If you believe that self-publishing is an easy way to get published without going through the hassle (and rejection letters) of traditional publishing, then you’ve never been more wrong. Self-publishing is difficult, and it doesn’t guarantee success. Of course, traditional publishing doesn’t guarantee you success either, however, self-publishing is difficult because it’s a unique experience for every writer. What might have worked for another writer may not work for you – especially if said writer has previously traditionally published books. Self-publishing is more than just writing a book in a week, slapping a mediocre cover and selling it on Amazon. Below, we’ve gathered several mistakes that you should watch out for if you’ve decided to self-publish a book.
1. Researching the industry
Here’s the problem: last year’s successful story of self-publishing zero to hero is old news today. Whatever happened to the writer – gaining momentum by giving away freebies on Amazon for a few days, or simply having a unique story that drew the attention of readers, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that it might not happen to you, even if you try to retrace their steps. Therefore, you must research the self-publishing and the publishing industry, the newest marketing tips in order to glean knowledge and know where to begin when you want to self-publish.
2. Too much online presence
One of the most common advices everywhere about self-publishing is building an online presence through your own website, blog, and social media. However, beware of being too present, especially on social media. If you post and tweet too many book related things on social websites, you risk losing followers because getting one hundred tweets that your book is on sale for a really low price on Amazon will be a turn off for them. Additionally, even if your posts are not about your book, they will still turn people off if they come up every ten minutes. You must find a balance between what is needed, what you want to post, and how the number of posts per day will affect your overall presence.
3. Avoiding books on the craft
There are plenty of books dedicated to writing, structure, editing, and marketing a book with and without social media. If you’ve decided to walk the path of self-publishing, the books about editing and marketing must be on your “read thoroughly” shelf. Even if you visit a thousand blogs, and read plenty of articles on the matter, the truth is you need to read those books to get a sense of how things are done and what you shouldn’t do in order to be a successful self-published writer. Remember you need all the help you can get in this matter, and you will be playing the role of your own publishing house. And that cannot be done successfully without gaining knowledge.
4. Friends and relatives’ reviews
After you’ve published your novel, you might find yourself tempted to ask friends and family members to leave glowing reviews on Amazon or Goodreads or another platform. It is not wrong to ask this of them – of course, as long as the reviews are realistic and they really liked your book. When a stranger reads the review, they need to be convinced that it is a genuine review by a person who reads plenty of books. However, if your friends and relatives are not book readers by nature, this will show in the review and the other readers (readers that don’t know you personally) will pick up on it immediately. Be patient enough to get reviews by strangers and then have your friends and family members give you reviews which will blend in seamlessly with the other reviews.
5. Sacrifice quality for quantity
Another common advice on self-publishing is quantity. It is said that if you offer three books or more you will have more sales on all of your books in general because if a reader likes your book, the way you write and your style, they will pick up your other books immediately. This is true – however, if your other two books are written in a rush to have more “products” out there, then when the reader picks up your second book, which might be riddled with grammar and spelling mistakes due to the rush to publish it, they will not pick up the third book, and they will not buy any other book that might follow after. That’s why you should never sacrifice quality for quantity – you have one good book, then make sure the second and third are better and better, even if it means spending a large amount of time on editing, proofreading and making it as professionally written as possible.
Image credit: Pixabay[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/photo.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Georgina Roy wants to live in a world filled with magic. As an art student, she’s moonlighting as a writer and is content to fill notebooks and sketchbooks with magical creatures and amazing new worlds. When she is not at school, or scribbling away in a notebook, you can usually find her curled up, reading a good urban fantasy novel, or writing on her laptop, trying to create her own.