5 Fatal Self-Publishing Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Novel

Getting a book deal is not easy, and if you manage to get one, it usually comes with strategic and creative restrictions and a royalty contract that may or may not satisfy you.

Steuben press   5 fatal self publishing mistakes that can destroy your novel

Fortunately, nowadays there is also the option of self publishing to help your writing find its audience.

Unfortunately, self-publishing a book is not a very simple process and many authors underestimate the amount of work that goes into launching a book on the market. That is why there are few authors that have managed to get their spotlight without the help of a publishing house.

Here are some of the most common self publishing mistakes, authors make that keep their books away from success.

Believing That Your Book Is So Good, It Doesn’t Need Editing

Spelling and grammar mistakes give readers one of the most annoying experiences while reading a book. Having your book edited and proofread is extremely important, even mandatory. No matter how many times you read your writing, you will not be able to identify all the errors. You just know the book too well, and you will be less sensitive to parts that don’t sound the way they should.

A professional editor will review your writing from a completely different perspective, and will read your book with a cold sense that will make him identify even the tiniest mistakes. Also, another pair of eyes may bring suggestions of how you can improve parts or passages from the text.

Not Wanting to Give Up on Your Bad Title

For your book to pop up in the readers’ baskets, you need to choose a good name. Not a funny one, not a sensual or a mystical one, but one that suits your story and catches the people’s attention. If you are stuck on a title that you feel is the best and you love it so much you don’t want to drop it even though others have advised you to, remember that you are not the one who will buy the book. Your title should resonate with the book’s audience and be intriguing and memorable.

Designing the Book Cover on Your Own

Are you a writer or a graphic designer? The book cover and the title are the primary elements that need to look sharp and high-quality. If you are not a graphic designer, hire a professional that can bring out the best of your story on the cover. Online, e-books attract attention only through the cover, as the reader can’t (in most cases) browse through the book to see your writing style. Colors, shapes, images and texts should be comprehensible even in the thumbnail size. The same principle applies whether you are making a print version. In fact, bad covers make for the top of self-publishing mistakes.

Skipping on the Author’s Presentation

No matter how famous you are in the literary world or your field of expertise, you need to present yourself and your achievements that make your book worth reading. Of course, that is not necessary if you are J.K. Rowling. However, if you open one of the latest J.K. Rowling books, you will still find a small bio about her successes. The author needs to be marketed as well as the book, because readers like to identify with the person who gave them the story. Otherwise, you will miss the chance of increasing your reader’s level of awareness and interest in your previous or future books.

Not Promoting Your Book

The launch of the book is not the ending point of your work. Self publishing the book means you have to engage in every other aspect of the book’s life, including presenting it and introducing it to the readers.

Marketing your work is crucial. It doesn’t matter if you are not a fan of social media -- your readers are! Get your book a proper launching event, send it to bloggers and ask for reviews on websites like GoodReads. The hard work begins after your book is out of the printing house, so don’t just rest on your laurels --  your book won’t get sold on its own.

Self publishing is a challenge, but it also comes with great satisfaction. In doing everything  yourself, you get to be involved in every step of the creation of your book. However, bear in mind that you are not specialized in every industry, so look for a team that will understand your work and will make your story be heard and reached by many other people. Follow these self publishing tips, and you will make your book a success.

Adam user

President & CEO,
Steuben Press

Adam Ellis has worked in the book industry since 2002, when he was first exposed to the wonderful world of Self Publishing. Over the years he has worked with thousands of authors and helped to produce, print and publish countless books.

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Thank you, Steuben Press, for bringing my book to life! Roger, your cover design skills are exceptional and Adam, your skill with the interior design was steller. 

– Maripat Abbott, Sewickely, PA

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