Common mistakes that new self-published authors can make.
Succeeding at self-publishing is not easy. However, some of the mistakes that new authors often make, can make success even more difficult. Avoiding the following mistakes will give you a far better chance of success.
The most important point that many new authors fail to understand, is that once you are self-published, you are an author. With that comes being open to criticism, and there is no way to hide and avoid it. You will get good and bad reviews, and your book may succeed, but will more than likely fail to sell in any great numbers. That’s publishing. It’s a gamble, and the truth is that publishing, especially fiction, has always been a gamble.
So, how can you put your best foot forward and avoid looking like a new author who has no idea what they are doing? Here are 11 self-publishing mistakes to avoid at all costs.
1. You didn’t proofread your bio.
Many new authors are so excited about getting published for the first time, and in their rush to tell the world, they quickly write a bio for social media, but forget to do a spellcheck and proofread. Spelling and grammar errors in an author’s bio are an absolute kiss of death. If your bio has errors, what is your book going to be like? An author checks every single word they write, no matter how few, or where they write them.
2. You protected your social media accounts.
If you think protecting your Twitter account will allow you to control the world, you are dead wrong. Not only that, you are telling potential followers (readers) to go away. If you are an author, you cannot close off a single avenue for readers to find you and your book. Blocking users and protecting your Twitter account is silly. Followers cannot do anything to you. Well, except that they can all buy books.
3. You know everything now.
Sure, you are a new author so now you don’t need to read, research, learn and improve. If you are not learning every day, your are not an author.
4. You extend the truth.
Well, let’s be frank here. If you tell the world that you are an award winning and bestselling author, perhaps you should have a high book sales rank, lots of reviews, more that 100 followers on Twitter and a few more than 50 Likes on your Facebook Page. People are not dumb, and they can spot exaggeration, if not outright lying very easily. Not a great start in gaining book buyers.
5. You can’t be everything.
Ok you’re an author, so why tell the world that you are also a hairstylist, an Avon rep, a car salesman, a SAHM or help desk assistant? You’re an author! Again. You’re an author! Be one, and forget the boring real life daily details.
6. You are a debut author.
Debut is a great word, if you want readers to be warned off. It says that you are new, and probably a terribly inexperienced author. Just be an author, and forget the clichéd adjectives.
7. You keep saying that you are aspiring.
If you have self-published and have a book available on Amazon, you are no longer aspiring. Perspiring, perhaps, but aspiring is an adjective that really says that you have no confidence whatsoever. Drop this adjective at all costs. In fact, drop all the boring clichéd adjectives that 1,000’s of other inexperienced authors use. Be an author and be original.
8. You are not writing your second or third book.
Ok, you have self-published your book. Now what? Flogging one title can become extremely tiresome, for you, and all your contacts that you are belting around the head everyday with your one book. You’re an author. Write books!
9. You made your own book cover.
It shows, and it stands out like a sore thumb as an amateur book cover. Get a professional on the job pronto and give your book a decent chance of success.
10. You didn’t use an editor.
Ok, it’s only self-publishing, so why bother with an editor? Well, it’s up to you, but almost all books that sell well have been expertly edited and proofread. It’s your choice.
11. You rushed into publishing.
This is the single biggest book sales killer ever known to mankind. Rushing into hitting the publish button after finishing the first draft of a manuscript is a sure fire way to total disaster. Wait, edit, get beta readers, get an editor. Wait again. Edit, read, edit, improve and get more beta readers. Publishing is not a race. Remember that most publishers take a year or more to prepare a book for publishing. So, ok, you’re self-publishing so you have an advantage. You can do it in six months.
This list could of course be much longer, but these eleven traps are a good start. Be an author. Be original. And most of all, be meticulous.
This page was last updated on August 8th, 2017