4 Mistakes to Avoid When Self-Publishing
My journey to self-publishing was a bumpy road. When I got started, I had a few mentors showing me the ropes, but I still made a lot of mistakes. My goal if I can do one thing is help you minimize the number of mistakes you make on your publishing journey.
I get a lot of people that reach out to me asking me about the self-publishing process so I figured it would be beneficial to share what I know.
Today I am going to share the top mistakes you should avoid when publishing your book.
1. Book Cover Design
Let’s face the hard truth. People judge books by its cover. There is no way around it. I wish it weren’t true, but it is. Your book cover is what determines whether a person wants to pick it up off the shelf and read more of what it is about. This is your first impression, so you have to make sure it stands out, it looks clear, it is professional, and it grabs their attention.
I highly recommend you hire a graphic designer to create your book cover. You can definitely short cut this process and do it on canva or have someone create for the low on fiverr, but this is the one area you want to invest your money in to make it look good. A professional book cover can cost anywhere between $100-$300. Your graphic designer can also ensure that it is sized correctly for the print company. It will help you avoid any issues down the road.
I recommend you post one or two versions of the book cover in a writer or publishing group to get their feedback on what looks best to them.
2. Book Description
After someone has picked up your book, the first thing they will do is turn the book over to read the description. You have a couple of seconds of skimming before they decide if it’s for them or not. Make sure the description is catchy, enticing and to the point. Make sure it is visually appealing and has absolutely no errors.
I also recommend you throw an endorsement under the description.
An endorsement is a form of public support or approval. Usually, you will see a well-known celebrity or speaker endorse books. It gives it that extra bit of credibility the book needs.
3. Poor Editing
Hiring an editor is imperative. This should be a non-negotiable when it comes to your book. I sometimes hear authors say, I had a friend or relative proof It for me. That is not enough. You will need a professional.
If you have typos, you will get a bad review.
What I recommend is for you to edit your book first. Go through and make the necessary corrections. Then, edit your book again. Yes, I know you read that right. Edit again. Print your book and the old-fashioned way, with a red market, edit your book again. You would be surprised how many more mistakes we will find when we do this.
Make sure you find an editor that is in your book genre. Ask for them to give you an example edit and set up a call with them. Find out how long they have been editing for, ask for a couple of book names they have edited and overall, just see if you vibe with them. Most importantly ask for pricing. Pricing for an editor can vary depending on what you need done but it can be anywhere between .01-.07 cents per word, or some charge by the hour.
There are different types of editing:
Developmental- helps you with the characters of the book and improvement on the book overall.
Substantive- This type of editing helps you clarify points and remove any weird sentences that don’t flow.
Copy Editing-they will edit line by line and correct grammar, spelling and punctuation errors.
4. Poor Marketing
Last but not least, marketing. Before you launch your book, you want to give yourself ample time to promote it. You can’t just launch the book and expect it to sell itself. Make sure you have a brand that is appealing to the eye and matches the color of the book.
Start promoting at least 6 months prior and you can do this very casually:
- Share an IG story showing you writing your book
- Do an IG live talking about your journey and any obstacles you have had to overcome in the writing process
- Share photos of excerpts from your book
- Share quotes and photos from your book
- Do a live reading of a page or two
- Create polls engaging with your audience asking them questions that relate to your book
As you get closer you will want to do the following:
- Solidify interviews on local news, radio, podcast and blogs
- Showcase your endorsements
- Run ads on your promo graphics
- Secure a launch team to help you promote
These are just some tips of many that you can do. But always make sure that you are going above and beyond to get the word out. And keep in mind, this author journey is just that, a journey. Make sure you don’t give up. What might not work the first time, might work the second time. Stay consistent and innovative and you will succeed!
I hope this was helpful and allows you to see the writing process from a different perspective. It's hard, but certainly do-able. Here you can find a free guide to self-publishing. https://forms.aweber.com/form/92/2067762292.htm
These are just some tips of many that you can do. But always make sure that you are going above and beyond to get the word out. And keep in mind, this author journey is just that, a journey. Make sure you don’t give up. What might not work the first time, might work the second time. Stay consistent and innovative and you will succeed! to help you jump-start that process! We also have our own Book Publishing Academy program to help upcoming authors self-publish from start to finish. This is perfect for our friends who need a little bit more guidance but want to take the publishing process into their own hands. Schedule your free strategy session today!