4 Tips from Guy Kawasaki for Successful Self-Publishing

Guy Kawasaki is a hard man to reach. But if you know anything about him, you’ll definitely understand why. He is the author of thirteen bestsellers including the seminal: The Macintosh Way. He’s a highly sought-after marketing specialist and a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. He was even one of the Apple employees originally responsible for marketing their Macintosh computer line in 1984. In so many words, this guy is busy.

Fortunately for me, I was able to catch up with Guy on his latest trip to New York where he was part of a panel on Kindle Direct Publishing. These are Guy Kawasaki’s four tips for successful self-publishing:

Resist Shortcuts

Just because you’re self-publishing doesn’t mean you don’t need high-quality content editing, copy editing, interior design, cover design, and marketing. It’s unlikely that you’re good at all these skills. There’s a reason you make more royalty: You have more responsibility.

Take It Easy on Blurbs

Resist the temptation to use more than four blurbs. One powerful blurb is better than a five or ten mediocre ones. Two to three blurbs is ideal. Less is more when it comes to blurbs. If you put too many blurbs, you might as well just say, “My book sucks, so I have to use shock and awe to try to get you to buy it.”

Build Up Your Social Media Platforms

The day you start writing is the day you should start increasing the number of followers. Self-publishing is a parallel process where you must write your book and prepare to market it through social media at the same time. If you wait until your book is finished to build your marketing platform, it will be too late.

Pick a Platform

If you can make your book a success on Amazon, lots of opportunities and other channels of distribution will fall into place. If you can’t make it succeed on Amazon, then it’s less likely your book will succeed at all. To paraphrase the old saying, “If you can make it on Amazon, you can make it anywhere.”

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Written by:
Jordan French is founding CMO of BeeHex Inc. 3D printing, President of O'Dwyer-ranked Notability Partners and cofounder of "Airbnb Police" start up BNB Shield. Jordan French is a technology commentator, biomedical engineer, intellectual-property attorney and business strategist for film and music stars. French works with Billboard-charted artist and multi-platinum producer, B. Howard, who wrote and produced songs for Vanessa Hudgens, Ginuwine, Dru Hill, Akon, Ne-Yo, Jason Derulo, Chris Brown and Wyclef Jean. French is on the leadership team at FOWNDERS, the social-impact start-up accelerator based in Newark, NJ. He is the Marketing & PR director of Scorpion Computer Services, Inc. and consults for executive producer Walter O’Brien, the inspiration behind the hit CBS television drama, Scorpion. As founding CEO and COO Jordan French built Status Labs into a Fast-50 and Inc.-500-ranked marketing firm and represented the people of the United States as an enforcement attorney at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission where he tracked down energy-market manipulators and enforced electric grid reliability rules.
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