Biggest Mistakes of Self-Publishers

By Mercedes Tabano

Did you know that most self-published books won’t sell more than twenty copies in their lifetime? That’s a depressing statistic. Numbers like that aren’t’ even enough to buy a decent dinner for two, let alone build the life your dreams. 



So what mistakes are they (and you) making that could kill your indie author career? 

No Editing

There’s an old saying among authors that great books aren’t’ written, they’re rewritten. Once you type, or mentally say the words ‘the end’ the real work is just beginning. Now, it’s time for editing. No matter what kind of grammar Nazi you are, you should not edit your own book. After all, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of not seeing your own mistakes. Because you know what you are trying to say, you assume you said it. Your readers will notice if your book is improperly edited. This will affect your credibility and your ability to sell future books. 

Unprofessional Book Cover

It’s often been said that you can’t judge a book by its cover. I’m not sure who said that, but whoever it was, was not in the business of selling books. In the modern world, (and probably long before that) people judged books by their covers all the time. If the cover looks boring or amateurish, no one will ever want to read it. In fact, most people won’t even read the description to decide if they want to read your book.

It should be noted that Amazon offers templates. Though many of the templates are good, so many indie authors use them that they scream ‘I’m a self-published book.’ Devout readers, the kind you want, recognize an Amazon template at a glance. 

No Marketing Strategy 

‘Build it and they will come’. No worse advice was ever passed off as truth. Because of this ingrained mindset, many indie authors believe that they can sell a million books just by writing them and publishing them on enough sites. The truth is it takes a lot of marketing to get readers to find your book. It’s all about building platforms. The best time to build a platform is prior to publishing your book. The second best time is today. The difference between a successful writer and one who is not has more to do with marketing talent than writing talent. 

No Platform 

It all starts with a platform. A platform is a site dedicated to finding readers for your books. A successful indie author needs at least three platforms, one of which should be their own self hosted site. The other two platforms can be a social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter YouTube, or a book site like Goodreads. 

Not Planning For Your Next Book

Planning for your next book is part of your marketing strategy. No indie author ever managed to live the life of their dreams by writing a single book. Having multiple books not only gives you a chance to be found by more readers, it also gives you the chance to improve your craft. Even famous writers improve with every book they write. If all you ever write is one book, then you are doomed to fail. 

Everyone wants to be the next Amanda Hocking, but most authors never will. However, thinking like a publisher about editing, covers and marketing will help launch your indie publishing career. With a little time and money invested in the right places, your books can enjoy a long and prosperous life, and so could you.

Until Next Time,
Mercedes Tabano


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