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Advice from a Wise Guy

Guy Kawasaki, one of the most prominent venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, and one of the original marketers of Apple have struck out on his own and self-published a book (which fittingly enough, is about self-publishing). APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur explores the pitfalls and successes of self-publishing while offering advice to new creators. Kawasaki knows a thing or two about success in the digital age and his advice resonates with a variety of authors.

He’s recently compiled a list of “do’s and dont’s” for independent publishers, which can be helpful to consider when you’re embarking on your next big independent publishing project. All of them are smart things to keep in mind and are questions that one should definitely revisit each time you publish a book.

His bottom line, however, is that when it comes to publishing independently, nothing is set in stone. So with that in mind, here are a couple of additional pieces of advice to consider, especially for keeping yourself in a good state of mind when entering the wonderful world of independent publishing.

Let it work for you

You will need to decide on how much effort and time you devote to the project. If you would like to make a living off of independent publishing (which is still very hard to achieve), then you will need to give it all. If you can only give half of your attention, then recognize that the results might not be as great as you expected. Keep your expectations in line with your effort.

There is no magic formula

Some books take off, others languish. Some of your success will depend on conditions out of your hands. So, even giving it your all might not be enough. Recognizing that we have yet to crack the magic formula of independent publishing is huge.

Write because you love it

Kawasaki touches on this a little, but I really want to stress that this is the most important part of writing. Love the act, even if it hurts sometimes. Remember that this is your passion, and a way to make some money. Here, I offer a great quote from poet Rainer Maria Rilke on how you now if you’re called to be a writer:

Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.
This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.

-Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Be your worst critic/best champion

Be hard on yourself—push yourself to get your book into shape, polished, and something that you really want the world to see. But once you do it, then make sure you are your best champion. You need to believe in your book before anyone else will.

As independent publishing continues to expand, the litany of advice will continue.

What are your best inspirational advice?

Let us know.

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Max R

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Max R writes for the Lulu Blog

2 thoughts on “Advice from a Wise Guy”

  1. craigwilliamknott

    Hello I am becoming author it too fifteen years to write my first novel about the same time to have a publisher to say yes, we will publish my book for A fee, thats where iam now saving my published fee money, thanks for listening. Craigwknott

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