Avoid the Biggest Mistakes Authors Make When Self-Publishing

Self-publishing books are becoming more popular. This may be the only way for new authors to get published. There are many reasons for this. The number of books that commercial publishers publish is decreasing. They are less inclined to take on new authors. They are more inclined to look at self-published authors with success than those who approach them first.

Book self publishing is also easier thanks to technology. Authors no longer need to order thousands of books in advance to get published. Minimum order of thousands is an indicator that the company you are dealing with is not one you want. We will discuss the biggest mistakes authors make when researching self-publishing companies in a recent interview.


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First mistake: Not understanding who the book is for.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people claim that my book is suitable for everyone. Although it may be true, "everyone" is simply too big a category. Consider your book-buying habits. What is it that makes you buy a book? Apart from the #1 persuader, a recommendation from trusted sources, why not just go with the author that seems to be solving your problem?

Would you buy "How to Successfully Publicize Your Book" or "How to Successfully Publishing Your Self-Help Book" if you were looking for a self-help book? Although it might seem that everyone who self-publishes a book would be interested in the first title, the truth is that a more specific title and the book will sell better.

Second mistake: Expectations that are unrealistic about how many books you can sell.

Although all authors desire to become the next blockbuster, unrealistic expectations can lead to excessive spending, particularly if you order large volumes. What if you only pay $5.60 for 1000 books and $7.80 for 500 books? Still, $5600 is more than $3900. Now you need to figure out how you can store and sell 500 additional books.

Mark Levine said that he is happy to go out for dinner once a month with the royalties from his book. A book can serve many purposes. It can help you to get more speaking fees or consulting fees. Or it can introduce you to new knowledge that can be sold in other, more lucrative ways. A book by itself is not the best way to make income.

This leads to…

Make #3:Do not expect to invest time or money in marketing.

In researching for this article, I was surprised at the number of people who warned against self-publishing because "they will not market your book." As if traditional publishers do. Yes, good ones usually do some kind of launch, but they concentrate their limited marketing dollars on authors they know will sell. Any author needs to accept full responsibility for promoting his or her book.

Traditional publishers now demand it. They won't even consider authors who are not interested in marketing their own book. Self-publishers don't demand it, of course. Some will offer marketing packages, but be very careful and very clear about what you will actually get for your investment. But do expect to invest something–if not money, then "sweat equity" in terms of getting the word out.