Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: publisher

Is Guy Kawasaki An “Expert” On Digital Publishing?


A couple weeks ago, I wrote a short Review of APE ~ Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur by Guy Kawasaki & Shawn Welch.

In that review, I said:

“…about 90% of what’s in the book is available with a bit of intelligent searching on Google.

“I’d estimate about 70% is available through this blog—either what I’ve said or sources I link to.

“Please realize I’m not saying you shouldn’t read this book—just be sure you don’t accept it as the “full package” it’s being marketed as…”

My dictionary defines “expert” as: “a person who is very knowledgeable about or skilful in a particular area”.

Does what I said in the review make me an “expert” on digital publishing?

My answer would be no

I wonder why so many folks are calling Kawasaki an “expert”

Let me share some things he said on Digital Book World in the article The Top Ten Mistakes Writers Make When Self-Publishing a Book and let you judge whether he really knows what he’s talking about {by the way, I’m not saying what he says is “wrong”, just that, in many cases, it’s not the whole “truth”—i.e., it only applies to certain kinds of digital publishing…}:

Kawasaki’s Top Ten Mistakes when writers self-publish:

1. Writing for the wrong reason.

2. Not hiring a professional copyeditor.

3. Designing your own cover.

4. Not building your marketing platform in advance.

5. Using a word processor other than Microsoft Word.

6. Inadequately testing your ebook.

7. Selling only an ebook version.

8. Depending solely on social media and word of mouth.

9. Not tapping the crowd.

10. Having only one plan.

Naturally, if you follow the link to that article, you can see what he says about those 10 points.

Mr. Kawasaki is very popular

Mr. Kawasaki has a tremendous following

Mr. Kawasaki will make a lot of money from his book (and, because of his article on Digital Book World, he will sell even more)

Still

Consider

Is he an “expert” because he “repackages” what others have been saying for a number of years?

Certainly, his book and that article could very well be what he learned from his own experience

Yet

Most of it had already been learned and was freely available on the ‘Net

Just to be absolutely clear, I’m not at all saying he did anything “wrong”; but, is what he did all that “right”?

Care to share your ideas in the Comments?
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* Google Author Page


Here’s a re-blog of a post from the early part of this year, which is fast closing… It’s good to look back when preparing to look forward :-)

Notes from An Alien

I’ve written many posts about new opportunities for readers, new challenges for writers, and new business models for publishers.

I’ve linked to many other sites to give a rounded view of the transformation we’re going through in the Book-World.

I’ve found a wonderful article that’s a great summary of most of the changes and we’ll get to that soon.

First though, while trying to find, amongst the 330 posts on this blog [edit on 25 Dec 2012: 552 posts now :-)], appropriate ones to link-to in this post, I decided to use my own search function ( it’s in the upper right of the blog :-)

For posts about readers, check out this link about Reading.

For posts about writers, try this link about Writer.

For posts about publishers, look to Traditional.

There are other search terms you can use but these seemed appropriate for this post.

View original post 411 more words

Readers, Writers, Publishers ~ Can We Have A Win-Win-Win Situation?


It’s no wonder, in a world plagued by corporate media and international tensions, that the flux in the way books are created, distributed, and absorbed would be cast as a “war” between the three protagonists.

It’s obvious, without writers, readers and publishers would starve.

So, let’s assume we’ll always have folks who feel they Must write.

Will we always have big publishing houses?

In a previous post, Will Traditional Publishers Survive?, I asked the question, “Do you agree that the Digital Revolution is just one more ‘adjustment’ the traditional publishers need to consider?”

Will readers suffer from the surge in self-published books?

In the post, Are Readers The Winners In The New Publishing Game?, I said, “I do believe that, eventually, readers will have an exceedingly easy time in finding exactly what they desire; and, that they will become the primary ‘gatekeepers‘ in the Book-World.”

It’s certain that writers who take a non-traditional approach to publishing have to find ways of reaching their readers.

And, traditional publishers may be paying closer attention to readers’ real desires.

In a recent GalleyCat article, Publishers To Invest In Reader Data For Marketing, it’s said, “…that almost 71 percent of publishers agreed with the statement, ‘To be successful, the publisher of the future must have a database of individual customers it can have a relationship with and even contact directly.'”

It’s fascinating to me that many writers are already making sure they can contact and have a relationship with readers

Do you think traditional publishers will eventually form meaningful relationships with readers?

Can you imagine a world where readers have real input to the decisions publishers make?

Are writers fated to become their own publishers?

Is it conceivable that, eventually, readers, writers, and publishers can all Win?
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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Overview of The New World of Reading, Writing, and Publishing


I’ve written many posts about new opportunities for readers, new challenges for writers, and new business models for publishers.

I’ve linked to many other sites to give a rounded view of the transformation we’re going through in the Book-World.

I’ve found a wonderful article that’s a great summary of most of the changes and we’ll get to that soon.

First though, while trying to find, amongst the 330 posts on this blog [edit on 25 Dec 2012: 552 posts now :-)], appropriate ones to link-to in this post, I decided to use my own search function ( it’s in the upper right of the blog :-)

For posts about readers, check out this link about Reading.

For posts about writers, try this link about Writer.

For posts about publishers, look to Traditional.

There are other search terms you can use but these seemed appropriate for this post.

While scanning my Google Alerts I noticed an article in Ecommerce Times by Jeff Kagan called, How the E-Book Is Reinventing the Book Business, but it’s not merely about e-books.

Here are a few excerpts:

“Just as the iPod changed the music industry a decade ago, e-books are changing the publishing world right now. The rule book is being rewritten, and lessons in success and failure are coming from new and unexpected places.”

“I wrote a book in the 1990s. By the time I wrote my second, a year and a half ago, the industry had changed. Now it has changed again. And we are still just in the first inning of this new game.”

“Understanding this new world can be complicated. Some of these publishers work with both real books and e-books, while others just work with e-books. How you get paid from each is different as well. Understanding this changing industry can be a challenge to wrap your arms around, but this chaos is where new leaders are born.”

“Yesterday, publishers would have to preprint books in the thousands and try and convince bookstores to display them, front and center, in the hope they would be sold. This did not play to the author’s advantage. After a while, they would disappear, making room for the next wave of new books. Limited real estate in stores.

“Today, things are much different. Today, there are publishers who will print one single book at a time. A customer finds the book online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or tons of other sites, orders the book, and a single copy is printed, shipped and delivered to the customer in about a week.”

“This e-book revolution is changing the book publishing space quickly and completely. Whether you lead, follow, or are lost in the chaos of this new revolution is the only question. Readers love it. They have the choice of buying the old-fashioned way at a store, buying a book online, or buying an e-book instantly.”

There’s much more interesting information in this article, for readers, writers, and publishers, and I urge you to read the whole thing.

Plus, it’s so well-written that I’d recommend careful attention while reading—it seems like a simple overview of existing trends while it actually could be seen as a “manifesto” for that change :-)
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For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Does Anyone Absolutely HAVE To Be Between The Author And Their Readers?


Amazon executive Russell Grandinetti, in the New York Times, has said:

“[T]he only really necessary people in the publishing process now are the writer and reader. Everyone who stands between those two has both risk and opportunity.”

I actually read that quote in an article by Mathew Ingram in GigaOM, last October, called, On the death of book publishers and other middlemen.

Just a bit further on in that article, Ingram says: “What’s interesting about Grandinetti’s comment, however, is that it doesn’t exclude Amazon itself — or other book retailers — from being disrupted.”

Can you imagine yourself, if your a writer, or others who are writers, taking a manuscript, editing it, formatting it, then making it available to readers directly through the Internet?

Can writers edit themselves?

Can they find all (or, ultra-realistically, most of) the typos?

Can they format ebooks properly?

Most interestingly, can they produce print versions then distribute them?

Actually, all those questions could be answered, “Yes”.

Technically, it depends on the writer’s abilities and bank account, but I’d still love to see your comments on that series of questions

If we come to the conclusion that Someone has to be between the writer and the reader, Ingram provides a good benchmark for their necessity with this comment:

“…give authors what they most want and need. It’s a quick and painless way of reaching their readers — as many readers as possible, in as many different ways as possible. Also, make sure they are really adding value to that relationship with an author, not just counting on the former gatekeeper status to keep authors in their stables.”

Can you even imagine one writer who could take their manuscript and provide it, all by themselves, to thousands of readers?

Bonus Tip for Writers Reading This Post:

Steal the idea of a lone writer successfully providing books (or, short stories) to a large audience of readers; show what they have to struggle through to achieve the necessary skills beyond producing a manuscript; show them up against those who would judge them harshly; go ahead, write a story that has two protagonists: The Writer and The Reader :-)
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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com