If you’re new to the world of self-publishing, it can often seem overwhelming to look at the wealth of information and resources available to you. Self-publishing allows you to maintain full creative and legal control over your work while also learning the details of every stage of the publishing process. The journey from first draft to finished manuscript will be full of exciting decisions that you have complete power over, but we don’t want to lie to you—it’s not always going to be an easy process. We’ve put together this list of the top five self-publishing mistakes to avoid, so you can have a great experience with self-publishing!
1. Reckless Spending
2. Lack of Editing
3. Cheap Designs
4. Insufficient Market Research
5. No Marketing
You’ve no doubt already come across endless blogs and articles telling you how to get started, and countless self-publishing companies claiming to know exactly what you need to find success. Don’t base your business model around those of established authors who can afford the most expensive cover designers and multiple rounds of editing. We’ll cover later why both of these elements are crucial in your self-publishing success story; however, it’s also important to remember your budget and stay within your means—especially for your first book. Our team at Rowanvale Books understand that each author is completely different and that there is no ‘one-size fits all’ guide to publishing. Unlike some companies, we offer flexible packages that are tailored to your needs so you only pay for the services you genuinely need. If you don’t yet know what these services are, our passionate and experienced team will work with you personally to help figure this out!
Lack of Editing
While you may not be able to afford multiple rounds of editing, it’s absolutely crucial that you are not the only person to read your book before you publish. This should be of particularly high priority if you are aiming to sell and market your book, rather than publishing solely for personal reasons. Poor editing will be what people remember your work for and can lead to a bad reputation for both you and your books. At Rowanvale Books, we have an editing team who can help guide you through the process and advise you on how much editing your book needs before hitting the shelves.
Clichés like judging a book by its cover and the importance of first impressions have become clichés for a reason. In instances such as book design, they really are worth listening to. While the content of your book is always the most important aspect, it’s not the only important aspect. Again, while you may not be willing or able to hire out the most famous designers in the field, if aesthetics and design aren’t within your skill set then it’s important to recognise this and look for professional who can create a cover that they know will sell. The design team at Rowanvale Books has had incredible feedback over the years and so we know how to find that balance between realising your vision as an author as well as fitting your book to your target audience. Of course, you will maintain full creative control and ultimately be the one to call the shots; however, expert advice in area so crucial is always worth seeking out and listening to.
Insufficient Market Research
You should always love what you write. There’s no doubt about it. But when it comes to selling your book, it’s important to pay attention to what readers of your genre are interested in at the time. Remember that no one’s target audience is anyone and everyone, no matter how good your work. Having a clear target audience and reflecting this in all aspects of your book helps to create an identity for them and for you as an author. The best way to gain this kind of feedback is getting your book into the hands of readers as early as possible. At Rowanvale Books we offer a beta reading service where we’ll share your book with readers who have a registered interest in your genre. They’ll help give feedback about what worked in your book and what didn’t, as well as be among the first to leave reviews online!
The final, but all too common, mistake we want to warn you about is assuming you don’t need any marketing to sell your book. Granted, few authors write books for the joy of marketing their work after, but this is how books are sold and ultimately what will allow you (financially) to keep on doing the thing you love: writing! There’s no use in just hoping that people who are interested will stumble across your book themselves—you have to tell them it exists and where to find it! Engaging with readers throughout the whole process is a great place to start. Set up some social media accounts dedicated to you, your work and perhaps books in general, and start having genuine conversations with people so you can build up a network of people who are interested in what you have to say. By the time your book is published, try not to just spam them with ads, but talk about it as something you think they’d genuinely be interested in. If all of this sounds too much, we have an incredible marketing team at Rowanvale Books who can guide you through the process and help develop strategies that you can use long-term in your career as an author.
While you’re here, why not check out a few more of our blog posts here. Alternatively, if you’re interested in the services we offer, our plethora of packages can be found here.
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