Guy Kawasaki Talks About “Artisanal” Publishing


We always feel lucky when Guy Kawasaki is able to speak at one of our events. This year, Guy sat down with Mark Fidelman at NMX 2013 in Las Vegas to discuss in a keynote entitled “Going Bananas with Guy Kawasaki,” which covered a wide variety of new media topics, including a discussion on publishing in the new media world. Here are some of the highlights from his talk:

“Let the people decide.”

The session began by discussing self publishing, or artisanal publishing as Guy refers to it. After publishing What the Plus himself, he decided to write his newest book, Ape, to discuss the process. Guy used social media for feedback and reviews by sending out the outline, and later his full manuscript draft, for his book to “4 million of my closest friends,” as he referred to his followers. He would never have been able to do so with traditional publishing.

“Traditional publishers would have an aneurism!”

Self-publishing allows you freedom to do things like sending your content to followers before it is published. With self publishing, the writer has complete control over the book from beginning to end, but that also comes with all the responsibility and risk. Remember, Guy has a huge audience, so he’s able to self-publish and try new things while still knowing that he will sell a healthy number of books. If you don’t have this massive following yet, self-publishing might not be as successful for you. However, don’t overlook this as an option, especially due to the freedoms self-publishing affords you.

“Guy’s provided me with such great content all year, the least I can do is buy his $10 book.”

What’s Guy’s personal social media strategy? He compared it to NPR. According to him, they provide “great content 365 days a year,” and once in a while slam you with a phone-a-thon. In Guy’s eyes, they’ve earned the privilege to promote once in a while because of their commitment to quality content throughout the entire year. He applies the same principle to his social media accounts. He provides his followers with quality content so consistently that when he does stop to promote his newest project every now and again, he hopes his followers think, “Guy’s provided me with such great content all year, the least I can do is buy his $10 book.”

Of course, during his keynote, Guy also spoke about a number of other topics as well. Did you know that all of our keynotes have been live-streamed and archived? Head over to NMX University to see our keynotes and additional bonus content live from the show.

About Guy: Guy Kawasaki is the author of APE, What the Plus!, Enchantment, and nine other books. He is also the co-founder of Alltop.com, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web. Previously, he was the chief evangelist of Apple. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

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