#Indie #Publisher Book Launch: The Way of the APE

The book launch is a tradition. The proud author notifies some friends and family to bring some of their friends and family to the event. A press release is distributed to the press with the inverted synopsis of your book. Then they send a reporter and a photographer to take your picture with your book at the event venue. With some variation, depending on who the author is, who the publisher is, etc., this is the old way of launching a book, the traditional way.

Now let’s look at the new paradigm, the indie (independent) publisher (me). To begin, the indie publisher is an APE, that’s Author, Publisher, and Entrepreneur.

In other words, one person (me) is in control of everything in this modern day publishing paradigm. Firstly, I am the Author of the book. I am responsible for delivering a story that people want to read. I write, rewrite, write some more, rewrite some more, until I am satisfied I have delivered my best writing.

Next, I Publish the book. I decide what the front cover will look like, the back cover, the blurb, the size, the layout, color, black and white, all of those things are done by one person (me).

Thirdly, it is time to be an Entrepreneur and sell the book. All marketing decisions, promotion decisions are made by one person (me). Ideally, marketing begins as soon as the idea to write a book has formed in my mind. That’s right, even before the book is written, even before it is published, marketing begins. The marketing platform, target audience, and budget is defined and turned into an Action Plan. The Action Plan is constantly refined and updated.

In sum, the indie publisher (me) is one guy doing three jobs: Author, Publisher, and Entrepreneur (APE). Now, this APE thing is really cool, but I wasn’t the person who thought of it. It was Guy Kawasaki, APE is his brainchild. Who is Guy Kawasaki? (No, it’s not a motorcycle, it’s a man).


Guy Kawasaki

As one of the Apple employees responsible for marketing the Macintosh computer in 1984, Kawasaki had a first-hand experience with the value of getting in on the ground floor of new ideas. Soon he would bring his evangelism for the Apple brand to the high-tech business world. He is the co-founder of Alltop.com, “an online magazine rack,” and Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm. A writer, speaker, and consultant, Kawasaki has also become a high-tech marketing guru. He has authored numerous books including: Reality Check, The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream, The Macintosh Way and Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. His latest book is APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book

Author – Publisher – Entrpreneur: Three Jobs, One Person

Three jobs for one person is a lot. Also, that’s frightening, because who is good at all three of those jobs? Certainly not me.

Sometimes I’m a better Author than Publisher, other times I’m a better Publisher than Entrepreneur. With experience, I have gotten better at each of the three jobs that an indie publisher must do. There is still so much more to learn…

This brings me to the book launch. If you followed my work plan above, you already know I consider myself to be launching the book almost as soon as I have a firm idea that I intend to write a book. In other words, I’m not going to wait until I have published a book to suddenly spring it on the world. I want the world to already know about it before it is published, to be waiting eagerly for the book, even to participate in some aspects of the book, like suggesting a title, a book cover, an opening line, a character, a location, etc.

So as you can see, the book launch is already in progress from the earliest stages. I am fortunate, also, to have Amazon as my partner. They provide tools which make each aspect of being an indie publisher (APE) easy, especially the entrepreneur part. Let me explain:

I have no physical inventory, no books in a garage, or in the trunk of a car. I don’t have a store. I don’t have any employees. Once I publish the book, Amazon does everything. If you want a print book / paperback book, as soon as you pay for it, Amazon will print it for you. This is called “Print On Demand” (POD). Even better, if you want a digital eBook, as soon as you pay for it, Amazon will send it to your reading device (Kindle Reader, tablet, PC, iPad, iPhone, etc.) Instantly, within milliseconds, you will be reading your book.

To sum all this up, I am an indie publisher, in other words, an APE. As you can imagine, I am constantly “launching” my books. Constantly. The process involved in being an APE is nonlinear, it follows its own trajectory.

For people like me, that’s encouraging, because it means I can do things that seem mind boggling, like publish 63 books in two years. Yes, sixty three books, written by Thomas Jerome Baker. No traditional publisher in his/her right mind would have ever let me publish 63 books in 2 years. The costs involved would have been tremendous. So traditional publishers work very slow. They have to be careful because everything they do requires a financial investment, and they are in business to earn a profit, not to lose their capital. In the end, someone like me, an indie author, would have been lucky to publish one book, just one, in two years.

Anyway, this month, I will be in Concepción to “launch” my new book, “I Live In Chile”. I’ve written a news release, distributed it to the press, and prepared a short talk (Power Point) about the book. But I won’t be signing any books, nor will I have any books to give away, at least not physical copies. As you know, that’s traditional, but I am not traditional. For the people who come out to the launch (lanzamiento de libro) I will give away free copies of the eBook. As you know, that’s the way of the APE…

See you in Concepción, bring your “Cueca” dancing shoes!

About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
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