Guy Kawasaki’s Artisanal Publishing and How It’s Changing Publishing

You’ve probably all heard of Guy Kawasaki, the Silicon Valley author, speaker, investor, and business advisor. If you haven’t – especially if you’re interested in self-publishing – you need to know who he is. After some bad experiences working with traditional publishers on a few books, Kawasaki self-published his book, What the Plus, which is when the term “artisanal publishing” was born. Artisanal Publishing refers to “writers who love their craft, and who control every aspect of the process from beginning to end. In this new approach, writers are no longer at the mercy of large, traditional publishers, and readers will have more books to read.”

The self-publishing process proved more challenging than he expected, and he learned a number of lessons throughout the process, which led him to self-publish APE: How to Publish a Book—all about the positives and the “pain and trauma” of being an indie author. APE stands for Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur.

According to Kawasaki, when a self-publisher successfully fills three roles—author, publisher, and entrepreneur—the potential benefits are greater than with traditional publishing. And while Kawasaki may now be a self-publishing convert, he has talked about both the pros and cons of going the route of self-publishing.

On the pro side, he cites editorial, sales, and marketing control; quicker time to market; and increased royalties. “APE sells for $9.99 as a Kindle e-book and we make $7,” he said. “And that is remarkable. That is like four times traditionally published…These are good numbers.” The drawbacks, Kawasaki said, include no advance, increased responsibility for all aspects of the publishing process, and loneliness.

In offering up his top 10 tips for self-published authors, Kawasaki urges writers to:

  1. Write for the Right Reasons: He cited writing to enrich people’s lives, furthering a cause, or meeting an intellectual challenge.
  2. Use the Right Tools: He suggests a number of different pieces of software, such as Word and InDesign, but the bottom line is that you need to make sure they are the right tools for your work and process.
  3. Write Every Day
  4. Build Your Marketing Platform
  5. Start with a Kindle E-Book: “When all the dust settles, for us, Amazon is about 85% to 90% of the action,” Kawasaki said. “There’s all these other platforms, but if you can make it with Kindle you’ve got it made….If you make it on Kindle the rest is cream.”
  6. Tap the Crowd: With APE, Kawasaki asked his social media followers to critique his book outline, finished manuscript, and the final PDF of the book. “It really improved the book,” he said. “The crowd really helped me…It probably doubled the quality of APE. It was truly a great experience.”
  7. Hire a Copy Editor
  8. Hire a Cover Designer
  9. Test Your E-Book: Kawasaki urged writers to test the readability of their e-book on all platforms, devices, and operating systems.
  10. Never Give Up

These are all great pieces of advice! As overwhelming as it was for Guy just starting out as a self-published author, you can see from his list that it helps to have a professional team behind you every step of the way.  We will be discussing some of them at more length in future blog posts.

At SDP Publishing, like Guy Kawasaki, we treat each book as its own independent business. Authors retain 100% of their rights, enjoying generous royalties while going through the process step-by-step with our team. Independent publishing means your name is the brand and your book is the product. As we’ve talked about in the past, publishing a book on your own can be a long, lonely road, which is why it can be helpful to for writers build a team to help them succeed in self-publishing.

To receive your free 45-minute consultation, send us a one-paragraph book synopsis, a brief author bio, a list of comparable titles, and the first three chapters of your manuscript. SDP Publishing Solutions will review and set up time to talk with you to provide direction and recommendations on what you need to do to publish your book and get it on the market!

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) offers optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

Tips for Putting Together Your Indie Publishing Team

Publishing teamPublishing a book on your own can be a long, lonely road. It can be helpful to for writers to have a team behind them to succeed in self-publishing. While some authors do choose to do it alone, it can be difficult because you really need to be skilled at copyediting, proofreading, social media, graphic design, marketing, running ad campaigns, and designing websites. Successful indie authors often work with experts – a team who can help you manage all of the moving pieces throughout the life-cycle of the publishing process. Working with a team of experts can help an author focus on what they do best – writing. A few key members of your team could include:

  • Developmental editor – Someone to help you shape the book – to organize your thoughts, create a theme that will attract your target reader, eliminate redundancies, and ensure the content is clear and concise.*
  • Copyeditor(s) – Someone to correct the final manuscript – to perform line-by-line editing, and ensure good grammar and readability for your target reader. The copyeditor will catch the things the developmental editor might otherwise miss.*
  • Designer(s) – Someone to help with the layout of the book – creates a professional interior design and eye-catching cover design.
  • Proofchecker – Someone to double-check the design and content, ensuring all content is there, no conversion issues, and the design is consistent throughout the book.
  • Proofreader(s) – Someone to give a full proofread of the text after the layout is complete.*
  • Production experts – You will need to determine whether you want to publish your book as an e-book, print book, or both. It can be helpful to have experts in these areas to guide you through the process and figure out which option is best for you.
  • Marketing and PR experts – You will likely need help with publicizing and creating marketing campaigns for your book. You want to develop your book as a distinct brand, targeting and cultivating the appropriate audiences. Activities you’ll want to think about may include setting up a website, social media presence, SEO, and press relations.

*Remember! Not all developmental editors are good copyeditors! Not all good proofreaders are good copyeditors! These are three very distinct editorial roles. We highly recommend at least two separate editors. Several pairs of professional eyes will ensure a perfect manuscript. Also, consider having a third-party professional proofreader to give your book that final read-through before publishing.

This is meant as a guide to help independent authors think about all the components that are necessary and the range of skills that are required when independently publishing. As you build your team, you should tailor it to your specific needs and the requirements of your work. If you have any questions about the skills and team members you might need to successfully launch your book, please contact SDP Publishing. Also see, “Free 45-minute Consultation with SDP Publishing Solutions and Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Publisher.”

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) offers optimal publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

Free 45-minute Consultation with SDP Publishing Solutions and Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Publisher

self publishing, independent publishingLooking for some direction on how to get your manuscript published? SDP Publishing Solutions can help!

To receive your free 45-minute consultation, send us a one-paragraph book synopsis brief author bio, a list of comparable titles, and the first three chapters of your manuscript. SDP Publishing Solutions will review and set up time to talk with you to provide direction and recommendations on what you need to do to publish your book and get it on the market!

Click here to download your free copy of the “Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Publisher”! Please fill in the form on our website and your download will be immediately available.

Why work with SDP Publishing Solutions?

  • Lisa Akoury-Ross of SDP Publishing Solutions brings more than 20 years of experience in the publishing business to help you independently publish your work quickly and cost effectively.
  • SDP Publishing Solutions differs from self-publishing houses because they work closely with authors to walk them through the complex web of getting published and marketing the finished product.
  • Authors retain 100% of their rights, enjoying generous royalties while going through the process step-by-step with our team. Independent publishing means your name is the brand and your book is the product; SDP Publishing Solutions runs each title as its own business.

If you have any questions, please contact SDP Publishing Solutions.

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) offers optimal publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

Additional Reading

We highlight some of the tips in the article that might be helpful as you decide if you should independently publish your book. Read more.
We look at the runaway success of Jack and Jasinda Wilder’s success with independently published steamy romance novels and a more recent independently published author, Richard Blomberg, the various levels of success they’ve achieved, and the ways in which any independent author can find success with indie publishing. Read more.
Self-publishing a book is one of the most practical and best ways to promote your business. It provides the opportunity to share what you know, build credibility, and promote your business. Read more.