4 Comments

Top Ten Mistakes Writers Make When Self-Publishing a Book


Originally posted by Guy Kawasaki on DBW

1. Writing for the wrong reason. The most common wrong reason to write a book is to make a lot of money. Statistically, you’re heading for disappointment. Instead, you should write a book for good reasons such as you have something valuable to say, you have a cause you want to further, or you want to meet the intellectual challenge of writing a book.

2. Not hiring a professional copyeditor. When I turned in the final copy of APE, I thought there were no mistakes in it. The copyeditor found 1,400—that’s right: one thousand four hundred. Writing and copyediting are two different skills—just like the best salesman doesn’t make the best sales manager nor the best player make the best coach.

3. Designing your own cover. The cover is one of the most important marketing pieces for your book, so hiring a great graphics designer is money well spent. The beauty pageant that is Amazon web pages displays fifteen to twenty covers at a time. With a graphic the size of a postage stamp, you need to entice people to click.

4. Not building your marketing platform in advance. Self-publishing is not a serial process where you can write a book and then worry about marketing it later. You need to start building a marketing platform as soon as you start writing because the process takes a year. You should already have thousands of followers on social media on the day that you ship.

5. Using a word processor other than Microsoft Word. Admittedly, Word is a beast, and you will need to wrestle it to the ground. There are cheaper and more elegant word processors, but nothing has the paragraph styles capability of Word nor the universal acceptance from the reviewers, testers, editors, designers, and resellers that you’ll use downstream.

6. Inadequately testing your ebook. Do not assume that if your ebook looks right on one platform that it will look right on all the others. You can’t even assume that if your book looks good on a Kindle tablet that it will look good on a Kindle app. The only way to truly know is to examine your book on each platform.

7. Selling only an ebook version. The ebook format is kicking butt in adult fiction. If you write for any other genre, you should still produce a paper version. The paper version of Enchantment, a non-fiction business book, outsells the ebook version by a factor of three to one.

8. Depending solely on social media and word of mouth. Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are powerful and inexpensive marketing methods, but old-fashioned PR is still necessary. There is no doubt in my mind that spending $10,000-15,000 on a PR campaign is a good investment.

9. Not tapping the crowd. The crowd is a beautiful thing—there are always people out there who know more than you do and who are willing to help for the intrinsic value of helping a fellow human being. I tap the crowd for feedback at three stages: outline, first draft, and final draft. The crowd has pointed out thousands of mistakes and suggested hundreds of improvements to APE.

10. Having only one plan. There are at least three plans to getting your book published: Plan A is to find a traditional publisher; Plan B is to self-publish; and Plan C is to implement Plan B in order to attract a traditional publisher and reinstate Plan A. There is no right and wrong; there is only what works for you and what doesn’t, so be flexible.

For the complete and original post, visit Digital Book World:

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/the-top-ten-mistakes-writers-make-when-self-publishing-a-book/

Advertisements

4 comments on “Top Ten Mistakes Writers Make When Self-Publishing a Book

  1. Reblogged this on Life In Shuffle and commented:
    This is great advice about self-publishing.

  2. Seems to me the best reason to write a book is that you have a story to tell, though this list could primarily be addressing nonfiction. I have more serious issues with some of the other points:

    Often times, “mistakes” flagged by copyeditors are more stylistic choices than actual mistakes. Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for strictly following rules of grammar, but, on a lot of issues, the idea is to be consistent rathar than adhere to one person’s opinion.

    There is evidence to suggest that authors who spend more time writing and less time “building platforms” end up being more successful.

    You have to use Word? Really? There are a lot of advanced software packages out there that help you keep track of timelines, characters, and other details. Word can’t really do any of those things. While I use Word, I’m not sure the author’s criteria are very valid. Did he just need another issue to make it a round 10?

    Just sayin…

    Thanks.

    Brian
    http://www.brianwfoster.com

    • Thanks for dropping by Brian! ^_^

      And many thanks for the good input about this topic. Same with you, there are other authors on the original posting who questioned his point #5 which is using Microsoft word. Based on what I have read about self-publishing for quite some time now, most of the authors recommend using Scrivener.

Got something to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Attila Ovari

Loving Life and Inspiring Others

TIME

Current & Breaking News | National & World Updates

Graduation Cap Decoration Ideas and Styles

Graduation Cap Decoration Ideas and Styles in One Stop

Not Sweating The Small Stuff

An application of the tips on how to lead a happier life from the book, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" and then some.

chrismcmullen

Writing, Publishing, and Marketing Ideas

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

Creative Writing Tips and Authorial Support from Fantasy Writer Victoria Grefer

Two on a Rant

Rants, humor, sarcasm, and a haiku-like substance? It's hard to know what's going to come out of our minds next.

Broken Mirrors

Version 0.1 - Notes, Thoughts, and Ideas

Cult of Racewood

write, defiant

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Cult of Racewood

write, defiant

Imagineer-ing

an adventure in reading, writing & publishing

TechChucker's Brain Blast

Garbage IN | Garbage Out

Elizabeth Jamison's PhD Journey

A Daily Journal of my Comp/Rhet Dissertation: I'll share every day of my dissertation journey until I finish.

freaky folk tales

A haunting we will go...

Break Room Stories

Service Industry Stories and More Since 2012

The Ramblings of a Young Writer

Just Some Thoughts, Opinions, Etc.

%d bloggers like this: