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Becoming an APE – a book review

CoverAPEI met Guy Kawasaki several years ago. And by ‘met’ I mean I’ve read some of the books he has written over the years. If you come to visit my church, or if you spend enough time around me, you will see how influential The Art of The Start has been in my ministry, for instance.

The more I learned about his newest book - APE Author * Publisher * Entrepreneur  – the more I thought about purchasing it, once it was released, since it is one of my desires to put some of my personal experiences on writing, for the benefit of future generations of church planters. So, you can imagine my reaction when the opportunity came to review the book before it was generally available.

But, Why to review a book about how to become a published author here, in Fuel For Your Passion? I asked myself the same question. I was hoping that the entrepreneur section had something related to the pursue of one’s passion – which is one of the main topics of this blog – giving me a good angle to look at the book.

 

But that was not the case.

 

The encouragement to pursue one’s passion – writing a book, in this case – is not limited to just one part of the book, but it permeates almost all of it. Look at the first three reasons Guy gives for writing a book:

  1. To add value to people’s life.
  2. To master a new skill.
  3. To evangelize a case.

 

Let’s hear it from the author himself:

To write such a book, you must go beyond explaining something to promoting a point of view and action. Note: an appropriate cause is seldom your personal wealth. A good cause is a much higher calling. 

 

Your passion for writing a book is defined here in terms of the benefit it can give to you, and to others. That resonates a whole lot with what we are trying to say in this blog. Now, I am not saying that Mr. Kawasaki endorses our mission in any way, shape, or form. What I am trying to say is that the ideas presented here are not new, or exclusive, and that there is a tremendous need for people to consider their passions, or areas of interest, with a bigger perspective in mind.

What I like about APE is that it is a book that is honest. From giving a round figure of the cost of producing an ebook, to comparing the whole process to a marathon, this is not a book for those who want a quick way to fame and fortune. After reading it, you may feel a little exhausted and overwhelmed, because the process of seeing your book finished is not an easy one. But you can also taste a little of the satisfaction you will find at the end.

It is a book that is clear. I have always appreciated the way Guy writes: clear, to the point, and with some humour here and there. Even in the most technical parts of the book, he and the co-author (Shawn Welch) present the information in a clear way. It helps if you know your way around some of the software described here, but it is not necessary. Even the convoluted world of ebook formats and distribution channels are clearly described here, with power tips from the authors that help along the way.

It is a book that is generous. Both Guy and Shawn are published authors, with a good level of success. They are well known and respected. They could easily keep all this information to themselves; but they didn’t. After crossing over the threshold of success, they didn’t close the door behind them. In a very real way, I believe, they are opening that door wider for some of us to follow them through. The advise they give in this book will save many future authors a lot of trouble, and may even encourage others who never consider themselves writers to pursue this idea with passion and determination.

 

PROS

  • Informative and current
  • Easy and fun to read
  • Based on personal experience, honest
  • Great encouragement for aspiring APEs

 

CONS

  • It may feel overwhelming at times, with so much details about the publishing business
  • Some sections may also feel too technical, specially if you are not a power user

 

CONCLUSION

I give 5 out of 5 to APE Author * Publisher * Entrepreneur. It is a well written book that delivers exactly what it promised, and them more. The author is not only an expert, but he enjoys sharing information and encouragement for others to be successful, also.

You should buy this book if you…

… believe you have something to say, for your own benefit and for the benefit of those around you.

… want to follow Guy’s advise of eating like a bird and pooing like an elephant.

 

Give by grace, create community, proclaim good news.

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