Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Guy Kawasaki on the top 10 reasons to self-publish.
Guy is a a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, bestselling author, and Apple Fellow. Above all, Guy is a down to Earth unleasher of goodness, and he drives with a simple mission to “empower people.”
Some of Guy’s books include The Art of the Start, The Macintosh Way, and Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. And now, Guy has a new book in town, just in time for the holidays. It’s APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book. As the name implies, it’s all about self-publishing and how to control the publishing process to produce high-quality books.
I asked Guy if he could share his best insights on self-publishing, and here is what he had to say …
The self-publishing revolution is in full swing because we’re at a great time when tablets have reached critical mass, connectivity is ubiquitous, and people want to spread, not horde, their knowledge.
Thus, the time for every author to consider self-publishing is upon us. I’ve written a book called APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur–How to Publish a Book to explain the process. Here are the top ten reasons why authors should self-publish their books.
- Content and design control. Self-publishers can control what’s in a book, how long it is, and how it looks. They only answer to themselves for most aspects of their books.
- Time to market. Self-publishers can get their book to market in less than a week once it’s copyedited. Traditional publishers take six to nine months to get a printed book to market, and they will not release the ebook version earlier than the printed version.
- Longevity. Self-publishers can keep their book in print forever—or at least as long as it takes for readers to discover it. Traditional publishers stop marketing a book once sales decline.
- Revisions. Self-publishers can revise books immediately with online ebook resellers and printers that are working “on demand.” Traditional publishers can take months to fix errors because they print revisions after they’ve sold off current inventory.
- Higher royalty. Self-publishers can make more money. Amazon pays a 35 percent or 70 percent royalty to ebook self-publishers. On a $2.99 ebook, most authors make approximately $2.00.
- Price control. Self-publishers can change the price of their book at will. For example, they can set a lower price to try to sell more copies or set a higher price to communicate higher quality.
- Global distribution. Self-publishers can achieve global distribution of their ebook on day one. For example, Kindle Direct Publishing will list an ebook in one hundred countries. Apple’s iBookstore reaches fifty countries.
- Control of foreign rights. Self-publishers determine who buys foreign rights and for how much. They can make more money because they are not sharing foreign-rights revenues with a traditional publisher.
- Analytics. Self-publishers can receive real-time or near real-time sales results. Traditional publishers provide twice-a-year royalty statements—imagine running a business with two sales reports a year.
- Deal flexibility. Self-publishers can cut any kind of deal with any kind of organization. Traditional publishers only sell to resellers except for bulk sales of printed books to large organizations.
Written by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur–How to Publish a Book (ISBN 978-0-9885231-1-1) presents persuasive arguments for why authors should choose self-publishing and how to execute this strategy. The thesis is powerful yet simple: filling the roles of author, publisher and entrepreneur yields results that rival traditional publishing. Guy and Shawn call this “artisanal publishing”–that is, when writers who love their craft control the publishing process and produce high-quality books. Visit http://apethebook.com/ for more information.
Photo by ShashiBellamkanda.