Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Sourcebook for Self-Publishers

Self-publishing is an honorable way to launch a literary career. Considering the hurdles we have to clear with traditional publishers, more of us are considering it. I recently came across a book on self-publishing with the unlikely title of APE, replete with a sketch of King Kong glowering over the skyline of Manhattan. On closer inspection, I found that APE stands for "Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur," the 3-in-1 role that a self-publisher must play. Fair enough. Perhaps there was something of value here.

Popular author Guy Kawasaki decided to investigate the world of self-publishing when his big-time NYC publisher (Penguin) didn't know how to respond when a large corporation wanted to give 500 copies of the e-book version of his newest release to its employees.

"Penguin...doesn't sell e-books directly, so it referred this lead to Apple," Kawasaki says. "Apple told the company to buy five hundred gift cards, scratch off the back, and then enter individual gift codes one at a time into iTunes. At that point, the company gave up on iTunes and tried Amazon and Barnes & Noble. An employee of the company ended up making five hundred individual credit-card purchases."

This was just 3 years ago (2011). So Kawasaki and his author colleague Shawn Welch wrote and self-published APE: How to Publish a Book. It's available from the usual retail outlets...

Click here to Barnes & Noble's listing for APE
or Here to Amazon's listing for it.

Despite my skepticism (I mean, what would you expect from a book with a cover like THAT?),  Kawasaki and Welch "crowdsourced" the contents of this book. They circulated the first drafts to dozens of self-published authors for their feedback, corrections, and contributions. As a result, the book brims over with resources for authors who are toying with the idea of self-publishing: editorial and design services, file conversion services, distribution channels for print and e-books, social media promotion tips, and much more.

It's well worth a look. If you go to their website ( and look VERY carefully, you'll see how to get your copy for I did.

Joe Allison and his wife, Judy, live in Anderson IN, where Joe serves as Editorial Director of Discipleship Resources & Curriculum for Warner Press, Inc. Joe has several nonfiction books in print, including Swords and Whetstones: A Guide to Christian Bible Study Resources. He's currently writing a trilogy of Christian historical novels set in the Great Depression.
Visit Joe's blog at

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