I am nearing the completion of a non-fiction book, and have been trying to decide whether to once again look for an agent, or to go ahead and self-publish. Then a friend suggested that I read APE. My decision has been made – self publishing for me is a no brainer.
Just as How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen has become the gold standard for new authors looking for an agent and publisher through traditional means, APE will rapidly become the gold standard for self-publishing. And the reason is the same: both books are clear, logically organized, and go into specific details on what to do at each step.
APE is broken down into three parts:
Author explains the differences between self publishing and traditional publishing, and like all sections has lists of pros and cons. This section is packed with useful information, such as a section on why MS word is the best choice for writing a book, complete with screen shots explaining how to use the key features. And yes, APE also gives an overview of other word processing programs, with the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Publisher is tech heavy, with specific instructions on how to go through the self publishing process. It is complicated, but APE gave me something I didn’t have before: a roadmap that I know will work, because it is exactly the process the authors used for APE themselves. And they are not shy about what did and did not work for them. I particularly liked the many links to websites with additional information, and the section about the many companies that can provide an array of services for the self publisher.
Entrepreneur was the most fun for me to read. This section is all about building a platform – i.e. getting your name out there to build a following of people who would like to buy your book. Kawasaki and Welsh cover both social media and traditional forms of PR. Again, lots of examples of what has and has not worked.
As a new author, I think of myself as a one person business. I need to do everything. APE is just the roadmap I need to get some help to produce the quality, impactful work I dream of producing.