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Guest Post: The Top 9 Mistakes Writers Make When Self-Publishing a Book

Publishing a new book is probably one of the most nerve-wracking and satisfying moments of a writer’s life. Every author must have felt it – the fulfillment, the pride, that special type of anxiety roiling in your stomach. All the results of your hard – but well worth it – work.

But before you rush to publish your book, it’s best that you “prepare your ground” and learn a few things about self-publishing. The best way to avoid mistakes is to carefully plan your publishing progress in advance. The second-best way is to learn from the blunders other writers have previously made.

In today’s post, we’re presenting nine mistakes writers usually make when self-publishing a book. Take a few notes, reflect on what’s stood out to you, and stay away from trouble.

So here we go…


1.   Putting Money First

If the main purpose of writing and publishing your book is money, you’re starting off on the wrong foot. For readers to love your work, they must observe your passion and the kind of unique ideas, twists, and information they’ve never witnessed before. Your work must stand out. For any writer to attain great success in self-publishing, hard work, grit, and passion are needed. If you’re only in it for the cash (and aren’t already a household name), chances are you’ll end up nowhere.


2.   Preferring to Proofread, Edit, and Design the Book Yourself

Some writers are terrible proofreaders, others are horrible editors, while others are pretty good at all aspects. But it doesn’t matter how good a proofreader or editor you are if you’ve written that book yourself. More often than not, your results will be less than satisfying – because you simply can’t hold an objective view over your own work.

You’ll be tempted to skip a lot of details and justify shortcomings, and your final version may come through sporting unforgivable mistakes. The solution is simple: Face the music, gather the funds, and use professional proofreading and editing services before you publish.


3.   Neglecting the Huge Benefits of a Pre-Launch Campaign

A pre-launch marketing campaign can have a tremendous impact on your book launch. You’ll build anticipation, buzz, and awareness when it matters most. Provided the groundwork has been laid, the moment you launch the book, you’ll enjoy instant sales, gather feedback in a very short time, and avoid the long and disenchanting slog of drumming up interest while your product grows stale.


4.   Being Unaware of Your Publishing Options

Newbie self-publishers often fail to acknowledge all their publishing options. For example, instead of publishing on your own, you can appeal to an experienced traditional publisher, or even a hybrid model provided the terms are friendly. You should be flexible with your options. Even though you may think that self-publishing is your best bet to attain success, you could stand better chances of breaking through under the arm of a publisher who knows what they’re doing.


5.   Failing to Tap the Crowd

Your crowd, your ‘tribe’ – the people who follow your name, your content, and your books, is the single most important element of the entire marketing equation. As they say, your customer is the one who puts the bread on your table – so treat them well.

What does it mean to fail to tap the crowd? Well, it means to stay ignorant to the requests of your customers. Be sure you’re asking your prospective buyers for feedback before, during, and after writing your book.


6.   Creating a Poor Marketing and Selling Plan

Marketing and selling are super important today, especially because the competition continues to get fiercer in every niche. As a book publisher, you’ll have to understand what content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine marketing is.

To be successful in self-publishing, you must slowly become a marketer. Why? Because your book can be worth a million dollars in value, but it doesn’t matter if nobody hears about it. Unlike your quiet competition, you should get familiar with modern digital marketing techniques and start developing a marketing and selling plan immediately!


7.   Your Budget is Too Small to Sustain Necessary Future Operations

A small budget is no problem as long as you’ve figured out a fitting solution in advance. However, if your budget planning is not done effectively, you’re guaranteed to run into trouble later. Authors tend to neglect the importance of their budget. You might say that writing and publishing are more important than worrying about money, and you’d be right (see the first point in this article) – but you need to create a balance. Sustainability is essential, so you should focus on finding cost-effective solutions that will take you as far as possible based on a realistic budget.


8.   The Book Description Lacks That Special Something

Many prospects will say “no” to your book because the description is not good enough. This can happen for a number of reasons, including:

  • Your book description/blurb feels average, meaning the story seems to bring nothing new to the table – they’ve heard it all before
  • Your description doesn’t cover what your book is actually about (usually the result of trying to be too creative or mysterious with your presentation)
  • The description fails to spark emotions and reactions – it reads plainly, and doesn’t stoke the emotional fires that spark interest

Invest some time, and perhaps money, in generating the best possible blurb for your book. Readers see the cover first and then move on to the description. That’s your chance to shine, sell, and seal the deal. Don’t skimp on it.


9.   Lack of Consistency and Persistence

Lastly, yet most importantly, one of the biggest mistakes that self-publishers indulge in is that they stop being consistent and persistent in their efforts.  Whether it’s a new book, a new article for the blog, some new ad copy, a marketing test, or implementing a new feature to their website, they no longer act as they acted before launching the book.

You simply can’t stop. Like all worthwhile endeavors, this is a long-term journey. Never stop, and never give up, until you get what you want.


In Conclusion

Self-publishing definitely isn’t a piece of cake. Great writers become great due to their outstanding dedication, consistency, responsibility, and promotion.

But even if you’ve made one or more of these mistakes so far, it’s never too late to fix or minimize the damage. Now that you know what you need to avoid, it’s time to focus on everything you have to gain… and take action.

Good luck!


Chris Richardson photoArticle by: Chris Richardson

Chris Richardson is an editor at Essay Geeks. He is also a professional content writing expert in topics such as career growth, self-improvement, blogging, and technology innovations. Feel free to connect with him on Google+.






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