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Author Spotlight: Guy Kawasaki

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger on May 16, 2013 11:23:09 AM Tech entrepreneur and marketing expert Guy Kawasaki regularly finds himself on the front lines of changing trends and emerging technologies. So when he started noticing shifts in the book industry, he decided to write the book on it. Thus APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur - How to Publish a Book, a comprehensive guide to self-publishing that he co-authored with Shawn Welch, was born. Read on to find out how the author of 12 books drew from his experience in the publishing world to pen a guide for independent authors that he self-published with CreateSpace and KDP.



Tell us about your book and how you came to independent publishing.

I wrote a book called Enchantment, and it was published with one of the Big 6. A company wanted to buy 500 copies of the eBook version of Enchantment, but my publisher was unable to sell it directly. Instead, it referred the company to retailers. When I heard this, it showed how backwards traditional publishing was. Around the same time, I fell in love with Google+ and decided to write a book about it. This was the perfect chance to try self-publishing because I knew that Google+ was too limited a topic for a traditional publisher.

During this process, I learned how hard it is to self-publish a non-fiction book with pictures, captions, tables, and lists. This led me to write APE because I knew, as Steve Jobs would say, "there must be a better way."


Care to share your author bio?

I am the author of APE, What the Plus!, Enchantment, and nine other books. I also am the co-founder of, an "online magazine rack" of popular topics on the web. Previously, I was the chief evangelist of Apple. I have a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.


How did you choose CreateSpace and KDP?

We chose KDP/CreateSpace because my prior experience was that Amazon was where the action was happening. In particular, we wanted the ability to give books away via the KDP Select program.


Our experience with CreateSpace and KDP has been - no bull shiitake - fabulous. Processing is fast. Tech support is fast. Customer service is fast. We approved the CreateSpace proof on Christmas night and had a physical copy by December 27th. When we updated APE in February, the new version was live in eight hours. The analytics are real time. It's hard to imagine ways the experience could be much better.


Tell us about your marketing efforts for your book. How did you get the word out?

We used the shotgun approach. I don't think there's anything we didn't try. Google+, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest posts. Hangouts on Air on Google+. Twitter chats. I agreed to every request for an interview. We hired a PR team to do classic pound-on-the-press PR. We also conducted free webinars for the membership of organizations such as Kirkus and the American Marketing Association.


What were your goals with your book project? Have you met them at this point?

Our goal is worldwide domination of the self-publishing instructional market. KDP and CreateSpace are our primary distribution means for eBook and paperback for this goal. APE was the #3 Kindle book and a Wall Street Journal bestseller. Still, it's too early to tell if the book will be a big success because we're at the start of the self-publishing revolution.


What's next for you and your book?

Marketing a book is a process, not an event. One of the beauties of self-publishing is that the marketing ends when you decide it ends - not the publisher.


Any advice for your fellow authors?

The most important advice is to start building your marketing platform the day you start writing your book. You're going to need this platform when your book is done, and it will be too late to start building a platform then. The hardest part of self-publishing is the marketing of the book, not writing or publishing it.

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