Being a self-published author is a difficult profession to embark upon. The journey is littered with challenges and ounces of self-discipline, commitment and skill will be needed to deal with them. Then there are mistakes that are commonly made by self-published authors, which can really hamper progress. This article looks at 5 of the biggest of such mistakes. By attempting to not make them, you’ll increase your chances of flourishing.
1. Doing everything yourself
Wanting to do everything yourself is an admirable thing. In fact, it is a key characteristic of being an entrepreneur, which you as a self-published author are. However, at some point a self-published author realizes that wanting to do every activity from book cover design to line editing was a mistake. Why? Because the reality is you’re most likely good at one or two key things. Sure you may also be competent in other areas. However, by spending time trying to design a graphic for a book cover for your maiden book, something which you’re average at, isn’t making use of your time wisely, or productively. Instead, this time could be spent on a core area of your strength (e.g. writing), knocking out 20,000 more words and getting your second book complete, while a graphic designer does what such an individual does best, and creates the perfect image for your first book, in half the time it would take you to do so.
2. Doing it just for the money
If you’re in the business of self-publishing just for the money, you may get burned out, or bored and then quit when the thousands of dollars you expected to roll in every month doesn’t materialize. What self-publishing has done is enabled anyone to become an author of a book. And within this movement, certain people are in it in the hopes of making a quick buck, as they’ve read a book entitled something like ‘How to Write, Publish and Sell 10 Copies of Your Book on the Kindle Store in 7 Days’. And in a way it’s true. Self-publishing is a business and business owners have to have real interest in wealth creation. However, doing it just for the money rarely cuts it. If passion for writing and delighting readers is missing, the true essence of producing a product like a book is absent. It also needs to come from the heart.
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3. Wanting to win now
As a self-published author you write your book, get it edited and proofread like crazy, get your title up onto stores like Amazon and Kobo, implement a pre-prepared marketing plan and ending up selling 25 copies on the day of launch. The following day you sell a further 10, and the day after the number of copies goes to down to a dismal three. To be honest it isn’t really dismal. It’s just business. However, you forget this by wanting huge success and massive kudos now. Unfortunately, it rarely works like this. Being successful in self-publishing requires skill, patience, trial and error, good support networks and a bit of luck!
4. Working by yourself continuously
Writing has to be one of the most isolating of professions. You may even prefer it this way, especially if you consider yourself has being an introvert. However, spending a lot of time alone as a writer won’t help. Entrepreneurship in general can be a lonely experience. Self-publishing isn’t an exception. There will be times when you won’t be making sales. It will feel like your entire publishing business plan is in disarray. An important way to deal with this is to spend time with other likeminded people who can relate to what you’re going through; in effect this means devoting a little time every week networking at other business events and those catered directly for the writing and publishing industry.
5. Not understanding customer relationship management
Self-published authors need to develop business skills in every sense, and this includes customer relationship management. Those who don’t take time to look after their customers will be left wondering why people don’t engage with them, and importantly don’t return to buy their books. You may be thinking you can keep a distance from your customers (your readers) through your website and giving them limited ways to contact you. However, not being reachable will make your readers frustrated. Be proactive, and take time to talk with potential customers through social media and face to face. Let them see the person behind the story, so that they are compelled to want to buy your book. Also, continue to keep your door open to readers who have clicked ‘purchase’ to answer any questions, address feedback and offer new book packages to help your customers turn into repeat ones.
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]