Many people love reading books but few of us know the hardships that authors face in the long journey that starts with their putting down their thoughts electronically/on paper.
This book offers an author’s perspective on the publishing industry and what factors go into making each decision in the publishing cycle. Authors make considerable sacrifices to give us the end product. The book provides an honest look at the hard and gritty reality of the publishing industry.
But would-be authors need not fret – the latest book from Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch gives us a comprehensive tour into the publishing cycle. Guy and Shawn have coined a new term: Artisanal Publishing. Here is a sampling of the topics covered:
- Writing tools to create content
- Tips to proofread the finished product
- Raising money to finance the whole process
- How to convert our script in the Word document to the format of eBook resellers
- Reaching the customers through online book resellers or direct sales or author-services companies
- How to sell directly to readers
- International translation of books and audiobook versions
- How to take steps to precautions against frauds and rip-offs
- The need to check up with relevant authorities about taxes and legal requirements.
No book on self-publishing or eBooks can be complete without a detailed look at Amazon.com, the online retailing giant. I do not have the statistics on hand but Amazon’s Kindle is probably the most popular and the bestselling eBook reader. There is much more to Amazon and a separate chapter appropriately titled “How to Navigate the Amazon” is focused on the wide services and features provided by Amazon.
As a bibliophile, I enjoyed the chapter on the history of publishing. It was very informative and gave a good insight into the technological changes that have happened over the passage of time.
The book is extremely well-researched and has numerous links (or “Hat-tip” to quote Guy) to source materials. This lends a high degree of credibility to the book (and the authors).
I also liked the chapter on how to price one’s book. Specifically, I liked the pricing philosophies suggested by the authors. I also learnt a couple of new things – using serial commas, and the meaning and importance of ISBNs.
The techniques advocated by Guy and Shawn are applicable not only to book writing but also to blogging. Each blog post can be compared to a book chapter. I was humbled to know that I have been practicing a few of these methods. One example: I follow the second school of thought, when it comes to revising mistakes. I would leave it to the readers to learn more from the book itself!
In a nutshell: The book contains a wealth of practical information. In addition to the numerous tips and techniques from Guy, the book lists a number of online resources that can be utilized right away. The best part is that many of these resources are free of charge.
I would recommend the book to aspiring authors, bloggers and bibliophiles.
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