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Posts Tagged ‘Guy Kawasaki’

Guy suggests self-publishing should be called Artisinal publishing.

Guy suggests self publishing should be called artisinal publishing.

In a previous post, I made note of a key-note address given by Guy Kawasaki at the San Francisco Writers Conference which I thought was quite good. Based on the traffic and comments on that post, I think many of you found his simple and clear insights helpful. So I thought I would share three more that I thought were important to remember and share the term he used to describe the new era of publishing. 

  1. Hire a copy editor–I know you have probably heard this comment over and over again, but I don’t think it can be emphasized enough. Too many self published authors think they are one draft wonders. I did not have the exact stats, but Guy shared a personal example where he had gone over the manuscripts numerous times and then submitted to the editor and was shocked at the number of corrections needed.  It’s not because he wasn’t a good writer. It just simply illustrates how important it is to have another qualified set of eyes on your work.
  2. Hire a cover designer–One of the scariest phrases I hear from authors is, “my daughter is an artist”.  She may be, but that doesn’t mean she knows how to create the right cover for your book. I have other posts on this blog that talk about cover design.  One of them is Six Tips from Wicked Good Book Cover Designers. Lots of good info there are how to determine what you need a cover designer to do.
  3. Never give up–Again, if you have read this blog, this is not a new statement. In fact one of the secrets of successful self published authors is believing in their work. It was just reassuring to hear Guy say it as well.

Finally, Guy suggested that there is a new term needed to describe the way self-publishing has evolved. He compared it to craft brewers or bakers. He said authors now need to think of their work as artisanal publishing. In other words, self publishing is no longer to be thought of as less value, but rather as an important craft. Not everyone agrees with his take, but I think it is further evidence that self publishing has fully arrived.  He gave three books as examples of Birds of America by Audubon, Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman and Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James.  Quite a diverse list, but each was first self-published and went on to be a big seller and classic.

What do you think? Do we need a new term to describe self-publishing? Do you agree with Guy’s suggestion? Use the comment section to let me know what you think.

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Guy Kawasaki speaking at the San Francisco Writers Conference,

Guy Kawasaki speaking at the San Francisco Writers Conference,

In my last post, I mentioned my attendance again this year at the San Francisco Writer’s conference, which took place back in February. One of the keynote addresses at the conference was given by Guy Kawasaki. Guy has published a dozen books using both traditional publishers and by self-publishing. He most recently self-published a book titled, APE, Author, Publisher, Entrepeneur. As he was researching the book, I had conversations with him about the services offered by Author Solutions  and other topics related to self-publishing.  I had never met him till the conference, but in our conversations I always found him to be a very reasonable and insightful person. His keynote only reinforced my opinion. He shared ten tips for authors today. With his permission, I am sharing a few with you in this post and in a  post to come.

  1. Write for the right reasons-According to Guy, writing for money is the wrong reason. Money is a consequence of writing a good book, but it should not be the primary motivation. He suggested there are others, such as enriching people’s lives, furtherng a cause or meeting an intellectual challenge. Could not agree more.
  2. Write everyday-I thought this was interesting challenge, but his point was writing is a skill and the more you practice  it, the better you get at it.  For a busy person, this can be hard to do, but it is a worthy goal.
  3. Build your marketing platform-This is not a new thought. Many have said it, but I thought he had some insights that bear repeating. The first point he made is you should build a platform so that you can “earn the right” to share your book with potential readers. That means you have to give to your audience before you ask them to buy your book.  One of the best ways to do that is “curate” content about the topic your potential book buyers are interested in.  Become a “sector expert” as Guy suggests, offering content that is of interest to your readers. In other words, become the go-t0 person for a particular topic.
  4. Tap the crowd-Seth Godin called this building a tribe, but it is the same idea. Use social media to build a following long before you publish your book. Use them for input on your title and your cover and even as beta readers. Their input will likely improve your book and give you a base of potential customers. Writing is a solo sport, but publishing should be a group activity.

Writing is a solo sport, but publishing should be a group activity.

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sfwcLogoThis past weekend, I attended and spoke at the San Francisco Writer’s Conference. I would contend it is one of the best, if not the best writer’s conference, in the country. The variety of speakers and panels and the keynote speeches are quite good. This past year was no different. Keynotes were delivered by:

  1. Bella Andre, the most recent self-published author who has garnered signifcant sales and press recognition. While her story was inspiring, it was interesting that she referenced how many people she has working for her to make sure her books are edited and formatted. I.t reinforced the need to find service providers who can help you.
  2. Guy Kawasaki, who has authored 12 books. Ten were traditionally published. Two were self published. His keynote was exceptional. I plan to do another blog post on the content he shared. Stay tuned. It will be coming shortly.
  3. R.L Stine, author of the best-selling Goosebumps series focused on where ideas come from and his presentation was hilarious and inspiring.

I believe you can order these presentations on the web site and I would encourage you do so. They are all worth the time. However, as I listened to the various presentations, the questions posed to me in my presentation, The Four Paths to Publishing and the conversations I had with many authors, I heard some common themes.

  1. Self publishing was the talk of the conference–Actually that isn’t that surprising given the events of the past year, but it still is amazing to see how quickly the conversation has changed from avoiding self-publishing to embracing it.
  2. Publishing is not an individual sport–No matter what path an author choses to publish, it still requires help from professional resources. There is an illusion that you can do this all by yourself for free, but the reality is you are going to need to either source help or work with an individual or company that helps you find the resources you need to get your book published.
  3. The quality of the writing in the book is still the most important thing–Over and over again, I heard presenters reinforce no matter what path you chose to use for publishing, the most important thing is the book. It should still be the focus of any author. So continue to work on your craft and the vision you have for your book.

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