from here on in I’ll be recommending it to anyone who wants the inside track on the business of writing and publishing today.

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur coverThe whole point of the book is that the self-publisher has three roles – as author, publisher and entrepreneur – and has a lot to gain by doing those three jobs well. Those who do enter into what Guy and Shawn call “artisanal publishing” where they are in control of every aspect of the process of producing their book. And that’s what APE teaches you.

Section 1

Since I write every day and have read a lot on writing and publishing too, the first section was the least useful for me. If you’re just getting started, though, don’t skip it! It’s useful to have the context for writing and publishing, as well as guidance on the writing process and financing.

[ Author ]
1. Should You Write a Book?
2. A Review of Traditional Publishing
3. The Self-Publishing Revolution
4. The Ascent of Ebooks
5. Tools for Writers
6. How to Write Your Book
7. How to Finance Your Book

Section 2

Section 2 on publishing your book (incidentally, the longest section) had some really useful features. While I was aware of some of the tools and resources, I found this section particularly valuable. In particular the chapters on file conversion, direct sales, author services sites and audio gave me some new ideas.

[ Publisher ]
8. How to Edit Your Book
9. How to Avoid the Self-Published Look
10. How to Get an Effective Book Cover
11. Understanding Book Distribution
12. How to Sell Your Ebook Through Amazon,
Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google, and Kobo
13. How to Convert Your File
14. How to Sell Ebooks Directly to Readers
15. How to Use Author-Services Companies
16. How to Use Print-on-Demand Companies
17. How to Upload Your Book
18. How to Price Your Book
19. How to Create Audio and Foreign Language
Versions of Your Book
20. Self-Publishing Issues
21. How to Navigate Amazon

Section 3

The best parts of section 3 were on guerilla marketing, choosing a platform and pitching bloggers and I loved the inspiration in chapter 29, showing exactly what tools and techniques the authors used to publish APE. A glossary of terms and tools mentioned rounds out this useful addition to the writing and publishing genre.

[ Entrepreneur ]
22. How to Guerrilla-Market Your Book
23. How to Build an Enchanting Personal Brand
24. How to Choose a Platform Tool
25. How to Create a Social-Media Profile
26. How to Share on Social Media
27. How to Comment and Respond on Social Media
28. How to Pitch Bloggers and Reviewers
29. How We APEd This Book


The Verdict

Overall, I loved the no-BS approach, the quotes at the start of each chapter, the useful links and the examples. I think that APE is an inspirational and practical book that every writing and self-publishing entrepreneur can dip into time and again. I certainly plan to keep it on my virtual bookshelf as a reference for my next publishing project. And I’ll be checking out the cool resources on the APE website too.


Book information:

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur–How to Publish a Book (ISBN 978-0-9885231-1-1) Price: $9.99

Buy it on Amazon.com: Kindle [] Paperback

Buy it on Amazon UK: Paperback

About Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon Hurley Hall has been mentoring writers here at Get Paid To Write Online since 2005 to help them improve and build sustainable and successful writing careers. Check me out on sharonhh.com. Feel free to connect with me online on Google+.


  1. I’ve been following Guy for years, but somehow I missed this book. Now I gots to have it!!

    Thanks a lot for posting this.


  2. Oh wow! I just attended a webinar by Alicia Dunams about writing a bestseller in a weekend and it’s fascinating to read this post right after that session. I certainly found this book interesting and I think I am going to get a copy as I am in the middle of writing my first book and every bit of knowledge is very valuable to me. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I like Guy’s methods of business and content writing style… I wonder which chapter from this book you like the most and why? Haven’t read it myself, and would like to hear more…

    • I think the chapter on author services companies was interesting, providing some useful information. And I’m not that good on design, so I found the chapter on getting a good cover really useful too, Codrut.