Have you ever thought “What does it take when self-publishing my book?” “What are some of the common mistakes to avoid as a self-publisher?” New avenues for self-publishing authors, such as eBooks and print on demand services, have broken the market wide open for independent authors.
Self Publishing My BookNo longer reliant on a handful of traditional publishers, self-published books accounted for 31 percent of eBook sales on Amazon’s Kindle Store in 2014. The Big Five traditional publishers published just 16 percent of the books on Amazon’s bestseller lists that year. Between 2010 and 2015, ISBNs registered for self-published books grew a whopping 375 percent. While this means it is much easier to fairly think, “I can self-publish my book and have a chance at success,” it also means the competition has become much more intense. But without guidance or a proven model to follow for success, many self-publishing authors will be making a handful of common, avoidable mistakes. Simply letting Google guide you when you search a phrase like “self-publishing my book” will do little more than make you one of a growing crowd. By working with Izzard Ink, you can be sure to avoid those mistakes, keeping your book head and shoulders above much of the competition, and helping it to stand out in a crowded market. With a professional approach, you can compete with successful, traditionally published authors instead of the many unpolished works by self-published authors. Here are a few of those common mistakes to avoid.
1. Not Working With An Experienced EditorEditing is an area where you will want to work on the same level as traditional publishers. As a reader, finding storyline problems in an otherwise great literary work is much like watching the receiver for your favorite football team drop the game-winning touchdown pass. Avoiding plot holes and inconsistencies is one way to stand out from the plethora of poorly edited self-published books. Even worse is when grammatical errors interrupt the flow of your book. This is like the 13-year-old boy singing the signature song of a musical only to have his voice crack at the defining moment. The performance could have been flawless otherwise, but the audience will remember the embarrassment they felt for the performer instead of the countless other tunes that were sung without a hitch. Plot holes and grammatical errors in manuscripts can end up being the focal point of an otherwise stellar work. Working with an experienced editor is the solution. This is an area where you should take a cue from traditional publishers. Don’t let “self-publishing my book” turn into “self-editing my book” – you’ll be amazed at how much you’ll miss in your own writing. After all, you knew what you meant to say!
2. Poor Quality Design and LayoutEspecially in the early days of self-publishing, this is one area where self-publishing authors lagged behind. Even now, presentation is often forgotten by authors who attempt to cover the range of publishing tasks by themselves. As an author, you probably don’t enjoy the same level of expertise when it comes to editing, design, or layout. Consider working with a professional in these areas. People pay to see live musicals when they could simply download the music for a few dollars. Why? It’s all the behind the scenes work that goes into the set, costumes, the layout of the theatre. Everything is designed to help make the live production magical, and help the content – the music itself, and the plot, really shine. The same concept applies to your book. Well-designed book covers catch the eyes of readers and engaging, immaculate interior layouts help readers become immersed in your book. Do not overlook the design details that could leave readers with sore eyes, or worse, hiding your book on their shelf. Design a book that people will be proud to display and share with their friends.
3. Ignorance Marketing Your BookI have a bit of a marketing background, but if I didn’t, marketing probably wouldn’t be something I’d give much thought to while self-publishing my book. Marketing, along with distribution and public relations, is another area that many self-publishers may neglect. The best way to go about this is with the help of an experienced professional – the same way traditional publishers approach marketing. Acquiring professional book reviews, promoting your book with an effective website, reaching your target demographic of readers, are all tasks with which an experienced professional can help greatly. A multifaceted marketing plan is needed if you want to see your book achieve true success. This is also where a network of pre-established connections can be helpful, especially if you want your book to be sold at traditional retailers. Marketing and promotion is a big task of its own, and once again, outside expertise is the best way to get it done. Don’t expect yourself as an author to take on a task for which people spend entire careers honing the right skills and connections. Instead, know when to ask for help.
Why Izzard Ink?Much like an award-winning musical, it takes more than just a catchy title and a few well-placed witty tunes to be successful. Writing a great book is just the first step to self-publishing a successful one. Izzard Ink can help you put your team together for editing, design, distribution, marketing, and narration. When you see a great musical, the actors aren’t also writing the songs, playing the instruments, designing the set, and running the lights and sound. So don’t expect the same thing of yourself as an author. We can help make sure your next literary masterpiece is not only published but read widely.
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