8 Critical Mistakes Authors Make When Self-Publishing
Self-publishing is a great way to get your book out there and into the hands of readers. However, it's important to avoid making some common mistakes that can hurt your chances of success.
I published my first novel, We Come in Peace, in 2010. I learned a ton of information the hard way with that novel. Over the years, I’ve made other mistakes. Some minor, others had a big impact on my career. However, these eight are ones you should keep in mind when you begin your writing career.
Not editing your book. This is one of the biggest mistakes authors make. Even if you think your book is perfect, it's always a good idea to have it edited by a professional. A good editor will catch any errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and they can also help you improve the overall flow and structure of your book. If you’re saying that you can edit your book, you have already made this mistake.
Not doing market research. Before you self-publish, it's important to do some research to see if there's a market for your book. What are other books like yours selling for? Who is your target audience? Once you have a good understanding of the market, you can make better decisions about pricing, promotion, and marketing.
Not setting a release date. Once you've finished writing and editing your book, it's time to set a release date. This will help you stay on track and avoid procrastination. It will also give you time to promote your book and build excitement among your readers. Do not set your release date before you finish your book! It’s never a good look for your brand to establish a release date, then have to move it. Potential readers are watching and making evaluations based on how you move with your brand.
Not promoting your book. This is a common mistake by new authors. You can write but not understand that you are a self-published author. That means you’re responsible for promoting your book. Even if you've done everything else right, if you don't promote your book, no one will know it exists. There are several ways to promote your book, including social media, book signings, and online advertising.
Not pricing your book competitively. Lately I’ve seen this mistake far too many times. Books with 60 pages are priced at $19.99 or more. No one will buy your book at that price point. When pricing your book, it's important to consider the competition. What are other books like yours selling for? You don't want to price your book too high, or you'll lose potential sales. But you also don't want to price it too low, or you'll make less money.
Not using effective marketing. There several marketing strategies you can use to promote your book. Some of the most effective strategies include social media, book signings, and online advertising. Vary your approach. What you use this month, may not work next month so try something different. Videos are taking over the advertising world. Learn how to create effective videos to promote your book.
Not building a platform. A platform is a group of people who are interested in your work and who are likely to buy your book. You can build a platform by blogging, speaking at events, and connecting with other authors and readers on social media. Another effective tool is to grow your followers on Amazon. When you release other books, these readers get an email from Amazon about the new release. This puts your latest release into the hands of people who have chosen to follow you on Amazon.
Giving up. Self-publishing is a lot of work, and it takes time to build a successful career. Surround yourself with people who won’t allow you to give up. There were times in my life when I wanted to quit, but my friends were there to encourage me to stay in the fight. I am thankful for their support. Don't give up if you don't see immediate results. Keep writing, keep publishing, and keep promoting your work. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve your goals.
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