As a featured association management blogger on Alltop, I was recently given the opportunity to receive and review an advance copy of a new book written by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch titled, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book.
For those that don’t know, Kawasaki is the author of 11 previous books, including What the Plus!, Enchantment, and The Art of the Start. He is also the cofounder of Alltop.com and the former chief evangelist of Apple.
Likewise, Welch is the author of From Idea to App, iOS 5 Core Frameworks, and iOS 6 for Developers, and is also the developer of several iOS apps. Previously he worked as a senior media editor for Pearson Education. He also helped pioneer many of Pearson’s earliest efforts in iPad solutions.
But enough about them, what did I think of the book?
The short version: Pick up a copy today. It’s totally worth it. The Kindle ebook is now available for just $9.99 (with other versions hitting the market soon) and you’re bound to stumble upon something interesting or helpful that’s sure to support or otherwise enhance your work.
The book is broken down into three distinct sections: author, publisher and entrepreneur. As a blogger (and someone who’s dabbled more in professional writing as of late), I found the author section chock-full of tips, tricks, tools and techniques for further refining my approach to this craft.
Likewise, I secretly (or not-so-secretly) hope to write at least one book in my lifetime. Without even the slightest clue of where to start, this book (given the experiences of both Kawasaki and Welch) provided me the foundation to do so confidently (when the time is right).
The second section focuses on the reader’s role as publisher. Regardless of whether you ever plan on publishing a book, those even remotely interested in writing will find this section interesting. From editing to book cover design, distribution, sales, file conversions, pricing and everything in between, it’s a behind-the-scenes look at what makes the publishing world tick.
Finally, the book closes with a section on entrepreneurship. Again, whether or not you ever plan to author or publish a book, this section is relevant to anyone reading this review. It includes information on marketing, branding, social media and blogging – from the perspective of a little fish in a big pond. These are lessons we can all apply to our development as both leaders and professionals.
Other than content, what else makes this book a must-read? Well, the approach is conversational and neither Kawasaki nor Welch takes themselves too seriously. It’s also an easy and quick read. In fact, I recommend getting through it once without stopping and then returning, as necessary, to reference specific sections or passages of the book.
Likewise, the text contains approximately 400 hyperlinks. It’s the modern-day choose your own adventure. If you’re reading the ebook version, you can simply click on the links. If you’re reading the print version, you can visit the book’s dedicated website. Here you can also access a variety of free downloads, tests, templates and sample contracts.
But what’s the connection to the association community? That, my friends, is simple. The role of professional writing (particularly when it comes to curating industry content and publishing original research) continues to grow. As associations strive to remain both relevant and valuable, the author-publisher-entrepreneur model provides tremendous opportunity in the pursuit of this vision.
So, my question to you is this: Of the author, publisher and entrepreneur roles, which does your organization currently fill? Do opportunities for growth exist in these areas? If your organization doesn’t currently dedicate resources to each of these three roles, what might change if it did?