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(Fri03) I'm starting my next book. Tentatively, it's called APE: Author, Publisher, and Entrepreneur. It explains how to self-publish an ebook.

The link below will take you to the outline of the book. Please check it out and add your suggestions below. I'm especially looking for topics that I am missing. Thanks!
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Im going to read this i hope you dont mind constructive feedback. I thought Google+ was well done by the way. Google should have new users read that book. Its very helpful. 
Rock on, great idea! Your entrepreneurial voice comes out when you write; this will be an inspiring book for many to read. Looking forward to reading it once done. Under Doctrine, I would add - always have a clear idea who you are writing for - even develop a persona of the reader - and always write to serve, enrich and educate. Consider writing as a way to sharing what you know - so pick subjects for books on things you know really well. Also get aggressive about value - deliver frameworks, concepts, ideas that make the reader much richer for reading your book. Be the author a reader remembers because you freely gave from the heart and gave them more than anyone else. Just some thoughts, great idea for a book.
That's a great idea, Guy. I'm looking forward to reading it.
Thanks for sharing the outline, too. I'm creating an outline for my first eBook, so see your structure helps.
Really interesting to see how you layout/plan a book.
Also: the stuff inside was neat too.
Thanks for sharing ... appreciate what I have seen already.
Good points its a bit scattered of course right now but with some fine tuning it will be great. Maybe you might want to use some examples of people who self publish vs getting a publisher. Real life examples hit home much faster. Also if I was considering becoming an author this would seem like a to do for dummies. So maybe fix the name. Though you could go that route and really give a step by step guide through the world of becoming an author. Good luck! Please let me know when its coming out. 
Looks like it is going to have all the information I've been looking for about self-publishing all in one spot. I will definitely purchase this when it's finished +Guy Kawasaki
Heyy +Bonnie Wilson may be you would be interested in too.. you told you wanted to write a book..
+Guy Kawasaki I assume the self or traditional publishing section will say something like self publishing vs traditional publishing is like start ups vs corporate jobs; one has you do everything, with potentially bigger rewards(and no one else to blame for success/failure), whereas the other will be somewhat predictable and hands off, but lower rewards(and no control over poor marketing because they want to push other books), right?

Also, will this talk about newer formats, like "Kindle singles?" I've heard somewhere that these would be completely uneconomical to publish in book form (since they're so short) yet apparently very popular/successful in electronic format.

Another thing I have always been wondering is, how much time/effort does it take to write an entire book? There's probably large variance between authors, but since your book probably targets new authors (experienced authors curious about ebook publishing will probably skip a section for novice authors) it might be interesting to set up expectations as to what to expect when publishing a book. Can it be done during weekends on a six month period or does it involve quitting my day job?

I also heard that targeting niches underserved by traditional publishers is a good idea; for example, it would be hard to compete against a generic mass produced book about gardening, but much easier to be successful (for a single author) to publish a successful book about, say, cubicle cactus growing or some other much narrower topic. What do you think about that?

And of course, good luck with your book! :)
yeap there must be a better way :))
+Guy Kawasaki If we have verbose comments is there a more direct way to send them to you.
+Guy Kawasaki Before discussing formats, the reader may need a primer on DRM in general, its pros, and its cons.

Another perk to ebooks is that in some distribution channels, if you buy the book once you can download future revisions of the same book for free "for life." This is especially useful for readers of constantly evolving topics like (in my case) programming for Android.

Another thought about publishing: For certain subjects, consider bundling a print copy with the ebook either for free or at least a reasonable discount. You get the best of both worlds -- convenience and portability of the ebook w/ the resolution (and color!) of a treebook. Going back to my "Android programming" example, I've found it inconvenient, difficult, or sometimes just impossible to read an author's sample code or diagrams using an e-reader -- due to the ebook format's resampling of hte image, or lack of resolution in the reader. It's worse when the image spans two adjacent pages.

I'm looking forward to reading this book :)
+Guy Kawasaki I would like to see a DRM/NO DRM pros and cons since breaking current DRM with Calibre and widely-available plug-ins is now a trivial task.

I would like to see an exposition on using materials in the public domain and how to secure appropriate permissions from various souces. Possibly an inclusion of a list for major stock photo sources and a sample permission request form in the appendix.

I would like to see a "work for hire" agreement and a checklist for dealing with third-party vendors who might be associated in the areas of copy editing, formatting, proofing, indexing, cover design, etc. How about a planning chart to keep people on track? Again, possible in the appendix.

I would like to see a section on pre-research, key-word searches and the type of market research that might indicate how a publication might be received.

I would like to see a chart showing form factors and some formatting do's and don't for each. It really bugs me when I see inch-long space between words. Perhaps a note on simplicity vs. complexity in presentation. (bullets, numbering, tables, etc.) along with some navigation considerations. Possibly in the appendix.

Can you squeeze in some template links under freebies for M$ Word, etc.?
Fascinating, I had no idea so much went into just the idea of a book. I think this would be great and many aspiring writers will be picking this up once it hits the e-shelf!~
+Guy Kawasaki ,

Here are the notes I have on the information you have outlined so far.:

For the chart on Traditional vs. ebook chart.

Cover Art Approval. Traditional is usually No self is yes.
I have known friends who have had horrible covers to their books and were unable to veto it because the publisher had signed off on it.

How to Write:

You can go over some programs that are specialized, like Scrivener that are made specifically for the purpose of organizing and writing a book. There is also Open/Libre Office as well in the word-processing category.

To tie into the Google+ angle, Hangouts are good places to work with other writers. There are Silent Writing Hangouts going all of the time that allow you to screenshare and others in the hangout can offer advice through chat, or constructive criticism as they read what you are writing.

There needs to be an editing section in the writing area as well. The finish editing would be in the Producer section, but there are too many ebooks out there with little to no editing, it needs to be in every part of the process.

Problisher: How to Produce

There needs to be a rudimentary explanation of copywriter and how it works if you are self-publishing and how to make sure your work is copyrighted.

Cover Design:

Elements of a good cover, that makes a bad cover bad.

How to make sure your small icon in a list of ebooks on a tablet/reader is able to be instantly recognized in the list as your book.

Professional vs Photoshop and maybe a list of resources for stock photography for those doing the full DIY route.

Interior Design:

A basic primer of what is the expected design of the interior of an ebook.

Layout - Formats:

This link has a chart at the bottom of it of all the ebook formats and what devices use them. I


Conventions or Festivals for your Genre
Genre Groups (Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Society for Technical Communication, et al.)

Scott Sigler is a good example. He gives away his fiction for free on his website but people love it so much they buy the ebooks and hardcovers so they have it.

That's all the notes I have so far. Are you going to crowd source the copy editing again? if so, sign me up. It was a lot of fun for the What the Plus! book and I would love to do it again.
Looks to me like you have covered every valuable component. Great job and I look forward to reading and using it.
+Guy Kawasaki Interesting TOC. There are a lot of books on the market that attempt to address this subject. Most are a farce because they only address the subject in general terms. I don't think they intended to end up that way. I think the subject has so much depth that this topic overwhelms most authors. What I think would be interesting is a book that really pays attention to what happens up front: the development of a topic for a book, followed by an in depth look at best practices for communicating that topic. Hope this makes sense. Working on about 2 hours sleep!
Can't wait to get it. When will it be available?
+Guy Kawasaki I love the title. I'm just starting my second read of Enchanted. I also need finish your g+ book!
Just read your outline of the book "APE". I think it's coming out very well. I did not have the right to comment on the Google docs text. If I had, I'd comment on your writing section about two issues: use of scrivener and use of mind mapping to layout ideas for the book/chapters etc.
Scrivener is an excellent tool (and one can use it for free for thirty days too) for organizing ideas (irrespective of what type of book one wants to write), and then take from idea processing to production. It's incredibly powerful for writing non linear text (of course those who write linearly it's just fine), and it virtually eliminates any form of so called "writer's block", it's so well organized.
I also use mind maps quite extensively for working on my books, book chapter, and articles. Increasingly apps like omnioutliner (a little pricey but excellent on iPad), and others (like docear, a free open source mind map outliner app), or free mind are great tools for this job . Finally one must also mention organizers such as one note for the job as well.
Anyway, like "what the plus", I cannot wait to see this coming out in the public domain and buy it. Cheers.
Good point +Randall Munsters ; not sure if +Guy Kawasaki will introduce a new chapter on the tools for turnkey production of self publishing. Booktype and its accompanying free site looked excellent. I think both Amazon self publishing, lulu and Apple's ibook maker programs are great. However, having said that, I think given that the focus of the book is also on author as a publisher and entrepreneur, he may just include tools such as book type and some other forms of self publishing for entrepreneurs. Another couple of good resources are the good old mediawiki (download and install on any server that supports php) and wordpress. +Gina Trapani wrote a very nice and comprehensive tutorial about using mediawiki for writing and publishing your own books.
Thanks +Arin Basu , I'll have to look into those sources. I thought that Guy might like to look at Booktype as an item for his book, since I didn't see it in the outline.
how is your google+ book doing?
Like that you are showing the evolvement of the industry. Not a fan of print on demand companies except for Pure self publishing is hiring the graphic designer and owning the files from the get-go and having them uploaded to a printer and having control over the entire process.
Does it have a chapter on how to convince someone with writing talent to write it for you?
+Guy Kawasaki great book! As an APE myself, I've taken another publishing option not mentioned in the book.

The problem with selling through aggregators (iBook, Kindle, Lulu) is that they don't let you know who bought your book. Consequently, you can't follow up on your readers or communicate with them.

What I've done is that I use eJunkie to sell my books to my readers directly and bypass the aggregators. Even better still, I get even a bigger margin by cutting them out. So, I know who every single individual who bought my book is and I can contact each of them via email. This is very useful because I can build up my own list of buyers and cross sell up sell or down sell more products.

The only disadvantage with this option is that there's no DRM. But eJunkie partially solve this problem by imprinting buyer-specific information on every page of the PDF. This discourages but not prevent piracy.
Seems to be another great content for a book. I noticed you have a section for translation and i don't know if you thought about that (you probably have...) but i would like to see a section/chapter about finding good translators in order to reach a more global audience, rather than just you own native language!
Looks good, but all authors should learn the HTML and CSS they need to make good EPUB. Then use a clean text editor like TextWrangler or BBEdit (Word is very unclean) to create the source, and then a conversion tool (Caliber) or Sigil to make the EPUB.
Really great Guy! My only addition, which I don't see (but sure you'll cover) is content rights if you use proprietary tools like iBooks Author.

i.e. Books written using IBA can only be sold (in their IBA format) through the iBooks store.

Prospective authors should know that they might have to write / maintain separate formats for their content, based on what they use to create that content and where they intend to sell it.

This is an automatic purchase though, can't wait to read it!
Thank you, some wonderful insight and Ideas !
Looks valuable and comprehensive. I always wonder about the shelf life of books that describe workflows based on current online resources. But doing a companion website becomes another chore. Also, I would talk about C. Doctorow's notion about piracy: It's not piracy that is the author's foe... it's obscurity. Thanks for putting this info together!
Three more reasons for reading ebooks: sustainability, mobility and efficiency. Ebooks are paperless (and have a smaller carbon footprint, I presume) and weightless (which you note, but so are 100 ebooks, which I cannot carry at once) and take up no physical storage space (and gather no dust!). 
I've read through the outline and think that most items are planned to be covered. There is definitely a market for this book; I would definitely be a buyer.

I don't recall seeing this approach mentioned, but conceivably you could use Google Docs (Drive) to author some or all of the book and then potentially share the doc link out to solicit in-place comments. You could also create an initial draft in another language with the translation feature. And, you can share editing rights with an editor who may be working remotely.

Also, there are templates available on Google Docs which might help jumpstart the process.

Hope this helps.
Also, some folks put affiliate links in eBooks. Is this a "don't"? If not, perhaps some strategies for tastefully placing them.

Some people give their books away for free, but count on some income returning to them by way of affiliate links or even just raw links that may bring them some leads.

Not everyone writes an eBook for direct cash. Some do it to seed a deeper relationship (e.g. those who offer an ebook in exchange for an email list subscription—see HubSpot). But this might be a bit off your original topic.
Helpful as a bullet list alone.

Some thoughts:
1) free (as a means to some other end);
2) with iBooks instant gratification isn't just for the consumer anymore;
3) More stats (just to feed the fire)

In reference to another comment on "why" - I imagine what that's the doctrine section will flush out.

I'm looking to publish my own ebook in the near future. I can't wait for this book!
This is a really great concept for a book although it seems a lot more like a "How to" than the other books I have read of your Guy.

The other thing that I am wondering is if you are really looking to turn things on their head. Self publishing will allow you to release 10 30 page books instead of just 1 300 page book. Also with speed to market you could have an update process where you self edit all the time and therefore the newest edit would always be the latest and the readers would get an update email that would include the edits.

Super excited at what you will be doing to further this huge market that seems to be always changing.
Guy, we should work on one,despite the suggestion listed, some things Require collaboration, and you `ll find I AM an a special one.
How about something on networking or other strategies to get your book translated and published in other languages--how does that work for you?
You actually do this. Never thought of it. very cool. Would you advise it for pitches?
Just wanted to comment that I followed this via the link on your APE book. Hoping my first self-published book will be completed by end of year. I wish I would have found your book 2 months ago. Thanks +Guy Kawasaki​
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