Self Publishing Mistakes: The Top 6 to Avoid

Self publishing is increasingly becoming ever more popular among both new and experienced writers, but self publishing mistakes are common. Self publishing gives a new opportunity for many previously unpublished works to get on the market without facing any of the traditional publishing barriers. Authors can now create high-quality eBooks or opt for setting up print copies on demand and easily placing them up for sale.

Although it offers numerous benefits, publishing your book by yourself is not as easy as it sounds (though it is far easier than traditional publishing). You need to do thorough research before you start walking down the self publishing path. In a rush to get their books out on the market, a lot of new authors make some hasty decisions that can cost them a great deal of lost sales.

6 Common Self Publishing Mistakes You Need to Avoid

If you have decided to write a book, it means you’ve decided to expose a part of yourself to your target audience. You’ll probably spend countless hours investing your thoughts and energy in order to create a real piece of art. And then when it is all done, you’ll expect your efforts to pay off. If you want to get the best out of self publishing your book, here are the main self publishing mistakes you’ll need to avoid.

1. Not Targeting a Specific Audience

One of the most important rules that apply to any type of mass communication is – know your audience. You need to know exactly who you are going to address with your book if you expect to make good sales.

self publishing know your target audience

Knowing the nature of your target audience will help you craft the book in a way that will be most appealing to your audience. You’ll be able to use content, language, and vocabulary that will meet the needs of your audience. The more you focus on tackling the interests of your audience, the higher your chances of ensuring good sales for your book.

Successfully addressing the needs of your target readers will also result in good reviews. This will open opportunities for good sales for your next book. A good way to determine the readers’ needs is by checking the reviews for similar books that have already been published by other authors in your niche.

2. Not Paying Enough Attention to Editing

You can easily ruin the quality of your book by skimping on proofreading and editing. Every little mistake, such as a typo or a grammatical error, can ruin your credibility as an author. It will inevitably lead to bad reviews and a loss in sales.

First-time self publishing authors often rely on their own proofreading skills, which is a huge mistake. Even if you’re a proofreading expert, it is very difficult to edit your own writings. Therefore, it’s crucial to hire a professional editor who will check your book before it goes public. A professional editor can check for any typing or grammatical errors, and will review the book’s content and organization.

When hiring an editor, don’t forget to ask for a sample of their work. If you can’t see any samples, ask the editor to proofread and edit just one chapter of your book before you make the deal. This way, you can be sure that you are getting a high-quality service.

3. Not Designing an Appealing Book Cover

People judge a book by its cover, remember that. This is how your readers will get their first impression about your book, so you need to pay special attention to it. The book cover can have a dramatic effect on your book sales.

self publishing mistakes

The book cover should instantly convey the book’s genre, tone, and content. It has to be professional and appealing. The same applies to the back cover. Publishing your book with poorly designed covers can be a huge barrier between your content and your audience.

Some self publishing writers try to design their own covers. Unless you are an experienced full-time graphic artist, don’t try to do this. Otherwise, you are placing your book’s success at risk. Hire a professional graphic designer or an experienced book cover designer.

4. Not Writing Down a Budget

Excited about offering their book for sale, first-time authors often rush through the publishing process, often without first developing a solid financial plan. Being a self-published author means that all the expenses related to your book should be covered by you personally. If you want to use your resources efficiently, you’ll need to take some time to do some careful budgeting.

You have to know what expenses you may face during each stage of the self publishing process. It’s important to be realistic and not rely on the planned profits from selling your book. There is no guarantee that your book will sell well, so don’t risk going into large debt in order to publish it.

Write down a budget before you take any steps for self publishing your book. Try to produce your book offering the best quality you can at a realistic budget. Compromises are a fact of life.

5. Not Having a Marketing Strategy

Self-published authors often forget about marketing and advertising. Making sure that the public is aware of your book’s existence is as important as writing and publishing. In fact, you need to think about marketing as soon as you decide to write your book.

self publishing marketing strategy

Build a network of supporters and reviewers. As you do research and write the book, keep track of everyone that demonstrates a genuine interest in you and your project. It will be wise to contact these people when you publish your book.

Create a marketing strategy that will make it easy for readers to find your book and convince them that they should read what you’ve written. Create a website, write blogs, and ensure your presence in social media. Just make sure you don’t oversell. You don’t need to mention your book in all your online and offline social interactions.

6. Not Appreciating Reviews

If you are a first-time author, you’ll probably be dead set on defending your work. But, guess what: every single book that has ever been published has at least one negative review. This is a fact that you have to bear in mind.

Although it can sting badly, negative feedback can actually help you improve your book. So, put your ego aside and listen closely to what others say. See if you can recognize an opportunity to make some improvements for the next printing run.

Show appreciation for every review you get, even the ones that you don’t agree with. Never lose your temper and don’t let bad words hurt you. It’s totally normal for someone to dislike your book, and you can’t change it. Be grateful for the time people spend reviewing your book and move on.

As you get started working on your self published book, make sure to avoid these six common self publishing mistakes.