After working on your content for a considerable amount of time, the moment has finally come. You are now a daring author on the verge of self-publishing your first book. Good job! Now be aware: there are certain tricks you must remember in order to get the best outcomes.
Here are top 10 mistakes writers usually make when self-publishing their first book. Avoid them, and you’ll succeed.
- Waiting, and Waiting….and Waiting
There is no “perfect” moment to publish your book. “But I still need to work on X, Y, or Z,” you might think. Fine. If your book is not finished yet, or your content not polished, set up deadlines, stick to them, and finish your work in due time.
Dana Humphrey, Sales Manager at essaygeeks.co.uk, shares her opinion. “Procrastinating is never productive. Depending on how much work you have left to accomplish, design an effective schedule that will help you keep track of your progress.”
Some good tips:
- Begin your day by motivating yourself. Do what you love for one hour before starting to work. Relax, unwind, meditate, read, dance, sing, whatever. Take time for yourself.
- Set daily word count goals – if today you plan on writing 700 words, stick to that target, and don’t stop until you’ve reached your number.
- Change work environments for better focus, and personalize your office if working from home
- Set weekly and monthly deadlines, and reward yourself if you respect them
Side note: don’t forget to ask for advice and feedback constantly. Tracking your progress is essential.
- Not Planning Your Budget
While traditional companies might do the math for you, self-publishing means taking care of everything by yourself. It’s important to plan a budget and see where you stand. It’s crucial to write your plans down, and respect them thoroughly.
- If you need help with different tasks, plan on hiring a freelancer
- Think about your marketing costs, and what self-publishing means cost-wise
- Consider the taxes that you’ll have to pay
- Keep track of your income and expenses; find a balance
It’s important to prepare beforehand than leave everything for the last minute. Stay organized!
- Thinking Negatively
Worrying about the number of readers that you’ll have, or your inability to sell a high number of copies will only decrease outcomes and motivation. It’s good to prepare for the worst, but that does not mean you should think negatively all of the time.
- Think what the worst that could happen is if you don’t sell any books
- Think about ways to improve your content instead of worrying about the future
- Practice writing every day, even after you’ve finished working on your book – if you won’t succeed the first time, there’s always “a second time,” so you must be prepared and trained.
Focus more on treating the cause, not the symptoms, and make the best out of your present situation.
- Making Your Story Perfect Before Publishing It
Your story must not be perfect before you publish it. If you wait too long, you’ll end up not publishing anything at all. With each new book that you launch, you are gaining experience. There’s no “failure,” there are only better outcomes. You will earn something new every time you publish a volume.
- Finding No Good Websites to Publish It On
You should start thinking about marketing. Publishing a book without creating a plan to promote it is inefficient.
- Use Amazon as your first tool – even if this website takes 65% of your profits, it’s still the best method to promote your book; everybody uses Amazon
- Promote the book on your personal blog and link it to Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Join Google Books
- Check out Lulu or Createspace
Start preparing yourself for your marketing campaign by following the latest self-publishing trends!
- Continuously Comparing Your Work to Others’
Don’t compare yourself to others. There might be better writers than you on the market – so what? There are less talented writers too. If you keep thinking that “you could have done better” after publishing, you won’t be able to sell too many copies. In order to promote your product, you must believe in it with all your heart. You are unique, remember that.
- Not Creating Your Website Immediately
If you don’t have a website or a blog yet, it’s time to work on it. You’ll need a personal platform to promote your book on.
- Choose your platform (we highly recommend WordPress)
- Pick a domain and a host
- Choose a name (make it stand out!)
- Set up your website by choosing a simple theme and customizing it
Don’t struggle too much on the design. First, make sure your book sells, and then start worrying about the details.
- Not Building Up an E-mail List
You’ll need to reach out to your customers in one way or another. The best strategy is creating an e-mail list.
- Start by choosing your favorite email service (for example, MailChimp)
- Send out trial e-mails to your groups (family, friends, neighbors, etc.)
- Enlarge your list by creating eye-catching titles and linking to social media
Have super interesting headlines. Avoid making them look like spam, and format your content in an intelligible way. Be consistent, and send out e-mails regularly!
- Being Unwilling to Understand SEO
As a promoter and beginner, make sure you get accustomed to what SEO means. According to MOZ, SEO is a marketing discipline that grows your online visibility exponentially. It focuses on improving your rankings on search engines, and bringing more traffic to your page. Focusing on understanding how SEO works is therefore crucial for your marketing campaign.
- Asking for a Price That’s Too High
Don’t be greedy! If you are publishing a book for the first time, it’s not smart to set high prices. Tips on how to price your book:
- Take in consideration the production costs
- Think about your experience and expertise on the market – if you don’t have an already established reputation, go for the minimum price
- Consider offering discounts
- Search for eBook market prices
- Ask your customers how much they’d pay by creating surveys
Don’t wait too much to publish your book, act on it now. Also, plan your budget accordingly, stop thinking negatively, set deadline to accomplish goals, find great websites to publish your book on, and start building up your e-mail list today. For better outcomes, learn SEO, and ask for decent prices. Good luck!
Chris Richardson has been working as an editor at a publishing agency in London, UK for 5 years. He is also a professional content writing expert in such topics as career growth, self-improvement, blogging, and technology innovations.