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The most frequent mistakes that self-publishing authors make

The most frequent mistakes that self-publishing authors make Image: © Cartoonresource | Adobe Stock

A lot of independent authors believe that self-publishing is a form of circumventing the hassle of traditional publishing. However, more often than not, self-publishing is just as complex as its traditional counterpart.

In the past years, self-publishing solutions have gained popularity among authors. More self-published books have hit the best-seller status than ever before. However, many more have been published, read, and forgotten.

The self-publishing business is not a walk in the park, like many new authors consider it to be. Anything and everything can go wrong, especially if you're not prepared for it. However, making mistakes is part of our nature. Learning from past mistakes, whether yours or someone else's, is the best way to move forward.

Not having a professional editor

A large amount of stigma against self-published books comes from the fact that the vast majority of authors don't send their manuscript to an expert editor. Grammar mistakes or unfinished sentences will not only hinder your chances of success, but will also notify potential readers that you're not serious about your work. Your editor can work through mistakes, text-flow, chapter outline, etc.

Not hiring a professional cover designer

If you want to play in the big league, the cover of your book should be done by a professional. Of course you can do it yourself, if you have extensive knowledge in the field, but otherwise, you should be hiring a professional book cover designer. An eye-catching book cover can substantially increase your sales.

Inefficient use of financial resources

Self-publishing can prove to be a financially demanding process. All the costs of editing, printing, distributing, and marketing will come from the author's pocket. If you're on a tight budget and don't want to fail halfway through the process of publishing your first book, you have to be aware of the financial drawbacks and unexpected expenditures beforehand.

Having an improper marketing plan

Marketing should be one of your main concerns. If your books are not advertised well enough, they won't generate enough revenue. There are hundreds of marketing options, from different social media platforms, to blogging, book signings, and more. Don't limit yourself to a single platform, but don't exhaust yourself by starting your marketing campaign on all platforms at once.

Stopping at one book

Probably the biggest mistake that an author can make is to stop writing after the first book. Thinking that success is achieved after a single book is a misconception. Studies have shown that it takes approximately 3 books before authors achieve success. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but taking your chance might not be the best solution. Starting work on your next book, once the previous has been published is both good for marketing and for gaining more experience in the art of writing.

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