Mistakes of Self-Published Book Authors
Everyone (excluding book publishers) rejoiced when in the recent past it became exceedingly easy to publish a book. Finally the gatekeepers were put in their place. No longer would authors have to get in line to be anointed by the all-powerful publisher. Many thought the flood gates would open and everyone who wanted to publish would now easily do so, and they all would live happily ever after. Of course once everyone published their books they quickly realized the publishing was the easy part. There are many pitfalls to self-publishing but the biggest is thinking your book will sell just because it exists, and below are some other very common Mistakes of Self-Published Book Authors.
After an author self-publishes a book, many realize…nothing is going to happen. Books don’t sell themselves. The way established book publishers sell books is through connections. They get a book on the front table of the bookstore. They send out press releases. They send the author around on a book tour. They sometimes buy television or radio ads. Without that machine of promotions it’s very difficult to have a bestselling book, but it can be done.
Mistakes of Self-published authors
To think you don’t need a website to sell a book is crazy. People think that printed words are some kind of magic force in the universe. I will be as blunt about this point as possible, if you are planning to self-publish your book but you are not planning to have a website, don’t bother. Just keep shopping your book to publishers.
I see it every day. Authors send us their book listings, and the only place they can direct you to is Amazon or a Facebook page. There are millions of self-published books being published these days, and if I can’t learn about the author, see a platform, understand a good deal/about what the book is about, I’m not buying it.
If you are thinking getting a website, please consider Hostmonster. We are affiliated with them. This is a recommendations. I like the company. BUT DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
The cover is key. The cover to an eBook or to a self-published print book is KEY. If you are not going to have a professional cover, again, forget it. I’ve seen so many bad book covers it’s unbelievable. I’ve seen book covers for eBooks which are basically slides to PowerPoint presentations. I’ve seen MS Paint covers. If you are serious about selling a book, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A COVER THAT LOOKS PROFESSIONAL, PERIOD. People just click the button and go to the next book.
If your book isn’t edited well, forget it. Self-published books become successful in 2 ways. First they have a good base readership on the web. This means the author has a jump off point for their platform. They have an audience waiting for the book. This has happened on infomercials too. It’s the same thing. Lots of people see the book, hear what it is about, then they buy it.
The second way they make it is by being well written. Books like The Martian was originally self-published and then later picked up by a large publishing house because it was written so well. It was a great book. You can’t have a great book if you don’t have an editor look at it a least once. I truly believe this.
Editing service to get you started from Curious Words.
The hard part of self-publishing a book is promoting the book. Publishing is easy. Do everything you can to avoid these few, but costly, mistakes of self-published authors make.
Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal…check our About Us page for more. Also here is info on our On Classic Articles