Guy Kawasaki APE Strategies on How to Publish a Book

Yesterday, Guy Kawasaki did a Google+ Hangout on Air with Martin Shervington talking about  his latest book “APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How to publish a book“.

Guy Kawasaki’s latest book APE teaches Online Dreampreneurs how to publish a book!

Having worked as a Chief Software Evangelist for Apple (in a time when there was zero software for the Machintosh), having written and published 12 books (2 self-published) and his background as a Venture Capitalist – it’s safe to say that Guy knows “a thing or two” about what it takes to be a successful Online Dreampreneur!

While I highly recommend that you watch the recording of the session, the goal of this post is to save you 1 hour and 17 minutes of your time and give you the best strategies on how to publish a book that worked wonderfully well for Guy – and that YOU (and I of course) can use on your own efforts to publish a book!

To self-publish or not

The biggest disadvantage of self-publishing a book is that you have to do EVERYTHING yourself!

“What do you mean? Is there anything more to it other than writing a great book?”

YES! What you just described is just the “A” part of “APE” which stands for “Author”. Yes – you have to write the book but that’s just 1 of the 3 things you need to master to successfully publish a book! Guy says that it’s “time to burst the bubble” of that romantic idea where you write it and they’ll will come.

Self-publishing is more time consuming and it will demand more from you but that comes with the territory.

On the other hand, having to do everything by yourself gives you more control! If you’re incredible passionate about details and you love to be involved on the creative process, self-publishing can be a tremendous advantage for you!

Self-publishing gives you more freedom to choose who you want to do business with. It also gives you the ability to get better margins.

Another great thing about self-publishing is the incredible low time-to-market: “from the time we got the book from the copy-editor, and approve those changes, to the time it was available for sale on Amazon, it was about 6 days – 4 of those 6 days we were waiting to publish it because it was too early!“.

Guy’s advice for Newbies

Publishing a book is a great way to prove your worth! “You prove it by having a following and with sales results” that not only will potentially lead you to get a business deal with a traditional published but also (and perhaps more importantly) it will put you on the map!

But please… PLEASE! Make sure “you have something VALUABLE to say! Don’t just write a book just because it’s good for your business. That’s a poor reason. If you’re just a mediocre person and you believe that publishing a book will make you less mediocre and land you some gigs… YOU’LL FAIL”!
I go even a step further by thinking about how I can make an IMMEDIATE, MASSIVE and MEANINGFUL difference in the lives of those I serve!

Above all else, and on this part Guy is absolutely HILARIOUS, “Don’t be Joe Schmoe“!

Make sure you also have a 30 second pitch about what the book is about and why should we care about it!

The World has ADD. Use it!

Guy says that the World (and specially the Online world) has Attention Deficit Disorder. People will look at your headline for (last time I checked) 9 seconds.

When you’re working on the title of your book, Guy recommends you to:

  • create a rhythm of three
  • create a word (early in the alphabet, so when people make lists about your topic/niche “guess who will appear first”)
  • make it a verb (so people can say something like – “Hey! I APED my book!”)

Unleash the power of the Internet

The Internet enables you to leverage the power of connection between people who care about each other. Here’s how Guy used this to ignite his book success:

“After working 2 months on on the outline of my book:

  • I created a Google Doc with the outline
  • Sent it to my ‘5 million friends’ and said that I would love for them to register so they could review and comment my outline
  • 250 registered to do this
  • 60 replied with comments and reviews

Then, I worked for one more month on the outline based on the incredible feedback I’ve got.”

But it doesn’t end here.

“When I had the final version of the book in PDF I sent it to my friends that helped me on the reviewing process.” Guess why this was so important?

On the day the book was published I already had an incredible number of people who already read the book, felt like they were part of the writing process and were ready to review it just 5 minutes after being published! I had to call Amazon before so they knew this wasn’t a scam!”

Here’s some links for Print-on-Demand mentioned by Guy:

On my own research I’ve came across Lulu – but I haven’t used any of these services.
P.S: Now, because you’re still reading this here’s a really cool Kawasaki moment to enchant you: The Physicist and the Chauffeur

What about you?

Are you planning to write a book? Was this review helpful? Leave a comment bellow with your own strategies and experiences about publishing a book!

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Success – How to use Innovation to Win!

Ice cube

One of the first ways that people look to be more successful is to use 6 words to ask the following question:

“How can we do this better?”

Some people believe that to reach the next level they need to do the same things. Only better. Faster. Cheaper.

This was exactly what Henry Ford talked about when he said: “If I ask my customers what they want, they’ll say: ‘Faster horses!'”

Don’t get me wrong. Asking this question is way better than asking no question at all. But this is the same type of thinking that was used back when making ice was a successful business model!

Competing on price

The efficiency mindset is focused on competing on price to achieve better results. For example, did you know that in past there was a business model for selling ice?

To tell you more about the interesting evolution of the ice business and what you can learn about innovation from it, I’m going to introduce you to Mr. Guy Kawasaki.

Why should you listen to him? He worked with Steve Jobs at Apple 2 times: from 1983 to 1987 as a Apple Software Evangelist and his job was to persuade software companies to build software for the Machintosh; and from 1995 to 1997 as Apple Chief Evangelist and his job was to influence and persuade people to why should they care about Apple.

Wow. What happened to the businesses that focused only on getting things 5% better? 10% better? They didn’t jumped to the next curve. They didn’t change the World. Yes, you can be build a successful business competing on price and leading the current status quo. But if you want to go from good to great and jump to the next innovation curve, or better yet CREATE the next curve, you need different mindset! What got you here won’t get you there.

When you focus only on efficiency, you’ll only improve the current status quo by asking“How can I build a more efficient saw so I can harvest ice faster and sell it cheaper?”

Innovation hates the status quo and loves change. Innovation is always trying to CHANGE the status quo. The World doesn’t change by making the same things faster and cheaper. It changes by Innovating the way we do things.

The Rabbit Way of Innovation

Start by using also 6 words but to make a different question to spark the innovation process:

“Why are we even doing this?”

Instead of asking how we can make X faster, cheaper and better, start wondering why you’re doing X in the first place. Do you really need X to get Y? Is there another way to achieve it?

Innovation also needs Vision because you need to look at things the way they are and see them the way they could be.
To do this you should practice the habit of the Queen from Alice in Wonderland:

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

Don’t take anything for granted and don’t believe that anything is impossible. It’s not. And it’s up to you to show the World how!

Innovation isn’t something you think about at the end of the product life cycle. It’s something you think ALL the time and especially when you’re designing your product!

Competing on Value

When you’re competing on price alone you’re in a tough place. Your customers are buying from you because you’re the cheapest seller. As soon as they find a cheaper place to buy… guess what they’ll do? That’s right! They’ll buy from the other guy!

Competing on Value is a very different story. Your costumers aren’t buying from you because you’re the cheapest supplier but because you offer the most valuable return on their investment! This is where you want to be ESPECIALLY in this tough and uncertain economic times.

If you want to compete on Value the only way you can do this is using Innovation.

Apple became the most profitable technology company in the World, not because they’re the fastest and the cheapest… but because they changed the World by the valuable innovations they shipped!

Next steps

  • While making the same thing faster and cheaper that your competition will enable you to survive, if you want to succeed you need to think how you can deliver make different but highly valuable things better then your competition;
  • If your a car factory manager and you ask me what I want, I’ll tell you that I want a faster car. Just as in the carriage day people replied that they wanted faster horses. It’s up to YOU to use your vision to look at things the way they are and see how they could be. Practice your imagination;
  • Innovation is about trying new things. It’s about failing too. Create a Culture where you don’t ask who’s to blame but what’s to learn!
  • While focusing only on creating cheaper, faster and better sameness won’t make you jump to the next curve, using Innovation not only you’ll create the next curve but you’ll also drive your competition crazy because they can’t compare to you! It’s a big beautiful blue ocean…
  • It’s not how you start your Success journey that determines if you’re a winner or not. It’s how you persist in staying and walking in the tough road that leads to Success.

And what about you?

What are your innovation stories? Share your valuable and unique experience about how you’re competing to Win!