Advances in technology and communication methods have made self-publishing a possibility for people all over the world. Nowadays, authors can bring their books straight to their readers from the convenience of their home. There’s no more need to deal with big publishing companies and middlemen. But if you’ve read many books produced by DIYers, you’ve probably come across mistakes self-published authors make.
Because as wonderful as self-publishing is, mistakes can be made during the process. Publishing your own book is convenient, but it requires a lot of work and knowledge. Otherwise, you waste a lot of time and money.
Read on to learn about the most common mistakes made by self-published authors so you can avoid them.
1. Not Editing or Not Investing in Professional Editing
An unedited book is one of the most common mistakes self-published authors made. A rare few authors can complete a book with minimal edits. For the rest of us, editing is a necessity.
In fact, most published books go through rounds and rounds of heavy editing. Everything from typos and spelling mistakes to grammar issues and inconsistencies in story are sorted out by an editor. In addition, plot holes, structural problems in your story, unncecessary uses of the tab button, and other poor writing will be spotted and marked for correction.
Of course, you can edit your book yourself. In fact, you should. However, the way to protect against embarrassing mistakes is handing your manuscript over to an editor.
Most market-ready books are edited by professionals who know how to spot writing errors. They make their living doing just that, day in and day out. Since you want to compete with other published authors, it’s a good idea to make your own book as high-quality as possible.
When you don’t edit, or don’t hire an editor, your book will likely look amateurish. Want your book as professional as possible? Edit, edit, edit! And have a professional look over it as well.
2. Not Knowing Anything about Publishing
Another common mistake self-published authors make is a lack of knowledge. Some self-published authors are experts at their craft, but they haven’t researched the publishing industry and its practices. If you’re not careful, it can be a big problem for you.
Hundreds of thousands of books are self-published each year. If you don’t know how to properly publish your book and market it, then you won’t be found by new readers. In a sea of books, you have to stand out. Having specialized publishing and marketing knowledge can help you with this.
So do your research and find the best way to professionally present your books to your target group.
3. Not Having a Clear Marketing Strategy
Most authors want to sell their books and gain readers. Writing a good book is a great start, but if you don’t have a plan, your book will never reach them. A book marketed without a specific audience in mind can make self-publishing almost impossible. Your book is like a business. You want it to reach a group of people, and you want them to buy your product. In short, you need a business plan.
Figure out who is going to be reading your book. What kind of marketing is effective for this group? What social media sites do they visit? What other kinds of books do they read?
You need to be where your readers are and talk about your book there. Discuss your book before you publish it and afterward. Also, it’s not a bad idea to talk about the similarities between your book and other popular books in the genre you are writing in. This gives your readers a point of entry into your book.
In addition to this, know when you are publishing your book and market around this date. Set your date and build up the anticipation for the release of your book. Stick to this date and your plan.
4. Publishing Too Soon/Bad Timing
We can all be inpatient. That’s another mistake self-published authors make.
Sometimes, a book isn’t ready to be published. Market research takes time and patience. You want to make sure that you are releasing your book at an opportune time.
A Christmas cookbook might not be great to sell in the middle of summer. Similarly, a book released at the same time as other high profile authors in the genre might not be great either. You want to plan your moment and get your book out at the right time. There is no need to rush.
Sometimes, the market isn’t the issue though, the book might have its own problems. Many self-publishing authors try to speed up the publishing process when their books simply aren’t ready. A book that is hastily put together will not do well.
Take the time you need to make sure your book is edited well, formatted correctly, and ready for public consumption. Publishing a good book requires restraint. The more time you put into writing your book and planning, the better the results.
5. Limited Availability and Access to Your Book
Once your book is at professional quality and marketed adequately, it’s time to make your work available for purchase. When you set out to do this, don’t keep your work limited to one distributor. A lot of people new to self-publishing make this mistake.
But remember—you want your book to be bought by as many people as possible. When your book is only sold in one place, this makes it more difficult for readers to find your book.
In the same line of thought, don’t promote your book on only one site. You should be trying to reach out to everyone you can. That way your work can be read and accessed far and wide.
6. Not Setting the Right Price
Cost is another important factor in book sales. The wrong price can hurt your project. If a product is too expensive, no one will be willing to buy it. On the flip side, if your book is priced way too low, you won’t be making any profit. Additionally, some readers might assume that your overly cheap book is no good, so they won’t buy.
Fortunately, this is one of the mistakes self-published authors make you can avoid easily. How?
Set a price that strikes a balance. A little investigating doesn’t hurt. See what other authors in your genre are selling their books for. And don’t be afraid to change the price of your book over time. Eventually, you’ll find the price point that is just right.
Avoid Mistakes Self-Published Authors Make
If you want to avoid these common mistakes, you’ve come to the right place. At Argyle Fox Publishing, we can get your book onto bookshelves and guide you every step along the way to give your book the best chance at success. Learn more about what we offer our authors.