You have to stand by the side of the river a long time before a roast duck will fly into your mouth.
If you’ve written a book or even thought about writing a book and you haven’t a received a big fat advance check, then you’ve probably considered self-publishing at some point. But is it all it’s cracked up to be?
Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing Guy Kawasaki, who is the co-founder of Alltop.com, the former Chief Evangelist for Apple, and the author of 12 books. He is also a huge fan of self-publishing.
So we had a conversation about why Guy recently self-published a book and what he learned through the process. I think you’re going to enjoy it.
In this episode of The Portfolio Life podcast, we talk about self-publishing, entrepreneurship, and the many reasons you don’t have to wait to share your words with the world.
My interview with Guy Kawasaki
To listen to the show, click the player below (if viewing this in email, click here).
Guy Kawasaki wrote his first book in 1987 during his time at a small software company. The book, The Macintosh Way, was born from his belief that there had to be a better way to do business.
When Guy self-published his book What the Plus, he discovered that publishing a book was hard to do well. So after he figured it all out, he wrote APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur — How to Publish a Book to share the lessons he learned and make self-publishing a little more accessible to all of us.
Guy and I talked about:
- What it was like to work with Steve Jobs
- How authors can self-publish great work
- Why writing (eventually) gets easier
- The good (and bad reasons) to write a book
- The advantages of self-publishing and the responsibilities that go with them
The most important part of publishing
Guy sees self-publishing as “artisanal” publishing, and sees authors as craftspeople.
And he is clear: Writing a book is not a trivial task.
You throw up on the page, then you invest your real effort refining it. But if you’re doing it for the right reasons — to add to the body of knowledge, to further a cause, or for the challenge of just doing it — it’s worth the effort to do well.
But he points out it’s not just about writing the content. To self-publish, you also have to be willing to market it.
Because, as Guy has learned, stuff does not sell itself. (Click here to tweet that.)
The roast duck does not just fly into your mouth.
A writer needs to make a lot of things happen in parallel. The moment you start writing your book is the moment you should start building your marketing platform. You need to consider eBook formatting, cover and interior design, print vendors, and more.
But the payoff can be great.
I hope you enjoy the interview. Feel free to download it and share with friends. And I would love for you to take a moment and leave a review on iTunes. This podcast is a work in progress, and I value your feedback.
Have you ever considered self-publishing? Share in the comments.